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The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Business Innovation Programme

The Business Innovation Programme
Business Innovation Programme student group with client Zurich

The Business Innovation Programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to gain invaluable experience of working on a real-life business issue put forward by local businesses or not-for-profit organisations.

This is an opportunity to develop your business acumen, team working and problem solving skills by working on an 6 week project during term-time, in either Semester 1 or 2. Although the amount of effort to put in is your choice, typically students spend approximately 4-6 hours per week for the duration. Successful students will be provided with training prior to projects commencing. 

54 students who recently took part in the Business Innovation Programme responded to a survey about their experience in which:


Please view our Student Handbook for a detailed overview of the programme.  

How will the Business Innovation Programme benefit you?

The Business Innovation Programme has provided me an incredible opportunity in developing my professional persona as well as understanding the different mind-sets found between industry and academia, and the challenges that face companies. Being able to work with a range of academic backgrounds within the team has heightened my ability to work with others and lead. Everyone should take part in this programme at least once before leaving - it is simply CV gold dust!

The Business Innovation Programme (BIP) is exclusive to University of Southampton students.

Students on any degree discipline can take part, but please ensure the Business Innovation Programme does not interfere with your academic workload.

Semester 2 BIP usually falls over Easter and during the months leading up to dissertation deadlines. We ask 3rd year and Masters students to bear this in mind when applying in Semester 2, as pulling out of the programme can significantly affect the rest of your group, your project and your client.

Please note: The Business Innovation Programme is only available to students currently studying at the University. As such, if you will not be studying for the entire 6 week duration of the project, then you will not be eligible. 




You will need to complete an online application form via MyCareer explaining why you wish to take part in the programme. Due to the programme's limited spaces and increasing popularity, you must ensure you answers all questions thoroughly. For support with this, you can book onto one of our ‘Work Experience Programmes and How To Apply’ sessions via the link on this page.

If your application is successful, the programme will involve the following:

  • Attendance at a mandatory training day to prepare you for your projects
  • Assignment of projects to teams
  • An initial meeting with your Client to discuss their business needs
  • Support throughout the project will be available from your Client and the Careers and Employability Service 
  • Work to be carried out on the project for the duration of the 6 weeks – all team members to play an active role in the project and to work together to fit around other commitments
  • Final report to be produced and team presentation to your Client and members of the Careers and Employability Service at the end of the 6 weeks
  • Attending the reflection event, to help you recognise the skills you have acquired from participating in the Programme and how best to present these in future applications
  • You will be invited to, and have the chance to be nominated for, the Employability Awards - an opportunity to recognise the work done by all student groups; an opportunity for us to thank you for participating in the programme; time to meet other clients, University of Southampton staff and the student teams

Applications are now closed

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Contact Us

We'd like to hear from you if you are considering taking part in the Business Innovation Programme or have any questions. The Work Experience Team will support as required with our contact details below:


Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 3501


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