Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Student Innovation Projects

Jasmine Morse, BA Fashion Management & Marketing

Making sure that you are using the transferable skills that you have learnt during your time at University is just as important as your exams and assignments; but how can you put them into practice? Student Innovation Projects are a great opportunity to exercise the areas in which you already excel, increase your knowledge of the working environment and truly make a real impact on how an existing organisation operates.


COVID-19 guidance

As we are sure you will appreciate, we are currently in an unprecedented  situation with the outbreak of coronavirus, which has significantly affected the Student Innovation Projects. We appreciate that these circumstances may be giving you cause for concern and we are aiming to do everything possible to support you. Therefore, we have put together advice and guidance that relates to all Work Experience Programmes which you may find helpful.

Please read our dedicated guidance document HERE




How will Student Innovation Projects benefit you?

Student Innovation Projects are designed for you to be able to gain valuable experience working on a real-life business issue with other students across disciplines. You will be working in a small team paired with either a small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME), or non-profit organisations to create inventive ways to solve problems and help their business thrive.

These projects are a fantastic way to build your awareness of business problems, and an insight into how to build a professional network while developing skills including:

o Team work                     o Communication

o Confidence                     o Time management

o Report writing                 o Critical thinking

o Problem solving              o Market research

o Presentation 


What previous participants have said:

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

96% said they have developed skills and enhanced employability prospects by participating on the Project

96% would recommend the Student Innovation Project to friends/peers

For a full overview of Student Innovation Projects, please view our online student handbook.

My confidence has improved now I have experience dealing with a ‘real business’, I know now how to put a proper business report together and I have learnt more about how to work successfully in a team.

o   Student Innovation Projects are exclusive to University of Southampton students.

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

o   Third year and Masters students should bear in mind that Semester 2 Projects sometimes fall over Easter and the months leading up to dissertation deadlines. Please take your workload around this time into account, as pulling out of the programme can significantly affect your group, your project and your client.

Please note: Student Innovation Projects are only available to students currently studying at the University. If you will not be studying for the entire 6-week duration of the project, then you will not be eligible. 

Additionally: Being appointed onto the Student Innovation Projects is a competitive process and unfortunately, not everyone is successful.  When selecting students to participate in the programme we take into consideration the quality of the student application in terms of how well questions have been answered, attention to detail and accuracy. Additionally, in order to ensure a meaningful experience for our students and clients, we seek to appoint interdisciplinary teams with a mix of skillsets, diversity of degree subject, year group and nationality.


Student Innovation Projects will see you working in a small group with other students to solve a real-life business issue given to you by your client (a small-to-medium enterprise or third-sector charity). Working together, you will need to research the issue and report back to the client, providing recommendations of practical solutions to the problem.

You will need to present this to your client through a report completed by you and your team, as well as delivering a professional presentation including your findings and solutions.

The projects run in both semesters, over 6 weeks and require around 4-6 hours of your time each week. Successful applicants will receive training prior to projects commencing and a contribution towards expenses of £100 per student will be made during the project.

To apply to be part of a Student Innovation Project, you will need to complete an application form on MyCareer. In your application, you will need to explain why you want to take part in the programme, and what skills you can bring to your team.

Semester 1 Applications open around April in order to start in the following Academic Year (October start).

Semester 2 Applications open in October until the first week of December (dates to be confirmed), to commence in the same Academic Year (February start).

Due to the programme's limited spaces and increasing popularity, you must ensure you answer 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, your participation on a project will involve the following:

o   Attendance at a mandatory training day to prepare you for your project

o   Assignment to a team and project

o   An initial meeting with your client to discuss their business needs

o   Support throughout the project will be available from your client and the Careers and Employability Service

o   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

o   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

o   Attending the reflection event, to help you recognise the skills you have acquired from participating in your project and how best to present these in future applications

Follow the Careers and Employability Service on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook Twitter

Contact Us

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


Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 3501


Santander logo
In partnership with Santander
Privacy Settings