best paid internships in the UK
Several UK universities offer paid internships for students to gain work experience while studying. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

The best paid internships in the UK for international students don’t all come from top companies. Universities offer them too.

The UK is home to some of the top universities in the world, consistently ranked on the top 10 list by QS World Ranking and Times Higher Education. 

For this reason, every year, thousands of international students head to the UK to gain a good education and make the most of their time in one of the most famed countries in the world.

And one of the best ways to do that is by interning.

Internships are a great way to gain real-world working experience, expand your network and learn new skills while sprucing up your CV

Many studies have found internships can make you more employable — 91% of companies are more inclined to hire graduates who have undertaken work opportunities. 

If you think all of these benefits can only be found at big brands like Vodafone, HSBC and Shell, think again.

Some of the best paid internships in the UK for international students could take place on your very campus.

Check the list below to see if your university is one of them:

Five of the best paid internships in the UK for international students

University of Oxford 

The University of Oxford is renowned as the top institution for higher education according to Times  Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

As a world-class university, many international students choose to pursue their education there every year — 45% of its student body are from abroad.

But it’s not just their excellent programmes that attract students. 

The university offers several summer internship programmes at its Oxford alumni network. This includes internships at the Oxford Mail and BBC Radio Oxford. 

Since the university implemented the Oxford Living Wage, all students will be paid during their internship placements. 

Loughborough University 

Loughborough University‘s internship opportunities are available in web and digital, alumni engagement, recruitment marketing, academic school marketing and student recruitment.

All positions are full-time and will be completed over a fixed term of 12 months. The best part is that students will be paid 18,529 pounds during this time. 

However, these internships are only open to graduates, final-year students or those looking to undertake a placement year.

best paid internships in the UK

Forget TVs. To look out for some of the best paid internships in the UK, head to your international student office. Source: Paul Ellis/AFP

University of Edinburgh

Supported by the careers service department and Santander Universities, University of Edinburgh’s summer internships cover science, business, law and even performing arts and design.

They are open to all students as well as graduates for as long as two years after completing their programmes.

Students can choose to participate in this 10-week internship programme, where they will work for 35 hours a week and earn around 1,575 pounds.


University of Cambridge 

The University of Cambridge, ranking second in the QS World Rankings 2023, is an elite institution attracting thousands from 130 countries to its hallowed halls every year.

Its paid internship opportunities are offered through Cambridge Enterprise, which is responsible for supporting the translation of research to create globally leading economic and social impact.

Interns at the university can also take advantage of the university’s careers services for guidance on their job search and networking opportunities.

best paid internships in the UK

You can find some of the best paid internships in the UK amongst the murals of Pep Guardiola and Cristiano Ronaldo in this city of half a million people. Source: Oli Scarff/AFP

University of Salford

At the University of Salford Manchester, international students can complete internships that will provide them with valuable work experience.

The Santander Internship Programme is an excellent opportunity for students to complete a paid internship programme with an organisation in the Greater Manchester area. 

Interns work 35 hours a week while earning 9.90 pounds per hour and can earn up to 346.50 pounds per week.