Frequently Asked Questions

Application Stage

To be eligible to apply you must be the following:

  • Enrolled in full time undergraduate study at a Scottish University


  • Entering your penultimate or final year of university. This includes:

    • Year 3 of a 3 year Bachelors
    • Year 3 or 4 of a 4 year Honours Degree
    • Year 3 or 4 or 5 of a 5 year Integrated Masters

Students can re-apply for the programme if unsuccessful. If you have previously applied, or been a member of the Candidate Pool in an earlier cycle, you can reapply a second time. (E.g. you were unsuccessful in your penultimate year of study, therefore you can re-apply in your final year)

We partner with all of Scotland's universities and each provides a financial contribution to help make our internships possible. As such, every student who becomes a Saltire Scholar has their high-quality internship experience part-funded by their university.

Each university makes independent budgeting decisions based on their own individual strategic plans and they will choose which types of internships they wish to fund.

Please check below to see if your university has any specific criteria you need to be aware of.

  • University of Edinburgh

Before applying to the Saltire Scholar Programme, students at the University of Edinburgh must qualify as Widening Participation according to the University of Edinburgh’s WP criteria.

Should they reach the Candidate Pool, Widening Participation students at the University of Edinburgh, are eligible to apply for any Scotland based role as well as international & virtual international roles. The eligibility of all University of Edinburgh students will be cross-checked by their university to ensure WP qualification is met.

  • University of Glasgow

Students at the University of Glasgow, should they reach the Candidate Pool, are eligible to apply for any Scotland based role as well as international & virtual international roles.

  • University of Stirling

Students at the University of Stirling, should they reach the Candidate Pool, are eligible to apply for internship roles in Scotland, and virtual international roles only.

Saltire Scholar Internships typically start early June and usually last for 8,10 or 12 weeks.

When we advertise internship opportunities, we will also disclose the start date and duration of the role.

For example in 2022, the majority of internships started on Monday 13th June 2022.

The internship start date will be included on the job advert and candidates should pay particular attention to this date.

Internship dates for International roles are not flexible due to Visa application timescales and travel/accommodation arrangements.

Please note that the decision of when internships will commence is at the discretion of the host company and therefore flexibility is not always possible or guaranteed.

Saltire internships are full-time roles and you will be expected to be available for the entirety of the internship. If you cannot commit to undertaking a 8-12 week internship over the summer because of prior commitments, eg, a 2 week summer holiday, you should not apply.

Yes, you can re-apply if you were unsuccessful the previous year. For example, if you were unsuccessful in your penultimate year, then you can re-apply in your final year.

  • Yes. For internships in Scotland and the wider UK, Scholars are paid the living wage per hour (£9.50).
  • For internships in London, Scholars are paid the living wage per hour (£10.85).
  • All Virtual Internships are fully paid at the Scottish Living Wage of £9.50/hour
  • For internships outside of the UK all costs are covered (flights, accommodation, visas, insurance) as well as Scholars receiving a nominal stipend to cover expenses.
  • For internships within the UK, support can be given to help Scholars identify their accommodation.
  • The Scholar team will arrange the accommodation for internships with certain Host Companies who are based in the UK. These arrangements will be highlighted on the appropriate Internship Project Description document as part of the internship advertisement. These internships will also have a host-company-specific financial arrangement in place. Applicants will be advised of this prior to making their applications.

No. The Scholar team take responsibility for sourcing your accommodation and will work with you to book your flight. All Scholars must take the lead in submitting their visa paperwork and progressing through the required process.

Yes, if you are on a year abroad and in your penultimate year or final year of study, you are eligible to apply. It is your responsibility to be organised with interviews and application timelines, taking into account any time differences in your country, as any deadlines stipulated will be in UK local time.

You will also need to be conscious of the start date of internships you apply to as this could clash with your term time.

Internships last between 8-12 weeks. The duration of each project is determined by the company who hosts our interns.

We share the dates and durations of the internships alongside the internship description when we advertise roles.

The Saltire Scholar Programme is open to applicants from all degree disciplines. We encourage all students to consider their transferable skills so that they can broaden their horizons. While there may be internships directly related to your degree, you may have other relevant skills that could be applicable to a different industry or role. In the past we have had pharmacy students undertaking marketing roles, and engineers undertake business analysis roles, so it pays to think outside of the box!

We partner with a wide variety of companies who operate in a range of industries and sectors all over the world. This includes business and finance, engineering, manufacturing, life sciences, creative industries, not-for-profit, public sector, IT, pharmaceuticals, transport, food and drink and many more.

When sourcing internship projects, we focus on identifying roles which deliver tangible impact to the company whilst also contributing to your learning and development.

Traditionally, all Saltire Scholar Internships take place, in-person, at the Host Company premises.

In 2020, in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we launched our Virtual Internships enabling us to offer summer internships whilst prioritising the health, safety and well-being of all participants.

In 2021 and 2022 we continued to offer Virtual Internships and we will also be offering these as opportunities in 2023 in addition to in-person roles.

We partner with companies on an annual basis which means every year we offer a range of internships with companies who have hosted interns before, as well as new companies. We understand that students will be drawn to recognisable employer brands, however we pride ourselves on partnering with the world’s leading firms and entrepreneurial companies, some of which you may never have heard of before! Regardless of which company we partner with and where they are located, we guarantee that they will offer students a valuable and meaningful internship.

Our application window is open from 29th August - 17th October. Whether you submit early on, or on the very last day of the window, every application will be considered equally. There is no benefit to rushing your application and submitting it on the first day! We encourage all candidates to use the application period effectively, but we advise you to be mindful of technical challenges if you’re cutting it close to the deadline!

Our applications are open for 7 weeks, it is therefore your responsibility to be able to make deadlines; our application dates are not flexible.

If you have applied close to the end of the application window, and encounter technical issues, we will not be able to make allowances for this.

If you have any queries about the questions or require application support, reach out to your university’s careers service.

Brand Ambassadors (students who have been a Saltire Scholar in a previous cycle) can also help. You can find Scholars' Blogs on our website and you may be able to connect with a BA on LinkedIn

All unsuccessful candidates are provided with a list of feedback points in their application outcome email.

If you email us to request further specific feedback we will endeavour to provide this, however please note that our reply may be significantly delayed due to the volume of emails that we receive at this time of year.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive in our initial process, there will not be a second round.

Assessment Centres

Once the short-listing of applications has been completed by the Scholar Team, all candidates who have been selected for an Assessment Centre will be notified.

You will then be responsible for booking your assessment centre time slot from a range of appointments available.

Assessment Centres will take place from 7th - 20th November and will be held in various locations across Scotland.

In the unlikely event that you still cannot find a suitable slot to book, we may be able to make alternative arrangements with you. However, we must see evidence that you are not able to attend the regular slots (i.e. evidence of university resits, medical appointments).

These are professional assessment centres, therefore dress appropriately as you would for a job interview. First impressions are always important.

Candidate Pool Stage

Internship opportunities for the 2023 programme will be advertised on a rolling basis from mid-December 2022 through to mid-May 2023.

These opportunities will be advertised on our online careers site which is exclusively available to those in the Candidate Pool to view.

No. Although this is our final application stage, this is still competitive. Roughly 1 in 3 people within our candidate pool will secure an Internship.

All candidates will be sent a link to complete an online psychometric test prior to any internship roles being advertised. This test has been tailored specifically for the Saltire Scholar Programme and the results of it will be used to assist the Scholar Team in shortlisting candidates for Host Company interviews, based on whether their skills and personality align with the Host Company job description.

Please contact the Saltire Scholar team beforebeginning the test to let us know of any additional requirements that you have, eg extra time etc. Email to let us know as soon as possible.

Please upload your Cover Letter in Word or PDF format only.

You should address your cover letters to ‘Sir/Madam’

Cover letters must be kept to a maximum of 400 words and CVs should be no more than two pages in length.

No, they are not included in the word count.

Please upload your Cover Letter in Word or PDF format only.

Yes, you can still apply, however it is unlikely you will be shortlisted as you are unable to meet the essential requirements for this particular Internship.

If a driver is specified, then it is because the Host Company has identified this as a skill that is crucial to the success of the Internship or the company is located in an area with no public transport links.

There are various reasons that a Host Company may place an age limit on an internship role.

For example, in the USA you must be at least 21 to work for a Company that has any links to alcohol.

If your internship has car hire as an essential requirement, perhaps due to the remote location of the Host Company premises, you must be over 21 before we can hire a car for you.

No, it is your responsibility to make sure you meet deadlines.

You must upload your CV and Cover Letter in PDF or Word format only. Other formats cannot be opened by the Scholar Team and this may lead to you missing the deadline.

You can apply for as many roles as you want. However, you are only able to have a maximum of 5 applications live at one time via our Careers Site.

Please bear in mind the skills and qualities that each internship role requires and ensure that you tailor your cover letter specifically for each role.

For each application that is not successful in being put forward for an interview with a host company, you will receive an email notification from us. This email will contain some generic feedback points so that you can improve any future internship applications.

Due to the volume of applications that we receive for internship roles, we are unable to provide individual feedback at this stage of the process.

Firstly, find out who your university Brand Ambassadors are, you can reach out on LinkedIn.

If you still haven’t managed to get in touch with any, then email the Scholar Team to let us know what you are looking for.

The host company will reach out to you to organise the interview.

The format varies depending on the company. For example, it may be in-person, over the phone or through Teams or Zoom. If you cannot attend the interview on the date proposed by the company, then it is up to you to take ownership and responsibility for rearranging.

Be mindful and realistic of the opportunity you are being offered and always endeavour to be flexible with your schedule, where possible. You should also be aware of time difference and expect the interview schedule to be held on the host companies time zone.

No. Please be aware of any financial costs that may occur with international telephone or conference calls or travelling to an in-person interview.

Once it has been two weeks please contact the Scholar Team to let them know of the delay and we will chase up the company on your behalf. Please do not contact the Host Company directly regarding this.

Some companies like to receive a thank you message post interview. We are happy for you to do this; however, you are not permitted to ask them when you will hear an outcome or enquire about further employment/volunteering opportunities.

The company will inform the Scholar Team of their decision and all interview outcomes will be communicated via the Scholar Team.

Once it has been two weeks please contact the Scholar Team to let them know and we will take the necessary next steps. Please do not contact the Host Company directly regarding this.

No. If you are offered an internship you have 24 hours to decide whether you wish to accept this role or not.

If you do accept it, you will confirm your place on the Programme and no further internship projects will be shared with you.

If you decline it, you will go back into the candidate pool and you can apply for more Internships that we advertise. However the Candidate Pool is extremely competitive and there is no guarantee that you will be shortlisted for any roles that you apply for at a later date.

Interns who remain in the UK are responsible for organising their own accommodation (there are exceptions to this and this will be highlighted at the time of advertising the Internship opportunity). Here are our tips for sourcing a place to stay near to your host company location, if you don’t already have somewhere in mind:

  • Connect with other Saltire Scholars interning in the same location through the closed Scholar Facebook group. Joining forces often means you can get better accommodation rates.
  • Other Saltire Scholars may be leaving their rented accommodation and happy to pass their landlord's details to you.
  • Connect with students who interned in your destination last year to find out how they sourced accommodation.
  • Contact universities which are near your host company location, as student halls of residence can be an economical source of accommodation and often have vacancies over the summer months.

Your Internship will have agreed start and end dates. Travel is usually booked for the Saturday before your Internship starts to the Saturday after your last day. You cannot fly earlier than your given departure date. Scholars can elect to stay on and explore their host country after completing their Internships, returning later than the standard given departure date.

If this is something you are considering, you should ensure that you discuss this with the Scholar Team before we book your return flights.

Any additional costs associated with staying in-country beyond your internship will be yours to cover.

All flights are booked through our trusted travel partner and we know that the best possible flight option will be chosen for you.

You cannot pick what airline you fly with. All students have standard hold luggage included which is set by the airline.

You may elect to take additional luggage with you but you will have to cover the costs of this. Please discuss this with the Scholar Team prior to us booking your return flights.

This is due to the visa application process for many of the locations within which we work.

If you secure an Internship that requires a Visa then the process is often fast-paced and can have deadlines.

The Visa process for certain countries requires you to attend their Embassy in person for an interview. You need to be organised and available to attend your visa appointment at short notice.

If your host company have to withdraw your Internship position after you have accepted it, you will re-enter the candidate pool and can continue to apply for other Internship positions which are of interest to you.

Other than in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic meant the cancellation of several placements, this does not happen very often.