Sourcing a WBP

Finding a Project, Where to Look

There are many avenues you can explore to find your own project.

  • Speak to academic staff, they may have contacts in organisations or know individuals who have offered projects in the past, or who might consider this.
  • The University Careers Service may be able to suggest organisations to approach.
  • Don’t forget your own contacts; speak to family, friends and fellow students.
  • Utilise contacts from previous employment.
  • Find relevant events to attend through industry bodies, Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise etc.
  • Use social media e.g. create a LinkedIn profile and join relevant groups.

Marketing Yourself

Your local careers service will be able to provide you with further support on a number of topics, including:

  • Making applications (CV’s, covering letters, application forms)
  • Career development planning
  • Recruitment procedures, including practice interviews
  • Making the most of your WBP

Making a Professional Approach

First impressions count! Make sure your approach to organisations is professional.

  • Research the organisation and what is current within the sector.
  • Have some clear ideas for potential projects; ensure this is aligned with the company activities.

Do NOT use a generic covering letter or email, tailor each application.Find out who would be best to speak to within the organisation, a speculative application addressed to a specific individual is much more likely to be read and is easier for you to follow up.

  • Go to the Careers Service to ensure your CV and covering letter is targeted appropriately.
  • Follow up on your initial contact, show them you are genuine and keen.
  • Before attending events, research who will be there and decide what you want to get out of it.

Setting Expectations

  • Ensure the company understands all of their roles and responsibilities. Use the 
  • Ensure that you understand all the outcomes required by the organisation.
  • Arrange a meeting with the organisation and your academic supervisor early in the process (well before the project starts).
  • Regular meetings between all parties are expected, and required.
  • Ensure the company will provide an induction & an area to work in if your WBP is being hosted by them.
  • Know what is the best way and times to contact the organisation supervisor.
  • Ask about:
    • confidentiality and non-disclosure
    • expenses
    • health and safety
    • intellectual property

Top Tips – Meeting Academic Requirements:

  • A WBP needs to meet the requirements of all stakeholder. Be aware that these may be different from each perspective – yours, the external organisations and the academic supervisors. It is therefore essential that you scope your project in detail and that everyone agrees on their roles and responsibilities – a  has been developed to help you with this.
  • Ensure you understand the learning outcomes and academic requirements - talk to your Programme Coordinator to ensure the WBP will meet these and that this is an acceptable form of project. Make sure the organisation is aware of your academic requirements and learning outcomes and that the project must be completed within specific deadlines (usually 10-14 weeks).

WBP Checklist

Once you’ve secured a WBP, use this checklist as a reminder of what needs to be done before you start.

  • Has the organisation appointed a project supervisor?
  • Has the academic supervisor engaged with the employer organisation and approved your project?
  • Have all parties agreed on deadlines and project outcomes?
  • Has the  been completed?

Disclaimer: This toolkit has been developed based on the advice and guidance available at the time of publishing. Users of the toolkit should ensure that they are familiar with guidance and regulations in their own institution at that time. All resources can, and indeed should be tailored to meet the requirements of individual student groups. Your local Careers Service may be able to provide advice and guidance on this. Where material is adapted due credit should be given to the original authors, ie. Making the Most of Masters, by either maintaining the name, logos and watermarks or alternatively, by using the following text:

"This material has been adapted from resources produced by the Making the Most of Masters Project."