Supported Internship Pilot

The University of Derby ISEND Research Cluster are proudly working in collaboration with St Martins School to run a pilot Supported Internship programme from the University of Derby Kedleston Road campus.

Supported Internships are a significant and important strategy which help to create a bridge from education into employment for young people with disabilities. Supported by a St Martins School Job Coach and staff at the University of Derby, this work-based study programme provides onsite employment experiences for learners (aged 18-19) with an Education Health Care plan who are on-roll at St Martins School.

This work experience opportunity is designed to broaden and deepen the Interns’ employment skills and their connections to a range of people and places. In practice this means the Interns’ experience working in a variety of different roles at the University; for example, working for an extended period within the postroom, library, Union of Students, and with cleaning, portering, and grounds maintenance teams.

The University of Derby is incredibly proud to become a site for a Derby City Supported Internship, living our values as an inclusive employer. In connection with this commitment, the University conducts research into Supported Internships and more generally into the transition from education into employment for disabled people. For more information about this research see below.

Open Access (freely available)

Hanson, J., Robinson, D., & Codina, G. (2022). What makes supported internships an effective approach to VETNordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE)6(3-4). 

Hanson, J., Robinson, D., & Codina, G. (2021). Being valued and included via Supported Internships. Special Needs Jungle.

Hanson, J., Codina, G., & Neary, S. (2017). Transition programmes for young adults with SEND. What works? Careers and Enterprise Company.

Available from the publisher/library

Hanson, J., Robinson, D., & Codina, G. (2021). Supported internships as a vehicle for broadening and deepening the social inclusion of people with learning disabilitiesBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49(4): 433-444. 


The University of Derby are currently funding two scholarship PhD students to conduct more research into Supported Internships.

Wykeham Bosworth-Nightingale, PhD title - An ethnographic study of the social inclusion implications of a supported internship programme.

Maria Szreder, PhD title - Investigating Supported Internships in England and the United States: The discursive construction of Supported Internships and Implications for the social inclusion of People with disabilities.