Enhancing Student Employability

We are grateful to all our donors who support paid internships and other career-enhancing projects including entrepreneurial support which boost our students’ employability.

Internships allow our students the chance to secure valuable workplace experience, gain industry insight, put theory into practice and build professional networks. Vital skills they need to secure a good job on graduation. 

With many of our students following entrepreneurship as their career path, start-up funding and mentoring is crucial to help our students and alumni develop their entrepreneurial ideas and grow successful sustainable businesses.

Philanthropic donations from strategic partners such as Santander Universities, the Edinburgh Merchant Company and Papple Steading make a lasting impact on employability and entrepreneurship at QMU. 

Santander Universities SME Internship Programme

QMU participates in the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme. 

Thanks to Santander's generous support, our students and graduates can take part in paid internships with SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises), which are part or fully-funded by Santander.

Since the programme started in 2013, around 200 students and graduates have been employed as interns.  

It's not just our students and graduates who have benefitted from the programme, over 100 local SMEs, including businesses founded by QMU graduates have engaged with new talent. 

Santander Universities Enterprise Funding

Thanks to Santander Universities generosity, enterprise funding is available to QMU student and graduate start-ups.

Each year, awards of up to £2,500 are made to help our QMU entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground.

The enterprise funding has supported many different business needs including:

  • Purchase of equipment and other materials.
  • Participation in training courses.
  • Travel costs for attending enterprise competitions and networking events.
  • Accountancy, legal and professional fees.   


Edinburgh Merchant Company Enterprise Fund

The Edinburgh Merchant Company Enterprise Fund was set-up in 2018 thanks to the wonderful support from the The Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh.

The enterprise fund encourages entrepreneurship and supports QMU student and graduate start-ups with grants and mentoring.

Twice a year, the fund awards grants of between £500 - £5000, plus a mentor from the Edinburgh Merchant Company membership, to support successful candidates.

The Fund has supported over 15 QMU entrepreneurs.

Papple Steading Digital Media Prize

The Papple Steading Digital Media Prize was made possible thanks to a generous £27,000 gift from Papple Steading Director, George Mackintosh. 

Over the past three years, the prize has been awarded to four groups after a pitching competition where the groups presented their creative concepts to the Papple Steading team. Each group  received £4,500 to create digital content chronicling the Lothian's and Scotland's rich agricultural history.  Some of the work from the winning projects has been displayed at the steading development in East Lothian.   

The Papple Steading Digital Media Prize has provided many benefits to everyone involved. Film & Media graduates, Alexandra Gilbert and Jourie Fraser-Harris have created two multimedia projects based on sheep farming and oats. They explain how winning the award has helped boost their employability in the graduate job market,  

"Winning the Papple Steading Digital Media Prize was a game-changer for us, launching us into the freelance film sector with newfound confidence. This opportunity not only validated our skills but also opened doors to a plethora of projects. With its support, we've seamlessly transitioned from academic endeavours to real-world client work. Thanks to the Papple Steading Digital Media Prize, we've not only gained valuable experience but also forged lasting connections within the industry."
Alexandra Gilbert and Jourie Fraser-Harris