School work experience

Students standing in a Reading Room

Our invaluable work experience will set you up for the future.

Each year, the British Library offers a number of short, unpaid work opportunities to school students seeking an interesting and relevant work experience placement as part of their curriculum. These placements are for one or two weeks and take place mostly in July or August. Placements may, however be possible during other months if your school’s work experience programme is scheduled for a different time of the year.

Placements are available at both our St. Pancras building in central London and our Boston Spa site near Wetherby, West Yorkshire. While they offer exposure to a number of areas of our work, applications are only accepted for the programme in general, rather than to specific Library departments. We do, however, try to place students in areas that relate to their academic studies, interests or future plans. When you apply, you’ll have the opportunity to tell us about your own specific areas of interest and ambitions for the future.

How to apply

Due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we’re not currently able to open applications for work experience placements. We hope to offer placements later in the year when it is safe for everyone. Please check back here for up to date information.

A full list of the Library’s current vacancies is available through our British Library Recruitment system.

Case studies from our staff

…Our team is constantly learning and developing…

We have been at the forefront of digitisation and digital preservation projects for over two decades.

…You won't find these kind of challenges in many other organisations…

Whilst we’re structured like many other IT teams, what we do day-to-day ultimately leads to the preservation of our history and collective knowledge. And, because our collection is very diverse, it could be print or sound based.

…I get to collaborate with some incredible people…

Our programme of workshops, led by specialist educators, encourages curiosity, creativity and exploration. Sessions develop critical thinking, research skills and visual, verbal and information literacy.

…The sheer size of the place means there are great development opportunities…

We help people find and use material held in some of the most unusual and hard to search parts of our collection – answering questions from Readers as well as those phoned in or sent to us as emails and letters, or via our QuestionPoint and Chat services.

Learn more

Our departments and functions

Learn about the diverse range of teams and people who work here.


Find out about our paid internships.


Do you have what it takes to be our next apprentice?


Got a few hours to spare? Then come and volunteer at the British Library.