BAE Systems
work experience

Undergraduate Placement Materials Science June 2024

Job description

BAE Systems do offer a range of hybrid and flexible working arrangements, however it is expected on our Summer Intern Programme you will be required to attend your site 3-4 days per week. Please note, this may be subject to change in line with the needs of the business. The hybrid working arrangements including which days you are required to work on site/remotely will be outlined by your line manager.

Do you want to have direct involvement in the design, build and commissioning of Astute, Dreadnought and SSNA (the replacement for the Astute) Submarines? Do you want to apply your knowledge of materials to support the largest shipbuilding programme in the UK, helping to deliver state of the art submarines to the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy? Do you want to get your hands on novel and existing materials and use state of the art techniques and equipment in state of the art laboratories (e.g. 3D printers, mechanical testing equipment and scanning electron microscopes) to help select and test materials, for use in the submarines we build? Do you want to undertake cutting edge research and development activities into novel materials, enabling the delivery of world leading capabilities to our customers? Then this is the perfect role for you.

What you will be doing

As a Materials Science Undergraduate, you will be working within the Materials Technology Centre as part of a dynamic, growing and highly specialised team, which offers advice and support on all aspects of materials science (including metallic, composite materials, paints and coatings, polymers and adaptive materials), to other engineering departments across all the submarines programmes that BAE Systems deliver. The Materials Technology Centre is a growing team with large scope for development and career progression, making it a very exciting time to join us. You will have the opportunity to become involved in all aspects of the Submarine’s lifecycle, from concept through to commissioning and testing and disposal during decommissioning, supporting activities such as research into novel and existing materials, material selection based on design and engineering requirements, materials testing using state of the art equipment and techniques, and performing in-build problem solving and failure investigations.

We also provide the opportunity to get involved in projects outside of your primary remit. We encourage you to seek a stretch project in which you’ll gain different experiences. With our huge portfolio of products and our multinational presence, there are opportunities to get involved in something different around every corner. Additionally, we encourage involvement in community projects, STEM initiatives and support groups (called employee resource groups) which all provide valuable learning and development experiences that you may not have access to in your day-to-day role. To ensure we retain our talented people, we offer a blend of sponsorship, additional support in career development planning and a portfolio of high potential development programmes. We are also fully committed to supporting graduates to work towards professional registration and Chartership with a range of professional institutes (e.g. IOM3 [Institute of Mining, Minerals and Materials]). Our graduate scheme is accredited with a number of different professional institutes, which means that we have demonstrated high standards of delivery and support.

Our mission is to build a strong, diverse, adaptable, and high performing work force that will develop and grow our future business. We believe that everyone has talent, and at the heart of our talent management approach our ambition is to be recognised as the UK’s top employer in the defence and security sector for valuing diversity and inclusion. Accelerated development will be offered to those who have the aspiration, ability, and performance to fulfil roles that are critical to our future success. Using The Future Talent Programme, we select high potential graduates and provide them with further tailored development opportunities.

Specific activities could include:

Providing advice and support to delivery teams across all submarine programmes (Astute, Dreadnought and SSNA) with regards to material selection;

  • Working closely with the MOD (Ministry of Defence) and other external stakeholders to agree and define requirements;
  • Supporting material failure investigations and providing advice on a route forward;
  • Undertaking a range of testing and analysis (e.g. mechanical testing, scanning electron microscope analysis);
  • Proposing, leading and running research projects investigating the latest developments in material science and their application to the submarines BAE Systems build;
  • Working in partnership with UK universities and industrial collaborators to identify possible applications of academic research for use in our submarines.
  • Acting on behalf of the department at various internal and external working groups which provide excellent networking opportunities.

The list above gives an insight into just some of the wide array of activities carried out by the department. You should note that there is the opportunity to tailor both your Undergraduate experience and final role to the type of work that you find most enjoyable once you have experienced the different types of roles within the team.


You’ll receive benefits including a competitive pension scheme, enhanced annual leave allowance and a Company contributed Share Incentive Plan. You’ll also have access to additional benefits such as flexible working, an employee assistance programme, Cycle2work and employee discounts – you may also be eligible for an annual incentive.


Improving the future and protecting lives is an ambitious mission, but it’s what we do at BAE Systems. A career here means using your passion and ingenuity to defend national security with breakthrough technology and intelligence solutions. It’s rewarding work that truly makes a difference. And as you tackle critical projects, you’ll work alongside a supportive team – driven by a shared ambition to protect what really matters. At BAE Systems, you’ll find an extraordinary career where you can realize your true potential.

What we are looking for

As a minimum requirement you’ll need to be on course for achieving a 2:2 in your Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science, Polymer Science, Weld Engineering, Additive Manufacturing, Chemistry or Physics. To be considered for this role you must be returning to University to complete your degree.

Accepted degree subjects


Additional job details

UK wide

Contract, dates and working times
Fixed term

How to apply

Please be aware that many roles working for BAE Systems will be subject to both security and export control restrictions. These restrictions mean that factors including your nationality, any previous nationalities you have held, and your place of birth may limit those roles you can perform for the organisation.

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 28 February 2024

Don't forget to mention Prospects to employers when you contact them.

Closing date:  28 February 2024

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