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How do I apply?

The DSE is not currently accepting applications for the Work Shadowing Programme. Dates for the next cycle are coming soon. 

To apply for the Work Shadowing Programme you should complete an application form and submit this to the project team at

The application form can be downloaded here.

You must ensure that all sections of the application form are completed and you have given consideration to your reasons and objectives for wanting to participate.

How long will the application process take?

There are 2 cycles per year onto the DSE Work Shadowing Programme. From the initial application submission, the application will go through to approval from the guest’s line manager, and then senior management team. If approved, it is then put forward to the Work Shadowing panel where they hope to make matches with a host.

Please note, from the initial application, if a guest passes all the approval stages on the Programme the actual shadowing will not start until approximately 3 months from the application stage and this should be considered when applying.

Are all staff eligible to apply?

The DSE Work Shadowing Programme will be open to all staff on any grade within the directorate. Applications will only be considered for colleagues that are on a permanent contract or a fixed term for 12 months or more from the point of application. 

Can I shadow a member of staff outside of DSE in a different part of the University?

No; the DSE Work Shadowing Programme does not include the rest of the University. Matches will only be made within the Directorate for the Student Experience.

If my application if rejected will I receive feedback?

Yes; feedback will be provided to applicants if their application is not successful.

Do I need to discuss my application with my Line Manager?

We recommend any individual applying for the programme discusses the opportunity with their Line Manager prior to submitting the application.

You may choose not to discuss your application, however once submitted your application will be forwarded to your Line Manager to obtain their view on whether the application should be accepted.

Line Managers can also help to refine your application form and make suggestions on which parts of the DSE might be a suitable match.

What happens at the end of the work shadowing placement?

At the end of each cycle both the guest and the host will be asked to complete a feedback form to evaluate their experiences.

Will the DSE Work Shadowing Placement help with my career development?

Work shadowing has many potential benefits; it can be a useful way to learn about a particular job of interest. It can also enhance your understanding of the breadth of activity undertaken within the Directorate for the Student Experience.

Can I work shadow someone in my immediate team or business unit?

Yes you can use the Work Shadowing Programme to make this type of request; however we would hope that this can be arranged informally, outside of the programme, by speaking directly with your Line Manager who can then discuss this request with senior managers.

If you wish to explore this we suggest you discuss in your next 1-2-1.

Is the Work Shadowing Programme linked to the Annual Performance and Development Review (P&DR)?

The DSE Work Shadowing programme is not formally linked with the P&DR review. However if you are interested in participating in the Work Shadowing programme you may wish to discuss this in your formal P&DR review in the first instance. The P&DR provides a good opportunity to discuss your development needs and career/job aspirations.

How will I be matched?

If your application is supported by your Line Manager and Senior Management Team, it becomes the responsibility of the Work Shadowing Panel to determine a suitable match. Application forms should be as detailed as possible to help guide them in their decision making.

I don't know who or what I want to shadow - what should I do?

Your first stop should be a discussion with your line manager who should be able to help and make suggestions.

You can also find out more about the DSE on our website – NEW URL. You may also want to discuss options with colleagues and get their advice. You may wish to delay making an application until you have a clearer idea of what you are looking for from a work shadowing opportunity. Applications which have clear objectives are stronger and will make the matching process easier. Poorly completed application forms may result in your application being rejected at any stage during the process.

Your first stop should be a discussion with your line manager who should be able to help and make suggestions.

However it does not matter if you don’t know precisely what to ask for; if accepted, the work shadowing panel will consider your application and find an appropriate match.

What if I don't get along with my Host? What do I do?

If you find you and the suggested host are not compatible and experience problems then please contact the project team as soon as possible via

My host will not respond to emails / phone calls: what should I do?

Please contact the project team via if you experience this.

Can I submit an expenses claim to cover activities associated with the Work Shadowing Programme?

Yes, reasonable expenses can be claimed in relation to the DSE Work Shadowing Programme. The cost of expenses will be covered by the guest's local area, and would be approved by a member of the Senior Management Team. Please discuss the costs which might arise with your Line Manager and seek approval before you incur any expenses.

Expenses might be appropriate if your host has invited you to an event or activity away from the main campus and you are required to cover travel costs. Reasonable subsistence costs will also be covered.

If you have any queries relating to expenses please email