National Physical Laboratory

NPL Academy 2013 NPL Academy

Providing GCSE and A Level students with a real taster of work at the UK's leading measurement research laboratory.

The Academy

Video created by Academy students, showcasing the NPL Academy in 2012


I am very thankful for guiding me through the wonderful and pleasant time during my work experience last week at NPL. My overall work plan was well coordinated and I have had a thrilling experience by meeting new people and meeting eminent scientist who have showed me what NPL is about… I have had an exciting experience in NPL that I will never forget.

Academy student

The NPL Academy was introduced in 2008 to give GCSE and A Level students a structured opportunity to get the most out of a week's worth of work experience at one of the UK's leading scientific establishments.

Students are given an introduction to NPL and the type of work we are involved with, followed by a tour of the lab. There are also a number of group exercises so individual students can get to know each other. The students are then 'passed over' to a host in the business who will allocate them to a specific project to work on during their week here.

One afternoon is spent on an Academy team exercise and, weather permitting, this will involve building and launching water rockets.

The morning of the final day is spent polishing reports on the week's work for presentation on the last afternoon to an audience comprising hosts, peers, teachers and parents. Prizes are given for the best presentations.

Typically we welcome a cohort of 30-35 students, though competition is intense - there are usually about four applicants per place.

NPL concentrates its energies in providing a top experience work placement scheme, so does not offer additional placements.

Dates for your diary

16 December 2013:
Application for NPL Academy 2014 opens

20 January 2014:
Deadline for applications

3 February 2014:
Approximate date for notification of accepted applications

7–11 July 2014:
NPL Academy 2014 takes place

Where are they now?

The NPL Academy can really help solidify your career choices - find out here what previous Academy students are now up to

The NPL Academy is run in conjunction with the Richmond Education Business Partnership (REBP), supported by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Richmond Education Business Parnership