Sensory Science Placement at British American Tobacco

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Application Deadline
20th March 2020
South East
Salary Band
£16,000 - £17,999
Role May Involve
Food and Drink Market Research Marketing Psychology

Connect with this company

British American Tobacco is a Top Employer
“The placement has been brilliant. I have gained so much practical experience and confidence in myself and my abilities in the lab.…” - Read full review

- 72 reviews

Sensory Science Placement

In the UK, we offer 12-months placement opportunities - starting 31st August 2020 - to undergraduate students looking to gain practical experience within a vibrant and innovative industrial setting. As part of the scheme, you will be partnered with a mentor, have regular reviews with your Line Manager and work on projects that impact the business.

Training and development is provided throughout the placement with successful applicants having multiple opportunities to develop transferable skills in addition to gaining ‘hands on’ experience in a technical discipline.

As part of the scheme students get a chance to cultivate their independent thinking and problem solving skills in addition to working in and contributing to a team. Cross functional/departmental working and participation in other research activities is also encouraged, where appropriate. Previous work experience in a practical ‘hands-on’ role would be useful but not essential.


An intern role for someone looking to explore how they can apply consumer and technical insights learning to aid product development.

  • Wide ranging exposure to running sensory and consumer insights projects across current and new to world categories in a fast paced environment.
  • The sensory and technical insight team in Southampton is a core element delivering product insights needed to design and optimise cutting edge innovation in our industry.
  • With R&D continuing to focus on rapid innovation, there is a huge need for the business to gain more of an early read on product design and function. The sensory function will have a dedicated state of the art facility on the Southampton site, this will have 2 rooms available for product testing in a research mode with consumers, as well as a room which will be used for expert smoking sessions.
  • The responsibility of this role is to be a member of a vibrant sensory and technical insight team, evaluating innovations and competition products across all nicotine subcategories (combustibles, vaping, Tobacco heating, oral).
  • Through our technical insight consumer database, we are targeting to deliver over 1 project per week, along with 1 online survey per month – this role will have responsibility for executing and reporting on these projects.


  • Be undertaking an industrial sandwich degree course
  • A relevant undergraduate degree in a scientific or consumer sciences background (e.g. Psychology, Sensory Science, Consumer Science) with a minimum predicted grade of 2:1
  • The right to live and work in the UK
  • IT skills e.g. use of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • An interest in product development and how an idea gets translated into a functional product or service.
  • Knowledge of sensory methods and broad understanding of consumer research methods.
  • Basic knowledge and understanding of the key business activities relating to the composition, manufacture, product design and evaluation of products to meet consumer and commercial needs within legislative and operational constraints. This can be provided by ‘on the job’ training.
  • In-depth understanding of applied statistics & tools.
  • Understanding of how consumers interact with these products.
  • Creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic, tenacious, resilient, receptive to change, focused.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.

Specific Work Aims

  • Ultimately responsible for the leadership and management of day to day Sensory Panel activities, whilst ensuring best practise implementation, alongside agreed priorities and aligned to the Global Sensory Strategy.
  • Plan, direct and supervise sensory activities for Sensory Panels to ensure that project timings are met.
  • Running product and concept research from writing the briefs, generating proposals, partnering with agencies, client meetings through to ensuring the delivery of the insight is accurate and compelling.
  • Executing sensory panels across the campus, across all product types – combustible, vaping, tobacco heating products, and oral nicotine. This will include planning personnel, devices, consumables and writing questionnaires.
  • Ensure the panel quality is maintained through regular checks and assessments.
  • Report writing, using both qualitative and quantitative data to provide a descriptive and actionable story to product developers.
  • Presentation writing and delivery of findings to internal clients.
  • Issues recommendations to stakeholders based on aggregation and interpretation of sensory data and in-depth understanding of project objectives through close collaboration with Project Teams.
  • Engages & interacts with relevant stakeholders to identify demand signals as well as opportunities for Sensory to cover X-Category projects and initiatives.

Learning Aims

  • High levels of product knowledge across current and emerging product categories.
  • Sensory knowledge, best practice methodology, statistics and report writing.
  • Questionnaire design experience.
  • Moderation and facilitation experience.
  • Sensory panel management.


  • BAT’s Business and Leadership Capabilities.
  • Successful execution of project (including the numbers and quality of projects).
  • Insights delivered to the business – which are actioned.
  • Integration into the ExSense platform.
  • Product knowledge – understanding and articulation.


  • Salary of £17,000 per annum
  • Subsidised gym membership (£15 per month)
  • Subsidised lunches
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Free on-site parking
  • Participation in the Discretionary Company Bonus Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Share Reward Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Pension Scheme
  • Private Healthcare Cover
  • Eligibility for Company Flexible Benefits Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme


The selection process involves:

  • Online application (including the uploading of a CV, completion of application form, questionnaire and cognitive tests)
  • A telephone interview
  • Face-to-face interview/Assessment Centre in Southampton

Applications for multiple roles will be accepted

About British American Tobacco

British American Tobacco is a global tobacco and Next Generation Products company with brands sold in over 200 markets. We have offices all around the world and have long played a significant role in the local communities where we operate across the globe. We are proud that we are frequently rated in many countries as a top employer. Our employees come from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and our business benefits from the breadth of ideas and experiences they bring.

How to apply

To apply for this role and to find out more, please click on the apply button.