Understanding Graduate Schemes
There isn’t a strict definition, but graduate schemes tend to be defined by the following criteria:
- Operated by large organisations which are often household names e.g. Civil Service, NHS, PwC, GSK, BT
- Fixed term – usually 18 months – 2 years. Most people are offered permanent jobs with the organisation at the end of the fixed term.
- These are real jobs with some additional study/support elements. Many operate a rotational system so that graduates spend some time working in different departments.
- Well paid – they usually have better pay and benefits than other graduate options.
- Competitive – when you read in the media c.80 people applying for every graduate job, it’s generally graduate schemes they are talking about.
- Some organisations set entry requirements of 2.1 or above and some set UCAS requirements. There is also usually a long recruitment process.
- Timeline – most (but not all) are open for applications in autumn and many (but not all) close by December.
- Graduate schemes are not the only route to a graduate job! Most graduates find graduate level work outside of graduate schemes.
Find graduate schemes:
See also our list of Useful websites for job hunting.
Professional Psychology, Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner roles
- HSC recruit
- NHS Jobs – England and Wales
- Psychologist appointments - (BPS) - the main source of Psychologist and Assistant Psychologist jobs. You must be a BPS member to view these vacancies.
- Psychminded.co.uk – jobs in psychology, mental health and therapy
Consumer-related fields: Advertising, Marketing, Market Research plus PR and Communications
- Campaign Jobs
- Many student and graduate jobs for Marketing and Market Research will be advertised on the main graduate websites.
- Research jobfinder
- Market Research World
- Some big Market Research companies with graduate programmes and internships (GfK NOP, Ipsos MORI, Nielsen)
Public Relations & Communications
- Student and graduate jobs aren’t always advertised through the main graduate websites, so look at the member directories for CIPR and PRCA and then individual company websites. Speculative approaches work well in this industry.
- CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations)
- PR Week
- PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association)
- Mediargh – entry level roles in media and communications
Social Work, Community Development and Youth Work
- Community NI
- Community Care jobs
- Social Work and Care jobs
- Focus Ireland - Housing and Homelessness charity - 12 month Community Service Volunteer programme for graduates with training, experience, professional supervision. A living allowance is provided.
- Great Social Care
- Opportunities– Local authority and public sector jobs
- LGjobs - local government jobs
Police, Law and Criminal Justice
- Victim Support Northern Ireland
- The Northern Ireland Prison Service
- The Youth Justice Agency
- Cafcas (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (England and Wales)) have introduced a graduate scheme
- Probation Bulletin - jobs board for probation work (England and Wales)
- HM Prison Service
Social and Market Research
- Centre for Effective Services (NI organisation connecting research, policy and practice to improve outcomes for communities, children and young people across the island of Ireland). They run a Graduate Intern Programme.
- Government Social Research service- apply through Civil Service Jobs (NI, GB) and the Civil Service Fast Stream
- Jobs.ac.uk- jobs in higher and further education
- Office for National Statistics
- NatCen- National Centre for Social Research
- Ipsos MORI - offer a 15 month graduate scheme