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October - Final Year

Patricia Durkin
Patricia Durkin
Careers Consultant

Hello and welcome to your final year,

I'm sure many of you will be wondering about the impact of Covid on the graduate labour market. The messages we are getting from employers is that most are still planning to recruit graduates over the coming year - they see graduate recruitment as vital to their business, even in turbulent times - however we can expect some changes. In some sectors there are likely to be reductions in the overall numbers they are recruiting and recruitment processes are likely to be all online.

The sectors that many Maths & Physics graduates progress into (Finance, Technology, Science, Professional Services) are likely to continue recruiting in similar numbers as before the pandemic, but don't take that as an excuse to be complacent! The first couple of months of this semester are crucial for those interested in Graduate Schemes. This is going to be a competitive labour market so let's get started!


Graduate Opportunities
Graduate Schemes

A quick guide to graduate schemes:

  • Most graduate schemes are open now, or will open in the next few weeks. Many deadlines are at the end of October/beginning of November. It’s best to apply as soon as possible. You would not be expected to start work until around September next year.
  • There are some graduate schemes in Northern Ireland and Ireland but most are based in England.
  • MyFuture is the best source for finding schemes in Northern Ireland – although you’ll also find opportunities in the rest of the UK advertised there.
  • Most are in private sector companies, but there are a few in the public and voluntary sectors
  • Many set an eligibility requirement on degree classification (usually minimum 2.1 or 2.2). You can apply even though you don’t have your final grades yet, providing your average grades are at this level.
  • Many are open to people of any degree discipline and don’t require relevant experience.

Here is a small sample of the schemes open right now:

Find more graduate schemes through Gradcracker, Prospects, Targetjobs, Gradireland, Inside Careers (for Finance) as well as MyFuture.

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Details for Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair 2020

Wednesday 21 October 2-6pm
Thursday 22 October 2-6pm

The Graduate Fair is going to take place online this year through a platform called "Graduateland". This platform will match you up with the relevent employers at the event BUT it can only do that if you spend some time creating a profile. 

The more information you put in to completing your profile, the better you will stand out to employers. You can also browse employers, watch videos and see current vacancies. The good news is, you only need to complete your profile once and your info will be stored for all future events.

WATCH: How to fill in your online bio

WATCH: Register now for the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair  

The days of the fair are not split by sector. Each day will have a mix of employers. It makes sense to register for both days and then review your matched employers.

Virtual Careers Events 2020

With most of our Careers activity happening online for this semester, you can act from your armchair. Check out the not-to-be-missed events for your diary

In addition to our Virtual Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair other events include:

Private Sector Employer panels:

Life Sciences Employer panel:

IAESTE worldwide STEM placements - information session:

Student with a backpack

Go Global Week: 12 - 15 October

There will be a series of online events 12-15 October focused on working and studying abroad. See the Careers Events page for more details.

International Students Employability Programme

A programme of workshops specifically for International students who want to start a career in the UK. See the Careers Events page for more details.

Most of our other Career Development Programmes are currently on hold, but we are hoping to launch some in Semester 2, including the annual Global Leadership Programme. Keep an eye on the Careers Events page for details.

Gradcracker webinars
Log in to engage or watch recordings of webinars with various organisations

Gradcracker are running a series of webinars over the coming months with organisations such as:

  • STFC
  • Cern
  • BT
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Nuclear Graduates

The graduate schemes mentioned above and the opportunities presented at the graduate fair just give a small snapshot of the opportunities open to you.

In addition to speaking with potential employers at the Fair in October, and other employer events in Semester 1, we are planning to run a Maths and Physics mini fair in February. We'll give you more details closer to the time. This will give you an insight into the type of work that employers have for graduates from your school.

If you are still deciding on your options, read our tips for identifying and exploring career options - there is plenty of information there and tips to help you get started. 

In addition to speaking with potential employers at the Fair in October, we are planning to run a Maths & Physics "Meet the Employers" event in February. We'll give you more details closer to the time. This will give you an insight into the type of work that employers have for Maths & Physics graduates.

If that doesn’t help you can book an appointment with a Careers Consultant to talk it through.

Considering further study?

This is a good time to research and start applying for postgraduate options.

Interested in Postgraduate Study in the USThe Fulbright Scholar Awards programme is now open for applications. Find out more about PG study in the US.

PGCE/Teacher Training

The deadline for the PGCE application at Queen’s is 1st November, so get your applications ready now! At Queen's you apply directly to the University itself. You can find more information about PGCEs and the different institution deadlines on the Careers website.

If you are interested in training to teach outside of NI and you want to teach at secondary level, you may be eligible for a scholarship to fund your training...

You can apply for a scholarship before you have secured a training place and the applications will open soon - IMA for Maths, IOP for Physics. Students who are not successful in getting a scholarship may still receive a bursary.

The Get into Teaching and UCAS Teacher Training websites have more information about teacher training outside NI. 

Teach First provides an alternative route to teaching. Representatives from Teach First will be at the Graduate Recruitment Fair.

Alternatives that don't provide Qualified Teacher Status include JET - a prestigious programme through which graduates can teach English in Japan for a year. It’s a long application process, so they start recruiting now for next year

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Careers STAR

There is information on our website to support you with all elements of recruitment and selection processes. We also have a new automated CV checking service (VMock) and a facility within MyFuture for you to practise video interviews.


Degree Plus Information Session

Find out how to get credit for your extracurricular activities through Degree Plus. From volunteering to clubs and societies, what you do outside the lecture theatre can make you more employable.

Find out more on the Degree Plus website or register to attend the Degree Plus webinar on 6th October, 1pm - 2pm.