Understanding Graduate Schemes
There isn’t a strict definition, but graduate schemes tend to meet 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 to get into
- Some organisations set entry requirements of 2.1 or above and some set UCAS requirements.
- Timeline – most (but not all) are open for applications in autumn and many (but not all) close by December. There is usually a long recruitment process.
- Graduate schemes are not the only route to a graduate job!
Find graduate schemes and graduate jobs on the following:
In addition to the websites above graduate jobs will be advertised on industry-specific websites. See our Careers Information by School and Sector to find relevant websites for job hunting.
International students and graduates may find the Student Circus website particularly useful.
Compared to graduate schemes, graduate jobs don’t have such a long recruitment process so you can start applying to them just a few months before you are ready to start work.
Graduate Internships (short-term paid opportunities)
- MyFuture - look under the category Internship
Northern Ireland and ROI
- InterTradeIreland Fusion and Acumen – work placement with a business and relevant postgrad diploma within Technology Transfer (Fusion) and Sales/Marketing (Acumen) across Ireland
- You may also be interested in the Assured Skills Training Programme run by the Department for the Economy. These are not internship opportunities but offer a useful stepping stone into a particular area of work.
- Graduate Talent Pool - Internship opportunities for graduates - mainly based in England
- Knowledge Transfer Partnerships– UK-wide programme with projects involving a partnership between a graduate, organisation and university or research organisation
- Step - Internship opportunities for students and graduates - mainly based in England
Outside UK and Ireland- see Working Overseas