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.
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
- Business in the Community - Graduate Internships NI
- Intro– work experience in a business environment and opportunity to work towards a management qualification
- Propel– entrepreneurial programme run by Invest NI aimed at developing business ideas in the knowledge sector
- 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
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