Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Public sector

For those who want to influence the way public services are run and make a difference to society, this sector might be for you. This could include roles with organisations such as:

    • the UK government/the UK Civil Service
    • local government
    • the European Union

Click on each career below for links to publications and websites that provide further information on each career area.


Civil Service - watch a short video on getting into the Foreign Office

  • Civil Service - provides comprehensive information about the range of career opportunities available in the service and gives details of the different graduate entry routes including the Fast Stream It contains information about all of the government departments, work experience opportunities, placement schemes and vacancy listings

  • European Fast Stream - opportunities to work with the EU as part of the UK Civil Service, including postings in and secondments to EU deparments

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - provides comprehensive information about careers in the EU institutions

  • The House of Commons - information about career opportunities and undergraduate sandwich student placements

  • MI5 and MI6 security services - information on opportunities in the secret services. The BBC has published a useful insight into the world of spies!

Spotlight On... the Foreign Office

John Pearson, geography alumnus and Head of the China Department, talks about:

  • the career routes into the Foreign Office
  • the work experience and skills that would be helpful when applying for a position
  • how he uses the skills he developed during his degree in his day-to-day work

To meet speakers at our other Spotlight On... events, visit the event webpage


Local government


European Union (including the European Commission, Parliament and Council)

  • Council of Europe - acts as a kind of secretariat and works towards promoting national interests. This is their main jobs site. Currently employs between 3,000 and 4,000 staff.

  • Council of Europe Traineeships - graduate-level traineeships lasting between eight weeks and five months. Some eligibility criteria apply, but they are eager to receive applications from the UK.

  • European Commission - the equivalent of the UK's Civil Service and is politically neutral. Discover the full range of roles on offer in this area of the EU. Currently employs 24,000 full-time staff

  • European Commission languages and translation portal - portal for working with languages within the European Union

  • European Fast Stream - opportunities to work with the EU as part of the UK Civil Service, including postings in and secondments to EU deparments

  • European Parliament - represents EU citizens and is politically driven. This site is the main recruitment portal for the European Parliament. Currently consists of around 8,000 staff.

  • European Union careers portal - the main careers portal for the European Union

  • EuroBrussels - jobs and placements with NGOs, lobbyists and other organisations that are either affiliated with, or work closely with, the EU

  • Horizon 2020 - scientific research and innovation funding available with the EU


Sector information


Careers and Employability Service

The University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679