Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Routes into work


Nottingham graduates are highly successful in the job market. Your employment options include:


Graduate training schemes: fact file

What are they?

  • A structured period of training lasting between one and three years
  • There are general management scheme where you move around the business and then specialise
  • There are functional schemes where you specialise from day one, for example human resources, IT and supply chain management

Who offers them?

  • Companies across a range of sectors including the public sector, accountancy, engineering, IT and telecommunications, retail and pharmaceuticals

Can postgraduate students apply for them?

  • Employers recruit both postgraduates and undergraduates. They don't differentiate between them either in their recruitment processes or in their salary offers.
  • Postgraduates need to use their experience to differentiate themselves from the competition. For example at taught postgraduate level highlight skills such as: dealing with complex issues and solving problems, delivering demanding work within tight deadlines, applying knowledge in original and creative ways, and designing, and undertaking short research projects

When and how to apply

  • Half of the UK's leading employers now recruit graduates all year round
  • For employers with a single deadline, most are either November, December or January
  • The recruitment process is likely to include an application form, psychometric tests, interviews and an assessment centre

Where to find vacancies

Attend out recruitment fairs and talk to recruiters directly

Search for vacancies on My Career

Find vacancies using our list of national and regional websites

  • Pick up graduate directories such as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers (available from our offices)
  • Use the vacancy sources listed below under the direct entry route

On our Careers blog

Freya Parker, MSci Natural Sciences

Freya Parker

Read about Freya's experience on a training scheme

Read about Alex's experience


Direct entry route: fact file

What is direct entry?

  • Often single vacancies with immediate starts

Who offers them?

  • Companies of any size and sector
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recruit significant numbers of graduates. These firms make up 99% of all UK private sector businesses
  • In some sectors SMEs dominate and so direct entry is the route in. For example within public relations, digital marketing and the environmental sector

How can postgraduate students demonstrate their specialist skills?

  • Convince the employer that you can ‘hit the ground running’ utilising the additional confidence, experience and independent research skills gained through postgraduate study
  • For those with one or two years of work experience prior to their postgraduate studies, articulate the additional knowledge and skill-set gained from your course

When and how to apply

  • Apply after the spring vacation so you could start after your exams
  • The recruitment process is likely to include a CV or application form and an interview

Where to find vacancies


Graduate internships

Graduate internships are short-term periods of work experience typically between four and 12 months.

They help new or recent graduates to gain experience and develop their skills in a job or sector. They may lead to a permanent role with the organisation.

Internships are offered across a range of industries from advertising to scientific services.

Sources of vacancies

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

In Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), graduates are recruited to manage strategic projects within a company. KTP operate in over 3,000 organisations from micro-sized to large businesses.

The KTP graduate is supported by the expertise of a university or research organisation. 

You could be:

  • planning marketing communications for a media agency
  • researching the latest engineering techniques for an environmental company, or
  • undertaking geodemographic profiling for the NHS.

Search for national KTP opportunities - put KTP in the search box

Search for KTPs managed by the University

Read Jiri Hromadka's blog post about her experience as a KTP associate at the University



Careers and Employability Service

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

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