Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Direct entry roles

Film production crew


Direct entry jobs arise from an organisation identifying a particular need for someone to do a real job, rather than joining a general training scheme.

Many organisations do not require large numbers of graduate recruits on an annual basis and do not have money to allocate to expensive marketing and recruitment campaigns so this can be a popular option for employers looking to hire new talent.

Ailya Hasnain 300x300

What really inspired me was the experience of a group of people with very different skills, all working for the same purpose which was ultimately going to make society better.

I am indebted to the University Careers Service who have patiently coached me through every daunting interview, every lull in my career and countless covering letters.

Ailya Syeda Hasnain, BA English 2017

Read Ailya's blog: My Career Journey in the Third-Sector


Direct entry jobs: Fact file

What is direct entry?

  • Often single vacancies with immediate starts
  • Advertised by companies needing an employee to fit a particular role or need

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 I can 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

For help and advice when applying for direct entry roles head to our Making applications pages where you can find information on CVs, covering letters, application forms and more. 


Where do I find vacancies? 


How much could I earn?

The Pay Index has developed a completely new tool to answer the pressing questions about salaries on most students’ minds:

  • What salary could I earn with my degree?
  • What will be my actual pay after deductions?
  • How will my salary vary across different roles and industries?
  • How much could I earn with a masters or PhD?

Learn more about your options with our online course

Making sense of your graduate employment options

We've created an online course designed to help you explore and understand your graduate career options.

Go to our online course



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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