Whether you are looking for part-time work whilst you study, vacation work or internships, or graduate roles, we have a wealth of information and support available for you.

Besides the range of on-campus opportunities, we have links to a wide range of websites and information.  We can help you to understand the jargon and help you to understand how the whole recruitment process works.

Types of Jobs/Experience Available

The task of finding a job after University can be challenging, and sometimes it is even more daunting, as there are so many words and terms used to describe the opportunities available.  Below is a list of the opportunities available and an explanation of what they all mean:

Work Placement: A placement is a period of work experience which is a required part of a course, often to help students develop their employability skills and apply their course of learning within a professional context.  They are generally organised and structured activities, with clear goals and outcomes.

Internship: An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a company for a fixed, limited period of time.  Interns are usually undergraduates or students, and most internships last for any length of time between one week and 12 months.

Graduate Programme/Scheme: A formalised programme that combines full-time working and training, targeted to recent graduates.  Offered mainly by large employers and can last for a period of 12 months to 2 years.  Successful completion normally leads to a permanent position and often a professional qualification.  These may be offered as either single roles or rotations through several areas of the business.

Work Shadowing: This involves a student going to a workplace and observing employees performing their job(s).  It is a way to gather information about a role or workplace without the organisation having to find specific tasks for you to do.  This is usually a short-term opportunity lasting between 1-2 weeks.

Sandwich Courses/Industrial Placements: Sandwich courses are three year undergraduate degree programmes which include a year-long work placement in industry.  Typically, students on sandwich courses complete 2 years of their degree, and then undertake a related work placement in industry for a year.  During this time you are able to utilise knowledge gained as part of your studies in a real work environment to gain ‘hands on’ experience.  Following your year in industry, you will return to University to complete your final year of study.

Gap Year: A year-long break – whether taken before, during or after university study – to travel, work overseas or undertake volunteer work.

Part-Time Work: This can be undertaken during vacations and in the evenings and weekends to fit around your studies.  Whatever role you undertake, whether in a bar, shop or office, you will always be able to reflect on the skills you have developed, and use them to prove to employers that you have gained some valuable experience of the world of work.

Self-Employment: Setting up your own business and working for yourself, instead of working for an employer.  A self-employed individual earns their income through conducting profitable operations from a trade or business that they operate directly.

Volunteering: This is unpaid activity which involves you providing time and commitment, for the benefit of a community or cause.  Volunteering can be organised at any time, and many organisations have opportunities that can be undertaken in the evenings and at weekends.  It can be carried out in the UK or overseas.


Sectors and organisation sizes to consider

It is important for you to consider which sector and type of organisation you wish to work for.  The most common ones are listed below:

  • Charity: Charitable organisations are a business that fit within the nonprofit organisation (NPO) category.  A charity is set up to carry out some benefit for the wider community than just its members.  This community benefit could be social, educational, environmental or economic in nature.
  • Public: The Public Sector is responsible for providing all public services in the UK, from healthcare to education, social care to housing, refuse collection to tourism etc.  Funding comes from various forms of direct and indirect taxation, collected locally and centrally.
  • Private: The Private Sector is the part of the economy which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means for profit, and is not controlled by the State.
  • SMEs: This is short for small and medium-sized enterprises, and are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below a certain limit.  The EU defines companies with fewer than 50 employees as small, and those with less than 250 as medium-sized.


Researching Labour Market Information

Check out the following sources of information that will help you to research the job market in the UK:

Also, check out some of our other pages in this section for further information about looking for vacancies, working with recruitment agencies and accessing the hidden job market.