Explore Graduate Schemes

Many leading UK employers run graduate training schemes, so find out what the benefits are and how you can apply for a place on one of these highly-competitive programmes


Use Lancaster University's own CareersConnect platform to browse graduate jobs from top employers, find out more about the companies and keep up to date with the latest vacancies. 

Need help with your application? You can access Lancaster University Careers help both as an undergraduate as well as an alumni! Book an appointment with our expert Careers Advisors to have your CV checked and more! 


Times Top 100

An annual guide to Britain’s most sought-after and prestigious graduate employers 


Times Top 100

Guardian 300

An annual guide revealing the top 300 graduate employers, as voted for by students 


Guardian 300


A guide for students interested in securing a graduate scheme within science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics


Gradcracker: engineering graduate jobs

Graduate Schemes Explained:

Tab Content: What is a graduate scheme?

A graduate scheme is a structured training programme run by an employer to develop future leaders of their organisation.

These graduate schemes, which usually last between one and two years, are often available in a number of specialisms - or streams as they're known - ranging from finance, retail, HR and marketing, to management and law.

As a trainee, you'll benefit from being handed responsibility from the outset, an opportunity to gain real hands-on experience and develop a broad understanding of your chosen profession, as well as support in building key skills.

Tab Content: When do graduate schemes open?

In most cases, you'll be able to apply from the end of your second year (June-onwards), with graduate scheme deadlines usually set for the November or December of that year. However, it's advisable to apply as early as possible, as some organisations fill places on an ongoing basis and close as soon as they're full.

Tab Content: How do I apply?

To gain a place on a graduate scheme, you'll first have to make it through the extensive and typically lengthy screening processes used to select graduates.

The first stage normally involves an online application, but guidance relating to CVs and cover letters may still come in handy. After this, it's worth delving into interviews, assessment centres and psychometric tests.

Also, many employers now use social media - for instance, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - to share helpful and informal advice with candidates about all stages of the selection process.

Tab Content: Can I get on a graduate scheme

While graduate programmes generally expect applicants to be awarded a 2:1 or higher, some employers may be more flexible - for example, those looking to enter the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and, if you also hold a Masters, the Nationwide Graduate Development Programme.

If you get invited to interview, be prepared to discuss your grade with employers. You can be positive by highlighting your strength in other areas, and by emphasising work experience or extra-curricular activities that demonstrate you have the right skills and motivation.