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Careers and Employability for Prospective Students

If you are thinking about studying at City we hope the information below will be a useful starting point to explore how studying at university can develop your career prospects.

Benefits of attending university

Going to university can improve your career prospects and give you time to learn and develop new skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life. This page contains some things you might want to start thinking about as you decide on your course of study.

Thinking about your career

Doing a degree is a big investment so it’s a good idea to start thinking about where your degree might lead. The Prospects website has a section called ‘what can I do with my degree’ which is a good starting point. However, it is worth remembering that many roles are open to graduates from any degree discipline so you are not limited to the options listed there.
In order to explore where your degree might lead you could:

  • Complete a careers quiz such as the Prospects Planner
  • Browse job profiles
  • Talk to as many people doing different jobs as possible – once you start at City there will be many careers events where you can meet employers and alumni. We have a professional mentoring scheme that can match you with a professional for personalised support. The graduate success website has case studies of graduates from all over the UK.
  • Get experience – take the opportunity to gain some work experience to try out a job. This will also help your career prospects as 50% of top employers warn that those without work experience are unlikely to receive a graduate job offer (source – HighFliers). Some of City’s courses have the option to do a one year placement and many summer internships are advertised through our CareersHub vacancy board. Our Unitemps team also provide opportunities for part-time work on campus.
  • Destinations of graduates

    Every university is responsible for collecting information on what graduates are doing 15 months after leaving their course. This is called the Graduate Outcomes survey. You can find the results from City here.  Data from other institutions is available on the Unistats website and ’What do graduates do’?

    The graduate labour market

    After finishing your degree you may decide to do any of the following:

    1. A graduate scheme – around 10 -15% of graduates will find work with a large company offering a structured 2-3 year graduate programme. You can find examples of these schemes in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and Guardian UK 300.
    2. An entry level job – the majority of graduates will find work not as part of a traditional “graduate scheme” but in a company where their degree and transferable skills are valuable.  These are typically graduate-level jobs with small to medium-sized companies.
    3. A graduate internship – given that many companies require graduates to have work experience before starting work some new graduates choose to develop their experience through an internship first.
    4. Further study – some graduates decide to study their academic subject in greater depth, typically through Masters-level postgraduate study.
    5. Professional qualification – others choose a professional qualification which is required to enter a particular profession such as law, teaching or social work. Some employers will pay for your professional qualification and allow you to complete it part-time whilst working.
    6. Self-employment – some graduates may start their own businesses. Most universities provide support for entrepreneurs. CityVentures aim to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs!

    Choosing a course

    With over 37,000 courses at 395 universities in the UK (Source: UCAS) choosing which degree to study can be difficult!

    There are 3 main options:

    • A course based on what you are currently studying – consider which of your current subjects you enjoy and are good at
    • A course based on a career idea – explore your career ideas using the resources above and research whether a particular degree is necessary for that career. Examples might include Nursing, Speech and Language Therapy, Teaching, Medicine, Engineering and Veterinary Science.
    • A new course not related to a career idea – many universities offer new subjects which you may not have had the option to study. Examples include Criminology, Philosophy, Forensic Science, Anthropology

    Many universities also offer the option to study two or more subjects together as a joint honours degree or as a major/minor combination.

    If you are still stuck you can try the “Study Interests Questionnaire” on the UKCourseFinder website.

    Where to study

    Consider the following:

    • Grades required
    • Course delivery method – lectures, labs, tutorials, class size
    • Assessment method – exams, coursework, modular, retake options
    • Modules available – 2 courses with the same name can have very different options. Is there the option to study modules outside of your main subject area?
    • Opportunities for work experience – placements, internships or year abroad options
    • Location – campus or city based. Distance from home
    • Rankings – Guardian, Times and Complete University Guide


    Once you have chosen what and where to study if you are applying for an undergraduate course you will need to make an application through the UCAS website. You are required to write a personal statement. Read our handout for advice on what should be included.

    For postgraduate study you can apply directly to the institution you are interested in.

    How we can help

    If you have an offer at City and you'd like to speak to someone about your career or course choices before your course starts, you can contact us to make an appointment with a Careers Consultant by emailing  We are happy to see offer holders during the summer period (June to August) or during the winter term break (December and January).

    You can find out about activities that you can take part in across City to develop your skills and get involved on campus at Experience City.


    If you are thinking about studying at City we hope the information below will be a useful starting point to explore how studying at university can develop your career prospects.

    Choosing a Course

    Writing your UCAS Personal Statement