The Graduate Programme for University Leadership
    Read about what it takes to succeed
    in a truly invigorating and inspiring career.

NEWSFLASH: Congratulations to all candidates who have been offered a place at their chosen institution. We would like to thank all candidates who applied for this years Ambitious Futures Graduate Scheme.


You're reading this because you're intrigued to find out what a university graduate leadership programme has to offer. For ambitious and talented graduates, a leadership career in the university sector is an exciting and rewarding prospect.

The university sector is one of the most dynamic, vibrant and stimulating environments in which to build your future career. Universities are international communities ranging from small colleges to multi-million pound businesses. You work with highly talented, committed colleagues from all countries of the globe, and a wide range of expertise. A career in HE gives you the opportunity to work anywhere in the country and overseas.

If you're looking for a graduate programme that opens the door to a highly varied career in an entrepreneurial, global business, Ambitious Futures is it.

Are you ready for a career in a world of discovery?

This programme will show you how the challenging and stimulating business of a university operates. You'll meet some of the most talented people in the country, if not the world, and gain an inside view into the sector's management and business processes. A key aspect of your training will see you working alongside a diverse range of partners, from students and employers to funding bodies and commercial organisations.

Through their teaching, research and outreach universities make a positive difference to the lives of those around them, and society as a whole. Ambitious Futures is your opportunity to contribute to this endeavour. If you are excited by working for an organisation that is motivated by discovery, not shareholder profit, the Ambitious Futures scheme may be for you.

  • Ambitious Futures Programme is the only nationwide grad scheme specifically dedicated to careers in HE. This scheme has really helped me to broaden my knowledge of the sector and develop a range of skills.

    Rachel, Newcastle University / University of York
  • I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with a range of different teams and projects and have worked alongside inspirational members of staff and leading academics. I feel proud to have played a part in shaping the future of the university.

    Abby, University of Nottingham / Sheffield Hallam University
  • Ambitious Futures is the right programme for those who are curious and enthusiastic about learning and trying new things. The national network of graduates based at institutions around the UK is a great benefit in terms of peer support and professional growth. Ambitious Futures is a great gateway to a career in HE and offers opportunities to acquire invaluable experience and skills that can be applied to any other area.

    Elisa, University of Glasgow / University of Dundee

  • Opening Date for Applications: Midday 03 October 2018
  • Closing Date for Applications: Midday 05 February 2019
  • Start Date: 4 September 2019
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Location: Two 6-month placements at your host university and one 6-month placement at a partner university.
  • Eligibility: You must have graduated (undergraduate or postgraduate degree) with a 2.1 since July 2014. Some universities will only accept applications from their own graduates, others are open to applications from any university. You must be eligible to work in the UK for the length of the programme.
  • Degree required: Any
  • Salary: Starting salary of £22,213 - £28,900 (depending on institution and as at August 2018)
  • Benefits: A sector-specific leadership programme, high-quality training and one year's membership of the Association of University Administrators (AUA).

One of the most recent and exciting developments in the university sector is its increasing global outlook. That's why the programme will expose you to the many global dimensions you could encounter in your future career - be it the growing number of international campuses, international members of staff or international students who choose to study in the UK. And, while it's not guaranteed, you may also have the opportunity to represent your home university at an international campus or event during the course of the programme.

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