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


You're reading this because you're intrigued about what a university’s graduate programme has to offer you. A leadership career in the university sector is perhaps not something you've thought of before. However, for ambitious and talented graduates, it should be a very significant and appealing prospect.

The university sector is one of the most innovative, vibrant and exciting environments in which to build your future career. If you're looking for a graduate programme that leads to a highly successful and dynamic career in an entrepreneurial, global business, Ambitious Futures is it.

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

This cutting-edge 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.

It's the opportunity to contribute to a life you have already experienced and enjoyed, and make a difference to the learning of future generations of students. What's more, you'll be working at the heart of fast-paced and world-leading commercial organisations that, rather unusually, are not primarily motivated by profit-making.

  • What's so great about the scheme is that it exposes you to the exciting world a career in Higher Education can offer - one which supports and encourages you to build on your skills, interests and knowledge without the types of restrictions that can be faced elsewhere.

    Hayley Simpson, UCL Trainee
  • The thing I have enjoyed most about being a Graduate Trainee on the Ambitious Futures programme is the responsibility I have had over my projects. My first placement was in School of Physics & Astronomy and provided me with the opportunity to make key decisions and to take projects in the direction that I thought best. This has all happened in a 'safe' environment as I have a lot of support from my managers to try out new ideas and try to come up with creative solutions. I feel like my opinions have weight and I have been encouraged to take ownership of projects.

    Nduka Amadi, Nottingham Graduate Trainee

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.

  • Opening Date for Applications: 2 October 2017
  • Closing Date for Applications: midday 22 January 2018
  • Start Date: 5 September 2018
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Location: Two 6-month placements at your home university and one 6-month placement at a different university.
  • Eligibility: You must have graduated (undergraduate or postgraduate degree) with a 2.1 since July 2013. 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 £21,800 - £27,700 (depending on institution and as at August 2017)
  • Benefits: A sector-specific leadership programme, high-quality training and one year's membership of the Association of University Administrators (AUA).
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