The Graduate Programme for University Leadership

Make sure you're armed with all the information you need before sitting down to apply.

Your offer and package will be subject to the local terms and conditions of your home university (i.e. the university that you become a trainee and undertake your first and third placements). We provide an attractive and competitive base salary and package, including a starting salary of £21,800 - £27,700 (as at August 2017), flexible working, a sector-specific leadership programme, high-quality training and one year's membership of the Association of University Administrators (AUA).

All successful applicants will be required to demonstrate their eligibility to work at the time their employment commences.

You will need a minimum qualification of a 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) to gain a place on our graduate programme. We accept applications from candidates who have a degree in any discipline. You must have graduated (undergraduate or postgraduate degree) in the last five years.

We are looking for evidence of all-round achievement; not just academic. Successful candidates will be highly effective communicators, will enjoy working with and through others to achieve positive results, and should be pragmatic and solution focused. Above all, you will want to undertake a career in the university sector and have the drive and desire to learn, develop and succeed.

For a full list of the types of strengths and behaviours that are pivotal for success on the programme please refer to the 'Assessment Process' section of the website for more details.

The closing date for applications is 19 January 2018. We will begin assessing application forms received as soon as the campaign opens on the 2 October 2017 so please complete your applications as soon as possible.

Our assessment centres are designed to enable you to demonstrate the key strengths, skills and behaviours that we are looking for as well as providing you with the opportunity to meet us and decide whether a career in the university sector is for you. We try to ensure that our assessment centres are as innovative and as interesting for you as possible and we are using 'a day in the life' theme. For example, you will be given an outlook calendar at the start of the day and the exercises that you complete will relate to the type of work that you are likely to experience if you are successful and receive a place on the programme.

You can identify and prepare for our assessment centres by reading our website thoroughly so that you fully understand what we look for in our candidates. When you arrive at the assessment centre you will be briefed on the specific exercises you will undertake. There is no pre-work involved other than conducting research on us.


You will start with us on the 5 September 2018

You will be employed by a host university and will take part in a 18-month programme split into three placements. The first and last of these will be based at your host university, while the middle placement will take you to a different partner institution. Please check the partner institutions on the website to see where you could be working. Please note, you may have to commute or re-locate for the second placement. Appropriate expenses may be available for this.

You will need to find and cover the costs of your accommodation in your starting location; however, your host university will be able to provide you with support and guidance if you need it.

We currently have 27 graduate vacancies. Our philosophy is that we only hire graduates who we believe are right for our programme. We invest heavily in those that join us in order to help them be as successful as possible.

The graduate programme is only open to graduates. Unfortunately, if you do not meet the criteria as outlined on the website, you will not be eligible to apply.

Our graduate programme is designed to attract and accelerate the development of future leaders in the university sector and we welcome applications from anyone who meets our criteria i.e. you must have graduated with a 2.1 within the last five years.

You can find information about each stage of our recruitment process by clicking here.

All of the successful candidates will start induction on the 5 September 2018 so we are unable to offer any deferred places.

The second placement will consist of six months based at another university within the programme. Whilst the university will be regional, it may still be a distance from your employing institution. Travel arrangements will be covered but some degree of commuting or temporary relocation may be required. For those with the high levels of motivation to commit to this, the rewards will be substantial.

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