Career development and support at every stage

At Durham University you will plan for your future, meet employers and develop your employability skills. Durham University produces some of the UK’s most employable graduates. It is ranked a world top 40 university for employability by blue chip companies (QS World University Rankings 2017/18). 

In a highly competitive graduate employment landscape, graduates need to demonstrate their strengths and experience to potential employers. You will start this preparation at the International Study Centre. With this in mind, CareerAhead will help you develop your skills for success.

At the International Study Centre

CareerAhead activities include:

  • identifying your personal strengths and areas for development
  • developing key employability skills such as problem solving, teamwork, time management and communication
  • creating a personal development plan, identifying your goals for future success.

You'll also have the opportunity to build up work experience by taking up part-time employment or a work placement during your studies. Find out more about working rights as part your visa.

Virtual Internships

Benefit from an online internship placement in a career field of your choice with Virtual Internships. Having access to a virtual work placement experience will help prepare you for the world of work, by enabling you to put the knowledge you have gained from your academic studies into working practice*.

Once you begin your journey with us at the Durham University International Study Centre, you will be able to utilise Virtual Internships at no extra cost and start gaining real-world industry experience while you study with us**.

Benefits of a Virtual Internship

  • Develop your CV whilst you complete your studies.
  • Improve your employability with evidence of work experience from a range of prestigious employers.
  • Prepare for the future workplace by gaining experience of working remotely.
  • Put what you learn during your pathway programme into practice and develop outside the classroom.

You will also gain access to CareerBridge, a professional development hub. Here, you will be assigned a supervisor who can help you develop your CV and interview techniques, as well as deliver key insights that will be useful once you have started your career.

*Under your Student visa you are permitted to work for up to 20 hours per week – this includes any hours you choose to devote to a virtual internship. Please see full terms and conditions for more information.

**Please note that a virtual internship is usually an unpaid experience.

At the University

During your degree at Durham City you will have the full support of the University’s career advisors and resources. To help you stand out from the crowd, you can also complete the College Award and Durham Award.

  • College Award

    The first step towards the Durham Award, this career development programme helps to identify and develop your employability skills. 

    The College Award involves three steps:

    1. Fill out a Skills Audit and identify areas for development.
    2. Participate in activities to increase your employability skills.
    3. Write a reflective essay about your skills development. 
  • Durham Inspired Award

    This highly-respected award is recognised by employers and can make you stand out during job applications and interviews. To achieve the Durham Inspired Award you need to complete a portfolio that demonstrates your employability skills. This portfolio is assessed by Durham University and external employers. 

    The Durham Inspired Award portfolio includes:

    • A five-minute video
    • A completed Linkedin profile
    • An activity log
    • Evidence of your activities while at Durham

    To begin the Durham Inspired Award, you need to complete the College Award.

University career services

Throughout your studies at Durham University you will have lots of opportunities to meet employers, organise work experience and develop your career skills. 

At Queen’s Campus, the International Study Centre will give you all the support you need. When you successfully progress to Durham City you can take full advantage of the University’s wider career services at the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre. Services include Career Fairs, a careers advisor, and help finding internships.

Arshjit from India by the river at the International Study Centre

I’ve heard about the amazing faculty that you have and how they actually help you proceed to get a job in your specific career path. To be honest, it’s very hard to get a job these days. So, with their amazing faculty and their recommendations and their help, it’ll help me get a job easily, help me stand out in the crowd.

Arshjit from India
Studied International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering
Now studying BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Durham University student Sithara

97.9% graduate employment

Durham has the highest graduate employment rate of any UK university with 97.9 per cent of graduates in work or further study three and a half years after they graduate (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17).

International students in class at Durham University Queen's Campus

Pathway programmes

Our pathway programmes prepare you for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at Durham University. Choose from the International Foundation Year, Pre-Masters and English Language Preparation programmes.

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