Finding Work in Oxford | The Careers Service Finding Work in Oxford – Oxford University Careers Service
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Overview of the local job market

Whether you are looking for a short-term position after finishing your degree, or looking for longer-term work, Oxford and the surrounding area can be an attractive option as there are some major employers in the area. However, there can be a lot of competition to secure a position in some of the popular employment sectors, and you may need some help to find out about job vacancies and opportunities if you have only lived in Oxford as a student. You may also have to convince prospective employers about your (positive) reasons for staying in Oxford, whilst also giving some thoughts to your long-term plans.

Types of job

There are a number of sectors that are well represented locally; details of some are given below.

Scientific and technical work

Oxfordshire is one of Europe’s leading centres of enterprise, innovation and scientific knowledge. There is a range of local science parks, including the Oxford Science Park – home to over 60 science and technology-based companies (of which 43% are bioscience, 31% are IT and 26% are other business sectors); Harwell Science and Innovation Campus – home to around 200 science and technology-based organisations, including research institutes, commercial companies and start-ups; Milton Park Innovation Centre in Abingdon, and Begbroke Science Park near Oxford – home to materials-based spinout companies.

There are also some major scientific employers based in the county. Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is home to the largest scientific facility to be built in the UK for 30 years – the Diamond Synchrotron Light Source. Nuvia Limited (formerly RWE Nukem) has one of its sites at Harwell, and close to Abingdon at Culham you will find the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, CCFE (formerly known as UKAEA Culham).

Science Oxford, aims to encourage the study, application and communication of science, technology and engineering. They are involved with networks and events for high-tech businesses and also work with schools to encourage the pursuit of science. Check their website for voluntary opportunities that arise.

Connected Oxford not only lists local vacancies (with a significant number in science & technology), but also highlights relevant news items across the region of which many are relevant to this sector. Digital Oxford was formed in 2015 to support the digital industry in Oxfordshire and encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge, and their listings of local vacancies include many technical roles.


Oxford is home to two universities, a college of Further Education (City of Oxford College), numerous other colleges, schools and nurseries, and is home to many language schools, where students can come to learn English. Together these establishments offer a wide range of opportunities, not only in teaching, but also in administration, library work, promotion, marketing, and student support functions. University vacancies are advertised through their websites and the local press. There are also many tutorial colleges and agencies in Oxford – a list of these can be found in the Yellow Pages.


Oxford University Press employs staff over two main sites in the UK; its main offices are based in central Oxford and the distribution centre is in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

In scientific publishing, Elsevier Science, based in Kidlington, and Wiley (which now owns Blackwell Publishing) are two of the largest, but there are other science publishers and other specialist publishing companies throughout the county, such as MacMillan Education in Cowley and GTI. A local recruitment agency, Inspired Selection, specialises in the publishing sector.

Public sector

Oxfordshire County Council is the largest employer in the county. Visit their website and Oxford City Council, as well as other local district councils. Thames Valley Police is another major local employer and advertises for civilian as well as non-civilian roles.


The Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the country. The Trust comprises three hospitals – the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals in Headington and the Horton Hospital in Banbury. There are many diverse opportunities available within the NHS worth investigating, – visit their website and NHS Jobs for all kinds of roles.

A number of major research institutes are hosted on the Trust’s sites, including the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. To find out more about medical research opportunities, visit the main University recruitment site.

Museums, galleries, libraries

Oxford and the surrounding area are home to many libraries, but also a number of museums, galleries and other arts facilities. Some vacancies are advertised through the public sector websites for Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council, and others via the University. One of the best ways to find out about museum opportunities and gain experience is to volunteer.

Graduate Recruiters

A number of local employers from diverse sectors recruit regularly through the Careers Service. In the business and commercial area they include OXERA, Frost & Sullivan and Oxford Analytica. Oxfam also recruits into its internship scheme, although competition is fierce, and Ricardo AEA Ltd (formerly AEA Technology) sometimes recruits scientists and engineers for a graduate intake. Although a major local employer, graduate opportunities with BMW tend to be based in Bracknell, Berkshire. Grant Thornton recruit accountancy trainees into their Oxford and Banbury offices and Reed also take on trainee recruitment consultants. RM is the UK’s leading provider of software systems and services to UK education – their graduate scheme has positions at the Head Office in Abingdon. Unipart also has its Head Office in Oxford.

Voluntary work

There is a wide range of voluntary opportunities in the county. From running a charity shop to encouraging more people to visit a museum, there could well be an opportunity for you to undertake full-time or part-time voluntary work if you wish to stay near Oxford and are financially able to do so. Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action, produces a directory of voluntary organisations and opportunities. You can also research opportunities using websites such as and Volunteering. Oxford Hub, is the focal point for charitable activity at Oxford University. Through events, website and office, the Oxford Hub connects students with causes, and makes it easy for you to get involved.

Temporary work

A quick walk around the centre of Oxford should reveal a number of recruitment agencies advertising temporary work and among them is the university’s  Temporary Staffing Service. You can sign up to these to get short-term assignments. Before using this approach, it may be necessary for you to get your IT, typing or other administrative skills up to scratch, so be realistic about what you have to offer, and tailor your CV for particular roles. Register with several agencies and keep in touch with them rather than rely on them to always contact you. Make sure that you respond quickly to any contact from them.


There are a number of local organisations that can help you if you are thinking about setting up your own business. Oxfordshire Business Enterprises Ltd. provides a free and confidential counselling service, which can start as soon as you have formulated your business idea. For further ideas see our webpage on Entrepreneurship.

Finding jobs

So where do you start if you want to find a job in the Oxford area? Well, much the same as if you were going to think about finding work in any location. You need to think about what you have to offer an employer, the local employment scene, and what you are looking for. Do you want an opportunity to gain work experience, a chance to earn some cash to support you while you look for something else (or save up to go travelling) or a longer-term position that fits in with your career plans? Use some of the suggestions above and make use of local resources, such as Oxford’s JobCentre Plus, (7 Worcester Street, OX1 2BX, tel: 0345 604 3719) or Oxford Central Library which is temporarily located in the Castle Quarter (tel: 01865 815509).

Use local newspapers and recruitment agencies. The Oxford Times is published on a Thursday and has a job supplement, as does the Oxford Mail, which is a daily evening newspaper. A monthly supplement to the Oxford Times – In Business – gives current information on the local business scene. The Oxford Mail organises a Job Fair in the Town Hall, usually in September and February. Daily Information also advertises both short and long-term vacancies. Connected Oxford lists vacancies along with local events. Check the vacancies on our website by logging in to CareerConnect; you can search by the location Oxfordshire. Also attend our OX Postcode Fair which brings together employers from all over Oxfordshire with vacancies for full-time jobs or internships.

If you have a specific sector in mind, consult local business directories such as the Oxfordshire Business Directory and take a more speculative approach to seek out unadvertised vacancies. See our speculative applications webpage for more advice about this approach. For some sectors, joining a local group such as a branch of a professional body can provide some useful networking possibilities.

External resources

Sources of vacancies

Local recruitment agencies

This information was last updated on 19 July 2018.
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Recent blogs about Finding Work in Oxford

Bar Pro Bono Unit: Caseworker Volunteering Opportunities

Posted on behalf of Bar Pro Bono Unit. Blogged by Annie Dutton on 15/08/2018.

The Bar Pro Bono Unit is the Bar’s national charity, based in the National Pro Bono Centre on Chancery Lane, London, which helps to find pro bono legal assistance from volunteer barristers. They are seeking dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to volunteer as Academic Year Casework Volunteers 

This is a fantastic opportunity to obtain unique exposure to the Bar as a profession and to a wide range of areas of law. By volunteering you  will  learn a great deal about the practical working of the courts and the needs of litigants in person which should complement your studies.

You will be assisting the caseworkers one day per week, over a four month period. Tasks will include:

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Closing date for applications: Monday 27 August 2018 at 23:00


You must have completed at least one year of law-related study or law-related work.

Previous volunteer’s feedback:

“I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in pursuing a legal career to try and spend some time with the BPBU. Not only does it look great on your CV, it also helps you hone crucial skills such as succinctly summarising the key facts of a case and identifying the relevant legal issues, something that should stand you in good stead for any pupillage or training contract interviews. The staff are all wonderfully welcoming and helpful, and whilst a key benefit is the range of areas you will experience (anything from Defamation to Child Protection), they will also accommodate specific requests to see more work in certain areas. Ultimately you are doing genuinely important work that makes a material difference to people’s lives, whilst being supplied with copious amounts of tea and cake. What’s not to like?”

The Student Consultancy Michaelmas Term – apply now!

Blogged by Lili Pickett-Palmer on 14/08/2018.

Consultancy Training in Michaelmas Term…

The Student Consultancy provides you with an exceptional insight into consultancy practice. Across a term, you will work in a team on a real-life business challenge for a client organisation.

Past students have worked with clients including: The Oxford Boat Race, Yellow Submarine, Belu Water, Eco Concierge, Eve, Happen, IBM, Minervation, Modern Art Oxford, Oxfam, Oxford Limited, OxHub, OxFizz, Oxford City Council, Oxford University Library Services, Pegasus Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre plus a range of start-ups.

… but it isn’t just about consulting!

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The Careers Service tries to match you to a client in a sector of interest – to provide experience for future applications. Whether you want a career in museums or marketing, or an insight into IT or charities, The Student Consultancy can help.

Apply now

We run The Student Consultancy each term – and applications for the Michaelmas Term 2018 Student Consultancy are now open. We strongly advise applying as soon as you can, as the application window will close once we have a certain number of participants.

To apply please search “Student Consultancy Michaelmas Term 2018” under the opportunities tab of CareerConnect.

For further information, and for mandatory assessment and training dates, please visit The Student Consultancy webpage.

RisingWISE: Empowering Enterprising Women in Science and Engineering

Posted on behalf of RisingWISE. Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 14/08/2018.

RisingWISE is a newly established Oxbridge network that aims to foster long-term relationships between enterprising early-career researchers and women working in industry, to encourage more women to build careers across the science and technology sector.


Our 4-day workshop will bring together approximately 50 women over three weekends to:

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  • Weekend 1 (Madingley Hall, Cambridge) – Friday 9 November 2018, 14:00–20:00 and all day Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November 2018
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Please note – successful delegate’s travel, accommodation, meals and all training workshops will be funded by the programme.


The application deadline is Friday 31 August 2018. As this is a pilot programme, spaces are limited. For more information and to apply for this programme please visit, the risingWISE page here

Win £50,000 to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey

Posted on behalf of WorldLabs. Blogged by Polly Metcalfe on 09/08/2018.

Got a bright idea? WorldLabs can help you elevate it!

WorldLabs’ mission is to help ideas develop and grow by providing the funding, tools and connections needed to thrive. Too many promising entrepreneurial projects fall by the wayside due to lack of resources, help or funding.

This is why we created the Elevating Ideas Competition: to give you the ability to showcase your idea, find valuable collaborators and gather the supporters you need to elevate your project to the next level.

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For further details and to apply (deadline 3 September) visit the WorldLabs website.

LGBTQ+ Investment Banking Insight

Posted on behalf of Diversity Solutions. Blogged by Polly Metcalfe on 01/08/2018.

When: 13 September 2018

Where: Central London. Reasonable travel expenses within the UK (up to £75) will be reimbursed.

To apply: Submit your CV and a covering letter as soon as possible through the Inside & Out Website. 

Inside & Out is an investment banking insight event for first and second year LGBTQ+ undergraduates of all degree disciplines (i.e. finishing studies in 2020 and 2021).

A career in investment banking is highly competitive and extremely challenging, so it’s important that you have a strong academic background. If you are to attend, you should have achieved good grades at A-level (120+ UCAS Points or equivalent if you completed A-Levels in 2017 and earlier). Of course we will take any mitigating circumstances you provide into account. Because of the wide range of careers we offer, we welcome applications from all degree disciplines, so you don’t have to be studying a traditional finance-related subject to apply. What you will need is a real desire to find out all you can about the industry and the wide range of intern and full-time opportunities on offer.

The participating firms are:

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  • Goldman Sachs
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  • J.P. Morgan
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  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The day will include a number of sessions, including a welcome speech from our supporters Stonewall and a networking session with representatives from the aforementioned firms.

Any issues? Queries? Email the organisers at and we’d be more than happy to help!

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