Finding Advertised Opportunities

Click on each type of opportunity to find out more. 

Expand All

The most prominent type of graduate jobs advertised around Oxford are graduate schemes: formal training programmes that typically mix early responsibility with training and support from mentors, and often give trainees an insight into various aspects of a business. Typically, graduate schemes are offered by large organisations which can predict their human resources needs well in advance, and can commit to an annual intake.

Which sectors have graduate schemes

Graduate schemes can be found in most sectors of the economy. However, they are most common in:

  • professions which require a professional qualification, gained through training (such as accountancy and law);

  • sectors dominated by large organisations (such as banking, consultancy, retail and consumer goods);

  • professions which require you to accumulate technical knowledge (such as engineering, energy and IT).

They are least common in sectors dominated by small organisations – such as charities, museums and TV (but some graduate schemes in these areas do exist!).

Where to search

You can find out information about graduate schemes using:

  • Publications such as UK 300 or The Times 100.
  • Our Career fairs
  • The Oxford Guide to Careers, which includes listings of many graduate schemes.
  • The sector overviews on our website include links to job boards and graduate opportunities in the “External Resources” section for each sector.
  • Employer presentations – these are advertised on CareerConnect, and the majority take place during Michaelmas term.
  • Windo to access, review and compare organisations' Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) profiles.
  • LinkedIn Jobs

There can be a temptation, when applying to graduate schemes, to favour the well-known, well-advertised organisations. There can be advantages to starting your career working for a smaller firm, however: early responsibility is likely to be greater, and you are likely to get a more holistic understanding of the business.

When to search

One year ahead

Graduate schemes open up their application process as early as the summer before the scheme starts; sometimes closing in late October. Michaelmas is therefore particularly busy – with employers advertising their schemes via our fairs, presentations and other activities across Oxford. The ‘Milkround’, as this period of graduate recruitment is known, is busiest in the first few weeks of Michaelmas. Deadlines tend to be around late October/ early November and into December with a few falling after Christmas and into the early part of January.

Penultimate year summer

In some sectors, particularly in banking and consultancy, the application window is much earlier; for example, July – early October. The Careers Service holds a ‘Graduate Jobs and Internship Opportunities’ fair in Trinity term for penultimate year students looking at making early applications.

Get in earlier if you can

Larger organisations will sometimes indicate that they recruit on a ‘rolling basis’ – filling vacancies as they receive suitable applications – so early applications are often advantageous. Don’t leave it to the last minute!

Two years ahead?

Some companies, particularly ‘City’ sectors (law, finance and consultancy), actively use internships as an additional way to find graduate recruits.

As such, if you’re interested in working for a large City firm, it’s a good idea to try and get an internship in your penultimate year, and treat it like a summer-long job interview.

The majority of graduate-level jobs do not take the form of graduate schemes. Instead, they are specific positions requiring a graduate (or a trainee) within an organisation, and can be found in all sectors. This is sometimes referred to by employers as 'early careers' or 'direct entry' positions.

Even organisations that have graduate schemes may advertise graduate-level positions outside their graduate schemes.

Where to search

Online job boards

Almost all graduate-level jobs that don’t fall in graduate schemes will be advertised in online job boards. For example:

  • CareerConnect – our vacancy database, just for Oxford students, alumni and research staff.
  • National jobs boards aimed at graduates, such as Prospects and TARGETjobsJoblift and Adzuna or apps such as Debut.
  • Sites for specific sectors, such as (for jobs in universities), W4MP (for the public and third sectors), Arts Jobs (for a wide range of arts and heritage positions), or Work in Startups.
  • Use the relevant sector pages of our website for detailed job hunting tips (look in the External Resources tab at the bottom of each sector page).
  • National newspapers often have job databases on their websites.
  • The websites of individual organisations and companies of interest.

Career Fairs

Some of the organisations that attend our career fairs are recruiting for specific positions, rather than for graduate schemes. This is particularly common in Trinity Term.

When to search

Organisations normally recruit for non-graduate-scheme positions a few months before they need someone to start work – and positions are advertised all year round. As such, students would be unlikely to find many suitable opportunities in the Michaelmas of their final year, as they won’t be available to start work soon enough. Start looking in Hilary, over the Easter break, and throughout Trinity term.


The most comprehensive resource for jobs in UK Higher Education institutes, with some international vacancies also posted, is The main US site is Higher Ed Jobs.

QS Academic International Mobility lets you search for international positions and offers advice on building your academic career abroad.

Academic vacancies can also be found in the Times Higher Education Supplement*, and science research jobs in HE, industry and government are advertised in Nature and New Scientist.

Funding Opportunities

  • Research Professional — Database of funding opportunities which the University subscribes to.
  • Funding for Early Career Researchers — Funding opportunities aimed particularly at postgraduate researchers and early-stage postdoctoral researchers.
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – Portal for all the UK Research Councils. Check for scholarships, awards and some jobs.
  • Research Services at Oxford — Information on research grant funding, consultancies and research-related policies (including intellectual property, conflict of interest and academic integrity in research).

Read more on the 'Finding vacancies for researchers' briefing

See our Finding Work Experience page for information on finding internships.

Oxford University Job Boards

  • CareerConnectVacancies database for University of Oxford students and graduates that lists hundreds of opportunities with a wide variety of organisations. 
  • Oxford University Jobs: Explore the jobs and career opportunities available at the University of Oxford. 

Video Resource

CareerConnect EVENTS

Looking for more?

Check the CareerConnect platform for all our upcoming events and opportunities, book appointments, find jobs and internships, and more.

Login to CareerConnect