Mission Statement and Policies

Our mission

The Careers Service’s mission is to attract employers and educate and resource students to enable them to make the best-informed career decisions.

Our objectives

  • Work together with Colleges, Departments, Faculties and the University to raise clients’ awareness of and engagement with the Careers Service
  • Provide relevant careers information and services to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the most timely and effective way
  • Attract and enable organisations to promote opportunities effectively and make contact with the most appropriate students
  • Work with alumni, providing access to careers advice and engaging them to mentor students and offer internships
  • Implement leading systems and streamlined procedures within a responsive, skilled and motivated organisation to achieve these tasks, including monitoring our performance
AGCAS quality standard 2020-2023

Quality standard 

The University of Oxford is member of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and has completed the AGCAS Membership Quality Standard (last accredited: October 2020). 

The AGCAS Membership Quality Standard outlines and demonstrates the levels of professionalism with which member services fulfil their purpose. 


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The Careers Service and Internship Office at the University of Oxford is committed to respecting and protecting your privacy. Read the Privacy and Cookie Policy for the Careers Service and Internship Office.

We are extremely grateful for all the fantastic opportunities that we are able to advertise to our undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and researchers. We advertise opportunities, for free, in small start-ups to large multinational organisations, in sectors spanning Accountancy to Zoology.

However, we will not advertise ANY internships which require our undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and researchers to pay a fee to participate.

We also do not advertise unpaid/unfunded internships unless they are:

  • Short term insight or vacation schemes of no longer than 2 weeks aimed at providing “work shadowing” opportunities.
  • Voluntary work with a charity, voluntary organisation, an associated fund-raising organisation, or a statutory body and, where the voluntary work is UK based, fulfil the conditions for voluntary workers under UK National Minimum Wage legislation. Organisations will need to provide evidence that they fulfil this criteria.

Please note  that it is the responsibility of the host organisation to ensure that it complies with any employment law or other legal obligations including payment of National Minimum Wage (where applicable) and we assume, if we are asked to advertise an unpaid internship, that the host organisation has made an appropriate assessment and concluded that the opportunity can lawfully be unpaid.

If you are in the not-for-profit sector, we suggest you discuss your needs directly with the Internship Office (internships@careers.ox.ac.uk, +44 (0)1865 274 646) as we may be in a position to attach an internship award to particular opportunities. Our limited funding is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. In any case, all not-for-profit sector partners must, as a minimum, offer a contribution, for example provide accommodation, reimburse travel or meal costs.

The Careers Service reserves the right not to publish any opportunities we feel are inappropriate for our clients.

Our Careers events are open only to current Oxford University students, research staff, and alumni. On occasion, at the discretion of the event organiser and if space permits, we may extend invitations to other relevant parties, such as students from other universities, in advance of the event.

Please note that casual visitors are not allowed.

We offer an impartial service which allows all students to make informed choices about their futures through having access to employer partners and professional networks offering legal opportunities.

Students are entitled to disagree with the ethics or practices of any organisation and they may choose to express their disagreement at events organised by the Careers Service.

It is not acceptable for any student or group of students to prevent other students from having access to employers representatives and their information – whether that is the protesting students’ intention or not. Unacceptable behaviour includes anything which contravenes the University Code of Student Conduct.

It is very common for employers to state that they will only accept applications from those with the right to work in the UK. Companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees have the right to work in the UK. To meet this requirement, some companies refuse to accept applications from anyone who does not already have this permission in place. However, because this requirement has a disproportionate impact on non-UK citizens, it has the potential to be unlawful indirect race discrimination.

Some employers also insist that candidates provide evidence of their right to work at application stage. This point is addressed in section 16.67 of the Statutory Code of Practice accompanying the Equality Act 2010:

“Eligibility to work in the UK should be verified in the final stages of the selection process rather than at the application stage, to make sure the appointment is based on merit alone, and is not influenced by other factors […] Employers can, in some circumstances, apply for work permits and should not exclude potentially suitable candidates from the selection process.” 

Further details can be found in the Statutory Code of Practice for Employers.

A number of important changes have been announced regarding UK immigration law. The most important of these relating to graduate recruitment are:

  • Brexit: From 1st January 2021, most EEA citizens will no longer have freedom of movement in the UK. This means most EEA citizens will be subject to the same immigration controls as non-EEA citizens and will no longer have an automatic right to work in the UK. For employers, this means you will need to have a sponsorship licence to recruit most workers from outside the UK.
  • Common Travel Area: The Common Travel Area has been preserved in the new regulations. Under these arrangements, Irish citizens will continue to have freedom to enter, live and work in the UK; and UK citizens will continue to have freedom to enter, live and work in Ireland
  • The new Graduate Immigration Route: From summer 2021, graduates from UK universities will be able to stay and work in the UK for a maximum of two years without requiring sponsorship. After this period, they will need to switch to another route (e.g. the new Skilled Worker route that replaces Tier 2) to remain in the UK. Complete details of how the new arrangements will function have not been published at time of writing.

For further information, please visit: Government Code of Practice and Prospects guide to jobs and work experience/working abroad.

The policy of the Careers Service at the University of Oxford for working with external organisations, (i.e., outside the University of Oxford or its colleges) is that the staff at the Careers Service will usually: 

  • Support work by charities and social enterprises that focus on widening the participation of young people in education.
  • Not support for-profit organisations that run paid-for courses for participants.

Helping Students to Make Informed Decisions

The University of Oxford Careers Service’s mission is to enable students to make well informed decisions about their career. As part of this, the Service is actively exploring ways to help students learn about organisations’ approaches to sustainability.

Drawing on the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment, the Careers Service has introduced a set of questions for recruiters, that allows students to find out more about a recruiter’s sustainability credentials. Students will be able to easily access an organisation’s stance on the climate crisis, its plan on how it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050 and remain profitable, and other relevant credentials in the area of sustainability. In future, students will be able to search on those employers who have answered sustainability questions in specific ways.

Any recruiter wishing to post a vacancy on the Oxford University’s CareerConnect system, will be prompted to answer the following:

Q1. Does your organisation recognise the climate crisis, agree with the science, and confirm that it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050, or earlier?

Q2. Does your organisation have a specific, publicly accessible plan, that lays out how it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050 or earlier? (Provide web address if available)

Q3. Does your organisation have a plan for how it will remain profitable while achieving Net-Zero by 2050, or earlier?

Q4. Does your organisation have any other relevant credentials in the area of sustainability of which you’d like to ensure students are aware? (Eg, B-Corp, use of renewables, etc) (Open text box to describe other credentials)

The Careers Service will consider using these data in future to highlight those recruiters who tick yes to specific questions, including in careers fairs’ booklets or similar publications. As a result, the Service hopes that those students for whom sustainability in the current climate crisis is an important factor in their decision making, will be better informed.

Looking for more?

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

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