Equality, diversity and social mobility

We believe that anyone with the potential to succeed at University should be given the opportunity to do so. We also want to do more to ensure that students from all socio-economic backgrounds have fair access to the range of graduate opportunities and successfully make the transition into their chosen area with confidence.

The Equality Act 2010 protects jobseekers and employees from discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We will be adding more information and resources to these pages over the coming months and will provide you with individual, confidential support around equality and employment within one-to-one career guidance interviews.

All students can access support from the Careers Service from the day they enrol and can continue to do so for life. This includes all our events, workshops, one-to-one coaching, advice and guidance and our Careers portal, MyCareer

We understand that some students may have additional barriers to overcome in order to develop their career.  With this in mind we have developed a range of targeted initiatives and resources to help less-advantaged students develop their professional network, gain an insight into different work sectors, access new experiences and develop their employability skills.

Launch your graduate career

A fortnight of dedicated workshops to help you achieve your career and personal ambitions.


During October, at the Careers Service, we are running a 2-week programme of intensive career workshops to help new and recent graduates take the next step after their studies.

Whether you need help in identifying what you want, assistance in applying for jobs/further study, like the idea of starting your own business or even if you have found that dream job and would like some tips on how to make a good impression, we have something for you.

Take advantage of these free sessions. They run as stand-alone sessions, so you can attend just one or you can sign up for the full program. If you can’t attend the live sessions, register with your email address and we will send you a link to the recording. There are also individual appointments available throughout the week.

Professional Mentoring Programme

Get advice, professional insight and support with your career development with your own Professional Mentor on this six-month programme. 

We will match you with a Professional Mentor who is working in an industry that (as far as possible) reflects your interests and provide you with the opportunity to meet up with them on a regular basis either face-to-face, online, via e-mail or over the phone. 

Take a look at our Professional Mentoring pages for more details.

Funded opportunities for under-represented students

We are pleased to announce the first of our initiatives for students from under-represented groups at the University; the Career Insight Programme, Career Development Bursary and the Santander-funded Graduate Career Bursary.

Career Insight Programme

Work experience is one of the most of effective ways of gaining an insight into graduate employment whilst also giving you the platform to develop valuable employability skills. The added benefit is the opportunity to start building your own professional network.

The Careers Insight Programme, sponsored by Santander, will provide four students a career enhancing experience with an internal department to the University or an external business. This will happen over a condensed period of time, around studies.

What’s involved?

The programme includes:

  • A five-week period of part-time work experience consisting of defined project and associated tasks
  • An authentic experience of graduate recruitment
  • A workplace induction/training
  • An insight into the organisation’s structure, sector and typical career journeys of the team
  • Work shadowing with the wider team
  • A generous bursary payment (£1,250) upon completion

Students will be required to complete a testimonial/case study to reflect on their time during the programme and will be offered a scheduled appointment with a dedicated careers advisor. 

How do I apply?

  • Check you fulfil the above eligibility criteria and log on to MyCareer.  
  • Opportunities will be advertised on myCareer. Once they go live, simply click through for more detail and how to apply.
  • Click apply, and follow the link to the Santander Becas website and complete the online application.
  • Upload your CV and a cover letter. Tell us why you would like to undertake this experience and what you could offer to the specific role. We can support you with your application.
  • Shortlisting will take place after applications close and you will be notified if you have been successful or not

 Register your Interest

You can register your interest here to participate in this programme, meaning we will keep you informed of new opportunities and updates.

Should the programme be oversubscribed, preference will be given to specific under-represented students who are Black and/or from a Low Participation Neighbourhood (LPN, polar 4, quintile 1).

Career Development Bursary

This bursary, worth £250, is intended to help with the costs of undertaking career development activities that will enhance and/or develop your career and professional knowledge, experience and networks. The bursary is intended to help you access opportunities that would otherwise not be possible due to the costs involved. You must be able to show us how this bursary will directly benefit your career development.

What can be funded?

The bursary is for extra-curricular career development activities such as:

  • expenses associated with work experiences including placements, internships or other work experiences such as volunteering, such as travel, accommodation or enhanced technology for virtual experiences.
  • attending industry and/or sector specific conferences
  • attending career networking events
  • membership of professional organisations relevant to your career aspirations
  • attending accredited and non-accredited training courses relevant to your career aspirations.

You may apply for funding for more than one activity/event on one application form but you must specify how each one will enhance your career development.

If you are successful, we will ask you to provide us with a brief case study outlining your experiences and how the activity helped you meet your career objectives. This will be used (with your permission) on the University’s website and publications.

What cannot be funded with the bursary?

  • activities which are unrelated to career learning and development such as statutory professional registration fees
  • field trips or other excursions that are a core part of your academic programme
  • costs for activities which have been covered by another budget such as the Career Insight Bursary or the Santander Scholarship
  • costs above the £250 limit.

Application process

There are three application windows in which you can apply for the Career Development Bursary:

Autumn term: 15 October – 15 December 2021

Spring term: 15 February – 15 April 2022

Summer term: 15 May – 30 June 2022

When completing the form please set out approximate costs with links to relevant websites or copies of quotations and documentation to support your application. Travel and accommodation should use the most economic means possible.

To apply, please complete the application form.

If you have any questions, please just contact Pippa Waller in the Careers Service via the Careers Hub.

Graduate Career Bursary

No-one tells you how expensive it can be making the transition from student to employee! Whether it’s buying clothes, travel cards or finding a rent deposit, you can now apply for a little bit of help with those expenses that tend to materialise just when you could really do without them. 

We have 30 Graduate Career Bursaries worth £250 for students from under-represented groups at University who attend four sessions of the “Launch your Graduate Career” programme and attend a careers interview. 

What you need to do 

1. Check the eligibility criteria – if you’re not sure if you qualify, just get in touch. 

2. Check the “Launch your Graduate Career” calendar and book in to the four workshops you want to attend. 

3. Book your informal one-to-one appointment.

4. Submit your application.

Eligibility

You must be (or were) a registered UK Home student, at the University of Plymouth

and

Your household income, as assessed by Student Finance should not exceed £35,000 per year. You must have applied for all income-assessed funding available to you i.e. the student maintenance loan

and

You should be a member of any one of the following groups:

  • A minority ethnic group that is under-represented at the University i.e. Black, Asian or other ethnic minority group.
  • Your home postcode prior to coming to University falls within an area where relatively few young people enter higher education. You can find out by seeing if the postcode is listed as within 'Quintile 1' on the POLAR checking tool
  • You are a mature student (aged 21 or over when you started your first undergraduate course).
  • You are a care-leaver or an estranged student.
  • You have a disability. Please note that the term disability is very wide; further details of what may be considered a disability are in the definition of disability

Approvals process

Decisions will be made by the Careers Service (and employers in regards to the career insight programme) based on the strength of the application. We aim to support as many students as possible, however funding is limited we may not be able to support every applicant. Please refer to the eligibility and prioritisation criteria above.

You will be notified by your university email if you have been successful and the bursary paid using the bank account details you have provided to Student Finance.

Please continue to visit!

We will be adding more resources and information to these pages in due course and would welcome your feedback.

Bursary case study: Yasmin Meeda

Yasmin applied for a Santander Bursary, a predecessor to do the Career Development Bursary.

"With the bursary I wanted to be able to visit the science museum after hours, watch the phenomenal Sir David Attenborough receive a lifetime science award and network with fellow scientists. Such an opportunity would allow me to gain an insight into the career opportunities available after a masters.

The grant made it possible for me to meet with Dame Julia Goodfellow and discuss opportunities for encouraging BAME students into science, network and discover that completing a PhD could help to open doors. 

This has given me hope for a career as a research scientist. It was the perfect opportunity to meet inspirational, like-minded people and explore the wonderful world of science."