Careers Service

Career Insights

Year-long Programme

Gain relevant work experience, explore a range of career opportunities, develop your employability skills and meet with a range of employers through our Career Insights Programme.

Would you like to:

  • Gain work experience?
  • Explore your career options?
  • Develop your employability skills?
  • Network with a range of employers?
  • Meet new people?

Yes? Then you need to take part in the Career Insights Programme!

If you have a busy timetable, if you commute to university, or if you have other responsibilities that prevent you from finding work experience or time to network with employers, then this is the programme for you.

The Career Insights Programme supports students from under-represented groups in higher education with their personal and professional development by providing opportunities such as:

  • meeting graduate employers and hearing directly from them about what they look for when hiring so that you can prepare your CV and skillset
  • a team business consultancy challenge where you work with other students to come up with solutions in response to real-world problems faced by organisations today
  • practicing your interview, presentation and assessment centre skills through exercises similar to those you might expect from a real recruitment process
  • hearing from organisation representatives, and Newcastle University alumni who will share their experiences of challenges and barriers they have faced during their career
  • visiting company HQs to see ‘behind the scenes’ and meeting a range of employees to learn about the different roles within an organisation

A £150 bursary is available to students who use the Career Insights Programme to successfully complete the ncl+ Award and take part in a consultancy challenge.

All activities within the Career Insights Programme support students to develop skills and experiences in line with the Graduate Framework. The framework represents the most common skills employers ask candidates to demonstrate during job interviews or in application forms. 

Flexible Programme

The Career Insights Programme offers flexibility so that you can take part in the activities and events that you are interested in to fit around your schedule. Where a session is delivered online, we will make recordings available so that you can also listen back at times convenient to you if you can’t join live.

Most sessions will take place on Wednesday afternoons, between 13:00 - 15:00 or 15:00 - 17:00, either online or in person. However, depending on the availability of some of the companies we work with, we may need to schedule events at different times.

Off-campus trips to visit company sites in locations around the UK often include overnight stays and take place at times convenient to the employers hosting our visits. Expenses relating to off-campus trips e.g. costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence (e.g. food and drink) will be met by the Careers Service.

What types of companies work with the Career Insights Programme?

We work with a range of employers and organisations on the programme from local SMEs to international corporations. An example of the companies we have previously worked with include:

  • BBC
  • KPMG
  • Teach First
  • Accenture
  • Jacobs
  • Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Hallmark
  • W Communications
  • FDM
  • Jam Jar Cinema
  • One Utility Bill

Who can take part?

The Career Insights Programme is targeted at undergraduate students from under-represented groups in higher education. Some of the events that we organise will only be open to students who meet specific criteria, such as those listed below:

  • UK-home tuition fee status
  • undergraduate student studying at the Newcastle campus
  • entered the University through the PARTNERS programme
  • entered the University through the Realising Opportunities programme
  • be in receipt of the Opportunity Scholarship from Newcastle University
  • be in receipt of the Care Leaver Bursary from Newcastle University
  • be in receipt of the Student Parent Bursary from Newcastle University
  • be in receipt of a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or DSA
  • be a Mature Student (you were aged 21 or over on your first day at university)
  • have declared a Disability or Specific Learning Difficulty to the university
  • have a home address that represents an area of Low Participation in Higher Education.
  • from a Black or Minority Ethnic group and prior to university attended a state school/college in the UK
  • be a Student Carer (with sole or shared responsibility for the care of a relative due to illness, a disability, mental distress or substance abuse)*
  • if either/both of your parents/carers are serving or have served in the armed forces at key educational times or you have previously served in the armed forces yourself*
  • estranged and living independently of your family/carers due to a relationship breakdown*
  • from a Gypsy Roma travelling community*
  • have refugee status*
  • have experienced extreme personal and extenuating circumstances*

*if any of the criteria marked with a* apply to you, you may be asked to provide additional evidence to support your selection.

How to apply?

Applications will open in October 2021. The application process is to be confirmed. 

Find out more

Take a look at the case studies of previous programme participants to hear about their experiences on the programme and beyond. 

If you have any questions about the Career Insights Award, email us and we'll get back to you within 5 working days.

Shauna Roberts, Biomedical Science, Graduated 2019

Shauna Roberts, Biomedical Sciences, Graduated 2019

Employment post-graduation: NHS Graduate Scheme

My initial reason for applying was because I was in the final year of university and wanted to gain some work experience before becoming a graduate. The graduate job market is extremely competitive, and I knew I had to have something on my CV to make me stand out.

I visited numerous employers, including GlaxoSmithKline, where they presented to us about the skills and knowledge they look for when hiring. They provided hints and tips about their application process which I found extremely useful and applicable to all the applications I later sent to a range of employers.

Shauna Roberts, Biomedical Science, Graduated 2019

Nicola Cheung, Chemical Engineering, Graduated 2019

Nicola Cheung, Chemical Engineering, Graduated 2019

Employment post-graduation: Graduate Engineer with Emerson Automation Solutions

I applied for the Career Insights programme to improve my CV and increase my confidence when speaking with employers. The programme allowed me to increase and develop my existing skills through the range of activities provided and by participating in the networking opportunities I became less nervous when visiting companies for interviews and assessment centres after the programme had finished.


Nicola Cheung, Chemical Engineering, Graduated 2019

John Crane, Computer Science

John Crane, Computer Science stage 2 (2018/19)

Placement: Leonardo - Aerospace, Defence and Security

I applied for the Career Insights programme to improve interview skills, meet potential employers and improve my CV. I realised what I had learned from the programme when I needed to put my skills to use in writing applications for industrial placements and attending interviews.

My interpersonal/communication and presentation skills, areas I have always lacked confidence in, were honed through the collaborative activities. The presentation on successful interview techniques was also very insightful and prepared me for my own interview and presentation at Leonardo, a defence company with whom I have been offered a paid industrial placement. They have also informed me that if I perform well on the placement, after I return and complete my final year, I will have a place on their graduate scheme. I feel that I wouldn't have achieved this without participating in the Career Insights programme.


John Crane, 3rd Year, Computer Science

Meghan Burn, Geography stage 2 (2020)

Meghan Burn, Geography stage 2 (2019/20)

Placement: Northumbrian Water

One of the main aspects that I will take away from this programme, is the ability to effectively communicate with employers. Through presenting in front of a panel at KPMG and through networking events, I feel much more confident. I am keen to attend more networking events, to further develop my confidence and networking skills.

Another aspect I will take away from this experience is confidently working with a group that I have never met before. For example, working in a team for the KPMG and Groningen events was challenging but also very rewarding. I was able to learn how to adapt my team work skills and communication skills to successfully create projects with a wide range of people.

After completing this programme, I am now able to confidently speak to employers, search for graduate jobs and speak about myself and the skills I have in an interview. I am a lot more confident working with a group of people and I am able to share my ideas in front of an audience but effectively.

Meghan Burn

Mark Clipperton, Marketing and Management stage 4 (2019/20)

Mark Clipperton, Marketing and Management stage 4 (2019/20) 

Participating in the Careers Insight Programme has propelled me to step out of my comfort zone and use these opportunities to gain further experience in leadership and presenting which I had identified as my main weaknesses.

The chance to engage and network with employers from a wide variety of companies has empowered me to feel more confident in knowing how to present my skills to employers as well as advancing my confidence in approaching companies for speculative work opportunities.

As a marketing student, the chance to work within the Creative & Arts stream has been particularly interesting to me as not only have I been able to find potential job opportunities I wasn't aware existed but I have also worked collaboratively with students from different backgrounds to myself. Seeing firsthand the positive influence of combining a diverse set of skills within a team when working on a project has been enlightening and is something I will always remember.

Attending the ncl+ Award workshops enabled me to reflect upon the experiences I was having and the skills I was developing as well as share my personal and professional goals with like-minded students. These sessions supported me in planning strategically to ensure that I seek opportunities to build new skills and gain further expertise.


Mark Clipperton


The Career Insights Bursary provides financial support to help you explore your career options and to apply for opportunities.

It aims to help you gain experience and develop graduate skills, by providing funding for unpaid opportunities. The bursary can also cover travel costs for an interview if the employer is unable to provide funding. 

Find out more

For more information about the Career Insights Bursary, email us.

For help with finding relevant work experience, visit the Careers Service.