Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation.

A major new report conducted by High Fliers Research has revealed that students at the University of Bristol are among the most targeted by Britain’s top 100 employers. Bristol has been ranked ahead of Oxford and Cambridge at 3rd in the table, which was compiled as part of the Graduate Market in 2017 study.

Furthermore, a recent survey by also reported that 80% of Bristol postgraduate students are employed in a graduate level job within 6 months of graduation. Please see the Unistats website for subject specific information.

There is also a significant wage premium for those with postgraduate qualifications. A report by the Sutton Trust found that somebody with a Master’s degree can on average expect to earn £5,500 more a year – or £200,000 over a 40 year working life – than someone only holding a bachelor’s degree.

Students on the SPAIS MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.  Many sectors, such as the Civil Service, NGOs and charity work require an MSc and some volunteer/ internship experience, and Bristol is an ideal place to facilitate this.

Life after SPAIS: finding work in development and beyond

“Development can be a difficult field to break into but potential opportunities are often closer than you might think. Members of staff in SPAIS have links to groups in the sector and can offer advice on CVs and potential career progression. For example, I am a trustee for a small Bristol-based charity called Temwa based in northern Malawi. We work to bring about sustainable community development in remote, rural areas of northern Malawi – one of the poorest countries in the world. We achieve this by training villagers in sustainable agricultural techniques; planting trees to combat the devastating impacts of deforestation and climate change; running HIV testing clinics and working to combat the associated stigma; funding students through their secondary school education and providing micro-loans to small scale businesses.”

“Over the past few years, a number of SPAIS MScs have gone on to work for Temwa both as interns while studying and upon graduating as full-time members of staff. The experience gained at Temwa has, in turn, led to work in other areas of the development sector.”

Dr Adrian Flint, Senior Lecturer in Development Politics

Make the most of our award-winning Careers Service

The award-winning Careers Service at the University of Bristol supports students in identifying and planning for their future careers.  They also offer help with gaining internships in relevant sectors and run the Bristol PLUS Awards to develop employability skills, as well as advise on CV writing and interview skills. Find more information, including some top tips on making the most of your postgraduate studies, on the careers service pages.

I am now working as an intern in the Division of Water Sciences of UNESCO (Paris). I got the internship especially thanks to my preparation in International Human Rights, which I got in Bristol.

Deborah Oddo (MSc International Relations, 2014)
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