Career and employability skills

Kick-start your career

The University of Surrey has a proven track record of producing successful, qualified and highly employable graduates.

Quality teaching combined with placements that develop universal skills such as time management and networking will help you stand out from the crowd. Many degree programmes are also accredited by professional, regulated bodies, measuring their quality and academic standard.

Your career preparation starts when you join the International Study Centre, through our dedicated CareerAhead programme. This will help you to gain the skills necessary to succeed both on your degree and in the workplace.

Top university in the UK for placements

The University of Surrey has been awarded the best university work placement service for the third year straight in the 2021 National University Employability Awards. By studying at Surrey, you will become a highly employable graduate.

Professional training placements

The University of Surrey prides itself on giving students the best possible start to a rewarding professional career and was the first university in the UK to offer work placements as an option for students.

As part of your studies, you will have the chance to take part in the University’s Professional Training Year, recognised as the best work placement programme in the UK and available on almost all undergraduate courses.

Taking on a placement year will give you the chance to:

  • Apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to a real workplace
  • Gain valuable experience at one of over 2,300 prestigious organisations both in the UK and overseas
  • Develop your professional skills and work experience in your field of study
  • Gain confidence in an area that interests you, apply your skills to real life scenarios and build connections in your chosen industry

Around 1,200 students from the University of Surrey take part in work placements around the world every year. The experience students gain opens doors to job opportunities after graduation, with 39% on average receiving a job offer from their placement organisation when they graduate (based on 2017/18 academic year).

The University's placement partners are globally renowned and cover a wide range of industries  Some of the companies Surrey students have taken a placement with include:


Employability and Careers Centre

At the Employability and Careers Centre, international students at the University of Surrey can receive help and support in preparing for their Professional Training placement. Advisers provide individual advice and guidance to ensure you have the necessary skills and learning opportunities.

Careers advisers specialise in different subject areas so they can give you expert advice related to your degree. Advice and guidance you will have access to includes:

  • Interactive career workshops
  • Mock interviews and assessments
  • Employer presentations
  • Skills sessions
  • Autumn and summer careers fairs
  • Online resources
  • Networking opportunities

What our students say

Catherine from Nigeria took her Placement Training Year at BP in London as an economics research assistant. Watch her story.

Surrey student Glenn from Hong Kong

"The ISC had a really good impact in preparing me for my undergraduate course and my placement year. I realised there's so many things I had to improve and develop. It's really important to have a positive attitude towards your studies."

Glenn from Hong Kong
Studied International Foundation Year – Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences


Students working in a classroom at the University of Surrey International Study Centre

Benefit from your own expert careers training at the University by studying one of our specialist pathway programmes.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.