portsmouth careers and employability staff in learning facility

Build skills you'll use in your career

You won't just get Gold-rated teaching and fantastic learning spaces once you join us: we'll help you put your knowledge to work too

We're number 1 in the UK for boosting graduate salaries (The Economist, 2017), and the average University of Portsmouth graduate earns £3,100 (13%) above expectations, 5 years after they finish their course.

Our graduate employment rates are also among the highest in the UK, with 97.5% of our students in work or further study 6 months after finishing their course (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DHLE), 2017).

That's thanks to our focus on work-related learning; our outstanding links with employers and professional bodies; the importance we place on getting our graduates relevant workplace experience while they're studying with us; and the ongoing support we give our graduates once their course is over.

Work-related learning

We build our courses to make sure you're learning the skills you'll use in your career. You'll get to practice in simulated work environments such as our newsroom, mock courtroom, model pharmacy, forensic house and fully equipped TV studio.

You'll also get to use your professional skills in the community. For example:

  • Dental students treat NHS patients in our Dental Academy
  • Sport and exercise science students run coaching courses at local schools
  • Law students run legal advice clinics for the public

Links with employers and professional bodies

Many of our courses are commissioned by employers like the NHS or accredited by professional organisations. So what you do on your course will always reflect what's happening in the industry.

Professional accreditation also tells potential employers you have the career-specific skills and knowledge you need for your career, giving you an edge over other candidates when you're applying for jobs.

We also organise visits from employers who run events such as career-specific seminars. These give you the opportunity to mingle with future employers and get a feel for your chosen industry.

Work experience and volunteering

My experience through volunteering has been one of the best in my life. I was a 14 year old who wanted to rebel and do nothing with my life before I starting volunteering at Active Communities Network (ACN). Now I am 20 years old and attending the University of Portsmouth studying Social Work

Tayah Kalli, ACN volunteer and BSc (Hons) Social Work student

We make it easy for you to get relevant work experience during your course, helping you put your knowledge to use. Each faculty has a Placement Office, which can help you organise work experience with local, national and international employers.

You can also apply your skills and get valuable professional experience through volunteering. Portsmouth students volunteered over 54,000 hours of their time in 2016/17. We'll support you in finding volunteering opportunities that match your career aspirations.

Work placements

Competition for graduate jobs is fierce, but a work placement is the perfect way to stand out from the crowd. Many of our courses include compulsory or optional placement years in industry, and as well as helping you gain valuable new skills and knowledge, they're a brilliant opportunity to make contacts that could advance your career.

Having a work placement on your CV is a big plus too, because it demonstrates your motivation and commitment to work in your chosen field.

Ollie Marsh – from work placement to full time role at Portsmouth Football Club

My name's Ollie Marsh, I studied Journalism at the University of Portsmouth and I now work at Portsmouth Football Club in the media team.

I've always felt that a club's media output has a big impact on the identity of the club, and certainly we bear in mind that everything we do relates to and contributes towards a brand. So there's a little bit more responsibility than it seems on the surface.

In the briefest possible terms, I look after all of the digital side of things for the club, so that includes their social media channels and their Youtube channel, etc. I wasn't always interested in sports marketing. In fact when I started uni, I said that my goal was to become a local journalist and my dream was to work at a football club. So from my point of view, I'm hugely thankful that my dream has now come true. And definitely the course equipped us as well, because it gave us a really broad range of skills that can be applied to lots of different situations and it gave us a real insight into all areas of the media industry.

It was easy to secure a placement at Portsmouth Football Club but it wouldn't have been were it not for the university. The lecturers really go above and beyond to put you on the right path, get your foot in doors and it pays off because I'm here now. Having a placement here did build my confidence because it's such a difference having your work actually seen by an audience. It's all well and good handing in assessments and that can be fun, but when your work is actually seen by 100,000 people 0150 which is the audience that Portsmouth have on their social channels – it's such a buzz and it's fantastic to see all the engagement coming through and all the positive feedback.

I think there's definitely a parallel between the lecturers at university and the football manager. Obviously, football managers have usually had a career in the game and all of our lecturers had a career in journalism so you knew what they were talking about. And also, they could sometimes give us the hairdryer treatment if they needed to, to motivate us. And just generally they looked for the right tactics, the right game plan to get us all the results that we wanted and it's that level of commitment that we really appreciated. And certainly the university and the football club are both massive parts of the identity of the city, so I think it's an incredible thing that there's now a close link between them.

But most importantly, placements are a great way to get a graduate job – after proving their worth on placement, many of our students go on to work for their placement employer when their degree is complete.

There are Placement Offices in each faculty at the University, so when you're ready to get out there and put your skills to the test in industry, they'll be on hand to help you find a placement that's perfect for you.

Support for your startup business

If you’ve got a business idea, you can develop your entrepreneurial skills, take part in one of our enterprise programmes or take a self-employed placement year. You can get startup advice from our student enterprise team while studying with us and for up to 5 years after you graduate.

You can also get help to develop your startup business from our team of experienced entrepreneurs. Our Entrepreneurs in Residence are senior level business executives who can use their expertise to mentor you to launch or grow your startup.

Expert help and support

Our Careers and Employability service gives you expert, tailored advice on getting a job and developing your career.

You get:

  • Extensive information on career planning, applying for jobs, graduate opportunities and working globally
  • An annual Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair
  • Help and advice on setting up your own business
  • Interview training with mock interviews

You can use the Careers and Employability service for up to 5 years after you graduate.

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