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What is Pathways to Charity and Development?

Based on a growing number of students showing an interest in the Charitable and Development Sector, the University of Exeter will be teaming up with local charities and development organisations to once again deliver the Pathways to Charity and Development programme in 2023. Successful students will take part in four days of training, followed by an internship with an organisation in the charity and development sector. The programme is open to all students from all campuses, however please see full eligibility criteria under the 'Am I eligible' heading below.

The interactive programme comprises of 3 key elements:

  • Employer-led training - 4 days of technical and employability training delivered by sector professionals (19 - 22 June 2023)
  • Group project - During the training you will work in small groups on a business challenge before presenting back on the final day
  • Paid internship - You will be assigned an organisation where you will undertake a 35 hour paid internship (full-time or part-time between 26 June - 7 July 2023)

"I really enjoyed my time on the Pathways to Charity & Development programme! I feel I have learnt so much about the sector, and gained new skills that will help in my future career. I couldn't recommend it enough." (Jessica Mountford, BA Liberal Arts)

If you are an employer and interested in getting involved in the Pathways to Charity and Development programme, please visit the employer-facing webpage here.

  • Gain an insight into different roles in the charity and development sector
  • Increase knowledge of sector specific activities
  • Be inspired by experienced professionals
  • Gain confidence in your abilities
  • Develop your career plan
  • Culminates in an essential work experience, undertaking a paid internship with an employer in the charity and development sector
  • This activity counts towards the Exeter Award
  • Receive a certificate

We welcome applications from all disciplines and levels of study from first year to final year, undergraduate or postgraduate as long as you can demonstrate a keen interest in this subject area. However, please see full eligibility criteria below: 

Student status

  • You must be a current University of Exeter student when you apply for and take part in the programme (please note, students graduating in Summer 2023 are eligible to apply).
  • Even if the internship is remote working, you must be physically based in the UK to undertake the role.*
  • Students from any campus can apply for this pathway.
  • If you have previously completed the Pathways to Charity and Development programme, please note you are not eligible to apply again. However you are welcome to apply for a different Pathway. 
  • If you are an interrupted student, you will not have current student status and are therefore ineligible to apply for Professional Pathways.
  • If you are a full-time Postgraduate student, you are limited to working a maximum of 6 hours per week, however if you are able to gain supervisor approval to complete both the training and the 35 hour internship, you will be able to undertake the Pathways programme. You will need to seek approval if you are successful at the assessment centre stage.
  • If you are part-time Postgraduate student, you are limited to working a maximum of 18.25 hours per week, so would need to split your 35 hours across two weeks, unless you get supervisor approval to work full-time (35 hours) in one week. You will need to seek approval if you are successful at the assessment centre stage.

Right to Work

  • You must have the right to work in the UK for the duration of Professional Pathways, i.e. it must cover both the training and the internship.
  • You will be asked to provide your Right to Work evidence at the application stage. Please refer to the List of acceptable documents for right to work checks.
  • If you have been employed by the University within the last 12 months and provided your Right to Work evidence, this should still be up-to-date and you would not need to provide it again. You can declare this to us at the application stage.
  • For more information about Right to Work please see the eClaims webpages. 

International, EU and EEA students

  • You must have the right to work in the UK and depending on your visa restrictions, if you are successful onto the programme, we will try to match you with an employer that will accommodate part-time hours across two weeks, if needed.

*Please refer to the university's webpage here for further information on the university's position on remote/homeworking outside the UK.

Please note, applications for our 2023 Pathways programmes will open on Monday 21st November 2022 and details on how to apply will be made available here. Applications will be open until January 2023 and will not be first come, first served. Shortlisting will only take place once the application window has closed. 

You can register your interest in next year's programme here.

The successfully selected students will attend a four day training programme, delivered by industry experts between 19 - 22 June 2023. The training will take place on our Streatham campus in Exeter. For successful Cornwall based students only, paid accommodation in Exeter will be available for the duration of the training as well as up to £50 contribution to cover travel expenses to and from Cornwall to Exeter. You would be expected to attend all sessions for your Pathway programme.

The training will equip you with vital industry knowledge, sector specific information, support to improve your employability and an opportunity to ask the experts any questions and hone your networking skills. You will also attend a session providing preparatory support to help you make the most out of your paid internship.

Please see below some examples of topics covered in previous training sessions:

  • Volunteer management
  • Working in funding
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • How charities are governed
  • Key features of charities, risks, challenges and benefits
  • Practicing partnerships, challenges and success
  • Charities working with people - service delivery
  • Policy and campaigning
  • International Development
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing and Communications including campaigns

Group Project

In addition to the sessions, the training will include experiential learning and group work projects set by industry professionals. This will give you the opportunity to work in small groups on a real life business challenge and put the content covered in the training sessions, into practice. You will be allocated time at the end of each training day to work on this. On the fourth and final day of training, each group will present their findings in front of a panel to receive feedback.

If selected, you will undertake a paid 35 hour internship in a role focused on charity and development work. These internships will be either part-time or full-time roles and take place between 26 June - 7 July 2023, after your training has been completed.  During your internship, you may be asked to work on a specific project, undertake a particular piece of work or carry out a range of tasks that will enable you to gain an insight into how the company and sector operate. 

Past internship hosts and roles in 2020 and 2021 included:

Headway Devon - Digital Marketing Assistant CAP UK - Fundraising and Marketing Assistant
Stop Abuse for Everyone - Social Media Intern Devon Community Foundation - Researcher and Editorial Assistant
CoLab Exeter - Communications and Data Analyst Style Acre - Fundraising Assistant
UppFutures - Social Media & Outreach Officer Balloons - Research Assistant
Step One Charity - Fundraising and Development Assistant Animals in Distress - Fundraising Assistant
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary - Philanthropy Officer Royal Osteoporosis Society - Fundraising Assistant
Pete's Dragons - Policy Development Assistant Exeter City Community Trust - Operations Assistant
Dartmoor Zoo - Marketing Assistant Living Options Devon - Marketing Assistant
Ambios - Network Researcher Charity Translators - Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Exeter Community Initiatives - Income Diversification Researcher Children's Sailing Trust - Marketing and Communications Assistant

If selected, a range of internship projects will be sent to you and you will be required to identify which projects you are most interested in. The internship opportunities on offer via the programme are likely to be a mix of in the workplace and remote-working roles. For internships undertaken in the workplace, you will need to arrange and fund your accommodation and travel expenses, however our aim will be to secure a number of opportunities local to the Exeter and Penryn campuses.

A matching process will then be completed in late May based on your application form and identified preferences. No guarantee can be made that you will be matched to your top preferences. You will be expected to make contact with your internship host prior to starting your internship. Full guidance will be given on this at the relevant time.

The salary of £11.42 per hour (inclusive of holiday pay) for this week long 35 hour internship will be paid by the University of Exeter.

For students who have gained a place on the programme, we have put together the following guide on Making the Most of Your Internship. We would recommend reading this prior to starting your Pathways internship to be fully prepared. The guide includes useful information on points to action before your first day, things to consider while in the role and what to do when your internship finishes.

If you would like to see where your fellow students have undertaken their Professional Pathways internship and read about their experiences on the programme, you can take a look at their blog posts here, by selecting the various Pathway programmes under the 'By Internship Scheme' drop-down menu at the top. 

Quotes from former Pathways to Charity & Development students: 

"I think the Charity Pathways is a fantastic programme that provides a real insight into the sector and also benefits the charities involved."

"An experience I was fortunate to have, especially in a role which would typically not be paid for! The training was a highlight and provided so much scope and depth into the charity sector that helped give me hope of a career in the charity sector!"

"I really enjoyed my time on the Pathways to Charity & Development programme! I feel I have learnt so much about the sector, and gained new skills that will help in my future career. I couldn't recommend it enough."

"The Pathways internship was a really great experience and has helped me feel more confident going forward into the workplace."

"My Professional Pathways internship was a great opportunity to learn more about the charity and development sector, and to develop skills that will be useful for my career. I thoroughly enjoyed it!"

"I really recommend applying to a Professional Pathways programme! It provides you with a great opportunity to explore future career interests and to develop your CV (whilst getting paid)! I have been able to gain a great insight into the Charity & Development Sector, which has been invaluable!"

"The Charity and Development Pathway Internship program was an excellent experience, which helped me to gain insight into possible future career pathways."

"My internship through Professional Pathways was a great way for me to gain practical skills that will help me in a career within charity and development. I was able to learn more about how non-profits research and secure funding, and contributed by writing grant applications."

"My experience on Pathways to Charity and Development was a rare opportunity to explore a sector I am interested in pursuing in the future which often at times is difficult to access. I now feel more confident exploring my future options!"

Elements of Pathways to Charity and Development align with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals.

If you would like to ask any questions, please contact the Pathways team at: