Professional Pathways to Charity and Development

What is Pathways to Charity and Development?

*Update on Professional Pathways programme - March 2020*:

Students shortlisted for the 2020 Professional Pathways programme will have been notified accordingly of changes we are making. If you are interested in applying for the 2021 programme, please register your interest here and we will be in touch later in the year with further details. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team at Please be aware that during these exceptional circumstances, there may be a delay in the team responding to enquiries and we thank you in advance for your patience.

Based on a growing number of students showing an interest in the Charitable and Development Sector, the University of Exeter has teamed up with local charities and development organisations to deliver a 4-day training course followed by a paid week-long internship. 

The interactive programme comprises of 3 key elements:

  • Employer-led training - 4 days of intensive technical and employability training.
  • Group project - You will work in small groups to apply your learning to a real life business project during the training period.
  • Paid internship - You will be assigned an organisation where you will undertake a 1 week paid internship. 

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
  • Learn in an interactive and experiential environment
  • Work with students from different year groups, subjects and levels of degree
  • Be inspired by experienced professionals
  • Gain confidence in your abilities
  • Develop your career plan
  • Apply newly acquired learning to a group project as part of the training
  • Culminates in an essential work experience, undertaking a paid internship with local leaders in charity and development
  • This activity counts towards the Exeter Award
  • Receive a certificate and reference

You must be a current University of Exeter student when you apply for the programme. 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. Students from any campus can apply for this pathway.

You must have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the professional pathways i.e. it covers both the training and the internship week. If you are called to the selection assessment centre you will be asked to bring evidence of your right to work status.

If you are interested in applying for the 2021 programme, please register your interest here and we will be in touch later in the year with further details.

The successfully selected students will undertake 4 days of intensive training delivered by industry experts at the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus. 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.

Training takes the format of multiple sessions including experiential learning, and culminating in group work projects set by industry professionals.  The training should equip you with vital industry knowledge, sector specific information, support to improve your employability and an opportunity to hone your networking skills.

Previous sessions have included: 

  • Volunteer management
  • Working in funding
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • How charities are governed
  • Key features of charities, risks, challenges and benefits
  • Practicing partnerships, challenges and success

Group Project

Working within small groups, you will apply your training to a real-life business challenge during the training week. On the final day of the programme your group will deliver a presentation to a panel of judges made up of industry partners and University of Exeter staff.

If selected, you will undertake a week-long internship provided by an organisation in the third sector. These internships will take place after your training has been completed. During your internship week 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 in 2018 included:

  • Farms for City Children
  • CoLab Exeter
  • Living Options Devon
  • Brain in Hand
  • Ambios
  • Rethink Mental Illness

The salary of £10.42 per hour (inclusive of holiday pay) for this week long (35 hour) internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. You will need to fund the accommodation and travel expenses for the internship week.

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. You will need to consider your travel and accommodation arrangements when ranking your preferences.

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 preference. You will be expected to make contact with your internship host prior to starting your internship.

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 team on