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Further information

Employment Services 
Tel: 01392 722395

Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs)

Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs)

Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, the Internships Team are currently working with employers to ask that for the foreseeable future, all new and existing internships are conducted remotely i.e. working from home.  If you would like to get in touch with the team, we are now working remotely, undertaking normal working office hours, Monday-Friday, 9am -5pm, so please use email or call 01392 722617.

The Graduate Business Partnership scheme helps recent graduates secure full-time graduate roles, with supportive employers in the South West.

To receive a weekly update on the new jobs we are advertising, please sign up to the GBP vacancy e-bulletin.

To apply for each GBP role please complete this Internship Application Form and return it to


(If you are an employer, please visit our GBP employer facing page)

GBP Scheme Requirements

To be eligible to apply and undertake a GBP role you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Achieved* (or about to achieve) a full undergraduate degree (or Masters or PhD).
  • Graduated in the UK within the last 3 years of your most recent degree (we will consider extenuating circumstances of potential applicants that may have prevented them from undertaking a graduate role within 3 years of graduation).
  • Attended a British university (or spent time studying at a UK university through ERASMUS)
  • The University of Exeter is committed to developing an environment which promotes equality of opportunity, values diversity and inclusivity. 
    • The University of Exeter is a Disability Confident Employer, committed attracting and recruiting people with disabilities, and retaining and supporting staff with disabilities. If an applicant declares a disability and meets all the essential criteria, they will be invited to interview.  
    • We welcome applications from all eligible students and in particular those from the following underrepresented groups. Selection and recruitment itself will be entirely on merit alone unless there are multiple applicants demonstrating equal merit. In this clear circumstance, preference would be shown to applicants from under-represented groups. This is in line with lawful positive action measures under sections 158 and 159 of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Right to Work in the UK for the duration of the GBP internship evidenced by the ‌Intern Guidance- Proving Right to Work the UK. This can includes British citizens; individuals with an EU Pre-Settlement or EU-Settlement Status; and those with a Graduate Route Visa.
  • Current immigration legislation prevents the University to provide sponsorship certificates for GBP roles, as they do not meet the requirements for a Skilled Worker visa as explained on the International Student Support webpages.
  • All graduates need to reside in the UK whilst undertaking this role.
  • You cannot undertake another GBP role if the contract length in total exceeds the maximum duration of 23 months working as a GBP.

*To undertake a GBP role you must achieve your degree. In the unlikely scenario where a degree is not awarded, the GBP hours may be reduced to 15hrs a week (for undergraduates) or 6hrs a week (for postgraduates) to enable to the graduand the capacity to successfully complete their degree. If the graduand fails their degree the GBP role will end early.


You can view full details of the GBP vacancies in the Handshake system, by searching vacancies for GBP.

If you have not registered on Handshake as a graduate you can do so by clicking on these links:

You can also sign up to receive our weekly GBP vacancy e-bulletin with details of all the new vacancies.

How to Apply 

  • Consult Guidance on completing the application for tips on completing the Internship Application Form.
  • Read the full job details found in Handshake.
  • To apply please download and complete the attached Internship Application Form
  • Please insert the correct reference code on the application form: GBP XXXX
  • The University is a Disability Confident employer and as such this policy applies to recruitment through the Internship Schemes. Applicants who identify a disability on the application form will be offered an interview if their application demonstrates they meet the essential criteria. Please also include details of reasonable adjustments you may need for an interview or to undertake the role.
  • State why you would like to work for the employing organisation and why you think you would be a good candidate to undertake this role.
  • Use the STAR approach to evidence each requirement in the Person Specification.
  • When saving your Internship Application Form, please entitle it ‘your surname, your forename GBP XXXX’
  • Please send your completed application (not by OneDrive) to, with the reference code: GBP XXXX in the subject bar of your email, by the closing date.
  • View (Exeter graduates only) My Career Zone Digital resources on application and interview preparation at: Career Zone application and interview information:
  • For support (Exeter graduates only) you can book at appointment with a Careerzone Advisor by emailing (Exeter) / (Penryn).
  • If you have any questions, please email us at
  • Unless stated and relevant, interview expenses will not be paid.
  • Please check your online presence to ensure it represents you well, as some employers may undertake online research of their applicants.

The internships are in a wide range of sectors, including working in Higher Education; Advertising; Arts and Culture; Engineering; and Legal Services.

Types of internship vary, but usually cover a variety of roles, such as Marketing, IT, Web Development, PR, Technical, Environmental, Engineering, Market Research, Business Planning, Accounts and Sales.

The employers are often Small Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) or large organisations such as local Councils, the NHS and utility companies.

The internships are usually located in the South West of England, although occasionally we have opportunities further afield such as in London and the Midlands.

Most GBPs are approximately 36.5 hrs per week, Mon-Fri 9-5pm. Flexible working may be negotiated with your line manager, if your GBP is at the University of Exeter.

Most GBP internships are for 12 months. The shortest duration of a GBP internship is 2 months and longest is 23 months. Graduates are only permitted to work as a GBP for a maximum of 23 months, which can be in more than one role.

Graduates are paid a minimum of £19,217 per annum. This is a set rate of pay working at the University, but working for other companies and organisations you could be paid more.

For University of Exeter GBPs, your pay is subject to the annual cost of living increase which is reviewed in August, but often not agreed and implemented until the following January. If you are still an employee of the University at the point the pay rise comes in, you will receive an automatic back pay in your next pay cheque.

As a GBP working at the University of Exeter are entitled to the same benefits as other University staff.

Plus, any graduate recruited through the GBP scheme can access:

  • Career Mentor Scheme - The Career Mentor Scheme brings together a graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance. You will meet you mentor virtually or in-person once a month, over a 6-month period. There will be at least 360 mentoring opportunities advertised through the Handshake system from Monday 13th September until Friday 5th November, which are allocated on a first-come, first–served basis. You will need to apply for your chosen mentor and pass the simple application process, then undertake online career mentor training to prepare for your mentoring partnership. In December we will introduce you to your mentor and your partnership will officially run until May 2022.
  • Handshake - Handshake is an early careers network and careers management platform which allows graduates to discover employers and opportunities- including Career Mentor Scheme and Ask An Alum opportunities, submit applications, and attend career fairs and other events.  
  • Ask An Alum - Ask An Alum is a simple and reliable way to connect you with our University of Exeter alumni, to answer your careers questions, via a short email exchange. Over 4500 alumni signed up to the Ask An Alum, undertaking a variety of job roles and from a huge range of organisations, sectors, and countries. You don't need to have a set career in mind, just a desire to gather more information and gain insight into the careers you are considering. You can ask almost any type of careers related question. You can apply as many times as you like. There is no long term commitment, objectives, training or preparation needed to participate in Ask An Alum. Just fill out our quick and easy Ask An Alum Application Form (in term-time only) and you can be introduced to an alumni within a matter of days. Our only requirement is that you respond to the introduction as soon as possible and within 3 days! Ask An Alum opens for applications on Monday 20th September- Friday 10th December 2021.
  • Networks– You are a member of a network of graduates employed through the GBP scheme and at  any one time there are approxiamtely 120 graduates working as a GBP. As the GBP scheme was established in 1996, there have been hundreds of graduates who started their career through us. The networking opportunities include
  • Introductions:
    • to other current or former GBPs
    • to the Univeristy of Exeter’s local employers contacts
    • to Univeristy of Exeter’s national employers recruitment teams
  • Events:
    • Devon Graduate Careers Network – in-person monthly lunches and quarterly drinks- On hold until Autumn 2021
    • Cornwall Graduate Careers Network– in-person monthly lunches and quarterly drinks - On hold until Autumn 2021
  • Abintegro – Abintegro (formally known as My Career Zone), provides over 5000 employability resources for you t use- including careers assessment tool; IT Skills; Employability skills and the latest industry developments. Graduates of the University of Exeter will automatically have an account and can access it if you still have an active (extended) Exeter student email address. If not please email requesting renewed access to Abintegro using a new email address. Graduates from other universities who are participating in the GBP scheme can access Abintegro by sending an email to stating the first name, last name and personal email address so we can request a new account to be set up by our Abintegro Administrator.
  • Work Shadow Scheme – Bespoke work shadowing opportunities can be can be arranged at any time of the year*, by request. We offer to broker a work shadowing opportunity on your behalf using our network of local employers (including within the univeristy) for a half or full day. If this is to aid you to undertake your current role you can ask you line manager to take out of work (and still be paid) to undertake this opportunity. If it is to help you to develop your career only, then you can ask to be released from your duties, but your manager may ask you to take the time as annula leave or flexi. * Please note WSS opportunities are on hold until COVID restricions in the workplace are fully lifted.
  • Careers Guidance – You can meet our experienced Careers Consultants to discuss yuor next steps after yuor GBP role by emailing (if based in devon) or (if based in Cornwall) explaining you are a GBP and wish to make an appointment. 


Before you begin your new role you will need to read the guide on Making the Most of your Internship

When you begin your internship you will undertake an Induction to set you up as an employee and introduce you to the work, your colleagues and organisation. At the University GBPs will undertake the University Induction. If you are working for another organisation please work through the Internship Induction Checklist.

Graduates working at the University (or working for the University seconded to DCC/ECC or RAMM) you will need to undertake the University's mandatory training. This can be accessed using your new staff IT details and by Logging in to LearnUpon. If you encounter problems you may need to wait a few days whilst your staff IT details are recognised on the training platform. If access problems still continue please raise a ticket by using the SID Online system.  Log in and start a “New Enquiry”, choosing 'Mandatory Training General Enquiry' from the “Category” drop down list. 

Requests for exemption from the essential training will be considered only in exceptional circumstances e.g. when the internship is for one week only. Unfortunately HR will not accept similar training with a host organisation as a reason for an exemption fom the University's essential training. To apply for an exemption please:

  • Log into the SID Online system.
  • Start a New Enquiry”, choosing "Mandatory Training Dispensation" (not the Mandatory Training General Enquiry) from the “Category” drop down list.
  • Dispensations must be sought on behalf of a member of staff, associate or casual worker by the line manager or requester (or an individual must attach an email to the enquiry from their line manager explaining why dispensation is being requested).  Dispensation can be requested for individual courses or for multiple courses.
  • For all other courses please refer to the Table of Mandatory training and contact the course sponsor / owner directly with your request.
  • Please note, the People Development Team can not authorise dispensations.


Please see benefits section for learning and developmnet opportunities open to you as a graduate recruited through the GBP scheme. 

Devon and Cornwall Graduate Careers Network

The Devon Graduate Careers Network is a friendly and informal community for recent graduates to achieve their career ambitions, make professional contacts and meet likeminded people.

The DGCN is open to any recent graduate (graduated from any UK university within the last 3 years) who is seeking a graduate role or already undertaking a GBP position.

We meet once a month for a free pizza lunch (for 1 hour) at the University of Exeter Streatham Campus and once a quarter for 1 ½ hours drinks in Exeter City Centre. We will facilitate the networking by placing you in small groups and posing a couple of optional careers related questions. We will also provide information about career events, activities and upcoming graduate roles. Plus we will have a careers consultant on hand. At the evening events, we will also have short presentations from current and former GBPs.

Upcoming dates for your diary:

The University is currently closed – all upcoming events have been suspended for now.

If you would like to see where your fellow graduates have undertaken Graduate Business Partnerships and learn about the roles they have performed, take a look at our case studies.

The ‌following terms and conditions set out by the University must be met by the intern, the employer and the University:

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