Skip to main content

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 2024. 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 (17 - 20 June 2024)
  • 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 24 June - 5 July 2024)

"The Pathways to Charity and Development programme has highly increased my knowledge of the charity sector and helped to progress my future career endeavours. The training helped to provide me with the necessary knowledge and skills to be applied to my internship and was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience." (Florence, BA English - Pathways 2023 cohort)

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

Hear from Beth, a former Pathways student on our Charity & Development programme, on what you can gain from the experience:

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 in June/July 2024 (please note, students graduating in Summer 2024 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 a 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 (RTW)

  • You must have the right to work in the UK at the point the Professional Pathways programme commences in June 2024 and this must cover both the training and the internship taking place into July 2024. 
  • In order to expedite the right to work checking process, 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 at the point the programme commences in June 2024 and this must cover both the training and the internship taking place into July 2024. 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.

Applications for our 2024 programmes are now closed.

Professional Pathways takes place annually and applications for our 2025 programme will open around November 2024. Please note, the training and internships will take place in June and July 2025 and you would need to be a current student at this point to be eligible to apply.

The successfully selected students will attend a four day training programme, delivered by industry experts between 17 - 20 June 2024. The training will take place on our Streatham campus in 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.


When applying, please think carefully about your accommodation situation during the training dates and the internship period. If successful in gaining a place on the programme, you will need to be in commutable distance to the Streatham campus in Exeter to attend all the training days. For successful Cornwall campus students only, we will look to secure and fund accommodation in Exeter from Sunday to Thursday morning to cover the training dates. We will also provide a contribution of up to £75 towards travel expenses to and from Cornwall to Exeter for the training.

If you are on a year-abroad, year-in-industry, first year student with an accommodation contract ending prior to the training dates, or a student who will not have accommodation for any other reason during the training period, it will be your responsibility to arrange this. Please note, you may be able to apply for up to a £200 bursary from the university to support any accommodation costs.

Training schedule: 

Please see below the training sessions from our 2023 Pathways to Charity & Development programme. While the schedule is subject to changes each year, it is likely many of these topics will once again be covered in sessions:

Training session topic: Organisation/Speaker delivering training:
Fundraising University of Exeter Global Advancement Team

Marketing and Communications

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary
From Pathways Student to a Career in the Charity Sector Alzheimer's Society
How Charities are Governed Hospiscare

Practicing Partnership: Challenges & Success in the Voluntary Community and SE Sector

CoLab Exeter
Working in Funding Save the Children
Volunteer Management National Trust 
Insights into Charity fundraising including journey from Exeter student to Director of Fundraising & Comms at a national charity Philanthropy and Fundraising Consultant
Humanitarianism, the humanitarian system and what it's like to work in the sector Humanitarian Adviser (Humanitarian & Stabilisation Operations Team, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)

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.

Hear from some of our Pathways 2023 cohort on their experience of completing the training week:

Watch some highlights from our 2022 Professional Pathways training:

If selected onto the programme, you will undertake a paid 35 hour internship with a charity, voluntary organisation, social enterprise or community interest company (CIC) and within a role focused on charity or development work. These internships will be either part-time or full-time roles and take place between 24 June - 5 July 2024, 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. 

Once selected, a range of internship projects will be sent to you and you will be required to identify which roles you are most interested in. The internship opportunities on offer via the programme will be a mix of in the workplace, remote-working and hybrid 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. For remote-working roles, you must be based in the UK for the duration of the internship due to tax regulations.

A matching process will 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 £13.45 per hour (includes £12.00 basic hourly rate + £1.45 holiday pay) for this 35 hour internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. 

Past internship hosts and roles in 2022 and 2023 included:

Headway Devon - Fundraising and Media Intern

Action for ME - Stakeholder Engagement Assistant

Save the Children - Shifting Power and Locally-Led Action Intern

Alzheimer's Society - Individual Giving Assistant Intern

Devon Community Foundation - Communications Assistant

Farms for City Children - Social Media Analyst

CoLab Exeter - Urban Academy Researcher

Chime Hearing Foundation - Marketing Development Assistant

First Light South West - Fundraising Marketing Assistant (Legacy Plan and Community Fundraisers)

UppFutures - Marketing, Strategy and Development Officer

Balloons - Fundraising Research Assistant

Prostate Cancer UK Individual Giving Assistant

GiftTech Social Media Marketing Intern

Exeter Historic Buildings Trust - Legacy and Fundraising Assistant

RSPCA Cornwall - Fundraising Researcher

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary - Digital Officer 

Clean Ocean Sailing - Data and Funding Assistant 

The South West Coast Path Association - Fundraising Assistant 

Autism HampshireCommunity Services Projects Intern 

Exeter City Community Trust - Charity Development Intern

Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum - Marketing Assistant 

SupershoesAmbassador & Influence Intern; Fundraising Intern and Fundraising Pack Intern

St Sidwell's Community CentreInternal Policy Assistant

YMCA Exeter - Research Assistant

Step One Charity - Fundraising Intern

Youth Mental Health Foundation - Research and Development Assistant 

Royal Osteoporosis Society - Fundraising Assistant

Exeter Community Initiatives - Income Diversification Researcher

Diverse Devon Together - Project Co-ordinator Intern

Camphill Village Trust - Digital Content Assistant

We recognise that with rising costs, the cost of living is very high, and we are therefore looking to try and support students where we can. For those students that meet Widening Participation (WP) criteria and are successful in gaining a place on the programme, you may be eligible to apply for up to a £100 travel bursary to support costs related to your Professional Pathways internship. You will need to have been matched to an internship involving some time spent in the workplace (fully workplace based or hybrid working). Please note, we will have limited funding available and where students are eligible, more information will be provided following the internship matching stage.

If you wish to check your WP eligibility, you can visit the Widening Participation (WP) funding page for full criteria and details, or contact us at if you have any questions. 

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. There are also some blog posts written by employers to give their perspective on hosting a University of Exeter student on an internship!

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: