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Pathways to Charity and Development

Pathways to Charity and Development offers employers the opportunity to work with University of Exeter students keen to start their careers in this sector.

In June 2024, a total of approximately 25 successful students, selected from a range of disciplines and year groups, will undertake four days of experiential learning delivered by industry experts, followed by completing a 35 hour fully-funded internship with a UK organisation in the Charity and Development sector.

"There is nothing but positive things to say about the Pathways Programme; it enabled us to work through a project that we wouldn't normally have capacity to address in a professional and enthusiastic manner. Well worth the small amount of time it took to organise." (Matt Merriam, CoLab)

Employers can get involved in a Professional Pathway programme by:

  • delivering a 1-hour training session 
  • providing a business project for students to work on during the training
  • offering a 35 hour internship

If you are a current student, please see our Pathways to Charity and Development student page.

We will be delivering the training element of the programme on our Streatham Campus in Exeter between 17 - 20 June 2024. The training is designed to give students an insight into the sector, covering as many areas as possible while also providing them with the opportunity to meet professionals working in the charity and development sector.

We regularly work with a number of organisations who deliver a 1 hour session for us each year. For reference, please see below the schedule from our 2023 Pathways to Charity & Development training programme. If you would be interested in delivering a session and have a suggestion for a different topic not covered below, we would be happy to hear from you at:

Schedule from our 2023 programme:

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)

As part of the training days (17 - 20 June 2024), students will work on a group project which will be a sector-related business challenge set by an employer. This enables students to apply the knowledge and skills gained in their training to a set task and could be of interest for any organisations/businesses with currently under resourced projects. Students will spend 2 - 3 hours per day from Monday - Wednesday to work on the project together before presenting their findings on the Thursday, the final day of the training. If possible, we'd be keen for employers who have submitted a project to attend the presentation day and be on the panel as this is a valuable learning experience for students to present back to the employer, plus a great opportunity for you to hear the students' findings and suggestions first hand and ask any follow-up questions. Presentations will take place on our Streatham Campus, Exeter on Thursday 20 June 2024 between roughly 10am - 1pm.

Ideally you would be offering a project alongside hosting an intern as we would then put your matched student intern(s) into the group allocated your submitted project. Your intern would therefore start their internship with you having already gained some initial knowledge of your organisation and area of work and can hopefully hit the ground running when they start their internship with you. Please note, the project task will need to be different to the submitted internship project, however it could tie in and be a good opportunity for your matched student(s) to work on some of the ground work before their internship. 

If you think you can provide a group project, please do get in touch with the team at or you can express your interest in providing a project within the employer vacancy form when submitting an internship opportunity.

Please note, we have now reached the maximum number of internship opportunities we are able to fund via this year's Pathways to Charity & Development programme and are therefore closed. To register your interest for our 2025 Professional Pathways programme, please email the team at

The role or project must:

  • Be within the charity and development sector
  • Use undergraduate level skills, knowledge and/or experience.
  • Aid career development
  • Include tasks and responsibilities normally associated with a graduate level position
  • Provide training and support
  • Be a total of 35 hours and be undertaken either part-time or full-time between 24 June - 5 July 2024.

All students will go through a rigorous recruitment and selection process conducted by the University, to ensure we select the best candidates.

Students successful in gaining a place on the programme, will be presented with all the internships opportunities on offer and asked to identify their preferences. We will make the final decision of who will be matched to your opportunity and as such, your organisation will not need to undertake any recruitment or selection process of our students.

Once we have identified the most suitable intern for you, we will send you their details in May 2024. We very much hope that you will be satisfied with our selection, however if for any reason this is not the case, you will have the opportunity to withdraw from the scheme. Unfortunately, at this stage of the recruitment process, we will not be able to find a replacement intern. 

We ask that all employer hosts work through a basic induction with their new intern(s). You are welcome to complete your own induction or you may wish to use the Professional Pathways Internship induction checklist we have put together. You can download this checklist here: Pathways induction checklist

We have also put together some notes of guidance for employers hosting an intern via the Professional Pathway programme. You can view these here: Employer Host Notes of Guidance

We ask employers to set clear objectives for their intern(s) and be available to provide information and guidance throughout the 35 hour internship. 

The Professional Pathways Team will be available during the internship to support you and your intern(s) should this be required. 

At the end of the internship, we ask that you please complete the Employer Feedback Form. This will be emailed to you shortly after the end of the internship and your comments will be taken into account during our evaluation exercise.

All parties (the employer, the University and the student), must adhere to the Student Secondment Agreement. This agreement ensures the student is committed to the internship and both the employer and the University understand the remit of their duty of care for the student. This document must be signed by all three parties before the internship can begin.

Hear from employers who have previously hosted an intern via our Pathways to Charity and Development programme: 

"Our social media has never looked so good! The support we received from our intern was responsive and high quality and has already made a big difference to our operations." (Lucy Skye, Stop Abuse for Everyone) 

"The Professional Pathways team connected me to three interns via the programme. Each intern was a self-starter, dedicated and enthusiastic. The Professional Pathways team did an exceptional job of matching the interns to my proposed project and I was blown away by the results from the students." (Sammy Howard, RSPCA Cornwall Branch)

"I would wholeheartedly recommend that any employer considers engaging with the Professional Pathways programme at the University of Exeter. The students selected to take part in the scheme are hard workers with great initiative and always provide a useful and fresh perspective when approaching tasks and projects. Our intern achieved something in just 35 hours that we have been hoping to do for the past few months, but haven't had the time." (Jack Watts, Prostate Cancer UK)

"The University of Exeter Professional Pathways programme provides task-ready students into our world of work. The University provides well motivated students who are ready and willing to take on and see through challenging tasks. The programme has been of great benefit to us as a not-for-profit with more tasks than people to complete them. These internships provide a significant contribution to our operational mission." (Simon Roper, Ambios) 

"At Exeter City Community Trust we would highly recommend charities (and other organisations) of all sizes to participate in the Professional Pathways programme. The format of the programme - and the standard of organisation - is first class, and the opportunity to work collaboratively with a range of truly exceptional students is of real value to all involved." (Will Barrett, Exeter City Community Trust)

"We really enjoyed taking part in the Professional Pathways programme this year. Our intern made a real impact to our work and highlighted areas that could help us drive our charity forward." (Emma Platt, The Mare and Foal Sanctuary)

"[Our intern] has been an invaluable asset to the team during her time at Killerton. I would highly recommend the Professional Pathways programme to any other employers." (Claire Houghton Ward, National Trust Killerton) 

"An excellent way of demonstrating to students that working in the charity sector can enable someone to work in a way that aligns with their values, brings personal fulfillment and plays an important part of building cohesive, connected and engaged communities." (Fiona Carden, CoLab Exeter)