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Career Development for Sustainability

Career Development for Sustainability

Career Development for Sustainability

Career Development for Sustainability

The Career Zone enables students from any discipline and any year of study to develop their skills and gain experiences in the sustainability sector. We use a broad definition of sustainability, encompassing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace to recycling, waste and water audits. Students are able to engage at three levels; Dip - short interactions, Dabble – exploring the issues, Dive – developing and utilising practical skills and gaining experiences. Students who engage with this agenda are able to Thrive as graduates either in the sustainability sector, or taking their skills and behaviours to other areas of employment.

Many of these opportunities count towards The Exeter Awardan employability achievement award for current undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. The University's Sustainability Team have lots of initiatives and opportunities to engage with the sector. The United Nations has Sustainable Development Goals which you can research for more information.


Access to hundreds of alumni (graduates) able to answer your questions on the sector or employer you are interested in working with when you graduate.‌

More than 10% employers at Fairs in Streatham and Penryn are related to the Sustainability sector.  Our fairs are paperless fairs to make our provision more sustainable.

In each episode, staff from the Career Zone discuss careers related topics that‘s on students‘ minds right now. Our goal is to help prepare you for life and work after University, offering quality assistance and advice throughout your course, and for as long as you need it after Graduation.

We’ll help you with a wide range of enquiries, such as: CV and application form advice, booking 1:1 appointments, advice on finding work experience, graduate jobs, or postgraduate study, guidance for interviews and assessment centres, helping you decide which of our free workshops and events will be right for you.

There are a variety of sustainability related episodes including 'Top tips for securing a role in the Green Sector' and 'Careers for Social Justice'. Listen now on Spotify and iTunes

A personal and professional development course for first years that will help you to think about what you want from your future, and identify practical steps to help get you there. You will cover topics including entrepreneurial thinking, growth mind-sets, sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion, commercial awareness and the fourth industrial revolution throughout this interactive programme. 

Careers in the environmental and sustainability sector are bcoming increasingly popular. Sustainability covers sustainable working practices such as workforce resilience, wellbeing and corporate social responsibility. Through the Award you can explore the skills and experiences you may need to succeed in a career in the green sector. You can find out more about the Sustainability Theme on the Exeter Award webpages.


Matching you with an experienced professional to facilitate one-to-one careers advice over the course of a six month relationship and have included mentors from the Met Office, NHS, Devon County Council and the RSPB. 

Many employers come to campus to promote their organisation and encourage students to apply for their graduate roles, a large proportion of these are related to sustainability. Examples include, 'Careers in Sustainability and Environmental Protection' with speakers from the Environment Agency and SW Woodlands Trust.

Personal and professional development experiential skill sessions run throughout the year. All of the topics align with the SDGs.

Sessions include:

Personal Resilience, Time and Stress Management Strategies and Assertiveness & Understanding Behaviour all count towards the Exeter Award and are two hour skills sessions giving you the opportunity to dip your toe into different topics and areas of interest. To search for your next available event, please visit Handshake.

Enterprise education and business start-up support from which many successful social enterprises and sustainability related businesses have been developed.


The Aspiring Educators programme is a combination of guidance sessions, online resources and opportunities to gain education-based experience and has been designed to help you to gain an insight into the education and teaching sector. Aimed at students looking to explore the education and teaching sector.

Future17 is a new global initiative between the University of ExeterQS and a consortium of leading international universities.

It is a module designed to support students to develop the skills needed to collaboratively tackle 21st Century global challenges through working with professionals to create pathways for innovative solutions to real-world issues associated with one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Find out more about the Future 17 programme

The Global Leaders Experience is an exciting opportunity to boost your global and intercultural skills as part of a week-long immersive experience. Varying in topic and theme, you will spend your week visiting a fascinating international city and be presented with challenges not ordinarily faced in the UK. You will be submerged into the local area and partnered with an NGO, charity or social enterprise to work together to create meaningful solutions to real-life challenges.

- WACE Global Challenge is a sustainability strategy program that aims to solve social issues, profitably. In this 4-week virtual program, students will team up in groups of multidisciplinary cross-cultural teams and work collaboratively to solve a real industry challenge for an Industry Client - which could be a Start-Up, NGO (Non-Government Organisation) or Corporate Client.

- Immersive Trails Digital Heritage 2023 offers you the opportunity to not only study your local heritage, but also create real-world, long-term outreach initiatives in the form of heritage scavenger hunts.

- Gateways to Careers: Nature Netwoek ProgrammeThis programme gives you the opportunity to experience first-hand the skills required for the Rewilding sector in both an in-person and online learning environment.  

- Gateway to Careers: Social Impact ProgrammeIn the summer of 2023, the University of Exeter will once again be partnering with the School for Social Entrepreneurs to deliver a programme enabling students to gain experience and a better understanding of what it’s like to work within a social enterprise. 

An inter-disciplinary, enquiry led learning experience which helps students develop their employability by exploring 21 Century issues with a strong focus on sustainability, for example, Climate and Environment Emergency, Mental Health and Future Food.

» Grand Challenges

» Challenges Online (2020-21)

Our multi-award winning programme offers students the opportunity to attend skills based training, develop project management and behavioural changes skills, deliver an on-campus project and undertake an internship. Aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in the environment and sustainability sectors.  Feedback from industry shows that this gives our students the competitive edge for many roles in the green sector.

The Professional Pathways programme is a suite of sector specific training courses and paid 35 hour internships. Training is delivered by industry experts, to provide you with a firm grounding in the relevant sector. Following the employer-led training, you will undertake a paid 35 hour internship. Please see the individual pages below for further information.

Enabling students to gain direct, relevant experience and develop their knowledge and experience of sustainability.

» Internships

» Credit-bearing placements such as Treeconomics, Planethub and ClearLead Consulting.


Each year, hundreds of our graduates enter professions that are directly related to sustainability, from Ecologists, Sustainability Officers, Recycling Officers, and Conservation Planners to Wellbeing Officers and Historical Building Inspectors. Hundreds more use the skills and experiences they have developed in a different sector, but continue to apply the behaviours and skills they have learnt.  You can find out more careers in Sustainability via the our Careers Research webpages.

‘Green Consultants has been an absolutely fantastic opportunity. It has given me the change to gain real, professional experience, the drive and the confidence to pursue a career in this sector.’ Modern Languages Graduate.

Visit Handshake to find out what jobs and placements are currently available.