Graduate programmes

Graduate programmes are a great way to begin your career, where you can expect responsibility and exposure from day one and all the support and learning you need.

At a glance
  • To be eligible you'll be graduating this academic year or have graduated already
  • Programmes typically last 1-3 years
  • Broad range of business areas to suit your interests and qualifications
  • Structured development and career path

Graduate programmes are suitable if you've completed, or are in your final year of, your degree. They give you a very structured development and career path that's usually aligned to a business or type of role, with the view to hopefully securing a permanent role at the end of the programme. Programmes typically last from between 18 months to three years depending on the pathway and the company.

Graduate programmes are very competitive so it's important to know the application timelines and not wait to the last minute. Sometimes programmes close early due to application volumes. Companies may only offer one intake a year, usually in September to join the following year, others offer multiple entry points through the year. The best way to know is to check their careers website.

To find out about graduate programmes, as well as company websites, there's a number of organisations that showcase options for graduates, such as Prospects.

Employers often attend graduate recruitment events either on university or college campuses, or remotely via virtual careers fairs, so it's worth checking with your careers services when these happen. You'll get to meet with employers, often current or former graduates, and find out more about their programmes and application process.

For information on NatWest Groups graduate programmes, how to apply and how to prepare, you can visit our careers website.

Next steps

Once you've explored all the options and found one, or even a few, that interest you, it's time to apply. The process will vary between organisations. Some will ask you to simply sign up - more likely in volunteering or work experience, whereas others will have a more formal application process with CVs, cover letters and interviews required. If you're looking for any advice on the application process, we've got you covered. Check out our resources to help you build or improve on your CV and make sure you've seen our top tips on how to ace that interview.

How to create a stand-out CV
Interview guide