Graduate opportunities to work at the British Council

What's it all about?

Every year the British Council gives thousands of people the opportunity to experience life in a completely different culture. Working in over 100 countries we help connect millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in the English language, the Arts, Education and Society. But none of that would be possible without our network of global offices, and we’re always looking out for fresh talent to bring new ideas to the team.

Our entry-level roles and development schemes help us recruit the best and most ambitious people, through a variety of opportunities – from UK-based roles in Arts and Education to global early careers programmes. You can keep up-to-date with all our latest vacant positions by signing up to alerts on our global jobs portal.

What is the British Council Future Leaders Scheme?

The British Council Future Leaders Scheme is a three year programme that aims to develop the next generation of globally mobile cultural relations leaders –  a pool of culturally aware, diverse professionals who are passionate about our work and very importantly: globally mobile. Our three year development programme consists of international work experience through a series of rotational placements (the location of your placements will be decided once you have joined the organisation).

It’s about learning our business and being challenged at the same time. You will spend your first six months in the UK taking part in a thorough induction programme that should give you the best possible grounding for your international career with us. You will then join a specific country team and work with a dedicated line manager, contributing to real projects across all of our areas of work, building your cultural relations skill set whilst really adding value to our organisation. We support your development through focusing on three key areas: learning by experience, learning through others, and formal training. During the three year programme it will be up to you to take advantage of the British Council’s unique international network and these experiences to establish yourself for an overseas career in the organisation.

We have decided to take a break in recruitment in 2016 for our Future Leaders Scheme. This is an opportunity for us to ensure we have the best scheme design for the future needs of our organisation and for the participants on the scheme.  Please take a look at our jobs portal and our Study Work Create platform for other international opportunities with the British Council.

The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.

Am I eligible?

We will not be recruiting for the Future Leaders Scheme in 2016. The following is the core cirteria for the scheme when it returns:

  • Achieved at least a 2:1 or equivalent from any degree discipline
  • Graduated within the last 5 years (inclusive of Masters degrees)
  • A minimum of 3 years work experience (essential) ideally with some experience in an international, partnerships, commercial or digital context (desirable not essential). Please note this can be accumulative work experience and does not have to be post graduate
  • Have achieved at least Grade C or equivalent in Maths and English
  • Be a UK passport holder
  • Be willing to be globally mobile and passionate about an international career in multiple locations
  • Be fluent in English and be capable and willing to learn one of the following languages: Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese
  • Be available for assessment centre on any day W/C 3 October

What they say

'I graduated from the University of Bath in 2011, having studied International Management and French. To be completely honest, upon leaving university, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do next. But I knew that working for a respected organisation that did good work across cultures was of importance to me. I saw an exciting opportunity to teach English in Quebec, with the British Council, so decided to take it on.

It was in Canada that I became aware of the diverse and fascinating work the British Council does, all around the globe. It was right up my street and I wanted to get involved, so I applied for the 2012 graduate scheme. Since joining, I have had the joy of working in the arts sector, developing partnership with a wide range of other organisations, across dozens of countries. My work has allowed me to not only travel extensively – to South Africa, Spain and Canada to name a few – it has also given me the opportunity to work on unusual and exciting projects, helping me develop business skills and knowledge I couldn’t find elsewhere.

 I am currently heading up our country operations in South Sudan. Working for the British Council has been a real adventure so far, you never know what opportunities are round the corner!'

-  Alex, graduate intake 2012, currently based in South Sudan

You can find experiences of other Future Leaders on the Inspirations page. 

What other entry-level positions are available?

Our entry-level positions can be found all over the world and cover a wide variety of business sectors. For a full list of vacancies, please see the External section on our jobs website.

If there’s nothing currently available then it’s worth signing up for Vacancy Alerts so you’ll be the first to know if anything new comes up. You can adjust the settings to suit what you’re looking for, so you won’t be bombarded with jobs you aren’t interested in.

 We’ve created a useful guide (PDF) to help you through the process.