Skip to content

Careers Centre

Civil Service

About this sector

You can read information about role responsibilities, salary, working hours, what to expect, qualifications, skills, work experience, career prospects and related roles on the following Prospects Job Profiles:

You might also see other job profiles of interest in the public services and administration profiles page (which gives links to the 23 profiles in the sector).

There are many routes into the Civil Service, including the Fast Stream Graduate Programme and Fast Track Apprenticeship. There are also direct entry opportunities, as well as graduate programmes and apprenticeships offered by departments. Visit the Civil Service website and the Fast Stream website for ways to join.




How to gain experience/internships

Comparatively few formal opportunities exist for working in the government service during the vacations. 

The main recognised internship opportunities are as follows

Other ways to gain experience


How to get a (graduate) job

Fast Stream

Qualifications required

Nationality requirement

You must be a British citizen to apply for some posts, particularly those related to security and intelligence. Check on the individual scheme pages.


Main Stream/Direct Entry/Professional Entry Routes


Applications, interviews and assessment centres

Fast Stream deadlines


Fast Stream application process


Careers Centre resources


Relevant Postgraduate Study - is it a requirement?

The majority of schemes do not require relevant postgraduate study, although several offer the opportunity to study for a professional qualification.  You should check with the department/scheme you are interested in applying to for advice.


Key UK resources

Careers Centre resources


Use CareerConnect, your central careers hub, to:


General Civil Service-related careers information

The EU

EU-sample tests

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) sample tests can give you an idea of the type of questions and level of difficulty you will face in a competition.


International resources


The USA job market and recruitment timetables, for both internships and graduate jobs, for sectors of employment often differ from the UK.

The Careers Centre subscribes to the reputable independent USA careers information and vacancy provider Vault. The links below will take you directly to Vault subscription resources which cover this sector. You may find further useful and relevant resources linked from there as well.