Your Master's degree is going to a busy year, as you do your uni work, learn the differences between undergraduate and postgraduate, build new transferable and technical skills and figure out what you’d like to next year.  

This journey planer has been broken up across the year to help you work through your own career process. Each tab has ideas to help you explore different options and some are linked to the application dates for both jobs and PhDs in the UK. Large companies and many funded PhDs recruit between September and December, up to a year in advance of you starting your position. Visit our application timelines webpage for more information and take particular notice of the Before you start and the autumn term tabs below. 

Master's career journey

Before you start

While you should enjoy your holidays and relax before you begin your Master's programme, sometime a small amount of planning, while you have a bit more time, can help you get a head start on your year. Here are some starting points: 

  • Most of the careers service website is open access, meaning you can view it now without the need to log in. Explore this Career Planning section in full and start to work on your own Plan: Me to help you make the most of your year. 
  • Explore the Imperial Success Guide for Masters which is packed with tips and links to help you better understand Imperial and your Master's programme. 
  • Keep checking your email so you don’t miss out on the series of offer holder emails which are filled with useful ideas and information both from your department and from Imperial centrally. 
  • In early September the Careers Service will run online live sessions to help you understand how to make the most of our services and plan your career. These will be advertised to offer holders in an Imperial email. 
  • Also in early September you will have access to the Attributes and Aspirations (AA) short course. AA helps you to build transferable skills, plan your career and adjust to life as a masters student at Imperial. It includes modules on Imperial life and how to make the most of your masters which are designed to be completed before you start at Imperial. 
  • To get a head start on your networking, set up or update your LinkedIn profile, there is a unit that covers this in Attributes and Aspirations.

Autumn term

Autumn term is when large companies run their graduate recruitment and when funded PhD are advertised. It’s also when the majority of the careers fairs run and there are a lot of chances to interact with your potential future employers. Here are some ideas: 

  • You’ll be able to log into your Jobslive account which is where you can view, book and access careers events and appointments. Sign up to the weekly events email and check your settings so you receive information on the topics you’re interested in. 
  • Many careers fair or employer events happen as soon as university begins in October, so add these to your diary and register to attend as necessary. 
  • Work through the Career related modules on Attributes and Aspirations where you’ll learn more about explaining your motivation for doing a role or a PhD and how to explore careers related to your degree. 
  • Attend a Careers Essential or Careers Lab to learn about the basics of applications and interviews. 
  • International student? Know your rights and understand how your visa status can be explained to potential future employers. 
  • Attend sessions that cover a range of careers and other topics from the Graduate School. 
  • Got a lot going on and not sure how to organise it all? Why not do the Time Management module of Attributes and Aspirations where you’ll get simple, practical support. 

Spring term

During spring term you maybe preparing for interviews, waiting on interview results or beginning your job hunt for roles with smaller organisations or considering your career as a whole. Below are some resources to help: 

  • Practice for interviews with support from the ShortlistMe mock interview tool. 
  • Start to explore smaller organisations that work in the industry your interested in. You’ll find links to professional organisations and companies specific to your department on the What can I do with my degree webpage. 
  • Thinking about working internationally? Explore different countries and roles via Going Global. 
  • International student? Know your rights and understand how your visa status can be explained to potential future employers. 
  • Networking is key in both academia and industry. Improve your skills by visiting our networking section, doing the networking unit in Attributes and Aspirations, or attending a session run by the Graduate School. 
  • Begin to make speculative applications for roles with smaller organisations. 
  • Not sure what to do with your future? Make an appointment via jobslive to talk to a careers consultant. 
  • Want to improve your communication and teamworking skills? Check out the module of that name in Attributes and Aspirations. 
  • Trying to decide if you should accept a job offer? Here are some tools to consider when evaluating job offers

Summer term

Over summer term many masters students are involved in projects, presenting finding and writing up thesis. If you are looking for a job with the smaller organisation or a non-graduate programme job, you can begin this process now as most companies expect a two - four month gap between advertising a role and having their new employee start. It is also the time when you may realise you want your career to head in a different direction than you originally thought, or the first time you consider your next steps. Use the ideas below alongside other mentioned in the other tabs on this webpage. 

  • Stuck for ideas on what to do next? See what past Imperial graduates do - though using Imperials graduate outcome data.  
  • Many smaller organisations and some of the bigger companies will begin to advertise jobs. Make sure you’re searching the right places by exploring the department specific links on the What can I do with my degree webpages. 
  • Check your CV is showing that you match the roles you’re applying for through the online CV checker 'My CVs' via JobsLive. 
  • Considering how to best prepare for your PhD or new job? The Attributes and Aspirations next steps modules can help you make the move more smoothly. 


The careers service remains available to you for three years after you graduate, allowing you time to explore and experiment with what could be your first steps into a career. Here is how to make the most of that. 

  • If you have left Imperial, register as an Alumni for full access to Jobslive to find Careers appointments, events, seminars and job vacancies. 
  • If you have remained at Imperial to do a PhD, visit the careers journey for PhD page to continue your career development. If you’re doing a PhD at a different university be sure to ask what extra support they have for you there. 
  • Join the Imperial Alumni association to stay in touch with Imperial and take advantage of the many benefits they offer. 
  • 15 months after you graduate you will be asked to complete a national survey about what you have gone on to do after your degree. Keep your details up to date.