The graduate entry schemes are the Fast Stream for central government and the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) for local government.

They aim to select the top managers of the future. During the two-year programmes you do three or four different jobs, combined with training courses. You will become a junior manager very quickly.

Example jobs

Deputy court manager
In charge of the day-to-day running of a magistrate’s court and supervising the staff who work there.

Corporate financial analyst
Part of a team looking at budgets within the department.

Immigration officer
Deciding whether or not non-UK passport holders should be allowed to enter the country.

Collecting and preparing data to help ministers make decisions.

Education policy officer
Planning local schools budgets and future demand for school places.

Things you need to know

Typical working conditions

  • Your work will be mainly office-based, although you may run a call centre or benefits office, for example.
  • You will need to travel to meetings.
  • Be prepared to move anywhere in the UK.

Qualifications needed

You will need a degree to get onto the graduate schemes. If you want to be a specialist civil servant, you will need a relevant degree, for example in IT, economics or engineering. For European Union civil service jobs you will need French or German A level.

Career path

As a graduate entrant, you can expect to reach a senior management role. After the two-year programme, you will take a junior management role. You can progress to more senior roles as you gain experience. You may move to different departments or local authorities to gain promotion or widen your experience.

Useful links

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National Graduate Development Programme

A two-year programme run by the Local Government Association

Civil Service Fast Stream

Fast track careers in the civil service


Read a job profile for a civil service administrator