The public sector consists of government departments with offices across the UK, as well as public bodies such as the NHS, and smaller non-ministerial departments. Many public sector roles often require evidence of skills and responsibilities rather than a specific degree.
Some of the roles your degree will make you suitable for include:
- Commercial Support or Grants Manager – Large government departments have commercial or grants divisions to manage contracts and services delivered by external providers. This type of role involves excellent communication skills and teamwork, flexibility to manage competing deadlines, and some experience in reviewing and changing existing processes or procedures.
- Policy Advisor – Policy making is one of the key functions of government. Policy Advisor roles focus on projects within areas of policy, such as improving literacy rates in children or encouraging more adults to cycle to work. The role requires excellent written and oral communication skills, an ability to work to short deadlines, and experience in weighing up information and data from different (and sometimes competing) sources to make effective decisions. As an SRES graduate you may find particularly interesting policy roles in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, or the Department for Health and Social Care.
- Project Support – Often found in departments ranging from the Care Quality Commission through to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a Project Support Officer helps manage portfolios of projects being carried out by specialist teams. You’ll help maintain records and reports, assist in planning and scheduling works, monitor budgets, and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues at various levels of seniority.
- Physiotherapy outside the NHS – Many physiotherapists in the public sector are employed by NHS Trusts. But there are other public sector departments that offer physiotherapy roles. One of the biggest is the Ministry of Defence, where you will work with service personnel who may have received an injury in combat or are recovering from a medical episode.
Civil Service Fast Stream
The Civil Service Fast Stream is a professional development programme for graduates in the UK who wish to join the Civil Service in more senior roles.
There are fifteen schemes within the Fast Stream, ranging from 2 to 4 years in length. Starting salaries are in the mid-£20,000s, and on successfully completing your scheme you will be eligible for roles ranging from £40,000 to £55,000 a year.
The schemes have different entry requirements, based on the needs of the roles you will be working in. For example, the Project Delivery Scheme simply requires a 2:2 in any subject, while the Government Social Research Scheme requires a 2:1 or a postgraduate degree in a subject that features extensive training in social research methods.