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Your career programmes

We have four amazing career programmes: the Career Coaching Programme, the Ability Programme, the Digital Skills and Careers Programme and Alumni Career Clinics.

Career Coaching Programme

You may be studying without a thought about what a future career might look like, or you have a mental block regarding career options, maybe something in your home or social life is holding you back from exploring your career options. If any of these resonate with you, then you may find talking to a coach helpful.

The Career Coaching Programme offers you free access to a professional coach, they will assist you to find your own solutions in a safe, non-judgemental environment. With the coach you can explore:

  • why you don’t have a career development path.
  • your mindset and your confidence levels.
  • the barriers that are holding you back. 
  • the issues that could be having an impact on your work life.
  • what motivates you and what you value.

Understanding career coaching

  • The professional coach will:  
    • help you identify your career vision and define meaningful goals
    • encourage self-reflection, self-awareness and personal growth
    • explore with you the barriers you face and overcoming setbacks
    • help you develop skills to navigate challenges with confidence and build resilience
    • guide you in being accountable for your progress and celebrating achievements.

What career coaching does not cover

  • The Career Coaching Programme does not offer career advice and guidance on your potential career. The coach will not give you the answers to your career options nor tell you what career you should follow.
  • For career information advice and guidance, there is comprehensive online support and resources available in the Abintegro Careers Portal. Head to the Student Services tile in your My Birkbeck profile, and scroll all the way down to Careers and Enterprise Services tile.
  • For one-to-one advice and guidance on your career prospects, you can book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants on the Handshake portal. Head to the Birkbeck Careers and Enterprise tile in your My Birkbeck profile, select Handshake, then click on Career Centre to access appointment booking.
  • If you having problems accessing any of the portals then please  or, put in an ASK request which can be found on Moodle. 
  • The career coaching will not cover personal counselling, the focus will be on your career concerns and not your personal concerns (although they are often intertwined). If you feel you would benefit from personal counselling instead, please contact our Counselling Service

How the programme works

  • You can have up to six free one-hour career coaching sessions to help you get some clarity and focus on your career development. The sessions will enable you to start to define where you want to go, what it is you want and how you can make it happen. 
  • The schedule for sessions is worked out by you and the coach, depending on your mutual availability. The greater your availability, the better chance you have of being matched up with your coach.
  • Sessions can be delivered online, in person, or can be a blend of online and face-to-face on-site at Birkbeck. Bear in mind that rooms are not always available as teaching takes priority. 
  • Once you are accepted onto the programme, you will be sent a client handbook explaining how the programme works. If there is a high demand, you may not be matched right away and be placed on a waiting list.
  • At the start of the process, the coach will draw up an agreement with you as a client so you have a clear understanding of what will happen in the sessions. They are likely to do the following:
    • work with you to identify negative thoughts and behaviour patterns that may be blocking your career development so you can address them
    • use exercises that focus on a particular aspect of career and personal development, to highlight your values and skills and identify your interests, blocks and bridges
    • ask you to complete small assignments between sessions. You will be encouraged to reflect and use this as a basis for understanding and action in your career coaching.
  • The sessions are not prescriptive: the relationship and framework for the sessions will be individual to each coach and client.

The coaches

  • The coaches on the programme have substantial professional work experience within a wide range of industries and sectors. 
  • All of the coaches on this programme have been, or are on, an MSc in Career Coaching which, when completed, will meet the qualification requirements for entry to the UK Register of Career Development Professionals (this register is the sector equivalent of Chartered Status). 
  • Respecting confidentiality 
    • Coaches on the programme offer the highest possible levels of confidentiality, in order to respect your privacy and create the necessary trust for coaching. 
    • Your consent to collect and record information will be obtained in line with Data Protection legislation. 
    • Please note: the following laws limit the extent to which confidentiality can be maintained: 

What is expected from you

  • If you are accepted onto the programme, you are expected to:
    • attend all the sessions
    • actively participate and engage with the coach
    • manage your time: being punctual, responsive, giving good notice to the coach if you need to reschedule sessions
    • fill in the exit form when you complete the programme.

Eligibility and applying

Ability Programme

Shortlisted for the 2020 THE Awards  in the category of: Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Birkbeck is committed to being a truly inclusive environment in which all staff and students are treated fairly and with respect, and where diversity is championed. 


  • At Birkbeck we want to ensure that our disabled students and recent graduates have access to useful, tailored careers advice and work experience so they can find meaningful work and successfully enter and remain in the workplace. To achieve this, the Birkbeck Careers and Enterprise team works closely with colleagues in the Disability and Dyslexia Service and other Student Services. 

    The Ability Programme supports students and recent graduates with a disability, a long-term health condition or who are neurodivergent, who want advice finding a job they'll love, supercharging job applications and the opportunity to connect with Disability Confident employers looking for talented people.

Information for students

  • We run workshops to help you progress your career potential and build your social capital, covering topics such as applying for work with a disability, disclosure, confidence building, resilience, communicating your unique abilities and strengths, networking, and personal branding.
  • You have access to a dedicated Ability e-learning programme.
  • There is also the opportunity to connect with alumni and employers through dedicated employer-led sessions and employer panels. These enable employers to highlight their expertise, their inclusive organisations and recruitment practices, as well the opportunities available for those with a disability, who are neurodivergent or have a long-term health conditions.
  • You will have the opportunity to apply for funded Ability Micro Placements supported by the Ian Karten Charitable Trust. These are of varying lengths.
  • In addition, our experienced career consultants are on hand to offer you one-to-one career advice and answer any questions you have throughout the year.
  • If you have any questions about the Ability Programme, please .

Programme content

  • The Ability Programme includes a wide range of career events and workshops to help students and graduates feel confident in their career development, in engaging with disability confident employers and in finding meaningful jobs. 
  • To join this year’s programme, please register using the online form.
  • Look for Ability Programme events and workshops on the Handshake events listings as well as the main Birkbeck events page. You will also be able to book dedicated Ability one-to-one career advice and guidance appointments on Handshake.

Information for employers and organisations

  • Birkbeck Careers and Enterprise Service is committed to working closely with the business community to champion social inclusion and create positive change. Birkbeck was mentioned as an example of best practice in the 2021 Policy Connect All Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology's report Talent and Technology: Building bridges to employment for disabled people.
  • As an employer, wherever you are on your disability journey, imagine the world in 2030, fully inclusive of persons with disabilities. If your organisation is Disability Confident or perhaps working to become more inclusive, or if you are working towards implementing UN Sustainable Goals, supporting the Ability Programme is one way you can support #Envision2030 to transform the world for people with disabilities. 
  • Ways to work with the Ability Programme
    • Working with the Ability Programme is a fantastic way to showcase your organisation's talent brand to disabled candidates in a meaningful and impactful way.
    • There are many ways you can support what we do, delivering workshops, insight events, participating on employer panel events, supporting one-to-one days with sector-specific CVs, cover letter reviews, mock interviews and offering informational interviews.
    • As a careers service, Birkbeck Careers and Enterprise is holistic and agile, and we're open to innovative ideas you may have as well.
  • Ability Micro-placements


Digital Skills and Careers Programme

The Digital Skills and Careers Programme is externally funded by the Access and HG Foundations. We offer access to industry leaders, digital placements and technical qualifications helping Birkbeck students to access tech careers and build digital skills.

Programme highlights

  • Career Accelerator Events: Delivered by industry experts in recruitment and technology. These interactive workshops give students a head start on the job market after graduation. Students will learn insider tips and tricks from recruiters, specialists and leaders at some of the UK's biggest companies.
  • AccessTech Micro-placements: We offer students the chance to gain valuable practical experience within the industry. The paid digital micro-placements cover professional pathways in digital marketing, data and technology roles. The placements take place in start-ups and small businesses, with part-time options and remote/hybrid working, complementing students' existing schedules.
  • TechSkills Microsoft Certifications: We provide in-demand Microsoft skills training to help you build the tech skills employers are looking for. Students can select from Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Fundamentals packages. Students can upskill through online training or obtain the formal certification post-exam. Graduates who complete certifications are 40% more likely to secure a role post-graduation.

How to apply

Alumni Career Clinics

Gain industry insight and receive CV advice from a member of our alumni community. Find out more about Alumni Career Clinics.

We also offer a wide range of workshops and events, as well as alumni talks and panels, free to students and recent alumni.