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Ability programme

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

Birkbeck Future’s Ability Programme is a dedicated course for students and recent graduates with a disability, neurodiverse or long term health condition, who are looking to get advice on finding a job they will love, supercharge job applications and get the opportunity to connect with disability confident employers. 

We will also be able to offer a limited number of paid four-week work placements which students can apply for, funded by the Ian Karten Charitabe Trust.


From October 2020 to March 2021, we will run workshops to help you progress your career potential, covering topics such as applying for work with a disability, disclosure, confidence building, communicating your unique abilities and strengths and much more.

We will also be featuring a new series of events called Inspiring Stories* where we invite inspirational speakers to spread the message of ability and inclusion by sharing their unique journeys. Dates to be confirmed.

There is also the opportunity to connect with alumni and employers through dedicated employer-led sessions. These enable employers to highlight their organisations and the opportunities available for those with a disability, neurodiverse or long-term health condition.

2020-21 Ability Programme schedule

  • 15 October 2020: What is disability? workshop  
  • 21 October 2020: Investing in talent: Investment banking insight partner event
  • 27 October 2020: Confidence building, strengths and your unique ability workshop
  • 29 October 2020: Dedicated Ability Programme one-to-one sessions day
  • 16 November 2020: CVs, cover letters and personal statements workshop
  • 19 November 2020: Change 100 award-winning programme of paid summer work placements and mentoring for disabled students and recent graduates
  • 24 November 2020: Openness statements workshop
  • 30 November 2020: Dedicated ability programme one-to-one sessions day
  • 18 January 2021: Personal branding and crafting your elevator pitch workshop
  • 8 February 2021: Networking online and offline workshop
  • 15 February 2021: Virtual networking cafe
  • 1 March 2021: Schools focused employer panel
  • 8 March 2021: Dedicated Ability Programme one-to-one sessions day

*Check for additional sessions throughout the year.

These events can be booked via the main Birkbeck Events page once term starts.


In addition to the face-to-face workshops, we have designed bespoke on-line learning tools specifically for those undertaking the programme and our Experienced Employability Consultants are on hand to offer one to one careers advice.


We work with employers to identify paid work experience opportunities for those undertaking the programme. Previous placement employers have included The Telegraph, Reed Smith, Wells Tobias and Bloomsbury Festival.


We are proud to be working with the following organisations to deliver the programme and support those taking part:


If you are interested in being part of the Ability Programme, please send the team an email.