What is ABERforward?

ABERforward provides real-work learning and development opportunities to Aberystwyth University students and graduates. All activities, including paid placements, are designed to build graduate level expertise and career-management skills.

ABERforward particularly aims to support those who lack confidence, practical work experience, career focus and/or the ability to recognise, and articulate to employers, their skills and employability.

ABERforward 2021

As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have unfolded, our ABERforward provision has been refocussed. The previous format of an annual 5-week block Graduate Scheme and 3-week block Summer Scheme will not be available in 2021.

Instead, ABERforward will provide opportunities for flexible paid work experience during the remainder of 2021. Placements will have the following key features:

  • Hosted mostly by Abersytwyth University departments, although some funding is available to support placements with external employers.
  • Undertaken via remote-working, unless the work can only be done by being on-site.
  • Flexible time-frames and working patterns: the start date, number of hours of work available (up to the equivalent of 4 working weeks), and whether these are worked full-time or part-time, will be determined by the host department according to their needs, in discussion with the placee.
  • Open to all current undergraduate students, postgraduate taught students and recent graduates*. Priority will be given to those who have had little or no previous relevant work experience, or who face additional barriers to entering the workplace.

*placements will be made available to recent graduates as part of the new Graduate Support provision (see below)

Please note: paid placements can only be undertaken by those who can evidence (1) their Right to Work in the UK AND (2) for UK tax reasons, that they are living in the UK.

NEW! Graduate Support

In response to the impact of the pandemic on graduate job-seekers, and boosted by additional funding received from Welsh Government for this purpose, ABERforward 2021 will also offer enhanced support to 2019 and 2020 Aber graduates who have been struggling to find graduate work, or who are working but not in a graduate role (i.e. are not utilising skills and knowledge gained from their degree studies).

Students graduating this summer who are yet to secure graduate level employment can also access this support. Everything will be available remotely until we are advised otherwise. Priority will be given to those who face additional barriers to entering the workplace.

Our aim is to help, encourage and empower our graduates to prepare for their next step, manage any individual challenges they face, reset and refocus if they need to, and realise their ambitions via a tailored package, involving some or all of the following:

  • 1:1 careers advice and guidance appointments with our professionally qualified Careers Consultants
  • 1:1 mentoring with one of our eMentors, an industry professional and often an Aber alumni
  • Live and recorded career and skills training, covering essential workplace skills, graduate recruitment practices and career-planning
  • Insights from graduate recruiters and the world of work, and opportunities to meet employers
  • Access to ABERforward placements
  • A network of supportive peers
  • Our dedicated Graduate Support team on hand to help and guide as much as you need

All activities will be subject to suitability, eligibility requirements and availability at the time of participation

Interested in ABERforward 2021?

Please register your interest via our online form and we will be in touch within 3 working days to provide further details. You can also email us at workexp@aber.ac.uk if you have any queries.


This Scheme, for current postgraduate research students (MPhil, MRes, PhD) seeking to gain work experience and transferable skills in a non-academic professional environment, remains unchanged. It facilitates paid work experience and/or project work (up to 72 hours, to fit around studies) with a local employer at any time of year.

Postgraduate research students are invited to register their interest in the Scheme via an online form. The Careers Service will then keep you informed about relevant opportunities as and when these are negotiated with employers. Should you negotiate an opportunity for yourself with a local employer and would like to explore whether this can be subsidised by ABERforward+, please email workexp@aber.ac.uk.