50+ graduate schemes that accept a 2:2 and below 
UK Graduate schemes concentrate their eligibility on the grade you got in your bachelor’s degree and sometimes your UCAS Points (these are the points awarded for you’re A-Levels)
However, if you have the required Degree score, the graduate scheme will generally care much less about your UCAS score. Most large UK graduate schemes ask for a 2:1 or above.
A UK bachelor’s degree is scored as follows:
If you got your bachelor’s degree from another country, you need to abide by that countries grading system. E.g. You can’t get a 65% in your degree from China and say you got a 2:1, as Chinese Bachelor’s degrees are graded with higher boundaries between results.
Getting a 2:2 or a 3rd can seem like an impossible task to overcome, particularly as an international student, but there are many graduate schemes you can still apply to and we 4 things you can do to tap into other jobs.
Checking Graduate Schemes as an international student
When checking whether a company can sponsor, you can either use Google and simple type in the company name + “work permit”
Larger companies will have a single page dedicated to stating whether they provide a work permit or not.
For example here is the work permit page from PwC.
Table of contents
Alternatively use one of the three best job search sites for international students in the UK , or simply do a fast check on UK Tier Sponsors.
Finding companies that will accept your degree results
The best website we have found to quickly sorting companies and roles depending on your degree result is Target Jobs.
Simply use their filter function to find the right role for you according to your degree grade.
Companies that accept a 2:2
All the companies in this list (apart from those clearly marked or listed for Armed Forces and Public Sector) have been checked to see if they are on the Tier 2 and 5 sponsorship list.
Engineering and Industrial
- Balfour Beatty
- Jaguar Land Rover
- National Grid
- Barratt Homes
- Network Rail
- HS2 – Not on Sponsorship List
- Npower – Not on Sponsorship List
- Arcadia (Owns Topshop, Topman, Burton and Dorothy Perkins)
- Marks and Spencer
- TK Maxx – Not on Sponsorship List
- John Lewis
- B and Q – Not on Sponsorship List
Almost all the companies in our list will have Technology and Digital graduate roles, expand your search beyond traditional Technology companies
Armed Forces and Public Sector
Both of these sectors will not sponsor international non-EU students.
Companies that accept a 3rd
Applying for an SME
99% of businesses in the UK employ less than 250 people.
We are a nation of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Look beyond big graduate schemes which are only 20% of the visible jobs.
These companies are unlikely to spend much money advertising roles, and you are far more likely to speak to someone who can help you get a job.
A good place to start is searching for local companies in your area which match your skill set or degree (i.e. Google “Marketing companies Bradford)
Fill up an Excel spreadsheet with 20 names a time, and then check if each one sponsors using UK Tier Sponsors.
Remove any that don’t sponsor, and then cold email and call those companies saying you are looking for work and are even available to come in and do some work experience for free if they will give you a chance.
Getting in front of an employer is half the battle and most of the other 50% is just turning up on time and working hard.
70% of existing jobs are not even listed.
You may have heard talk of networking before, and it can be a daunting. But this is where a lot of small business owners will pop up. Also, it is a great place to maximise the amount of new connections you can make in a short space of time.
Think about it?
Where else could you meet 20+ business owners in one place, in an hour who are willing to talk to you.
Get their business cards, saying you are looking for work, and maybe grab some freelance or part time work while you are at it.
Scary but also incredibly exciting at the same time.
Here are two great tools to jump start your networking.
We recommend Meetups for socialising, improving your language skills and for business. This is a great way to break out of your comfort zone and look for business/ subject matter groups close to you to find.
Better still, most of the Meetups are free and you can see who is going beforehand.
If nothing else, you will get to meet new people and have a great experience, giving you some much needed time away from your room.
The website designed specifically to connect professionals together. It provides a fantastic free tool to quickly get you connected to people in your chosen industry and area.
Check out these great resources to get started networking on Linkedin
The Balance: Introduction to Linkedin
Forbes: LinkedIn 201 How to Cultivate a Powerful Network
Working at a Start-up
London and the UK are home to more technology unicorns (companies valued over a billion pounds) than any country in the world apart from the US and China, they exceed any city in Europe for the number of digital, tech and start up jobs available.
As a result there is a thriving start up job scene, with many companies able to access specialised Visas like the Tier 1 Exceptional Visa through Tech Nation.
Or companies scaling and growing quickly and becoming Tier 2 sponsors.
Search quickly and easily for technical and non-technical start-up roles near you:
Starting your own business
The UK Government looks favourably upon people who can start businesses which generate revenue for HMRC through taxes and create jobs.
Currently there are 2 Visas which would enable you to access a Visa to stay and work in the UK:
Start Up Visa
One to look at while you are still at University, as over 100 of them can sponsor these Visas for promising business opportunities. You must show that your business is a new idea, it’s innovative and can grow and scale beyond just you.
For those who have the money, or perhaps would rather invest in someone else than go through the hassle of thinking, starting and growing a business themselves the Innovator Visa is for you. Invest £50,000 or more in a business idea which has been approved by one of the government’s approved bodies.
Here are some more great articles and podcasts for you to read and listen to for inspiration.
Target Jobs : How to job hunt if you get a 2:2 when you graduate
Debut: Over 30 graduate jobs you can still get with a 2:2
Durham Careers: Great jobs with a 2:2
Graduate Job Podcast: How to get a graduate job with a 2:2 or 3rd class degree
Get our FREE ebook “The 7 Steps to Getting Hired”
with 130+ Tier 2 Sponsors Hiring in 2021
Get our FREE e-book “The 7 Steps to Getting Hired” with 130+ Tier 2 Sponsors Hiring in 2021
Join Thousands of other international students who get UPDATES, TIPS, and FREE stuff WEEKLY!
Connect With Us