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Dedicated careers support for FirstGeneration+ students

FirstGeneration+ refers to UK undergraduates who are either in the first generation of their family at University, are in receipt of a University maintenance bursary and/or meet a widening participation criteria.

All students should have the chance to thrive in the right career, yet certain features of the graduate labour market can favour people from more privileged backgrounds, and regardless of background, some students find it easier to make the move into graduate employment than others.

So, if you are a Firstgeneration+ student, the Careers Service can offer support to help you to succeed in your career after university along with other students.

1-2-1 support

As a FirstGeneration+ student you will have exclusive access to appointments where you can see the same Careers Consultant each time. Seeing the same consultant means you don’t have to explain everything to a new face every time you come; there’s someone who knows you. Book an appointment on Career Connect via MUSE.

DYF Monthly Newsletter

Each month we will send out our DYF newsletter; this will showcase opportunities available to you from the Careers Service, from the wider university, and from external organisations. See our latest newsletter

For any queries contact us via

Employability Opportunities Fund

You can apply for up to £500 per academic year to cover the expenses related to taking part in an opportunity to develop your employability, which is not work experience or a placement. The Fund also includes opportunities that might take place virtually and covers the expenses that you might incur to take part in something online.

Am I eligible to apply?

To apply to the Employability Opportunities Fund, your opportunity must not yet have taken place and you must:

Please note: we may prioritise applications from students who are from groups that are currently under-represented in higher education and therefore meet one or more of the following widening participation criteria:

  • You've been in care as a looked-after child prior to university.
  • You’re an independent student who is estranged from their family.
  • You’re a student with caring responsibilities.
  • You're disabled and in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).
  • You come from one of the most deprived areas of the country as defined by the government's IMD (Indices of Multiple Deprivation) database. If your postcode IMD value is 16,250 or less, you meet this criteria. You can check your postcode using the 2019 IMD search tool. Please note that this map only covers England and the postcode we will use is that of your home address in your last year of school or college. If you are from Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you will need to meet an equivalent criteria for the deprivation measure used in your country.
  • You come from an area where it is unusual for people to go to university. This is defined by the government's classification called Polar 4,and to meet this criteria your address must fall into quintile 1 or 2. Check your address area using the Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) search tool. We'll use your home address in your last year of school or college.
  • You're from a black, asian or minority ethnic group.
  • You are in the first generation of your family to go to university.
  • You are a mature entrant to university (21 or over at the start of your course).
What sort of opportunities can I take part in?

To apply to the Employability Opportunities Fund, your opportunity must not yet have taken place and be one of the following:

  • Formal volunteer programme with a registered charity.
  • Work shadowing - where you are observing what happens in a workplace or are shadowing an individual in the settings in which they undertake their role. You are not undertaking any specific work responsibilities or duties.
  • Interview or assessment day for a job, course or placement.
  • Networking opportunity.
  • Information interview - one-to-one discussion or meeting with a person doing a role, or working for an organisation, that interests you.
  • Employer visit day or site tour.
  • Professional conference.
  • Training course.

Please note: At the point of application you must be able to provide evidence that the opportunity is bookable / is definitely taking place.
Overseas opportunities will be considered, but you will need to make a strong case when you apply for the added value of the opportunity being overseas. The opportunity cannot be something that you will also directly gain academic credits for as part of your degree programme. You can, however, apply to cover expenses for interviews and assessment centres for University placements.

What expenses can I claim?

You can apply for funding to cover the following types of expenses:

  • Travel costs outside of Sheffield - you are always encouraged to use standard class public transport wherever possible.
  • Overnight accommodation - up to the value of £75 per night and where return travel the same day is not feasible. Airbnb stays are not eligible for expenses claims.
  • Childcare / additional care costs - up to to the value of £60 per day.
  • Appropriate professional clothing - up to the value of £100.
  • Student membership of a professional body.
  • Attendance fee for an event or conference - online or in person.
  • Fee for a training course - online or in person.
  • Technical equipment / hardware to enable you to engage in an opportunity taking place online.
  • Subscription to additional employability related online resources e.g. LinkedIn Premium.
How do I apply?

Application form

Complete the online application form to provide details of the opportunity and the expenses you expect to have as a result of taking part. As part of the application form we will also ask you to give approximate costs and tell us what benefit taking part in this opportunity will have for you. If you are taking part in more than one activity, please complete a separate application form for each.

This is a competitive process and we do receive more applications than we are able to fund. Therefore please do take time and care with your application.

Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis and you will know the outcome of your application within one week of the end of month deadline. If your application is submitted just after a deadline it will be considered for the following deadline. Successful applicants will be asked to provide evidence that the opportunity is bookable / is definitely taking place and submit receipts / evidence of expenses before receiving funding.

Deadlines for the 2019/20 academic year are as follows:

Thursday 30th April 2020

Sunday 31st May 2020 (last chance for final year students to apply)

Tuesday 30th June 2020

Who do I contact if I still have questions?

If you have any questions that cannot be answered by this webpage, or you are unsure about any of the criteria, please get in touch via email to