Work experience: Four key points to help you apply

Catriona MacArthur International Liaison Officer

Please note: The information contained in this blog was intended for those wishing to apply for a 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarship. Those wishing to apply for a 2018/2019 scholarship should visit the guidance page for the most up-to-date information. 

Hello! I'm Catriona, one of the international liaison officers at the Chevening Secretariat. In order to help you with your applications, we will be holding a series of five themed Q&A sessions.

Our first session focused on work experience. I was answering questions alongside my colleagues and we noticed a number of recurring questions. For those of you that missed the session, we have summarised the main points below.

Our answers to your questions can be found in full on our Facebook page.

(1) All applicants must have worked at least 2,800 hours to be eligible.

It is assumed that applicants in full-time employment work on average 35 hours per week and 40 weeks per year. This equates to 2,800 hours over two years. However, if you have worked over 2,800 hours in less than two years, you will still be eligible. If your work experience is not full-time work, calculate the number of hours worked multiplied by the number of weeks in the role. All applicants must have met the work experience requirement when they submit their application.

(2) We consider all types of work experience.

This includes full-time employment, part-time employment, voluntary work, paid or unpaid internships, freelancing, and self-employment. Work experience from before, during or after your undergraduate degree is eligible and can take place in any country, regardless of whether or not it is your country of citizenship. If your work experience was a mandatory part of your university course, this will not count towards the work experience criteria.

(3) Your work experience does not need to be related to the course/s you want to study.

We accept work experience from any field. However, if your course choices are not related to your work experience, you will need to explain why you are seeking to make a career change. Note the transferable skills you have gained from your current field of work and how they will help you in your studies and with your future career goals.

(4) You are not required to provide evidence of your work experience.

We do not require physical proof of your work experience (for example, payslips, a certificate, a letter from your company) or any other type of documentation. However, if your application is progressed to interview stage, you will be asked a series of questions about your work experience. Therefore, you will need to be able to expand on the employment information that you provided in the application form.

We hope you found the opportunity to ask questions in the live session useful. If you still have questions on the work experience criteria, here are a few things that you can do:

As mentioned previously, this was the first in five Facebook Q&A sessions we have planned over the next few Wednesdays. If you have questions related to university applications, join us on Wednesday 21 September at 14:00 BST. If you have questions related to the English language requirement, join us on Wednesday 28 September at 12:00 BST. If you have questions on references, join us on Wednesday 5 October at 14:00 BST. Finally, if you have any questions that haven’t been answered in the other sessions, there will be a general session on Wednesday 2 November at 14:00. We look forward to hearing from you!

If you already have all the information you need, please apply before 8 November.