Our project management scheme for graduates

You’re a self-starter with a strong work ethic. You have an inquisitive nature and are not afraid to challenge the way things are done. You’re able to present and communicate alternative ideas in a clear and confident manner. With strong organisation skills, a cool head and an eye for the detail, you’re able to solve problems with a calm and pragmatic approach. You enjoy working as part of a team and have empathy towards others.

How long is the scheme?

2 years

Where you’ll be based

For the Project Management – Business change pathway, you will be based at our head office in Milton Keynes.

For the Infrastructure Projects pathway, opportunities are available across Britain, at key locations including:

  • Swindon
  • Glasgow
  • Crindau
  • Leeds
  • Croydon
  • Bristol
  • Peterborough
  • Derby
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Newport

It is important to note that you will rotate on three times during the two years on this scheme (3 x 8 month rotations). Flexibility regarding the location of each placement is essential.

What you’ll be doing

When applying for the scheme you’ll have an opportunity to choose from two pathways:

When you join the Project Management – Infrastructure Projects pathway you’ll work as a Graduate Project Manager. Your work will be varied and you could be contributing to high profile projects by preparing presentations, reports, or managing key contracts.

You will have the opportunity to explore commercial, safety, and risk & opportunity management techniques, with exposure across several functions including Construction, Planning, Strategy, Operations and Estimating.

Your strong interpersonal skills will come into their own when you’re building relationships with your stakeholders.

You could be contributing to high-profile projects, through preparing presentations, reports, or managing key contracts. You’ll also gain a basic level of knowledge in engineering.

In addition to all of this, you’ll undertake leadership essentials training – a six-module programme to start you on your leadership journey.

When joining our Business Project Management pathway, you’ll be you will sit within a function that provides project and business change management across a wide ranging portfolio of projects. You will be supporting the delivery of a safer and better performing railway by providing a world class professional services to the wider business organisation. ​

You will be involved in project management and business change projects across different areas including Engineering Assets, Safety, Environment, Security, Research and Development, Innovation and Information Management. You will rotate across these areas during your time on the scheme and be involved in the following activities;

  • Delivery of projects to time, cost and quality using appropriate methodology
  • Identify and engaging with stakeholders
  • Management of project and programme risk
  • Embed and deliver business change within Network Rail Regions and Routes

These positions are exciting as you will have the opportunity to work across the business, external contractors and with industry partners to deliver Network Rail’s strategic objectives. These can include European Rail Partners, Rail Safety and Standards board, Rail Delivery Group, Universities and Innovate UK.

Previous graduates have worked on developing new technologies, the installation of new assets, crime remediation solutions, European rail initiatives, carbon reduction, environmental projects and much more.

Hear from some of our recent graduates:


Entry requirements

2:2 in any degree subject

What professional qualifications could you gain?

As a Graduate Project Manager, you will gain the Association of Project Management Project Management Qualification (APM PMQ), with an opportunity to gain further qualifications after the graduate scheme. As a Graduate Project Manager, you also will achieve Student member status with the APM. These qualifications and memberships are funded by Network Rail.

What opportunities are available at the end of the scheme?

Our graduates go on to apply for permanent roles such as Project Management Assistant or Scheme Project Manager. In these roles you’ll have the opportunity to undertake further qualifications and become a Member of the APM where you will have the opportunity to attend events, webinars and conferences.

Why you should choose this scheme

During the first year you’ll have the flexibility to explore foundation project management skills that meet your own interests, as well as gaining a broader appreciation for our industry. Our project managers are highly visible across the organisation so it’s an opportunity for you to really make a name for yourself.

Ready to make an epic career choice?

Applications for the 2020 scheme are now closed, but you can register for our 2021 graduate scheme below.