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Civil Service (UK & EU Institutions): Insider Views

Working for the government in the United Kingdom and the European Union

Civil Service

Insider Views

See what former students have done and get insights into working in the sector


  • Creative and intellectually stimulating work
  • A chance to make a real difference
  • Lots of variety in work
  • Good opportunities for advancement
  • Flexibility in how and when you work
  • Good staff development programmes


  • The selection process is lengthy
  • Government austerity policies are likely to cause downsizing in the civil service
  • Government procedures and rules can be frustrating
  • Career progression can be slow

What Our Graduates Do

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to find work in this field. Here's some of the roles they went into:

  • Administrative Assistant at the Spanish Embassy, studied Human Rights MA
  • Administrator at the Department of Work and Pensions, studied War, Violence, and Security MA
  • Ministerial Support Officer for the Civil Service, studied Art History BA
  • Civil Servant at the Department of Child Protection, studied Engineering
  • Civil Servant at the Ministry of Justice, studied Law
  • Consulate at British Embassy, studied International Relations and Spanish

Notable Alumni

Here are some Sussex graduates who have had successful careers in this sector

Jamie Shea

Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges

Studied: Modern History and French

Graduated: 1977

Started working at NATO as an Administrator while completing a PhD in Modern History. Rose in the ranks in NATO alongside an academic career.

Steve Bassam

Member of the House of Lords

Studied: Social Work

Worked as a social worker in London before getting into local government. Served as councillor in Brighton and became a life peer in the Lords in 1997








Careers video

People in the fast stream note that the work is

  • Very varied, innovative, and challenging
  • Gives you a high level of responsibility
  • Can be very hands on, and can be rewarding

Job Reviews

Job reviews are good for getting an idea what it's like to work in a company, what qualifications you may need, and what the job entails