Discovery Work Experience programme

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Why a Discovery work experience programme at KPMG?

Our Discovery Virtual Work Experience programme, in support of our Access Accountancy commitments, has been designed with students like you in mind – collaborative, curious and enthusiastic. As well as giving you the chance to gain an invaluable overview of the professional services sector, this programme will give you an excellent virtual insight into the work we do, our culture and people - and provide you with some interactive learning opportunities to enhance your skills.

Available for students finishing Year 13/S6 in 2022 and who are looking to start an apprenticeship programme in autumn 2022, this is the perfect chance to discover if KPMG is the place for you. You’ll get a chance to virtually interact with other students, and participate in skills workshops to develop some of the key skills you’ll need to thrive - meeting colleagues from across the firm along the way.

This virtual experience will also give you the opportunity to transfer your current application to the second stage of the recruitment process for one of our 2022 Apprenticeship Programmes upon completion of necessary assessments and your Discovery experience (subject to meeting the academic requirements, details of which can be found here).

The programme will give you the opportunity to engage with our current KPMG apprentices, graduates and senior leaders from local offices; who will share their experiences as well as giving you the opportunity to take part in interactive sessions to enhance your skillset.

Our Discovery work experience programmes will run during October half term across two days for the following regions:

  • Scotland: 12th – 13th October 2021 (apply via the Glasgow programme here)
  • London & South East: 26th – 27th October 2021 (apply via the London programme here)
  • North: 28th – 29th October 2021 (apply via the Manchester programme here)
  • Midlands & South West: 28th – 29th October 2021 (apply via the Birmingham programme here)

Your future is every bit as important to us as it is to you – that’s why our aim is to provide you with meaningful experiences that last a lifetime.

Programme summary

Programme overview

Capability: N/A

Programme length: 2 days (virtual)

Qualifications: N/A

Entry requirements

Standard entry requirements - UK

  • Minimum 5 GCSEs Grades A*- C or 4 - 9 (inc. Maths at minimum B or Level 5 and English Language)
  • On track to receive a minimum of 112 UCAS points under the 2017 tariff point system (e.g. BBC at A Level or equivalent qualifications)

Standard entry requirements - Scotland

  • Minimum of 5 National qualifications at Grades A-C (inc. Maths Grade B and English Language, or equivalent)
  • On track to receive a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points at Higher/Advanced Higher Level

We only consider a candidate’s top 3 A-Level grades or equivalent (such as BTECs), and do not accept General Studies.

You will also need to meet the Access Accountancy criteria in order to make an application to the KPMG Discovery programme. This initiative supports young people from low socio-economic backgrounds to have access to the accountancy profession. You will need to:

  • Attend state school or college, and
  • Be eligible (or have been eligible) for free school meals (or attend a school with ‘above regional average’ free school meals*), or
  • Your immediate family did not attend university.

*Free School Meals are a statutory benefit available to school-aged children from families who receive other qualifying benefits and who have been through the relevant registration process. It does not include those who receive meals at school through other means e.g. boarding school.

Key skills

Throughout the programme we will be looking for you to demonstrate and reflect on the strengths that we look for at KPMG.

To get the most out of Discovery you'll need to be curious, ask questions, and be enthusiastic to learn and develop yourself and your work.

We are looking for individuals who can spot new opportunities and have the initiative and resilience to make the most of them.

Training and development

As the Discovery programme isn't that long, your focus will be to make sure that every second of the experience counts. It's an opportunity to learn new skills, learn about the world of work, gain an insight into KPMG and most importantly, get your foot in the door of one of the UK's leading professional services firms.

Additional important information

At KPMG, we recognise that we need Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality to be successful. We want to attract, retain and develop diverse talent at all levels. This means recruiting from the widest possible pool of talent, removing barriers that can prevent our people from reaching their full potential, and fostering a fully inclusive environment which maximises collaboration and empowers everyone at KPMG to bring their whole selves to work. You can learn more about our People & Culture or explore some of our people stories here.

Please note if, following the Discovery programme, you are interested in submitting a future application to one of our Apprenticeship Programmes you will need to meet the minimum academic criteria. For further information please visit our application support page.

International students

To find out more information about applying as an International Student, click here.


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Discovery application process

Our one stage application process is virtual, and designed to support you in showing us your potential. If you need any additional support during the application process, please let us know within the appropriate sections of your application. You'll find information on help, advice and adjustments here. 

Your application form

This is your chance to tell us about your academic background and any work experience you may have undertaken. This should take about 30 minutes to complete and you won't need to upload a CV.

Don’t worry if you haven’t had any work experience – we know this is hard to come by.

Ensure you give as much detail as possible and fill in all sections. If you miss out any sections, this will create a delay in us processing your application as we will have to contact you to ask for the missing information.

If any of your education was completed outside of the UK there is no need to try and convert this to the UK equivalent as we will check this when processing your application. You may want to check that your grades are equivalent to our minimum criteria before you apply, but on the application form please write the qualifications and grades you achieved. Please ensure the information you give is accurate and truthful as this will be checked as part of your onboarding process. Should information be found to be inaccurate, it could result in the withdrawal of your offer to join the programme.

Competency-based questions

You will be asked to provide written responses to three competency-based questions. These will be assessed against the KPMG strengths - 'Career Motivation', 'Critical Thinker' and 'Communicates Effectively'. We encourage you to spend some time finding out more about our strengths, and to plan your answers to these questions before submitting, as these will be assessed as part of your overall application. Please ensure you provide a detailed response to each of the questions so that we can fully understand your motivations for the programme.

You may want to explore our Applying to KPMG area for more application hints and tips or check out the video below which outlines what a competency based question is!

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