Discovery Work Experience programme

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Why a Discovery work experience programme at KPMG?

Our Discovery Work Experience programme has been designed with students like you in mind – aspiring, 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 insight into the work we do, our culture and people – and provide you with some interactive learning opportunities to enhance your employability skills.

The programme is available for students finishing Year 13 in 2024 or have already finished Year 13 and are looking to start an apprenticeship in autumn 2024, this is the perfect chance to discover if KPMG is the place for you. You’ll get to interact face to face with other students, participate in workshops to develop some of the key skills you’ll need to thrive, whilst meeting colleagues from across the firm along the way.

Upon completion of your Discovery experience you will also be given the chance to get ahead through the recruitment process for one of our Apprenticeship Programmes (subject to meeting the requirements, details of our current available programmes and criteria can be found here).

This paid in-person programme will run across three days and you will be invited to join us in one of our KPMG offices for the duration. You will have the opportunity to meet with our current KPMG apprentices, graduates and senior leaders; who will share their experiences as well as giving you the opportunity to develop your understanding of a career in business.

Our Discovery work experience programme will run during October half term in the following office locations:

23rd – 25th October 2023

  • Bristol – 66 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4BE
  • London – 15 Canada Square, London, E14 5GL

25th – 27th October 2023

  • Birmingham – 1 Snow Hill Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GH
  • Manchester – 1, St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 3AE

For in-person programmes, we will reimburse reasonable travel costs and lunch (overnight stays will not be covered), in addition you will be paid a salary equivalent to the living wage.

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: 3 days

Qualifications: N/A

Entry requirements

At KPMG, everyone brings a unique perspective, and we want to ensure that you have the best opportunity to demonstrate your potential. We’ve designed our application process to assess everyone’s potential in the context of their educational and personal circumstances to ensure that you have the skills to succeed at KPMG.

You’ll generally be expected to demonstrate or be on track for the following (*or equivalents). However, if you do not meet all the below, and are a few grades or points short, then we would still encourage you to apply, as you will be given the option to provide additional information that enables us to assess your application and potential in the context of your socio-economic background and/or any extenuating circumstances. You can find out more here.

  • 5 GCSEs* at A* – C or at 4 – 9 (inc. English Language and Maths at Grade B or 5), or for Scotland 5 National 5 qualifications at Grades A – C (inc. English Language and Maths at Grade B or equivalent)
  • 120 UCAS points* from your ‘top’ 3 grades, excluding General Studies under the 2017 tariff point system at A Level (300 UCAS points pre-2017) or at Higher/Advanced Higher Level for Scotland.

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-income families to have access to the accountancy profession. You will need to:

  • Attend state school or college, and
  • The occupation of your main household earner when you were aged 14 is categorised as a lower socio-economic background*, or
  • 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.

*Parental occupation classification is a national standard and the Social Mobility Work’s toolkit (found here) provides details on the categorisations.

**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.

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 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 criteria. For further information please visit our application support page.

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

International students

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


Target Careers' 200 most popular employers for school leavers


of our workforce are Millennials or Gen Z


in the Social Mobility Employer's Index 2020

Discovery application process

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.

Competency based questions

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

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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