Department for International Development

The government department that is responsible for the UK’s aid programme, DFID aims to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. DFID works with many national and international organisations in order to achieve its aims and tackle poverty worldwide.

DFID is the government department that is responsible for the UK’s aid programme and for tackling poverty worldwide. Headed by the Secretary of State for International Development, DFID used to be part of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office until 1997 when it was created as a department by itself.

DFID’s work is aimed at helping to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals – cutting the number of people in poverty worldwide, improving health and death rates in developing countries, tackling HIV, AIDS and malaria, protecting the environment, and promoting gender equality and primary education.

DFID responds to emergencies, supports sustainable development and funds a lot of research projects that would benefit the poor. Its areas of work include conflict, education, health, climate & environment, security, humanitarian crisis, EU, UN & Commonwealth policy and youth development.

The department works with many national and international organisations to achieve its aims. DFID has an annual budget of £6.7 billion, which is mostly spent on bilateral and multilateral aid. Rather than run its own programmes, DFID instead donates money to organisations and governments so they can decide how to use the money most effectively.

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DFID runs its own Graduate Development Scheme that lasts for 50 weeks and is based in London and Glasgow. Graduates rotate through different teams and work on a variety of projects in order to get a broad experience of DFID’s work, from world health and agriculture to environment, research and EU, UN & Commonwealth Policy.

To apply, candidates need a 2:1 or above in their degree. It’s preferable that you are either about to graduate or have graduated in the last year or two. After filling in an application form through the Civil Service Jobs website, there is an online test to pass. If selected based on these, you’ll be invited to an assessment centre in either Glasgow or London.

DFID also runs an Entry Scheme for Advisers (DESA). Aimed at training new advisers in-house, this scheme lasts for three years. The first year is based in London, while the second and third will be spent on placement overseas. Applicants need to have a Masters or PhD in a subject related to international development and at least two to three years of work experience.


Graduate Recruitment Info


Application Deadlines: 12th March 2013

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No. of employees worldwide: Approx. 1,800
Annual graduate intake: 50+


Graduate starting salary: £22,000


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UK Headquarters:
22 Whitehall
London SW1A 2EG

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