Applying for a Graduate scheme or undergraduate placement

Application process and advice for our Graduate scheme and undergraduate year in industry and summer placements.

Making an application

We strongly recommend that you read the below information on the various steps of the process before starting your application, to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

Our online Match-me quiz is designed to show you what it’s like at Network Rail, and based on your answers, give you an indication as to whether you’re likely to be a good match for one of our roles.

You’ll need to register to do it but it’s not part of your application and you don’t have to go on to apply if you don’t want to. You can also skip straight to the application form if you don’t want to do this.

Our application form is quick and easy. There are no complicated questions, we just want to collect the information we need and see that you meet the minimum criteria.

If you meet our minimum entry requirements, the next phase is to complete several short activities which relate to the scheme that you are applying for.

These activities will test for the behaviours and skills you will need to succeed on our programmes.

Our top tips are:

  • Re-read the job advert for the scheme you have applied for. Think about the type of skills and behaviours a person would need to do well on our programme
  • Take your time to read each activity carefully.
  • Don’t think about the scenarios for too long, Its usually most effective to read the scenario and go with your first reaction so you’re giving your natural response.

If you’re successful in the online testing, the next stage is a video interview.

You’ll be asked to record your responses to questions which are designed to help us find out a bit more about you, what you’re interested in, what motivates you and how you go about things. We’re looking for people who align with our values and have the potential to succeed with Network Rail.

Here are our top tips:

  • Before you start, a few things to think about: why you’ve decided to apply to Network Rail and why you think you’d be a good fit; what you’re good at and what energises you; your experiences – so that you’ve got some examples to draw on – these can be from any context, for example -social, academic, sport, work, family life.
  • Practise beforehand and make use of the practise questions
  • Check your tech works ok for audio and video
  • Try to make sure you won’t be disturbed
  • Try to give specific examples as this is a better way to show what you can do, rather than a general response.
  • Stay focused; it’s fine to take a little time to consider your answers just as you would during a face to face interview but be mindful that there’s a set amount of time for each question.


The final stage in the process is the assessment centre. We might invite you to a virtual assessment centre or invite you to one of our offices. The number of candidates we invite to assessment centre is based on the number of places we have to fill so will change during recruitment period.

You’ll be asked to take part in different assessment exercises and an interview. We’ll give you more information about it nearer the time so you know what to expect. It’s a chance for you to meet some of our leaders and current graduates, to ask us questions and see whether a career at Network Rail is right for you.

We want everyone who has an assessment centre with us to have a great experience – you’re being assessed and we know that can be stressful so we do our best to support you throughout so you can concentrate on doing your best.

Here are our top tips:

  • Do your research! Make sure you’ve got a good idea of what Network Rail is all about. Make sure you understand the requirements of the programme you’ve applied for.
  • We’re going to be looking at things like: how you approach challenges; how you deal with change; how you collaborate with others; how you build relationships; how you make decisions, how you get things done and how you use data. So have a think about these things in advance and think about examples that show the things you want us to know about you.
  • We’re looking to get to know you in a short space of time; think about what it is that motivates, enthuses and inspires you so that this comes through on the day.

We want everyone who applies to have the best opportunity to succeed and we’re committed to making our recruitment as accessible as we can.

We’re happy to consider reasonable adjustments for any stage of the process. If we haven’t been in touch already, please contact us before you start any of the assessments.

We understand that the support needed might change as you progress through the stages depending on the activities involved at each stage so it’s fine if you need to ask us to revisit the support, but it’s important to let us know before you start an activity so we can put things in place at the right time.

Your questions answered
The requirements:

There is no age restriction.

We are committed to inclusion and welcome applications from disabled people. For some roles you’ll be working in a safetry critical environment and will undergo specialist training If you’re successful in the selection process we’ll ask you to attend a medical before we confirm your offer of a place on this scheme, as part of our pre-employment process. This is confidential and will involve hearing and vision checks, alongside establishing any existing medical conditions you may have, or medication you take and understanding your general health.

The outcome of your medical may mean that we are unable to confirm your offer. Where adjustments or restrictions are suggested we always do our best to accommodate these. Please note all roles at Network Rail include a drug and alcohol screening process which will form part of your medical.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss this.

We welcome applications from international students. You’ll need to have the right to work in the UK so if this is currently a student visa, you may need to apply for the Graduate visa to enable you to work once you have finished studying.

You’ll need to apply for this yourself and you can find the information you need here.

The Role:

Your starting salary will be £29,380.

You’ll also enjoy:

  • A welcome bonus of £2,000
  • 28 days’ annual holiday, excluding public holidays
  • An interest-free season ticket loan
  • 75% discount on season tickets up to a maximum of £3,000

You’ll need to be available to join us at the beginning of September 2024 to take part in our common induction.

When you join us you’ll receive a £2,000 welcome bonus, which you can use to help you relocate if necessary. We do not offer any extra relocation expenses.

We can only accept one application for each intake, so if you’ve already applied for 2024 and been unsuccessful we can’t accept another application from you.

If I have further questions , who can I speak to ?

You can ask us any questions your like through our dedicated early careers inbox, please contact or give us a call on 01635 584137 (9:00am – 5:30pm).