The Micro-Placements Programme is a social mobility initiative from the University of London (City). It places students, many from under-represented backgrounds, into short-term career-exploration projects during the summer.

To support their students, City asked Gradcore to design and host a professional assessment centre experience for approximately 250 students in November 2019 which would emulate the real graduate recruitment processes, preparing students for these future experiences and testing the university’s own recruitment competencies.

We were asked to design a process that enabled all students to participate equally and free of bias, and ensure that participants from all backgrounds had an equal opportunity in the events. This was successfully achieved as 100% stated they would recommend the events to a friend, and scoring across all demographic backgrounds was moderated and showed no disadvantage for anyone from BAME or other disadvantaged backgrounds. This was partly achieved through careful design, detailed assessing from professional assessors, and briefings that aimed to put all students at ease from the outset.

The centre was designed to include professional tasks that could be marked against consistent competencies across the whole programme. This would enable City to make more informed decisions, while personalised feedback reports for each attendee help the student to learn and improve for next time.

Due to the success of our partnership with the University, we were invited to bid to deliver the experience in an online format in Novemer 2020 which we won and received great feedback for.

Please read and watch the student feedback below:

“My overall experience today was positive and I thoroughly enjoyed working with people I have not necessarily met before. It was a fantastic experience and I was able to learn and find out different opinions from different mindsets. I was also able to gain experience in participating in an assessment centre and apply all the knowledge and skills I have learnt today into future assessment centres and go into them less nervous and knowing what to expect from the assessors.”


of students would recommend the assessment centres to a friend