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Short Guidance Appointments

Making the most of your Appointment

Advance Preparation...

Student receiving one to one advice

A little research on the queries you have can go a long way in making your one-to-one appointment more productive.

We strongly recommend looking through the wide range of information resources suggested in the Help with… section of our site which is relevant to your query as these can help generate more focused questions for when you meet your Careers Consultant.

If you're unsure which resources would be most useful as a starting point, feel free to contact us without making an appointment and our Information Team can provide suggestions on what would be most appropriate.

Be aware of what we can't cover / help with...

  • Careers guidance is an impartial process and where a Careers Consultant will help you explore options and make important decisions for yourself, they will never tell you "what to do" or make decisions for you.
  • Our Careers Consultants are also unable to provide advice on individual circumstances relating to work permit or visa issues. Please refer to the information on our site for International Students for support with this type of query.
  • Please also note that Short Guidance sessions cannot be used to check applications for a specific purpose. Please book an Applications Advice appointment if you're applying for something specific and have a CV, cover letter, personal statement or any other form of application that you need help with.

Our Location

It might sound obvious but make sure you're familiar with where we are and how long it will take you to get here. Arriving late for your appointment will lead to a shorter or cancelled appointment as detailed below.


If you have any materials which you feel would aid your discussion with the Careers Consultant, we have printing facilities available. Please aim to arrive 5-10 minutes before your appointment is due to start so you don't waste any of your one-to-one time printing out documents.

Appointments in your Department

In addition to these Short Guidance appointments at UCL Careers which are open to all UCL students, each Department at UCL will be linked with one of our team of Careers Consultants who may run one-to-one appointments in your own department building to save you coming to us.

Different departments will organise these at different times throughout the year and may have different methods for booking them. Please speak to a member of staff in your department to find out if / when these are planned.

Online Bookings.

There are some departments where appointments are offered more regularly and  can be self-booked online as detailed below using your My UCL Careers account.

These are:

  • Chemistry
  • Institute of Education (IoE)
  • Engineering Faculty
  • Laws Faculty
  • School of Management* 

When logged in, simply select "UCL Departmental Appointment" from the Appointment Type drop-down menu instead of Short Guidance to check your department's availability.

*Within the School of Management, specific appointments are available for: BSc/MSci Management Science; Information Management for Business; MSc Management

Specialist Support for Researchers and recent Graduates

In addition to these Short Guidance appointments, PhD students, Postdoc research staff* and recent graduates also have access to appointments which are designed to be more suitable for your needs as detailed at:

These are booked in the same way as Short Guidance through your My UCL Careers account* - simply select the relevant appointment type from the drop-down menu to check availability.

*UCL staff will need to call UCL Careers to book appointments.

Phone Appointments

Due to the nature and format of these one-to-one advice appointments, we strongly recommend that you attend in person where possible.

However, if you're not based in London or will find it difficult to come to UCL Careers for your appointment, the Careers Consultant can discuss any queries you have  over the phone.

If you would like a phone appointment, you must notify us BEFORE 9.30am on the day that your appointment is booked. You will then need to call our general enquiries number, (020 3549 5900), at your appointment time to be put through to the Careers Consultant on duty.*

If there's any information that you feel would be relevant to the discussion, this should also be emailed to us, (careers@ucl.ac.uk). before 9.30am so that it can be printed and passed on to the Careers Consultant before you call in. Please use: "Phone Appointment Request" in the subject line.

Please note however that we are unable to conduct Short Guidance appointments by Skype.

*Please be aware, as detailed below, one-to-one appointments do sometimes overrun which can mean some start later than scheduled so you may be asked to call back if the Consultant isn't ready when you call.

Due to the way Short Guidance is covered by our team of Careers Consultants, phone appointments are best booked on the hour as this minimises the chance of it starting late.

If you are late or unable to attend


If you know you won't be able to make your appointment, you can cancel it up to 1 hour before using your My UCL Careers account so that it can be offered to another student. Simply log in, click the "View my activity" link and find your booking in the Appointments tab.

Late arrival

If you're running late, we will hold the appointment for up to 5 minutes so that you can make use of the remaining 15 minutes on arrival.

However, if you arrive more than 5 minutes late, your appointment will automatically be cancelled as it's difficult to provide effective guidance in the time remaining so you will be asked to re-book for a later date.

Repeated missed appointments

If you book and miss 3 appointments, (through arriving late or not turning up without cancelling as detailed above), your My UCL Careers account will be suspended to ensure you don't book and waste any more.

You will then need to book on the day, (in person at the UCL Careers office or by phone), for any subsequent appointments this academic year.

Please note: Due to the nature of 1-1 advice, some appointments can last slightly longer than 20 minutes which means we cannot guarantee that you will always be seen exactly on time. However, you should still aim to arrive on time so that your appointment isn't cancelled.

"Short Guidance" is a confidential twenty minute one-to-one discussion with a Careers Consultant. It is used as a general start point for many users where you can discuss a range of issues such as:

  • making decisions about life after UCL, e.g. choosing between work, further study or taking time out
  • exploring options related to your degree
  • planning your next steps to get where you want to be
  • how to gain skills or work experience linked to longer term career goals while at UCL
  • changing or leaving your course
  • how to market your degree, skills and/or experience to employers*
  • what to expect at interviews or assessment centres**
  • feedback on aptitude test results and more...

Please note: Short Guidance cannot be used for advice on writing CVs or other applications - see below.*

Ongoing Support and Long Guidance

Depending on the nature of your discussion during the Short Guidance appointment, the Careers Consultant may suggest returning for additional Short Guidance appointments at a later date or may refer you for a more in-depth discussion through a Long Guidance appointment of up to an hour where necessary.

Writing Applications and Preparing for Interviews

*If you are applying for something specific and have written a CV, cover letter or other type of application, please book an "Applications Advice" appointment as Careers Consultants will not give advice on applications in a Short Guidance appointment.

**Short Guidance can be used to get an overview of typical interview procedures or to discuss any queries you might have about a forthcoming interview but, those wishing to practice their interview skills through a role play exercise should book a "Practice Interview".

Appointment Availability

Short Guidance appointments run at the same time every week:

  • Monday to Thursday: 10am - 5pm (term time only*)
  • Monday to Thursday: 2pm - 5pm (outside of term time*)

Appointments are available at 15 minute intervals during these times.

PLEASE NOTE: Short Guidance does NOT run on Fridays.

How to Book an Appointment

  • Book online using your My UCL Careers account**
  • Appointments can be booked up to 7 days in advance
  • Once logged in, select 'I want to... / Make Appointment' and choose 'UCL Short Guidance' from the list of appointment types to check current availability.

As appointment slots are pre-bookable up to 7 days in advance, they may not be available at short notice or for same day booking if demand is high.

However, cancelled appointments can reappear on the booking system at short notice so it's worth checking availability online regularly.

Multiple Bookings:
After your appointment, if you have further questions, it will be possible to book another Short Guidance session and there is no limit on the number of appointments you can book. However, you will only be able to book one appointment at a time. Please do not book anything if you already have a future appointment booked. 

*Please check the main UCL Website for details of term dates and College closure days.

**If you are unable to book online, it is possible to book by phone or in person during our opening hours. Please see our Contact Details page for details. You will need your student ID card when booking.