History careers

Overview

History graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market. Studying History at the University of Exeter provides you with skills that are attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers. Alongside in-depth subject knowledge you’ll develop skills in researching; analysing and assessing sources; written and verbal communication; managing and interpreting information and developing ideas and arguments. The skills you will develop through completing a masters at Exeter will qualify you for a wide range of professions. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles including Archivist, Marketing Executive and Strategic Analyst.

As an Exeter student you will have the support of not only academic staff in helping with funding applications and research proposals but also our professional careers staff.

A degree in History provides good opportunities to develop skills that are attractive to many employers, such team work; problem solving and organisational skills. Our recent History graduates have pursued careers in:

  • PR
  • Education
  • Retail Management
  • Recruitment
  • Charities
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Journalism

Other recent graduates have progressed to PhD study both at the University and further afield.

Careerzone

The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you. 

Professional Experience

The History degree here at the University of Exeter will give you plenty of opportunity to develop your professional portfolio which will give you the skills and experience which you will need to be successful in your chosen career.

Work placement modules

Completing a work placement is great way to gain a competitive edge in the graduate job market and will help you to develop an understanding of how the skills gained from a Humanities degree are applicable in the workplace. The History Work Placement Project module will enable you to undertake a work placement, totalling at least 100 hours, over 2 months. The module provides an opportunity for you to develop a project with a partner organisation, by designing a project brief, working with the partner organisation to deliver this project, and to reflect on the process of adapting academic skills to other working environments and projects. The module will allow you to develop an understanding of how the skills and knowledge acquired as part of a History Master’s degree are applicable to the workplace and to extend relevant work-based skills and knowledge in a reflective way. It will also give you an understanding of a non-academic work environment through practical activities and enable you to gain experience in the use of relevant methods, technologies and applications commonly used in such organisations.

Other opportunities...

Student societies

The History societies at both the Streatham and Penryn campuses offer academic talks and events to give you a chance to think about where your areas of interest lie. There is plenty of opportunity to get involved and enhance your skills for employability, whether it is through attending a careers event, getting your writing published, or becoming involved in the organisation of the society itself. 

Volunteering

Undertaking voluntary work alongside your studies demonstrates to employers that you are socially aware and proactive, and that you have developed key employability skills such as communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills. The University of Exeter works with many organisations who recruit our students for voluntary positions. Students have previously worked with:

Many students also undertake local community work through the Guild’s ESV  (Exeter Student Volunteering) programme.

Events

Every year the Humanities employability team organise a series of employability and alumni events which are tailored to the career aspirations of our students. Below are some of the events which have been offered previously:

Archaeology and Heritage Careers Fair

This day long careers event invited representatives from organisations such as Southwest Archaeology, AC Archaeology, the National Trust and the Historic Environment Record to meet students and offer their advice for working in the sector. This event gave students a great opportunity to create a professional network of contacts in the sector.

Careers in Journalism

This event aimed to give students an insight into working in Journalism, and to the chance to understand what it takes to be successful as a Journalist today. Former students Cyan Turan (BA English 2012) and Alex Sharp (BA Historical and Political Studies 2010) visited campus to talk about their careers since graduation. Cyan is now Features Writer for Red Magazine, whilst Alex is a Freelance Sports Reporter freelancing for the likes of British Eurosport, Wimbledon, Daily Mail and Sky Sports News.

Writing and Publishing

This annual event gives students the chance to learn about what it’s like to work in publishing and creative writing. A range of local publishers, authors and literary festival representatives hold careers clinics for those interested in pursuing a career in these sectors, while key note speakers provide a detailed view of their own career journeys.

Our students and graduates

A highlight of my time at Exeter has been getting involved in a wide range of activities. I mixed studying with dancing, playing music, part time jobs, journalism and socialising. Now that I have graduated, I will be starting Danone’s Sales and Marketing Graduate Scheme. I will be working within their Waters division in London, responsible for brands such as Evian and Volvic.

Holly Raffe, BA History 2015

During the summer of my second year, I was an intern at the Metropolitan Police. The application process required me to identify a real life issue faced by the Met, and to propose a research method to address this. I was then matched up with a borough that faced a similar issue, and tasked with researching and critically analysing this, and proposing potential solutions in a presentation to the Senior Leadership Team.

I collated existing data, conducted public surveys, ran sessions in local schools, focus groups with police officers, and had meetings with senior figures in the Major's Office for Policing and Crime. Analysing my findings from these research methods led me to a number of conclusions, which are now being used to implement change within the borough.

The critical thinking and analytical skills which I gained whilst studying my History degree gave me a significant advantage in tackling this project. I learnt how to start researching, to interpret data and to question findings in order to form my own judgements. I believe this will help me in pursuing a career in the public sector in the future. 

Georgina Chalk, final year History student