Careers and employability

Study American Studies at Manchester and you will come away with a range of versatile skills that can be applied to various roles across a host of industries.

What you'll take away from Manchester

Through our courses, you will develop transferable skills including:

  • written and verbal communication skills;
  • the ability to articulate knowledge of concepts and theories;
  • time management; 
  • independent, critical and creative working and thinking.

What you could do after graduation

The University of Manchester is one of the most targeted universities in the UK for top graduate employers, according to High Fliers Research 2021. A degree in American Studies will help prepare you for roles in a range of careers and sectors, including:

  • writing;
  • publishing;
  • journalism;
  • librarianship;
  • teaching;
  • digital media;
  • PR.

Many of our students also progress to postgraduate study, such as taught master's courses and postgraduate research.

What our previous students are doing now

You can read profiles of some of our previous students below to find out how their degree helped them into their current jobs.

How we can help you into your perfect career

You will have various opportunities to improve your skills and make yourself more employable as part of your course.

Work placements

You can apply to spend a year gaining valuable workplace experience on a work placement as part of most undergraduate courses at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

"My experiences since graduating Manchester have mainly revolved around politics and policy. Last semester I interned for the City of Philadelphia in the US, where I worked within the Mayor's office on Health and Human Services policy."

Lydia Paver / Graduate (2015), BA American Studies

Study abroad

Our American Studies students have the opportunity to spend time at a university in the USA or Canada as part of our study abroad programme.

You will be able to broaden your horizons by experiencing new cultures and forming new networks during your period overseas.

You can read posts by some of our students who are currently studying abroad on the Manchester on the Road blog:

Visit our study abroad page for more information.

Go beyond your subject

Many employers seek graduates who have skills in multiple fields of expertise to demonstrate their adaptability and resourcefulness.

Our Flexible Honours option may allow you to study another subject within arts, languages and cultures as a minor in addition to your major within American Studies.

Alternatively, you could study selected course units from other courses around the University through the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning.

"The University has a good reputation globally and good employment statistics, which I feel will benefit me. The Careers Service is extremely helpful - I've already used multiple services this year, and will undoubtedly continue to do so before and after completing my degree."

Faith Ashley / Student (Year 2), BA American Studies

University-wide careers and employability initiatives

You will be able to access a rich variety of volunteering opportunities that help students build transferable skills and form part of the University's Stellify initiative.

In addition, Manchester's Careers Service is a great starting point for discovering the wide range of opportunities and activities available across the University and beyond to help you develop your employability and transferable skills alongside your studies, including:

  • internships and other forms of work experience;
  • work experience bursaries;
  • part-time, casual and holiday work;
  • overseas opportunities, for example, our Global Graduates scheme;
  • networking events, talks and workshops;
  • mentoring.

Students and new graduates have access to a full range of in-person and online help, including careers guidance and CV and applications support.