Careers and employability

Study History at Manchester and you will come away with a degree that is well-regarded by employers for the outstanding analysis and critical thinking skills you will develop.

What you'll take away from Manchester

As well as learning skills specific to the study of History, you will develop a range of versatile and transferable skills that can be applied to a wide variety of jobs and sectors. These skills include:

Did you know?

Manchester is in the top five UK universities for graduate employability.

QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020
  • analysis
  • critical reasoning
  • teamwork
  • research
  • argument and debate
  • communication
  • presentation
  • time management.

What you could do after graduation

The University of Manchester is one of the most targeted university in the UK for top graduate employers, according to High Fliers Research 2021.

Our graduates enjoy success in a wide range of careers, reflecting the high regard in which employers hold a History degree from Manchester, including the BBC - with whom we have well-established links - as well as KPMG, Deloitte, Marks and Spencer, Aviva, Accenture and Barclays.

Typical professions for History graduates include:

  • teaching and academia
  • heritage and museums
  • the Civil Service
  • policy and thinktanks
  • creative industries
  • media and journalism
  • marketing and public relations
  • law and accountancy
  • finance
  • NGOs.

Many of our graduates go on to undertake further study such as master's and PhD degrees, PGCEs or law conversion courses before taking up their careers.  

What our graduates are doing now

You can read profiles of some of our previous students 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 gain professional and practical experience 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.

Meet the History Grads

All History students are invited to our annual Meet the History Grads event, which is run by the Careers Service in partnership with the History department and the student-led History Society.

"What helped me were probably the softer skills gained at university more than anything, such as organisational skills, the ability to work to deadlines and juggling several assignments at once."

Sebastian Chan Fong / Audit Senior at Ward Williams Financial Services (BA Modern History with Economics)

This is an informal event that gives students a chance to receive useful tips, advice and insights from History alumni who are at different stages of their careers.

Our guests come from a wide range of professional areas, from law and finance to communications and the creative industries, and are always pleased to connect with current students.

Societies and other networks

You will have the chance to join our student-run History Society, gain experience of editorial work on the department newspaper The Manchester Historian, and attend research seminars for those with specific historical interests.

You can also volunteer for our advisory and peer mentoring programme.

Learn more on the Student societies and groups page.

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 History.

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

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. Read a blog post by a History student who volunteered for a charity in Uganda for four weeks.

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.