Arts, Social Sciences and Languages

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If you have a strong interest in a general field of study, such as the history of art, languages or sociology, rather than a course that leads to a specific type of work, a wide variety of careers will still be open to you after you finish your studies. You’ll also gain useful transferable skills such as the ability to analyse information, solve problems and presenting your ideas to employers. There are opportunities to work in industry, commerce, government or the professions as well as the voluntary and charity work sectors.

Alternatively, you may want to pass on your enthusiasm for your subject and work as a lecturer or take on further training to become a teacher.

What areas can I work in?

Graduates in arts, social sciences and languages work in the Civil Service, local government, business, commercial, industrial and managerial posts. Work in advertising and the media attracts some. Others go into marketing or sales. Work in information technology, law, travel and tourism, and culture is also possible.

Courses are split into the following sectors: cultural studies, English, history, humanities, languages, politics, religion and sociology.

What kind of companies can I work for?

There are a wide range of possible employers including:

What’s the job market like?

Due to the extensive areas that arts and social sciences graduates can work in, it is beyond the scope of this article to detail the job market prospects for each profession!

According to the report, The Graduate Market in 2017, by High Fliers Research, there is expected to be an annual growth of 4.3% in graduate vacancies with the UK's top employers.

Although, it isn't just large organisations that offer graduate opportunities. Last year, 35% of new graduates were working with companies of less than 250 employees and one in five with companies of less than 50.

Work in languages is extremely competitive, particularly for translator and interpreter jobs. Figures from 2015 showed that languages graduates were more likely to be working overseas than graduates from another subject, at almost 10%.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

If you are thinking of studying languages two web sites developed for young people in England by the Routes into Languages programme may be of interest. The first is 'Why study languages?' and the second is 'Studying languages at university'.


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Arts and Social Sciences General

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