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The University of Southampton
ArchaeologyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Careers & employability

Whatever career path you decide to follow, you will be able to move on with a wealth of skills and a real competitive edge. Where you choose to study is of key significance for your future career options.

A careers fair at the University of Southampton
Postgraduate careers

Whether you want to pursue an academic career or follow a path in business or other sectors, undertaking postgraduate education that develops your personal and professional skills will give you the edge.

Research conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, for their Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, showed that six months after graduating, average postgraduate salaries were £5,500 to £7,500 higher than for those with a first degree alone. Postgraduate study at the University of Southampton will enable you to push the boundaries of knowledge in your chosen field and make a real contribution to your subject. 

Whatever your situation, the Career and Employability Service offers a wide range of services and support for postgraduate students. Visit the Careers and Employability Service website for more details.

Postgraduate career day
Postgraduate career day

Your employability

Archaeology is an all-round degree blending academic and practical subjects across arts and science. You will acquire a wide range of key skills that employers look for when appointing graduates. These include presentation skills, use of IT, time management, problem solving and report writing, and analytical skills. Our wide range of assessment methods allows you to develop these skills throughout your degree.

Fieldwork in particular provides useful practical experience which can be used in a professional environment. you will gain a thorough grounding in all aspects of modern archaeology and develop a range of practical and intellectual skills essential for a career inside or outside archaeology. Employers will value your team-working skills acquired from fieldwork, analytical skills gained from interpreting written, numerical and excavated evidence and creativity stemming from a cultural, social and historical awareness.

Postgraduate study in archaeology will not only give you the opportunity to work with leaders in the field and conduct (and in many cases publish) your own research, but it will also demonstrate to employers an array of skills which are developed further from undergraduate study. If you want to pursue archaeology as a career, postgraduate study in the subject will open up many doors. Networking will be a prerequisite and you will  make many contacts in the field, both with researchers and practicing archaeologists. Conversely if you simply wish to pursue further study because you are interested in archaeology, employers in all sectors will look favourably on postgraduate study as an indication of enhanced time management, research capabilities, project management and a commitment to learning.

Career facts

Of the 2011 Southampton Archaeology postgraduate cohort, 69% were in full-time employment six months after graduation. Half of those pursued careers in the environment, 13% entered teaching across all levels and a further 13% entered engineering.

Humanities careers support

Humanities works with the Career and Employability Service to develop opportunities for our postgraduate students.

Through events such as our annual postgraduate career day we explore the pathways available to those with higher degrees in the humanities with postgraduate recruiters such as IBM, local and national government, the BBC and the EU. The additional skills acquired through a masters or PhD in one of our disciplines can take you where you want to go.

I have been incredibly fortunate in that the contacts I’ve made at Southampton and the projects in which I’ve been involved have led directly to my appointment as a Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York, working with the amazing John Schofield (himself a former Southampton alumnus).

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