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The University of Southampton
HistoryPart of Humanities

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.

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.

Your employability

History is consistently rated one of the most popular subjects for postgraduate study. If you wish to pursue your interest in history further, or specialise in a particular area, our postgraduate courses range from 18th century studies to Jewish history and culture.

You will learn to exercise self-discipline and intellectual independence, analyse and assess complex data and ideas from a wide variety of viewpoints, to order and express arguments in oral and written form, and to think and work both independently and in cooperation with others. These abilities will enable you to be reflexive to whatever environment or information you are presented with.

Postgraduate study in History at Southampton presents you with a wealth of opportunities to enhance your employability. Not only will networking be a prerequisite of your course, allowing you to liaise with universal leaders in history across many periods, but employers will look favourably on the enhanced time-management, research and commitment to study that a Master's or a Doctorate demonstrates.

Career options

Over a third of Southampton's 2011 History cohort entered the Education sector after graduating. This evidences the teaching opportunities available during postgraduate study. Many PhD students choose to teach undergraduate or international students alongside their studies. 15% of our postgraduates entered the Charity sector and 8% entered various journalistic paths within the media industry.

Humanities careers support

Humanities works with the Careers 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.

Former doctoral candidates

Professor Donald Bloxham: Professor in History at the University of Edinburgh. Author of The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) and Genocide on Trial: war crimes trials and the formation of Holocaust history and memory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). Recipient of £70,000 Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding scholars, 2006.
Dr Alistair Dougall: Head of Sixth Form, Godolphin School, Salisbury.
Dr James Gregory: Lecturer in Modern History, University of Bradford.
Author of Of Victorians and Vegetarians: The Vegetarian Movement in Victorian Britain (London: I B Tauris, 2007), Reformers, Patrons and Philanthropists: The Cowper-Temples and High Politics in Victorian England (London: I B Tauris, 2009) and Victorians against the Gallows. Capital Punishment and the Abolitionist Movement in Victorian Britain (forthcoming, London and New York: I B Tauris, 2011).
Dr Daniel Langton: Professor in Jewish-Christian Relations at the University of Manchester. Author of Claude Montefiore: His Life and Thought (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2002), Children of Zion: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land (Cambridge: Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, 2008), and The Apostle Paul in the Jewish Imagination: A Study in Modern Jewish-Christian Relation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Dr Elisa Lawson: Graduate School Project Manager, Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
Dr Tom Lawson: Reader in Modern History at University of Winchester.
Author of The Church of England and the Holocaust: Christianity, Memory and Nazism (The Boydell Press, 2006) and Debates on the Holocaust (Manchester University Press, 2010).
Dr James Murrell: now working in Whitehall as a civil servant at the Department for Constitutional Affairs.
Dr Ross Parry: Academic Director and Lecturer in Museum Studies, University of Leicester. Author of Re-coding the museum: digital heritage and the technologies of change (Routledge, 2007). Editor of Museums in a Digital Age. Leicester Readers in Museum Studies (Abingdon and New York: Routledge: 2010).
Dr Gemma Romain: now working at the National Archives, Kew, on a Heritage Lottery Fund project called ‘Your Caribbean Heritage’, researching Colonial Office original correspondence from the British Caribbean. She is the author of Connecting Histories: A Comparative Exploration of African-Caribbean and Jewish History and Memory in Modern Britain (Kegan Paul, 2006).
Dr Andrew Sawyer: Research Associate at Leicester University.
Dr Gavin Schaffer: Lecturer in History at the University of Birmingham. Author of Racial Science and British Society 1930-62, (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
Dr Andrew Spicer: Professor in Early-Modern European History, Oxford Brookes University. Author of: The French-Speaking Reformed Community and their Church in Southampton, 1567-c 1620, (Southampton Records Series, 1997) and (with W Naphy), The Black Death and a History of Plagues, 1345-1730, (Stroud: Tempus, 2000) and Calvinist churches in early modern Europe, (Manchester, 2007).


Photo of Karen Fielder
When the PhD is over, I’m hoping to use the skills I’ve learned through work and study in an area such as heritage consultancy.
Karen FielderPhD History

Humanities and Career Destinations

Through events such as our annual postgraduate career day, we explore pathways available to our postgraduate graduates with postgraduate recruiters including IBM, local and national government, the BBC and the EU.

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