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The University of Southampton
Languages, Cultures and LinguisticsPart of HumanitiesUndergraduate study

Careers & Employability

At the University of Southampton, we believe in providing our students with skills, experience and opportunities to help in acquiring a future career.

Through our Careers and Employability service, you are given guidance and support throughout your studies and including post-studies for up to three years after graduation.

Each faculty provides ample opportunities to get involved in a wide range of programs that can help towards gainful employment. Find out more below.

Employability of Modern Languages graduates

In the job market, the ability to speak another language gives you the edge. The UK trades with over 200 countries worldwide and businesses are continually looking to expand globally- this is only possible if they can communicate internationally.  As such, employers are constantly seeking out foreign language speakers. Figures reflect this - consistently showing Modern Languages graduates as having one of the lowest levels of unemployment six months after graduation.

Your employability

Employers tell us that they are looking for driven, articulate individuals with a passion for learning; Humanities students fit that bill. During your time with us we will support your personal and professional development within, alongside and outside of your degree programme. Working in partnership with the university's Career and Employability Service, we will provide you with a framework which will enable you to take ownership of your future from the start of your studies and to make the most of all opportunities available to you, building your confidence to fulfil your ambition and realise your goals.

How it works

Humanities employability modules

Three modules, one for each year of your programme, comprising of a series of lectures and seminars given by experts, employers and alumni, will take you through career planning step by step. Starting with an introduction to the opportunities on offer, the modules build up through skills self-assessment to help you to discover hidden talents, CV, application and personal statement writing, entrepreneurial and start-up options, interview techniques, psychometric testing and digital self-marketing. Employers will tell you what they can offer, from placements, internships and springboard programmes to ambassadorships and graduate recruitment. You will learn how and when to apply for roles and be given top tips for making an impact. Our alumni will share their experiences of the world of work, helping you to make connections between your studies and potential career options. Additional optional seminars and flexible online learning will enable you to tailor your development to suit you and your ambitions.

The Humanities Employability Module can be found here

Humanities Peer Mentoring

Peer Mentoring is a mutually beneficial way of learning and developing transferable skills that will help you not only during your time at the University of Southampton, but into employability. The scheme takes advantage of the expertise of current Humanities students, who use their first-hand experience and student-led training to be appointed as Mentors. New students (Mentees) are automatically enrolled into the scheme so that every new undergraduate Humanities student can take full advantage of the Mentors to provide extra help and information during their transition into University life here at Southampton. For more information, please visit our Peer Mentoring webpage.

Humanities External Advisory Board

Our modules are supported by input from our External Advisory Board. Members are drawn from a pool of employers and research partners who advise us on a fast-changing job market. Membership of the Board changes frequently so we are always getting fresh ideas, suggestions and advice.

Humanities VIP Alumni

We work closely with our graduates to provide a university experience that extends beyond graduation. Our VIP Alumni are graduates who have opted to give back to Humanities, offering their time to share their experiences and insights with current students. You will meet our VIP Alumni as you study our employability modules or network at events, activities and recruitment fairs.

Employability opportunities

One of the biggest advantages of a Modern Languages degree at Southampton is the compulsory year-abroad. This is an immensely challenging, rewarding and enjoyable experience and alongside enhancing your language skills, it will increase your employability in various arenas - it provides the skills you would develop from work experience, alongside the independence and self-sufficiency of living in another country. You will also gain intercultural awareness and in turn, learn how to tailor your communication to different environments - a skill that is paramount for employers in order to communicate effectively in the global economy. Amongst the opportunities available are teaching assistants and administrative work.

Career options

A modern languages degree opens up a wealth of options for your future. Whatever career you choose your adept communication skills will be a big advantage.  

The perseverance and determination you develop from learning a language and relying upon it in a foreign country will be invaluable when striving for the job you want in a competitive market. Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in the Civil Service, fashion, financial services, library and information management, heritage and culture, travel and tourism, advertising, retail management, sales and marketing, international recruitment, broadcasting, journalism, publishing, science and IT, voluntary organisations and charities. With the ability to communicate in other countries, job opportunities are essentially doubled should you choose to explore a career in the country of your second or third language.

Visit the Modern Languages and Linguistics alumni page to learn more about what our graduates are doing now.

Photo of Jack  George
As a gradual process I became very organised through university and these skills help me to organise my time at work. I also use my languages (especially French) as Film4 have connections with companies such as StudioCanal, who often speak English but it is often a welcome change for them to speak French.
Jack  GeorgeBA Language and Society (French, Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese)

Enhancing your employability

Research shows that UK graduates in modern languages have some of the lowest unemployment rates.

The mean salary of Modern Languages graduates 3 years after graduation is £21,000, higher than engineering, physics, maths and chemistry.

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