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What can you do with a history degree?

What can you do with a history degree?

For many people, history is a strong passion. Not only because it reveals a great deal about the past, but also helps us understand the world as we know it today. Studying history can be a great way to learn about complex global, national, political and societal issues, as well as develop your critical thinking skills.

Our selection of history degrees at the University of Wolverhampton provides students with an in-depth look into many different interesting topics. However, you may be wondering what you can actually do with a history degree once you graduate.

In this article, we’ll talk through the many options available to history graduates, such as potential career paths and opportunities for further study. We’ll also help you understand more about what a history degree involves.

What is a history degree?

History degrees involve the study of past events, relations, and societal movements. It includes, for example, the second world war, the history of Britain, and the evolution of gender behaviour within society. These areas are studied with the view of providing a better understanding of current and future affairs. 

History students are often given a broad scope of module options and will learn how to research, think critically, evaluate source materials and write effectively.  

Our history degrees have been crafted to open up a range of opportunities for students once they graduate, whilst examining a broad range of incredibly interesting topics. With a strong focus on research, analysis and critical thinking, history graduates can go on to pursue careers in academia, media, publishing, marketing, and many other areas.

With their broad scope and skill set, our history degrees provide students with an excellent foundation for a successful career.

History courses we offer:

What will you study during your history degree?

Studying history offers students a chance to engage with the past in a critical and analytical way. At the University of Wolverhampton, our history degree programmes are designed to give students a deep understanding of the events that shaped the world as we know it today. 

Some of the topics you may cover while studying the degree at undergraduate level include Britain and its relationship with the wider world, women’s activism from the 1790s to the 1970s, and both world wars. Whilst taking the MA degree in history, you might find yourself studying topics such as youth sub-culture in post-war Britain, axis and allied strategies, politics at war, and prisons and penal reform in twentieth-century England and Wales.

What skills will you gain from a history degree?

Now that we know what studying a history degree involves and what you’ll learn, let's look at the many skills you’ll develop. As a versatile degree, many of the skills you’ll learn are highly transferable, helping you progress into a variety of career paths, including politics, business, law, accountancy, further study, and more.

Here are some of the most valuable skills you’ll develop as a history student:

  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Written communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Research skills
  • Independence
  • Intellectual rigour
  • Ability to think objectively

Problem-solving and analytical skills

A history degree develops your analytical skills through the study of past events. Much of the work involves studying primary and secondary sources, many of which can involve conflicting interpretations. Evaluating these sources will encourage you to think critically, forming your own interpretation and understanding of events.

History students learn to identify causes and effects, recognise patterns, and make connections between people, places, and concepts. This makes history an incredibly useful subject for developing problem-solving and analytical skills - both of which are highly valued by employers.

Written communication

One of the most important communication skills that history students learn is how to write clearly and concisely. In order to communicate effectively in writing, historians must be able to articulate their thoughts in a way that is easy for readers to understand, and clearly demonstrates their points. 

Written communication is one of the most desirable skills in any kind of career, particularly as the world turns more digital. For example, strong written communication skills can come in handy for writing reports, emails, articles, digital content, and even day-to-day communication.

Verbal communication

A history degree will also help you improve your verbal communication skills. Like written communication, this skill is extremely useful and versatile. Strong verbal communication is essential for roles that require public speaking, such as teaching and politics, and also helps improve your personal confidence.

History students are often given the opportunity to develop their verbal communication through presentations and group-based work.

What do history graduates go on to do?

While some history graduates go on to become teachers, many others find success in a variety of fields. With teaching being the most popular career path for history graduates, many students also go on to work as marketing associate professionals, public relations officers or within the role of human resources. Many history graduates also go on to study for doctorates and master's degrees at a higher education level. In 2022, it was found in a survey from prospects that only 9.6% of history graduates were either unemployed or due to start work 15 months after graduation, with 42.5% working full-time, 11.8% working part-time, 12.9% working whilst studying, 15.6% pursuing further study and 7.6% pursuing other options.

History career paths

As a versatile area of study, a history degree offers no shortage of potential career opportunities. There are many different work fields that a history degree directly applies to, which we will now explore.

Academic historian

An academic historian studies and interprets the past through research and writing. They often specialise in a particular area or period of history. Many academic historians work at colleges and universities, where they teach history courses and conduct research. Others work for historical societies, museums, or government agencies.

You’ll continue undertaking similar work that you became familiar with during your studies, making it a perfectly suited career to any history student.


A conservator is a professional who works to preserve cultural heritage. This can include working with museums to preserve artefacts or working with historical organisations to preserve documents and records. Conservators use a variety of techniques to clean, repair, and stabilise artefacts and documents. 

This can be a highly rewarding career for anyone with a passion for history; you’ll be preserving the very artefacts and resources that make studying history possible.


A historian is an expert in the field of history, usually within a specialist field or time period, though not always. Historians use their skills to research and interpret historical data, as well as to write and teach about history.

Local government

You can do a lot with a history degree if you work in local government. For one, you can use your knowledge of the past to help shape policy in the present. You can also work on historical preservation projects or help develop educational programs for the public.

Careers where a history degree can be useful

There are a number of careers where a history degree can be useful, even if they aren’t directly related to the subjects taught throughout your degree. With the abundance of skills you gain through a history degree, you can apply these skills to a number of rewarding and exciting careers.


A journalist is someone who collects, writes, and distributes news and information. They work in a variety of settings, including newspapers, magazines, television stations, and radio stations. Whatever area a journalist specialises in, they must be able to find stories that are interesting and important to their audience.

Human resources officer

Human resources officers are responsible for the recruitment, selection, and training of employees, and also oversee the development and implementation of employee policies and procedures. Human resources officers develop and maintain relationships with employees and also specialise in negotiating contracts and resolving disputes.


A solicitor is a qualified legal professional who provides advice and represents clients in legal matters. Being a solicitor involves providing legal advice to clients, researching and preparing cases, representing clients in court, and negotiating settlements. Solicitors also draft documents, such as contracts and wills.

Final thoughts on studying for a degree in history

The study of history provides students with critical thinking, research, and writing skills that are essential for success in any field. A degree in history also helps students develop an understanding of the world around them and how it has changed over time. While there are many different career options available to those with a degree in history, the most important thing is to find a path that interests you. 

Whether you want to work in education, government, or the private sector, there is a place for you. It would be hard to find a career path where a history degree wouldn’t be useful.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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