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Posted April 17, 2023

What Can You Do With A History Degree?

What can you do with a history degree?History is a fascinating and rewarding subject to study, offering students the choice from a wide variety of areas including:

  • Medieval History
  • Modern History
  • American History
  • European History

By studying history, the student will develop an invaluable range of transferable skills including critical thinking skills and problem solving skills, as well as communication and research skills.

A masters in history will develop these skills even further, giving the student a big advantage when looking for a career after their studies – popular careers for history graduates include museum curator, teacher, archivist, academic researcher and journalist. 

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what you can do with a history degree as well as what you can do with a masters in history, exploring the transferable skills and potential career opportunities in greater detail.

Skills you’ll develop

Being considered as both a social science subject and a humanity, history – particularly at postgraduate level – is a great way to learn and develop the following skills:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Observational skills

In addition to these practical skills, history students will also learn key information about the world around them which will give them compassion and understanding about life events and equip them with the ability to relate to today’s society and what is happening in the world right now.

History graduate career paths

History graduates can go onto a wide variety of careers – some of which are directly related to their subject choice and others that are more indirectly related.

According to a recent graduate outcomes survey 2023 , these are the most common career paths of history graduates:

Type of Work

Percentage of Graduates

Retail / catering / waiting / bar staff


Clerical / secretarial / numerical clerks


Business / HR / finance professionals


Education professionals


Marketing / PR / sales professionals


Legal / social / welfare professionals


Art / design / media professionals


Childcare / health / welfare occupation




IT professionals


Skilled trades / crafts / vocational occupations


Engineering / building professionals


Science professionals


Health professionals


Other professionals


Other occupations



As you can see, history graduates can enter a wide variety of careers from retail and hospitality to education and welfare.

Jobs directly related to a history degree

Here are some of the jobs that history graduates could go on to do that are directly related to the subject.

Museum curator – museum and gallery curators are often specialised in a specific area of history or art. They are responsible for the collections in a museum or gallery and are responsible for building up the collections and also ensuring they are exhibited well to visitors by way of presentations, events and publications.

Archivist – an archivist has a similar role to a curator, looking after documents and items of historical and cultural importance. Archivists preserve items of interest – such as historical books, old maps, original photographs, certificates and documents. They may liaise with galleries and museums to lend their collections.

Secondary school teacher – as a secondary school history teacher will inspire the next generation into taking an interest in history by sharing their knowledge on historical events with 11 to 18-year-olds.

Academic researcher – academic researchers carry out original research to advance current understanding on a historic topic and hopefully progress current understanding.

Jobs indirectly related to a history degree

Here are some of the jobs that history graduates could enter that are not necessarily related to history but will benefit from the skills learnt on the degree or masters program.

Journalist – like historians, journalists are also interested in the gathering and presentation of information, but this is often in a more contemporary context. This information is then relayed to the general public in an accessible way in a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV broadcasting.

Marketing and PR – marketing executives are responsible for selling a product or services, while people who work in PR (Public Relations) will present their company and product in its best possible light. Both professions will benefit from the skills learnt on a history degree – such as presentation and communication skills as well as problem solving skills when a product, service or person needs a reboot in the marketplace.

Librarian – librarians are also responsible for providing the public with information. As well as ordering and displaying books, they may also get involved with community programs and events, implementing new technology and systems, and maybe even promoting their library and services. Research and presentation skills learnt on a history degree – as well as a deep-rooted love for information will stand you in good stead for a career as a librarian.

What can you do with a history degree?

What do history graduates go on to do?

According to Prospect’s recent survey, history graduates can go on to experience a wide range of fulfilling careers, including teaching, HR, marketing and public relations.

These are the top 10 professional jobs for history graduates:

  1. Secondary education/teaching
  2. Marketing
  3. Human resources and industrial relations
  4. Public relations
  5. Chartered/certified accountant
  6. Primary education/teaching
  7. Business sales executive
  8. Business and related research professional
  9. Management consultant/business analyst
  10. Welfare and housing associate

Further study in history

History graduates often go onto study a masters in history after completing their bachelors degree. This can be a great way to enhance career prospects, further develop practical skills, gain further insight into an area of interest and network with like-minded people.

Value of postgraduate study

By studying a postgraduate course in history, students will gain a range of skills that will benefit their future career. By conducting a large research project, history masters students will be able to hone their research skills – this will be invaluable if they want to go into academic research or study a PhD.

On a history masters, students will be able to network and meet people who share their interests. The connections made amongst fellow students and academic staff could be essential when it comes to choosing that perfect graduate job in the future.

When studying at postgraduate level, students often need to present their findings to peers and academic staff – particularly if they go onto study a doctorate and need to do a viva. Being competent at public speaking and being able to present research and findings in a comprehensible and confident way is an invaluable skill in any workplace. It can set graduates up for a fulfilling career in fields including large scale organisations, business and finance, teaching and the charity sector.

Any future employer will be impressed with an applicant with a postgraduate qualification, as it demonstrates a high level of commitment, professionalism, intellect and motivation.

Types of postgraduate study

Postgraduate courses come in various forms including postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates, masters courses and PhDs.

Masters degrees are the most common postgraduate qualification for history graduates to choose. In fact, according to the survey over 60% of history graduates that had opted for further study were studying a masters. A history masters will usually take one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. There are also good online study options available, the duration of which will vary.

Postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates are shorter alternatives to masters degrees, making them a popular choice for those looking to get a postgraduate qualification in a shorter amount of time. These options both offer the same academic level of study as a masters degree but require fewer credits and less study time to complete.

For those interested in studying history at an even higher level, it is also possible to study a PhD in this field – this will take a minimum of three years of full-time study or up to six years part time.

Part-time and online study

Masters degrees in history can be studied part time and online. These options are worth considering if you have other commitments that you need to fit in around your postgraduate studies, such as a family or career.

Part-time study – a part-time masters usually takes two years to complete. The pace of learning will be slower and easier to cope with and could be a good choice for those who have been out of the education system for a while.

Online study – there are increasing online study options available for all courses, including the social sciences. Online study can often be done on a flexible basis, meaning the student can watch their lectures and submit their work in the evenings and at weekends – ideal for those who need to work alongside their studies.

Funding and scholarships

If you need some help funding your masters degree in history, there are some resources available. The best place to start is with your chosen university – check their online funding pages to see if there are any suitable scholarships or bursaries for history students or relevant to your specific circumstances. Plus, once you have been accepted onto a postgraduate program you will be automatically eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each.

Find out more about funding your history masters.

Search postgraduate courses

There are numerous options when it comes to studying history at postgraduate level. Use our course search to narrow down your choices and find your ideal course. You’ll find a range of courses including part-time and online options.

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Humanities: The Ultimate Subject Guide

What Can You Do With A Social Sciences Degree?

Masters Degree In History

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

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