Careers after postgraduate study

A postgraduate History degree can be a preparation for an academic career or a means of developing an advantage or specialist skills which allow people to compete in the job market more effectively. 

Non-academic posts

Whilst a number of our MA students go on to work in teaching and we work hard to ensure that PhD students have good academic prospects. Many postgraduates take up other forms of employment.

Breadth and flexibility

The great strength of an undergraduate History degree is its intellectual breadth and flexibility. This makes it attractive to almost any employer who wants analytical and lateral thinkers who can adapt to any work in almost any intellectual environment.  There are numerous professional and managerial jobs which require these skills. However, our MA degrees develop and add to this in several key respects.

  • It provides a higher qualification than the upper second class degrees which most applicants for good jobs have these days.
  • An MA demonstrates the capacity to work in a sustained and self-motivated manner because it requires students to work more on their own. This is a key skill to manage projects of all sorts.
  • An MA demonstrates that a student has the capacity to grasp tougher concepts and ideas than those generally faced at undergraduate level. This is an advantage for all posts requiring analytical skills.
  • An MA demonstrates the capacity to independently collect information of all sorts and synthesize it in order to generate new knowledge – a skill sought after in many jobs, especially in the media.
  • Our MA degrees give students the opportunity to see how research is conducted – a skill transferred  to other jobs, especially in policy-related or higher managerial posts.
  • Our MA degrees give you the opportunity to improve or develop a transferable skill from a language (Welsh, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Latin) to IT and specialist research skills.
  • Some MA degrees have a particular relevance, e.g. in archaeology to work in museums, archaeological trusts and other parts of the heritage industry.
  • Our PhD degrees allow people the chance to develop specialist research skills, to become good at presenting information in public and deciphering complex materials.   A number of Bangor PhD students studying contemporary history have found posts conducting policy research for local authorities as a result of these skills.

Academic posts

Early Researcher Development Programme

We make far more effort than most universities to help PhD students develop the skills they need to find academic posts. We help students to devise attractive topics; we help them to attend, speak at and organize conferences; we promote and help early publication of the student’s work; we provide most students with the opportunity to develop teaching skills; through the College of Arts and Humanities, and using real case studies, we teach and demonstrate what is required to obtain posts, and introduce students to publishers, experts in making external grant applications and others who can help them.

Our Early Researcher Development Programme (ERDP) provides training and workshops that will help you develop and maintain the key research, vocational and entrepreneurial skills necessary to meet the demands of your future career.