History Works: Beyond your BA

Employability events

Students at a careers fair

We have lots of careers events and workshops running this term, all designed to help you develop skills, research future career options and meet employers. Some are one-off annual events, so don't miss out.

Our modules will help you become independently-minded historians – which means you’ll be equipped with some of the skills most in demand from employers, from critical thinking and weighing evidence to in-depth analysis and persuasive writing.

Think about how the Nuremberg military tribunals of 1945-6 have influenced legal experts around the world in bringing war criminals to justice and making victims’ voices heard. Or consider how historical understanding of propaganda helps us see through the heated political campaigns of today. 

Find out more about the skills you’ll learn during your studies by reading our manifesto for becoming a historian at Essex. 

Careers with a history degree

With an Essex history degree, you can enter a wide variety of professions. Some of our graduates go into subject-related fields such as teaching, archives, museum curation and  postgraduate study. Others choose very different things, including journalism, law, politics and civil service.

Our graduate profiles give you an idea of just some of the options open to you.

Careers advice

Throughout your time at Essex, advisors at our Employability and Careers Centre will be available to help you formulate your career plan. For advice on your career and the skills you may need, our Faculty Careers Adviser is Ann Ord. The departmental Employability Development Director is Nadine Rossol.

Start your search for jobs and internships now with the Essex CareerHub resource. Log in using your regular Essex campus account details to access the jobs board.

Enhance your CV

Undertake voluntary work with local organisations. We have some suggestions for you on our Student Volunteering handout (pdf).

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)

UROP or the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme is the University's scheme for undergraduate students to become trainee researchers and become part of the academic community here at Essex. UROP gives you the chance to help an academic with a research project. You will learn new skills which will enhance your CV and be paid a bursary.

Last year's Department of History UROP students have created academic posters explaining the research projects they were involved in.

  • 2016 Department of History UROP students

    • Jessie Foreman

      Early Modern Recipes Online

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      932 KB

      "I gained invaluable insight into how academics go about their work, and as I hope to stay in academia beyond my BA, I got a taste of what’s to come."

    • David Mottishaw

      EarlyModern@Essex

      Adobe PDF File
      873 KB

      "As a Student working on the EarlyModern@Essex project my job was to provide useful ideas to improve database accessibility for students."

    • Ivan Spence

      Sir Hans Sloane

      Adobe PDF File
      798 KB

      "The most enjoyable aspect of my UROP placement was the research I partook at the British Library, being able to read letters that date from 300 years ago and use other sources to obtain information."

Develop your employability

Tehreem Rehman, BA History

Read how BA History graduate Tehreem Rehman developed her employability during her studies, including with the Big Essex Award:

  • Tehreem Rehman, BA History

    Tehreem Rehman

    What made you interested in the Big Essex Award?

    “The Big Essex Award appealed to me more in my final year because I suddenly realised that it was too good an opportunity to miss. Completing the Award has allowed me to accumulate some really relevant experiences that will help me get a job in the future. It has given me the opportunity to develop my skills and get new and exciting experiences - and it will look great on my University transcript.

    What were you hoping to gain from the Award?

    “I initially hoped to gain skills and experiences so that it would give me plenty of things to talk about in an interview or application. I know that employers value candidates who have experiences and can show how they have practically applied their skills. Most job applications and interviews require you to ‘tell them a time where you…’ Completing the Big Essex Award means that I now have lots of experiences to mention to an employer where I can show off my skills and this may give me a possible advantage over other candidates.

    What have you achieved through the Award?

    “Having to complete a certain number of hours of volunteering encouraged me to participate in activities such as a women’s refugee centre and as a volunteer in the History library. Having experience of acting professionally and interacting with many different types of people will undoubtedly benefit me in the future as I am interested in developing a career in the Civil Service where this kind of transferrable skill is essential. These experiences have boosted my confidence as I have improved both professionally and personally.

    Have you found your participation enjoyable?

    “I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Big Essex Award as it has benefitted me a lot without imposing too much on my time and studies. I found the compulsory workshops really enjoyable and useful and would have been disappointed if I missed out on them just because I didn’t sign up for the Award.

    Did you have adequate support whilst completing the Award?

    “The Big Essex Award allowed me to get the experiences I wanted and do things independently - but I knew there was support and guidance there whenever I needed it. I am very happy with the amount of supervision and guidance that I have received whilst completing the Award. I like the independent aspect of the Award, and I could complete the hours when I wanted. I am also very impressed with how readily available information and support was when I needed it, as there were a few occasions where I had questions and I received a very prompt response.

    Would you recommend the Big Essex Award to other students?

    “Definitely - you don’t realise how useful it will be to your future until you do it! I’d recommend students to do the Big Essex Award as soon as they can, why wait until your final year when you can do it in your first?”

Stephen Pattison, BA History

Listen to History student Stephen Pattison talk about all the extra curricular activities he got involved with during his time at Essex.

frontrunners placements

Frontrunner students gathered round a table

frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Essex Interns

Students walking up stairs

Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Learn languages

Icon of speech marks

All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.

Why UROP?

UROP icon

As an undergraduate student, UROP gives you a unique opportunity to find out what goes on behind the scenes in academia. You will gain invaluable experience that will enhance your CV and skills to help with your final year dissertation or project.