Graduate Skills and Careers


Here in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, we support the development of both your personal and professional skills.

These skills are honed over the course of your undergraduate study – from making the most of your time at University in the early years, through to developing the key skills required by employers toward the end of your study.

For example, we currently offer placement opportunities to third-year students on Law and Journalism Studies degree programmes and are working on developing even more of these opportunities for other undergraduates. These placements allow students to apply what they have learned at University to a real working environment and to start considering and experiencing the types of employment they would like to progress into after their degree. 

In the final year of your undergraduate degree, the attention is on your transition to the world of work or further study after graduation.

‌‌‌‌On the first day of teaching, all fourth-year students are invited to the “Final Year Conference” which focuses on the skills needed to be successful in the final year and on skills training for employment. Each year, there is a number of employer-led training sessions for students to attend.

Throughout your course of study, opportunities are available for you to develop a range of presentation and interactional skills, which are key to securing future employment.

We’re here to help

We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Career and Employability Service who work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Students have access to advice, information and career opportunities not only in the UK, but worldwide.

Arts and Humanities Graduates from Stirling University Production on Vimeo.

Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate students have the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities through our exciting programme of events tailored to their needs – whether that is towards further academic study or into employment. This is integral to their academic study. 

Many of our degree programmes (both undergraduate and postgraduate) have a specific vocational focus. These programmes offer extended opportunities for you to learn about the relevant industries and work practices. Other programmes can lead to a wider variety of employment options and in these types of programmes, many students select a dissertation option that links to and enhances their plans for study or employment when they graduate.

The videos below give a student perspective of some of our taught postgraduate degrees. More viewpoints like this can be found here.


The programmes in the Faculty are very diverse but they all provide opportunities for you to engage with the world of work while you are studying. Depending on the course you are studying you may: 

    • Have opportunities to undertake internships and placements in the UK;
    • Complete student projects that are linked to particular employer’s needs;
    • Study business related modules to allow you to develop business skills;
    • Have the opportunities to be mentored by one of our alumni;
    • Have access to a wide network of industry speakers who visit the Faculty;
    • Participate in study aboard opportunities to enhance your CV.
    • Take part in activities and training provided by industry experts who visit the Faculty
    • Undertake extracurricular activities and clubs which have a direct impact on your employment prospects such as mooting for law students and writing for “The Brig” student newspaper for journalism students.
    • Study career and personal development modules which will help build confidence and your understanding of what you careers to consider and how to successfully apply.

The Faculty works closely with a wide variety of local and national employers and community organisations. This means that students have access to a variety of work-related networks. Our students complete placements in diverse contexts that include community projects, financial organisations, galleries, legal firms, voluntary organisations, festivals, radio stations and film companies. 

Useful Links - 


Successful Careers‌

Many of our graduates have established successful careers in film, media and journalism. These include working in television and radio industries as journalists, scriptwriters, directors, administrators and technicians. Some have made careers in the press and publishing or in the arts and cultural industries. Others are working in advertising, public relations, market research, community media and new media.


The Division of Communications Media and Culture  aims to enhance the employability of its graduates by ensuring that they have a solid academic training in which the ability to carry out research, analyse information, synthesise argument and present findings is central to the curriculum. This is fostered by the traditional academic essay and by a variety of other methods such as group presentations, which, together with seminars, promote oral communication skills. The optional final semester dissertation gives students an opportunity to step beyond the library in carrying out their research by enabling them to survey and interview external individuals. This helps to enhance “people” skills, as well as giving insights into the working lives of those in the wider community.

Audiovisual production modules also encourage interaction with the wider environment, particularly in modules in radio and television which are factual in mode. The research, organisation,  execution and editing of interview material is, for example, a key skill in the audiovisual and journalism industries and is an  important aspect of several production options. Also offered across all production modules is initial training in key skills areas such as scriptwriting, recording, camerawork, editing and directing, as well as the overall planning and execution of complete programmes to set deadlines. Web design is also taught on the Journalism Studies programme.

The mix of academic study, which provides a broad understanding of the media industries, together with production work, which allows students to build a portfolio of practical experience and skills, has been cited by many graduates as particularly useful in gaining employment. Although the Division offers no formal work placement scheme, gaining workplace experience is encouraged and, whenever possible, facilitated by members of the Department. This is done by making use of contacts with industry as well as offering guidance to students. Some of the latter is formal (eg lectures on gaining work experience and employment or visiting speakers from industry talking about employability strategies), whilst some of it consists of advising students how best to approach particular companies, how to tailor CVs and so on. Visiting speakers are employed on most production modules to provide specialist information and, occasionally, to run specialist workshops.

Journalism Studies also teaches a range of skills from researching through to producing journalistic material for a variety of media platforms such as the web. As with other programmes offered by the Division, visiting speakers from the journalism industry – including former students – are a regular feature of the Journalism Studies programme. This fostering of networks and contacts offers opportunities for students to establish initial contacts with employers in the industry


Life After English

An English degree is acknowledged by potential employers as providing important skills, as well as motivation, intelligence, and the ability to meet deadlines. Although English is not a specifically vocational degree it offers a number of important transferable skills, such as the ability to write clearly, effectively, accurately and persuasively.

Seminar discussion and oral presentations (required by many of our modules) help to develop your spoken communication skills. The critical and reflexive study of a variety of texts (literary and non-literary) teaches you how to analyse and interpret complex information and to apply abstract concepts and theories. Our criteria for assessment also requires you to be able to synthesise conclusions, to assimilate existing research and to construct and defend an argument clearly and cogently.

Throughout their degrees, our students are also trained to use library and bibliographic resources effectively and appropriately, to reference accurately, and to present their work professionally. All of these skills are essential to many kinds of work, which is why so many employers recognise the value of an English Degree.

In a recent report, graduates of English were as likely (if not more) to be in professional or managerial jobs three to three and a half years after graduation than graduates in other subjects (including science and social science subjects). Almost fifty percent of English graduates pursue further education within three years of getting their undergraduate degree, often as a route to a professional career, such as teaching or law.

For more information about how the Career Development Centre can support English Studies students have a look at this presentation by Lauren Ferguson, our Career Development Advisor

English Careers Presentation

If you wish to pursue your studies further, consider doing a postgraduate degree in the Department.

Below you will find a list of websites helpful as a starting-point to exploring your options after completing an English degree at Stirling.

Useful Websites


Life after History

Employers have always valued a History degree because of the intellectual challenges it offers and the particular skills it fosters. History graduates have traditionally pursued professional training that enables them to enter teaching or to become civil servants, diplomats, planners, accountants, journalists, academics, lawyers, librarians, managers, retailers, administrators, bankers, and social/health sector workers. Analysis of the recent graduate destinations can be found at the website maintained by the UK's official graduate careers website,

Career Development Centre

Stirling history graduates find that they possess the qualities that employers usually seek, together with many of the resources for understanding the complexities of the modern world. The Career Development Centre offers professional facilities to help students make the most of their opportunities.

Developing skills through volunteering

Our students develop a set of key skills that are relevant for the world of work not only as part of embedded skills training in the curriculum. They also gain vital insights and hone their skills by taking part in a range of voluntary activities. For example, students volunteering with our colleague Sarah Bromage in the Scottish Political Archive acquire a number of key skills through activities of inquiry-based learning. In particular, they become acquainted with the processing, analysis and ordering of large data sets as well as information technology and database management. Moreover, they gain subject-specific knowledge and skills, in particular on the internal workings of political processes throughout twentieth-century history.

One volunteer says about her experiences: ‘Now that I am leaving university, sadly my time volunteering has come to an end.  Yet, I have taken away many things including, for example, a sounder understanding of politics from an inner point of view.  It has also added to my skills and now I can say I am familiar with cataloguing and other aspects of archiving, which of course looks very impressive on my C.V.’

Some Thoughts On History and Life

Please note these do not reflect the sentiments of our Historians but are meant as food for thought..............

"I had no idea I would be a journalist. Now I can say that the best way to prepare for journalism is to read widely, especially history. You need as broad an education as possible; read everything, go everywhere you can; reach, listen and look. Don't form judgements early." - Kate Adie, journalist

"[History] certainly gives you context. He would often say when he was in Northern Ireland that it gave him a perspective on the longest-running conflict in European history...If you have some interest in the history of Ireland, it certainly helps you to appreciate why some of the present problems seem intractable to those on the outside." - a spokesman for Stirling history graduate John Reid,  ex-Labour Home Secretary and former Northern Ireland secretary

"History teaches everything including the future." - Alphonse Marie Louise Prat de Lamartine, French writer and politician

 "History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten." - George Santayana, writer

 "The past does not influence me; I influence it." - William De Kooning, painter

 "[A]ny fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it." - Oscar Wilde, writer

 "The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." - Mark Twain, writer

 "The supreme purpose of history is a better world." - Herbert Hoover, politician

 "History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we made today." - Henry Ford, entrepreneur

 "Anyone who is going to make anything out of history will, sooner or later, have to do most of the work himself. He will have to read, and consider, and reconsider, and then read some more." - Geoffrey Barraclough, historian



The Law School is committed to enhancing the employability of our students and to preparing them for their future careers. This webpage provides information on career development and employment opportunities.

Law School Careers Advice

From Day One of your law degree, we will work with you to develop your CV and skills.

What Can You Expect From Us?

  • Regular careers information through our weekly newsletters.
  • Guidance on what you should be doing at each stage of your degree to enhance your employability and improve your job prospects
  • Publication on Succeed (our intranet) of all information received from employers regarding work experience, placements and traineeships.
  • Talks and workshops on a range of general careers matters e.g. internships, summer placements, psychometric testing and CV writing.
  • Law specific careers events: e.g. a Careers With Law Seminar and Law Careers Information Fairs are held annually, with external speakers.
  • Advice through publications on a range of topics from “Getting a traineeship” to “Careers With Law”, “Making the Most of Law Fairs” and “Developing your Career”

Please contact our Graduate Skills and Employability Officer for Law Lorraine Wilson with any queries. Lorraine is an experienced solicitor and Teaching Fellow in Law with many years experience of careers advice in this area.

Careers Development Centre

Lorraine works closely with the University's Careers Development Centre (CDC) which is situated in Cottrell Building 3A1. It is a fantastic resource: click here to see their website and details of the services they provide. This website is updated regularly.

We encourage all students to register with the CDC to receive details of graduate vacancies, part-time jobs and careers events as they come up.



If you want to qualify as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland then you should choose our LLB degree which is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates.

There are many areas of practice offering interesting and rewarding careers including commercial law, property law, corporate law, energy and environmental law, family law, criminal law, personal injury work, banking and finance, employment law, EU and competition law, insurance, intellectual property, private client and sports law. We offer modules in all of those subjects.

Whether looking to qualify as a solicitor or advocate additional study will be required after your LLB so if these routes interest you, do have a look at the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocate’s websites for lots of information on how to qualify and what’s involved. 

LLB: Where are our graduates now?

Many of our LLB graduates go on to study the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice which is the next step towards qualification as a solicitor or advocate in Scotland or go on to take Masters degrees to develop their expertise in particular areas. Those who have gone on into Scottish legal practice have gone to firms such as Katani and Co, Brodies LLP, Balfour & Manson LLP, Anderson Strathern, Cowan Douglas Law, CMS Cameron Mckenna,  DWF Biggart Baillie, Digby Brown LLP and Tait McLeod.



LLB graduates who don’t go into the profession and graduates with a BA in Law (single or Combined) or Business Law have a wide variety of options to consider, including:

  • Criminal Justice System: from police to probation officers to victim support and more, the criminal justice system has many different careers.
  • Legal support  in banks, local and national government, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), Scottish Environment Agency (SEPA), NHS Central Legal Office, Fire and Police Services, energy, transport, import/export and other businesses.
  • Regulatory bodies such as the Trading Standards Institute, the Health and Safety Executive and others offer interesting careers.
  • Charities and non-governmental organisations: these advise people with a range of issues including learning disabilities, mental health issues, rehabilitation, housing, welfare, debt and more.
  • Chartered secretaries: look at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators website for the range of career options with this additional qualification. Those with law or finance degrees may be eligible for certain exemptions.

LLB and BA graduates: Where are our graduates now?

An LLB is a solid foundation upon which to base a career in a variety of different fields, not just legal practice. Currently some of our graduates are working in roles such as PR Account Executive, Assistant Language Teacher, Recruitment Consultant, Tax Adviser,  Business development Manager, Business Academy trainee  and Financial compliance manager.

BA graduates can go on to do the fast track accelerated LLB if they want to practise law as a solicitor or advocate but otherwise, there are many opportunities open to BA graduates and we have graduates working with a rage of employers including First Group plc,Tayburn Limited, Strathclyde Police, HSBC, Scottish Water, FIFA, Norwich Union and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your BA in Law degree, graduates entering into employment in the past few years are currently working as Business relation manager, Legal Counsel, Business Development manager and PR Account Executive.

Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping strategy across many different sectors – here is an example of how a few former students have advanced in their careers: Senior Account Manager, Partner of Law Firm (BA and LLB), Company Director, Financial Controller, Legal Advisor, Police officer, Business Specialist and Staff manager.

For more information, see our prospectus at:

LLB - click here

BA - click here


Philosophy and the job market

More than 40% of job vacancies for graduates in the UK do not specify any particular degree subject and, further to this, the employability of philosophy students has increased in recent years. According to a recent article in the Guardian:

'Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show philosophy graduates are in growing demand from employers. The number of all graduates in full-time and part-time work six months after graduation has risen by 9% between 2002-03 and 2005-06; for philosophy graduates it has gone up by 13%.' (Click here to view the full article)

Employers look for people who are well-motivated, have initiative, can cope with pressure, work effectively in groups, etc. Successfully completing a degree requires just these skills, and this is one reason why graduates are sought be employers.

More specifically, university study develops work skills that are in high demand. In particular, it develops abilities which have to do with communication, rapid understanding and analysis. Philosophy develops all of these skills to a high degree:

  • Oral communication is developed in seminars where students present and discuss ideas and develop views of their own.
  • Written communication is developed in essay and report writing, and, for some students, in the writing of a substantial dissertation.
  • Philosophy is a demanding subject, dealing with some of the most difficult questions human beings can ask. As such, it is a powerful exercise programme for the mind, giving the philosophy graduate the mental fitness required for rapid understanding.

Perhaps more than any other subject, philosophy develops the skills of analysis. A philosophical approach to a subject is never content with merely assimilating and assembling information about it. Rather, it seeks to understand the concepts used by the subject, the connections between its ideas and the hidden assumptions it may adopt.

Many philosophy students go directly into employment after they graduate. But a significant number also go on to take postgraduate courses, at Stirling and elsewhere. A few students will take a postgraduate course in philosophy itself, but some elect to supplement their study with vocational courses, in subjects such as information technology.

Graduates in philosophy at Stirling have gone into a variety of fields, including: Adult Education, banking, the Army, social or care work, student counselling, the police, marketing, university lecturing, the civil service and local authority administration.

Careers with a degree in Philosophy

A degree in philosophy from the University of Stirling is seen as very valuable by employers. You will have developed a great range of skills from the ability to think analytically and creatively to time management skills.

There is a large range of careers for which your degree will be seen as extremely useful. Some examples of these jobs are:

  • Higher Education Lecturer
  • Civil Service roles
  • Barrister
  • NHS Manager
  • Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Advertising
  • Journalism
  • And many more....!!

For more information on where your degree could lead you, click on this link:

Postgraduate Study

After completing study at undergraduate level, almost a quarter of Philosophy graduates go on to further study. This can be in a variety of areas from continuing Philosophy studies to undertaking a more vocational course in areas such as law or teaching. If you would like to find out more about postgraduate study please look at this website, speaking to a Careers Adviser or, if you’re thinking of continuing to study Philosophy, speak to one of the academics in the department who will be very happy to help you. 

The Career Development Centre

The Career Development Centre is based in Cottrell Building, room 3A1. They are a very useful resource for all students considering their options during and after university. 

For a list of upcoming events please look at their website

For part-time work at University, check out

They also offer individual careers guidance appointments on a drop in basis, Monday – Thursday 11-3pm. Please go along to speak to an adviser and find out more about part-time work, volunteering, working abroad, further study, starting your own business – and graduate jobs when you leave university of course!

'I Think, Therefore I Earn'. Find out why philosophy students are in high demand!

An article in the Guardian discusses the increasing employability of philosophy students. To read the article click here.

Funding, Scholarships, Awards and Fellowships

There are several opportunities for which you are eligible to apply. For a full list click here

In the past Stirling students have been very successful in their applications to a variety of projects and have been involved in opportunities such as spending a year studying at Harvard university, taking part in internships in the USA and Australia, travelling to Japan and studying in New York.

Don’t miss out on these opportunities – apply now!



Life after Politics

A degree in Politics is not directly linked to a particular career but it does have genuine vocational relevance. Degree programmes in Politics inculcate intellectual, communication and analytical skills, which are attractive to many employers. As a result of these transferable skills, Politics graduates are to be found in commerce and industry, as well as the Civil Service, journalism, law and teaching – and, of course, politics, in both research and representative capacities. The list of former graduates of the Stirling University includes several politicians, for example the former Secretary of State for Defence - Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP, and the former First Minister of Scotland - Jack McConnell MSP, as well as several others MPs and MSPs.

What can I do with a degree in Politics?

A degree in politics equips you with skills and knowledge relevant to a diverse range of careers. Politics graduates will have a clear understanding of politics, whether it is domestic, international or a combination of both. Graduates tend to be able to examine issues from a range of viewpoints, construct well-researched arguments and present information in a balanced and unbiased manner. Many Politics modules focus on teamwork, research, presentation and communication skills. Analysis of the recent graduate destinations can be found at the website maintained by the UK's official graduate careers website,

Make the most of your time here at Stirling by creating your own opportunities to develop your skills and confidence.  This can be done by pursuing interests, volunteering, setting up interesting work experience opportunities in your vacation periods and considering in the long term what you would like to do when you complete your degree. The Career Development Centre can give you advice on work experience opportunities, including work experience programmes specifically geared to Politics students. The following two websites provide additional useful information:

How to apply for work experience   Setting up political work experience - political organisations

Career Development Centre

Stirling Politics graduates find that they possess the qualities that employers usually seek, together with many of the resources for understanding the complexities of the modern world. The Career Development Centre offers professional facilities to help students make the most of their opportunities.

Developing skills through volunteering

Our students develop key skills a set of key skills that are relevant for the world of work not only as part of embedded skills training in the curriculum. They also gain vital insights and hone their skills by taking part in a range of voluntary activities. For example, students volunteering with our colleague Sarah Bromage in the Scottish Political Archive acquire a number of key skills through activities of inquiry-based learning. In particular, they become acquainted with the processing, analysis and ordering of large data sets as well as information technology and database management. Moreover, they gain subject-specific knowledge and skills, in particular on the internal workings of political processes in contemporary Scotland and the UK.

One volunteer says about her experiences: ‘Now that I am leaving university, sadly my time volunteering has come to an end.  Yet, I have taken away many things including, for example, a sounder understanding of politics from an inner point of view.  It has also added to my skills and now I can say I am familiar with cataloguing and other aspects of archiving, which of course looks very impressive on my C.V.’


What do Religious Studies Graduates Do?

With issues of religion impacting upon many aspects of modern life, the ability to demonstrate an understanding of different cultures and beliefs is arguably more important then ever before, both in the business arena, and for society in general.

Through an emphasis on small class teaching, and active discussion and debate, Religious Studies at Stirling enables students to develop a host of transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace. Our recent Religious Studies graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in a wide variety of fields, including marketing, teaching, local government and the civil service, youth work, social work and publishing.


Languages and Employability

As you progress through your Languages degree, whether you are studying French or Spanish or both, you will develop a range of practical language skills and attributes that are highly sought after by employers both in the UK and further afield.

My studies in Stirling stood me in good stead for my future and my particular career choice.” Cathy McReynolds, graduated 2009, BA Hons French

You will develop high-level written and spoken communication skills, in both English and the target language, through compositions, translations, grammar exercises, and group and individual oral presentations and exams. Throughout your degree, you’ll work on, and analyse, a variety of materials that will give you exposure to everything from literary texts to contemporary news coverage. At all stages of your degree, you will be expected to write and speak in the target language (French or Spanish) with texts increasing in length and complexity as you progress through your studies.

I have no doubt in my mind that I will take the skills I acquired during my time in the department with me in my professional career." Michael Ironside, graduated 2012, BA Hons French and Politics

Alongside your classroom-based work, independent learning and study skills also form a core part of a degree involving language study. Our tutors and language coordinators make use of the most up-to-date language resources, both online and paper-based, and will provide advice on the best resources to use, on how to use dictionaries for University study, and which other reference works will help you improve your own language skills. Our students have access to language learning technology through our state of the art language labs, and gain practical skills in the use of IT, both as a source of instruction and information, and as a resource for facilitating communication.

I had a wonderful four years studying French and Spanish. I was able to live, work and study in France and Spain as well as further afield.” Julie Birrell, graduated in 2010, BA Hons French and Spanish

A key component of all degrees involving a language comes in the form of a period of time spent living, studying and/or working abroad. At Stirling, there are a range of such opportunities:

You might decide to apply to spend a year as an English Language Assistant, usually in a secondary school, between your 2nd and 3rd year of study, or immediately after graduation. Every year, 30-40 students of French and/or Spanish from Stirling are successful in their applications to undertake Language Assistantships. At the end of their contract, they have not only gained practical experience of teaching English conversation classes, but they have also benefitted in terms of personal maturity and independence, their awareness of contemporary life and society abroad increases, their fluency and confidence in the target language improve markedly, and they have gained practical experience of the administrative aspects of life abroad. While this opportunity is particularly well-suited to students of French/Spanish and Education, it is open to all students taking a language, and students on a wide range of degree programmes go abroad as assistants every year.

“The semester I spent in France completely changed my perspective on life, and I’m looking forward to living abroad again in the near future.” Fiona Mears, graduated 2012, BA Hons English Studies and French

Most of our degrees involving a language also incorporate a compulsory semester of Study Abroad in the second half of Year 3. We have established partnerships with a number of Universities and Business Schools in France and Spain, but also in Chile, Mexico, Morocco, Quebec, and Switzerland, where our students attend classes for a semester. Not only does this strengthen language skills, but it also brings students into contact with an international and multilingual student community, as well as offering a chance to experience life at a University outside the UK.

We also encourage our students to consider applying for one of the University’s non-language-specific Study Abroad exchanges. These are organised through the International Office, and enable students, every year, to spend time living and studying in the US, in Canada, in Australia, in Hong Kong, or across a range of EU countries.

Each of these opportunities enables students to differentiate themselves from their peers by showing that they are able to adapt to a different language, to a new culture, to a new environment, and to thrive within that new language and culture.

Learning languages and being able to apply this skill to your job gives you a great sense of achievement and confidence. Good luck and take advantage of your language skills!” Jacqui Lloyd, graduated 2008, BA Hons French and Spanish

Stirling University gave me everything I needed to succeed and I really appreciate all the help I was given. If you’re looking for an exciting yet challenging course with opportunities to work and study abroad, I would highly recommend choosing Stirling.” Kristina Auxtova, final year student (2013), BA Hons International Management and Intercultural Studies

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