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Options with your subject: Classics

Studying for a classics degree demonstrates that you have a willingness and ability to learn and comprehend a breadth of challenging subjects. This intellectual flexibility is highly sought after by employers

Job options

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

A classics degree provides you with skills relevant to a wide range of sectors. Your career options are therefore varied. Decide on the area you want to work in and try to get relevant work experience. This may be in the form of a structured work placement, part-time job, voluntary work or even a period of work shadowing. Use the time to develop your skills and to establish contacts within the industry.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Museums are a key employer for classics graduates wishing to use their subject knowledge. Similarly, teaching provides an opportunity to share your expertise. The public sector also offers a variety of career paths including roles within government administration, research, information management and heritage.

However, the wide range of subjects studied and skills gained on a classics degree course means that graduates are attractive to employers from many sectors, including law, accountancy, finance, consultancy, media, publishing and management.

Find information on employers in the public sectormarketing, advertising and PR, law, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Throughout your studies, you will develop the ability to research, collate and analyse materials, including written documentation and statistics. You also learn to critically evaluate and interpret resources in order to formulate impartial and coherent arguments, which you can present competently in both the spoken and written word. The specific content of your course also provides you with a well-developed understanding of different cultures and societies.

The structure of your course, mixing independent study and group tasks, gives you the opportunity to prove that you can work autonomously and manage your own workload but also can engage in team work. Like most students, you are used to working to strict deadlines and under pressure.

Further study

Classics graduates often choose to study Masters or PhDs in subjects related to their degree, such as classical archaeology, ancient history and Greek and Latin languages and literature. Becoming a specialist in an academic discipline, particularly at PhD level, can be the first step towards pursuing an academic career as a lecturer/researcher.

Other classics graduates opt for more vocational yet still subject-relevant courses, generally at Masters level, such as museum studies or records and archive management. Further study will also be needed for a move into a particular profession such as law, teaching, librarianship or journalism.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.  

What do classics graduates do?

More than half of classics graduates are in full-time employment six months after graduating. Popular areas of work include marketing, human resources, industrial relations and teaching.

Almost a third of graduates go on to further study or combine further study with work. Some graduates choose to specialise in a particular area of their degree, while others undertake vocational or professional training.

Graduate destinations for classics
Destinations Percentage
Employed 53.3%
Further study 26.4%
Working and studying 6.1%
Unemployed 8.0%
Other 6.2%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 19.1%
Business, HR and financial 15.2%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 15.0%
Marketing, PR and sales 10.0%
Other 40.7%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
April 2012

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