Spotlight on… History

Welcome back to our Spotlight on… series. In this series of blog posts we’ll be exploring different degree subjects in depth; what it’s like to study that subject, the types of modules available; the extra opportunities available to students of that subject and what graduate careers it can lead to. The blog posts will be written by current students, or recent graduates from across all 12 Shaping Futures partner institutions. In this post Sarah will be discussing History. Is there a specific subject you’d like the spotlight on? Tweet us at @ShapingFutures_ or Contact Us and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Blog post by Sarah Doogan, BA History Graduate, University of Liverpool. Sarah is a Shaping Futures Project Support Officer. 

Having spent three exceptional years studying History at the University of Liverpool, I was understandably worried when The Complete University Guide ranked History 42nd in a list of university subjects with promising job prospects.


However I’ve been a History graduate for just over a year, and can honestly say my degree has been invaluable in the job opportunities which have arisen for myself since leaving university. A History degree doesn’t give you a specific profession with ultimate job security, but it does open up pathways which few other subjects could claim to open. The skills acquired during a History degree, such as communication, research, experience of social justice and written accuracy can become invaluable in professions such as law, accountancy, teaching, higher education, politics and business; to name a few. Further, The Independent wrote in September 2012 that “Students reading history have the opportunity to develop a cultural sensitivity that is invaluable in an ever globalised society,” and I couldn’t agree more!

viking history

A History degree is perfect for students who want diversity and flexibility in their area of study. At the University of Liverpool, my first year of study incorporated a wide range of subjects and topics, from the Vikings to Europe in the 1800’s. When it came to choosing dissertation subjects in third year, it became clear how effectively the previous two and a half years of study had developed my intellectual ability and historiography skills – my interests had become so focused that I had the confidence to choose an obscure dissertation topic (“From 1980-1985, did the Merseyside population react the the nuclear threat with ambivalence, resistance or both?”) and received a first class honours in this research topic.

History dissertation

I really believe the written and verbal communication skills acquired while studying History will be forever valuable for future employment. Writing high quality job applications, being able to communicate to your team and problem solve in your day-to-day responsibilities are skills which become incredibly developed through practice of studying, evaluating and interpreting the various disasters, wars and changes that have taken place throughout our history!

You can read more about the course Sarah studied at the University of Liverpool here. BA Hons History courses are also offered at Liverpool John Moores, Liverpool Hope University, the University of Chester and Edge Hill University.