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Career opportunities

What can you do with a degree from the Department of Classics and Ancient History?

Our students have a wide variety of career options open to them. Although a degree in a classical discipline is not a prerequisite for many jobs, it does equip them with skills, knowledge, and perspectives that can be used in many different areas of work. Classics has a particularly important contribution to make in a multicultural society and it has done much to shape our conceptions of what an educational system should be. One of the core factors in the respect held by employers for Classics graduates is the subject’s establishment as the original paradigm of non-vocational training. The breadth and variety of skills required by the course produce a rounded and highly marketable individual with a real understanding of the social and cultural origins of the western world. Many Classics graduates regard the skills they can offer and their interests and motivations as more import than their degree subject.

What do our graduates do?

For many students, the taste of classics and ancient history that they gain over their three-year undergraduate course simply whets their appetite, so that some choose to continue their studies here at Warwick, or transfer to a different institution elsewhere in the UK or in the USA. Most of these embark upon an MA course, whether taught or by research.

Other students embark upon vocational training for a profession, whether teaching (primary and secondary), the law, or librarianship.

Most Classics graduates enter careers that seek graduates with a strong range of transferable, intrapersonal, and analytical skills. Here's a list of some of the careers embarked upon by recent students following their graduation, in order to provide a flavour of the wide range of possibilities open to our graduands:

  • armed forces
  • accountancy / financial services
  • banking
  • charity services (lobbying and other services)
  • commercial management
  • exam board - subject officer (Classics)

  • fashion industry
  • human resources

  • journalism and media

  • law (solicitors, barristers, legal aid)

  • librarianship

  • local government

  • marketing

  • museum curatorship

  • personnel recruitment/ management
  • police force
  • postal services
  • retail
  • teaching (primary, secondary, further, higher, English as foreign language, sports)
  • television
  • wine trade

The University surveys graduates six months after they finish their course to find out what they are doing. At this stage we tend to find that over half are in employment and over 10% are doing further study. Some of the others take time out, are in temporary or voluntary work; others do not reply, or are still looking for an appealing path to take. First jobs range from human resources and marketing to trust administrators and librarians, reflecting a wide range of interests. Others undertake training for careers such as law or teaching, while a significant proportion undertake further academic study. Some continue on to do graduate courses with us.

Information collected by the Warwick Graduates’ Association shows that graduates who have left in previous years have established successful careers in such areas as journalism, surveying, law, teaching, information work, archaeology, human resources and publishing – a huge range of careers requiring many different skills and personality types.

The skills of a classics graduate

Some of the skills gained by our graduates are:

  • Logical thought processes, the capacity to exercise reflection and critical judgment
  • Good communication skills, written and oral
  • Interpreting, assessing and evaluating sources, as well as the ability to understand and dissect a range of viewpoints and critical approaches. They can extract key elements from data and identify and solve associated problems
  • Develop and apply scientific knowledge through observational and interpretative skills with respect to material objects in artistic, forensic, cultural, and economic contexts

  • Engage in analytical, evaluative and lateral thinking and to marshal and present arguments using acquired linguistic and rhetorical skills

  • Research and analytical skills
  • the skills to analyse broad social, material, and financial trends over extended periods of time

  • Working independently, with others, and to deadlines
  • Studying a difficult language, which requires rigorous attention to detail.
  • From studying past cultures, students develop good imaginative powers and the ability to enter into the thoughts and worlds of others, which is a very useful skill at work.
  • the ability to understand another culture and a complementary range of subjects such as language, literature, linguistics, philosophy, history, art and archaeology
  • Extra-curricular activities will also add to students' experiences and abilities