Philosophy and Art History

Career prospects

Graduates hugging

Your future starts here

Studying a degree within the School of Philosophy and Art History, provides you with the skills, expertise and confidence you need to succeed in life after graduation.

What can I do with a Philosophy degree?

The beauty of a philosophy degree is that you can pretty much do whatever you want with it. As a philosophy graduate you will be specifically skilled in problem solving, constructing a thorough argument and presenting your ideas persuasively. As a graduate from Essex you will be particularly well suited to working in the financial sector, marketing and PR, administration and research roles.  

Our graduates have gone on to work as:

  • investment bankers
  • in charitable roles such as at NGOs
  • A Level teachers
  • documentary film makers
  • post-doctoral researchers

What can I do with an Art History degree?

As an art history graduates you will be well suited to roles in creative and cultural industries. Typically our alumni have careers in a wide range of cultural and digital industries, such as:

  • media roles
  • curators
  • gallery managers
  • heritage managers
  • archivists
  • videogaming  
  • graphic designers
  • roles within NGOs 

However our art history graduates are far from limited to these types of roles. They develop skills highly valued by employers – like the ability to interpret, critique and navigate our predominantly visual world, time management skills and using your critical judgement to make informed decisions and arguments, and strong oral and written communication skills – which means they are also well suited to roles such as:

  • events and venue management
  • marketing
  • academia
  • teaching


How will you support my career development?

Our School’s dedicated Employability Officers are always on hand to help guide you, offer advice and help you access the opportunities available on campus – whether it be the employability centre, volunteering opportunities, or possible internships with partner institutions.

You can also choose to include a Placement Year within your degree. We’ll help you to find a relevant opportunity and ensure that you make the most of a great chance to improve your career prospects.

Philosophy students

You have the chance to attend a networking event with Essex alumni in your second year philosophy module “Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step”, giving you the opportunity to harbour connections and find out about how our alumni got to where they are today. This module offers you the opportunity to build up a portfolio of experiences, skills, and knowledge that will help prepare you for the graduate job you’re looking for. You learn about future career possibilities, gain an insight into what graduate employers are looking for, and access a range of opportunities for valuable work experience on and off campus.

You also have the option to take the module “Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action”, which involves learning how to design, fund, and set up a small-scale project or community interest company and creating a feasible project proposal or an organisational business plan for a small not-for-profit company. The knowledge, skills and experience you acquire in this module will also be valuable in other employment settings, such as large firms, the public sector (especially health and education), and larger NGOs and charities.

Art History students

During your first year module “Essex Cultural Outreach” you will gain first-hand professional experience in the cultural and creative sector. It is a practical skills-based module in which you work on arts projects with a local school discovering how to plan and deliver effective and engaging sessions, whilst learning about the career opportunities in this sector. By helping children develop, you’ll reflect upon your own strengths and capabilities, building on vital transferrable employability skills such as teamwork, resilience, leadership, and experience of working with outside organisations. You will have the opportunity to put yourself forward for extra Arts Award training, helping you to stand out from the crowd. Complementing other modules on the course, this module will also prepare you for a placement or year abroad.

You also have the opportunity to further expand on your employability by taking the module “Essex Cultural Outreach: Placement Module” allows you to expand on this first-hand experience, this time in form of a short placement with a partner organisation (such as a museum).


What are my opportunities?

Our Student Services Hub is on hand to help you find placements and internships – and offers a lot more besides. It provides an on-campus job shop, one-to-one careers advice, hosts workshops on employability skills, and offers support if you want to start your own business.  You can also sign up for the Big Essex Award, which provides a whole range of marketing, fundraising, networking, project management skills. The award identifies the skills you’ve developed over the course of your studies and records your achievements on your degree transcript.

The Employability and Careers Centre also runs Careers’ Fairs throughout the year and there are further opportunities to develop your skills with a number of Student’s Union societies, such as broadcasting with Rebel Media, Theatre Arts, Film, Writing and Public Speaking.

The Essex Students’ Union also offers you the opportunity to grow your CV as a volunteer with a wide variety of organisations. Our students have volunteered at Colchester Zoo, local healthcare settings and schools, festivals and foodbanks.

Our graduates

We're proud of the journeys our graduates are on. From the opportunities they've experienced and the variety of career paths they have embarked upon, our graduates are sharing their stories with us.

Careers adviser looking at paper work
Your future matters, your career matters

You don't need to have your future all planned out. We offer a range of opportunities to build your CV, and gain valuable experience and expertise, including guidance on creating a start-up or becoming an entrepreneur, to ensure your career is on the right track for when you graduate.

Find out more