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Career Planning

Third Year Module

Module Leader: Dr John Greenacre (with Dr Harvey Osborne)

History, unlike subject areas such as social work and nursing, is not a clearly vocational degree. Most history undergraduates do not go on to become historians. The most popular career destinations for history students include teaching, the civil service, banking and finance, local government, retail and the law. In fact there are very few areas of graduate employment where those with history degrees are not welcome. The wide variety of potential careers open to history graduates suggests a need on the part of students to be aware of the transferable skills and competencies that their history degree provides. It is also important that those who do intend to work in history realise the opportunities that exist for applied history in both employment and enterprise terms.

This module addresses these questions and seeks to link the undergraduate learning experience with real work experience in the private, public or voluntary sector in order to support preparation for future employment. In pursuit of these aims the module has two main strands of activity. First, it offers History students the opportunity to undertake learning based on a work placement. Second, and in support of the latter, it will provide formal classes to explore theoretical and practical questions relating to key areas of employment and enterprise that concern history graduates, including teaching and education, media, heritage and self-employment. Practical workshops and clinics will also be provided to focus on subjects such as career identification and personal development and the development of confidence and practical competencies in interview techniques and CV development.

Learning and Teaching Strategies:

The formal teaching and learning sessions of this module will be taught through weekly workshops and practical clinics involving extensive student participation and role play exercises, complemented by one-to-one discussions and feedback in office hours, as well as students' own private study, preparation and reflection. Supporting resources will be made available online.




Weighting %


Submission Date

Career Planning


Work Placement


10 days equivalent

As scheduled (See module handbook)

Defined task 1: Curriculum vitae and supporting documentation



1,500 words

As scheduled (Semester 1)


Defined task 2: Interview and presentation



50-60 mins

As scheduled (Semester 1)


Defined task 3: Review of work placement


3,000 words

Week 8 (Semester 2)


Essential Reading

C.Fanthome, Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students, (Basingstoke, 2004)

R.Helyer, The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook, (Basingstoke, 2010)

K.Davis, Im Good at History: What Job Can I Get?, (Hove, 2013)

Further Reading

N.B. A full reading list is included in a module handbook which will be provided in the first week of teaching.

D.Boud, Work-Based Learning: A New Higher Education?, (Milton Keynes, 2001)

P.Jarvis, et al (eds.) The Theory and the Practice of Learning, 2nd edn., (London, 2003)

S.Jenner, The Graduate Career Handbook, (London, 2000)

S.Cottrell, Skills for Success: Personal Development and Employability, (Basingstoke, 2010)

F.Trought, Brilliant Employability Skills: How to Stand Out from the Crowd in the Graduate Job Market, (Harlow, 2012)

J.Done and R.Mulvey, The Brilliant Graduate Career Handbook, (Harlow, 2011)

B.Kirton, Brilliant Workplace Skills for Students and Graduates, (Harlow, 2011)

J.Tosh, Why History Matters, (Basingstoke, 2008)

R.Aldrich, (ed.), A Century of Education, (London, 2002)

S.Capel, M.Leask and T.Turner, Starting to Teach in Secondary School: A Companion for the Newly Qualified Teacher, (London, 1997)

A.Watkinson, Assisting Learning and Support Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Teaching Assistant in the Classroom, (London, 2005)

D.Long, Learner Managed Learning: The Key to Lifelong Learning and Development, (London, 1995)

T.Haydn, Alison Stephen, James Arthur and Martin Hunt, (eds.), Learning to Teach History in the Secondary School, 3rd, edn. (Abingdon, 2008)

P.Hoodless, Teaching History in Primary Schools, (Exeter, 2008)

J.Murphy, 100+ Ideas for Teaching History, (London, 2007)

I.Davies, (ed.), Debates in History Teaching, (Abingdon, 2011)

D.Cannadine, Jenny Keating and Nicola Sheldon The Right Kind of History: Teaching the Past in Twentieth Century England, (Basingstoke, 2011)

A.Baverstock, How to get a Job in a Museum or Art Gallery, (London, 2010)

T.Ambrose, and C.Paine, Museum Basics, 3rd edn., (London, 2012)

B.Cowell, The Heritage Obsession: The Battle for Englands Past, (London, 2008)

P.Wright, Living in an Old Country:The National Past in Contemporary Britain, (Oxford, 2009)

D.Boswell, and J.Evans, (eds.) Representing the Nation: A Reader: Histories, Heritage and Museums, (London, 1999)

G.Black, Transforming Museums in the Twenty-First Century, (Abingdon, 2012)

G.Edson and D.Dean, (eds.) The Handbook for Museums, 2nd edn., (London, 2003)

G.Fairclough, (ed.), The Heritage Reader, (London, 2007) Groot, Consuming History: Histories and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture, (Oxford, 2008)

P.Howard, Heritage: Management, interpretation, identity, (London, 2003)

D.Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History,(Cambridge, 1998)

S.MacDonald and G.Fyfe, (eds.), Theorizing Museums, (Oxford, 1995)

R.Prentice, Tourism and Heritage Attractions, (London, 1995)

J.Swarbrooke, The Development and Management of Visitor Attractions, 2nd edn., (Oxford, 2005)

D.Cannadine, History and the Media, (Basingstoke, 2007)

R.Rosenstone, History on Film, (Harlow, 2006)

M.Hughes Warrington, History goes to the Movies, (London, 2006)

R.Dillon, History on British Television: Constructing Nation, Nationality and Collective Memory,(Manchester, 2010)

A.Gray and E.Bell, History on Television, (Abingdon, 2012)

P.J.Beck, Presenting History: Past and Present, (Basingstoke, 2011)

H.Wheatly, Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television History, (London, 2007)