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Eloise Arnold

Careers & Sponsorship Officer

"Welcome to the careers page of the Durham University History Society's website. This is a new feature, so please feel free to contact me via our email if you need any further guidance or want to see any other careers covered."


Students studying subjects without immediately obvious jobs at the end of their degree can feel rather nervous, lacking the certainty of some of their peers studying subjects like economics, law and finance. We believe this is not because history is an inherently unattractive degree for employers - nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, we believe students simply aren't aware of the plethora of opportunities that await them. 

From our research skills to our critical analysis to our strong sense of self-motivation (necessitated by limited contact hours), a historical training provides students with a range of highly valuable transferable skills for many industries. We endeavour to provide students with information about some of the more popular routes for history students at a university like Durham, but also to help those seeking more alternate jobs. 

The Law

According to Chambers Student, Durham University is the 3rd most attractive university for law firms, making up the 3rd highest number of trainees in the London firms, magic circle firms and US firms as well as the 2nd most in national and regional firms. Historians are also the most common non-law degree lawyers throughout the country.

As a non-law student, you are not at a disadvantage. In fact, many firms actively look for a balance of law and non-law students to take on for their training contracts. However, your route to becoming a qualified lawyer is slightly different. 

The booklet attached below provides an overview of the route into law as well as tips and resources for the application process and interviews.


Data collected via LinkedIn suggested that around 80% of the positions filled in the Banks Spring Weeks and Summer Internships in 2020 were from: Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Warwick, UCL, Imperial and Durham (in that order). This means that at Durham, you are targeted by banks for recruitment efforts. 


It’s a common myth that investment banks are only looking for economics and business students, along with the occasional mathematician. In fact, banks and financial firms are very keen to snap up non-finance students. Humanities students are in great demand for their broad outlook and their communication skills.


Although one hurdle for non-finance students is proving that you have a real interest in finance. It’s not just a matter of saying "I read the Financial Times" and "I like investing". It’s about going above and beyond to solidify that interest and then being able to show it.

Regardless, the entire process can be prepared for. This booklet is intended to provide you with a helping hand.


Teaching is certainly a rewarding career. With a starting salary of 30k and promising career development, it is no wonder why teaching is considered an attractive career. This is no exception for those who study History. With an increase in budding historians selecting GCSE and A-Level, the need for passionate history teachers is on the rise. 


The booklet below provides an overview of routes into teaching as well as shedding light on the experience of teaching.

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