The following sections provide information about career and job options, employability and postgraduate study in your subject area, arranged by School.
They can help you to think about the skills you have gained and developed during your degree. There are also links to websites that may be of interest to students from your degree subject.
If you are a joint honours student, look at all sections that are applicable to you.
The Architecture degree is devised to enable graduates to complete part one of the Royal Institute of British Architects qualification process. Despite times of economic uncertainty, the majority of graduates will progress to their stage one professional experience. However, a number will undertake post-graduate qualifications, and a minority will pursue other careers, showcasing the wide skills profile they have developed as undergraduates.
A bioscience degree is a sought after degree providing an excellent foundation to progress into a range of laboratory and non laboratory based careers in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals, agro-chemical, food, defence, aerospace and energy. Many undertake a higher degree becoming specialists in their field. Bioscientists may also choose to use their skills and knowledge in a wide range of other careers e.g science communication, patent work, technical sales and marketing.Throughout your study you will gain a number of subject specific skills e.g. analytical thinking, data analysis, problem solving and scientific numeracy alongside generic employability skills such as teamworking, project management and communication. All of these skills will prepare you for the workplace and are highly valued by employers looking to recruit graduates from any discipline.
Over the course of your Accounting degree you will develop an understanding of the contexts in which accounting is used. You will develop transferable skills much sought after by employers such as numerical and quantitative skills, problem-solving and analytical ability, oral and written communication skills and knowledge of business organisations which will enhance your commercial awareness.
A degree in Business Management will allow you to develop a good mix of subject specific and technical skills as well as much sought after transferable work based competencies. Employers search hard for Business Management graduates with sound commercial awareness, analytical and problem solving skills, leadership, teamwork, as well as communication and interpersonal skills.
Students studying Economics will have the opportunity to sharpen their analytical skills, advance their communication and problem-solving skills, their numerical and computing skills as well as their political and commercial awareness. Economics courses enable you to understand core economic principles, which are used to formulate public policies.
Your degree in chemistry will give you an excellent grounding for entry into many science based careers in a wide range of industries – chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, energy etc. But it can also be the starting point, leading on to a PhD and a career beyond. Some chemists choose to enter non-laboratory based careers which use their chemical knowledge in other ways – patent work, scientific publishing, technical sales, health and safety etc.
It’s worth remembering, though, that the skills developed from a Chemistry degree – numerical reasoning, analytical thinking, problem solving, are in high demand by employers looking to recruit graduates from any degree discipline. Employers love scientists!
Computer Science and Informatics
All degrees in the field of Computer Science and informatics will involve the strong exercise of abstract thought and highly developed, logical methods of working. Whilst these attributes are directly applicable within the IT industry, they are also in demand for a wider range of careers, where employers see major advantages in employing graduates who combine them with a wider group of generic skills.
Whether your future is in IT or elsewhere, some form of related work experience, as a summer job, placement or 12 month sandwich year will certainly enhance your prospects of getting interviews for graduate-level jobs after you finish your degree.
After obtaining a degree in dentistry most dental students will remain in practice and some may choose to gain further qualifications recognised by the GDC (General Dental Council). Some will go on to train to become consultants in the hospital setting in dental specialities of orthodontics, child dental health, dental public health and restorative dentistry, with a few becoming doubly qualified as medics and going on to become maxillofacial surgeons. Small numbers may also train in the mono-specialties such as endodontics, periodontics and prosthetics to become specialists in practice or hospital settings.
Earth and Ocean Sciences
A degree in Earth Science can lead to employment in a number of areas related to the fields of exploration, the environment and construction. There are big employers who employ earth scientists, notably in the exploration and construction fields, but there are also many smaller ones, particularly in the environmental field, where a speculative job hunting approach is often needed.
Marine Geography graduates often gain employment in the broader environmental field, though not exclusively related to sea and coastal matters. Options can include the practical applications such as hydrographic surveying or work with environmental consultancies and also the policy making and regulatory side with organisations such as the Environment Agency, Civil Service and Local Government. Geographers also develop skills from their degree study such as critical analysis, research, and organisation and communication skills which are valued by employers looking to recruit graduates from any degree discipline.
There is a big focus on relevant work experience in the form of a summer placement and/or placement year, and/or a masters qualification. Although this means extra time and often extra money, it is worth weighing up the pros and cons of this. See the Advice A-Z – Postgraduate study and Advice A-Z – Work experience sections to find out more.
Any degree in Engineering gives an excellent grounding for many areas of employment, as well as providing the foundational knowledge, logical thinking skills and creativity to practice as a professional Engineer. Related work experience, whether as a sandwich placement or as a summer job with some engineering content, is certain to be a valuable asset for you when you start to apply for graduate-level jobs.
For those wanting to use their degree but not in a related setting, there is a variety of other careers where an engineering degree is a valuable asset, including but not limited to: commercial, business, public sector, patent attorney, finance, teaching and logistics.
English, Communication and Philosophy
A degree in these subject areas gives an excellent grounding for a wide range of areas of employment. Perhaps the major strength of all English, Communication and Philosophy based degrees is communication skills both in speech and writing. However other skills include:
Geography and Planning
Geography (Human) has a broad sociological emphasis encompassing the wider societal impact of human life on the developed environment. Although the course is not directly RTPI accredited, a significant proportion of graduates do enter the Planning field directly, subsequently pursuing RTPI courses on a full time or part time (often employer sponsored) basis. Geographers also develop skills from their degree study such as critical analysis, research, and organisation and communication skills which are valued by employers looking to recruit graduates from any degree discipline.
The City and Regional Planning degree course has a significant element of vocational training in its content, and is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for some of its academic requirements for full membership. Most undergraduates now spend a sandwich year working in Planning Practices or Local Authority Planning departments, and this is an excellent way to set much of the knowledge obtained into a practical context.
The School of Healthcare Sciences is the leading provider of education for Nursing & Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals in Wales. They provide pre-registry programmes, recognised by the Health & Care Professions Council, in Occupational Therapy, Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy, Diagnostic Radiography and Radiotherapy and Oncology.
History, Archaeology and Religion
A degree in History (including Ancient and Medieval History) often leads to a particularly wide spread of careers where employers are looking to recruit graduates from any degree discipline, particularly careers with a strong emphasis on research, analytical and interpretation skills. The subject knowledge and further training can also lead to subject related work.
A degree in Archaeology (including Archaeological Conservation) combines a number of academic, practical and technical approaches drawn from across the arts and sciences, which equip the student with a wide spread of transferable skills for both subject specific and any degree discipline work.
A degree in Religious & Theological Studies provides students with a number of research, analytical, critical reasoning and linguistic skills. Although a number of students go on to undertake teacher training, there are a number of social, pastoral and charity based roles that can be explored as well as any degree discipline work in general. The pages below are a good starting point to find out about careers both related and unrelated to Religious & Theological Studies.
Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies
A degree in this subject area gives an excellent grounding for a wide range of areas of employment. Perhaps the major strength of all communications based degrees is communication skills both in speech and writing. However other skills include:
The law degree at Cardiff is an academic study of the subject, which can encompass the seven core elements required for further training in professional legal careers. Around 50% of law graduates will follow legally-related career paths but many other options exist to use the analytical skills and legal knowledge gained on the course. The pages below are a good starting point to find out about careers both related and unrelated to law.
A tailored careers programme of events within the Law School runs throughout the year. This includes sessions on CVs, application forms, interview techniques plus talks from a variety of employers, both within and outside of the legal environment. The programme is advertised well in advance, across the department.
Some areas of work require maths degrees eg careers in statistics, operational research or modelling and risk analysis. Some of these employers may have a preference for relevant master degrees in operational research or medical statistics, while others are happy to accept applications from first degree graduates. Numbers of vacancies vary between the different areas of maths – there are relatively few vacancies in pure maths, but many in statistics:
The analytical and problem solving skills maths graduates have developed from their course are valued by financial employers as well as by many employers looking to recruit graduates from any degree discipline.
A medical degree course seeks to impart appropriate professional and personal attitudes and behavior, including critical evaluation, curiosity and lifelong learning skills as well as the ethical and legal framework of medical practice. The purposes are to provide an education in the basic and clinical sciences and to prepare graduates for professional practice.
Careers involving languages are popular options for those who have studied the subject formally through to degree level. Two very distinct language-related career areas are open for consideration – specialist language careers which revolve around the language concerned and secondly, careers which use language, whilst keeping their main focus on another skill/area of expertise.
A degree in music equips students with a range of academic and performance related skills which can lead to further training for a range of careers in the Music & Arts industry. Opportunities may also exist with some employers who look to recruit graduates from any degree discipline.
Your optometry degree is a vocational course for which there is a necessary next step in order to become a registered optometrist – the pre-registration year.
Your pharmacy degree is a vocational course for which there is a necessary next step in order to become a registered pharmacist – the pre-registration year.
Physics and Astrophysics
A physics degree may cover a wide programme of topics, over a three year (BSc) or 4 year (M Phys) course; these can vary between the considerable highly abstract and theoretical concepts (e.g. Relativity, Gravity), to areas of applied knowledge with immediate application (e.g. lasers, solid state physics etc). All graduates should have a solid underpinning of complex mathematics, but may have differing levels of experimental technique, depending on their chosen specialist topics.
Astrophysics graduates in particular will have a strong bias towards the use of mathematical modelling systems, and the interpretation of numerical data.
Some major employers of physics graduates (e.g. research establishments, universities, electronic engineering companies) will often be interested in some (or all) of the specific content of your degree, so a careful choice of options during your studies may considerably enhance your chances of graduate-level employment in certain areas. Any work experience, whether closely or loosely associated with physics or engineering should be helpful.
Physics graduates are also frequently regarded as good candidates for graduate jobs, where employers are keen to recruit graduates from any degree discipline and where their logical thinking skills may be at a premium when combined with other, more generic skills and qualities (e.g. team working, persuasion, presentation skills etc). These can include: patent attorney, operational research, software engineer, technical author, meteorologist, teaching, finance and business as well as engineering and telecommunications, Human Resources, IT related professionals and telecommunications.
A degree in politics is highly respected by employers, both within the political environment and outside. Graduates are able to demonstrate a wide portfolio of acquired skills, such as presentation, analysis and logical argument which are in demand across both public and private sectors.
A degree in psychology gives you an excellent grounding for all areas of employment, developing both subject specific skills and many sought after skills in analysis, written communication and numerical reasoning/statistics.
Many psychology undergraduates enter university having already decided that they would like to pursue a career as a chartered psychologist after they graduate. In reality, only 20% of psychology graduates UK wide go on to become chartered psychologists. Those of you who do will almost certainly have spent some time throughout your degree gaining relevant work experience both through voluntary work and very often through following the Applied Psychology degree scheme and taking a year out.
The other options for psychology graduates are many and varied. Your degree is providing you with a fantastic opportunity to develop employability skills. Employers love psychologists because they consider that your degree gives you a good grounding in both analytical and statistical skills (stats modules), whilst also developing your communication, research and evidence-based abilities.
Those of you wanting to continue in the field of psychology to some extent might choose to look at areas of social work, teaching, market research, human resources, and ergonomics. Meanwhile, those of you deciding not to use psychology have a vast range of career options open to you.
A degree in Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology gives an excellent grounding for a wide range of areas of employment, developing a good mix of subject specific and technical skills as well as transferable core skills.
Examples of the skills gained include:
A degree in education provides a theoretical grounding for a variety of education related work and any degree discipline work. Although a number of students go on to undertake teacher training, there are a number of other social and education related, non-teaching roles that can be explored. Furthermore, the skills gained from a degree in education may be appealing to employers looking to recruit graduates from any degree discipline.
A degree in Welsh provides students with a number of research, analytical, critical reasoning and linguistic skills. Although a number of students go on to undertake teacher training or work in the media, the public sector and a growing number of private sector jobs require both spoken and written Welsh language skills. Graduates in Welsh, in line with other graduates, also enter a range of any degree discipline employment.
then start with the following:
If you still need help, book to see one of the Careers Team. Don’t worry about not knowing what you want to do – it might take time, but you will work it out and these resources are here to help you.