Throughout your degree, we will support you in developing skills and gaining experience that will give you a head start in your chosen career. Take a look through our different degree options to explore specialist programmes tailored towards your area of study:
English Literature and Creative Writing
Creative and Heritage Organisation Placement Module
In Year 3 there is the opportunity to undertake a short, voluntary placement that will count towards your degree and provide valuable experience working in a role that is relevant to your degree or your future career aspirations, for example with a publisher, museum, newspaper, heritage site or art venue. Typically 30-40 hours is spent on placement.
School Volunteering Placement Module
If you are thinking of training to be a teacher, this optional module gives you invaluable hands-on experience of working alongside a teacher in the classroom for half a day a week over the course of a term. Based in either a primary or secondary school, the placement could involve classroom observation and teacher assistance and, in most cases, the opportunity to teach the class or to work with a designated group of pupils. You would also be asked to develop a special project or activity to carry out in the school relating to the teaching of English. An end-of-placement essay provides the opportunity to reflect on the placement and this counts towards your degree.
Employability Module: Beyond Undergraduate English Literature
A degree including English Literature can underpin many careers and this careers-focused module provides a rolling programme of events designed to enhance your knowledge of careers, employability and graduate research possibilities. It offers professional development workshops on employability-related matters, including bespoke talks by the University’s Careers Department, as well as visits from potential employers and alumni of the Department.
As well as the employability skills such as communication, time management and presentations that are built into the modules you will take during your degree, there is an extensive range of extra curricular activities and field trips. Some are organised by staff, such as public lectures, reading groups, or visits to the theatre; others are organised by students, such as open mic nights on campus.
#1 in the UK for graduate career prospects ~ The Complete University Guide rankings 2021
Student Story - Samia Durrani, BA Hons English Literature (2018) - Internship at the BBC
"As an English Literature student, I have gained valuable skills to take into the workforce. In 2017, I secured an internship at the BBC, working on the Sports Personality of the Year Awards. My degree helped to secure the internship as it demonstrated that I was from a "storytelling" or "story analysis" background and essentially producing is a way of telling stories through different media lenses. Performing well in my internship led to being offered a job in BBC Sport.
I currently work as a BBC Sport Freelancer. I was offered this a couple of weeks after finishing my placement, and have since been combining work and my degree. I have had the chance to work on big sporting events, including the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealths.
Lancaster's teaching staff have been great at inspiring and enthusing both my academic and my creative work. The skills I have learnt through seminars, essays and presentation work are all vital for careers and life outside this degree."
Heritage Organisation Placement Module
In your second year, you can opt to take a credit-bearing work placement module, coordinated through the department’s Regional Heritage Centre. These voluntary placements range from prominent multi-site organisations such as the National Trust to small independent museums, county archives, and heritage consultants. Our placement providers include:
Lakeland Arts, Kendal and WindermereKeswick Museum & Art Gallery, Lake DistrictNational Trust, Gawthorpe Hall and Sizergh CastleGreater Manchester Museums GroupNorton Priory Trust, Runcorn
During your work placement, you might find yourself analysing data on visitor experiences, improving the description of collections, writing text for exhibitions or researching world-class collections. The module aims to foster awareness of, and reflection on, career opportunities in the heritage sector and elsewhere.
Case Study: Heritage Placement at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery Role: Picture This! Curating two Interactive Digital Albums of Historical Keswick Images
This placement provided the chance to develop curatorial and museum skills, through first-hand research in the collection to create two interactive presentations for the social history gallery. The aim of the new digital albums was to better engage audiences, both young and old, by diversifying how the collections were presented, as well as to encourage visitors to get involved by volunteering or contributing to the collection. The placement honed valuable skills in writing, image selection and sequencing as well as understanding audiences and presenting content using new digital technologies.
A Lancaster University History degree is a gateway to an exciting and rewarding career. History graduates are able to think critically, analyse evidence, structure an argument, and communicate effectively. A degree in History offers you the combination of specialised knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of the world in which we live, which we enhance through a programme of visiting speakers and workshops.
#3 in the UK for graduate career prospects ~ The Complete University Guide rankings 2021
Shona Thompson BA Hons History (2016)Heritage Placement at Sizergh Castle (2015) Currently a History PhD student at Lancaster
“On my first visit to Sizergh, after meeting the National Trust staff (who were all really friendly), we were given a tour of the castle. I was amazed by the castle’s rooms, in particular the Elizabethan Inlaid Chamber. Complete with oak panelled walls, heraldic glass windows and a carved, inlaid state bed, the room was stunning. Sizergh is the home of the Strickland family and it was fascinating for me when working in the library, home to hundreds of books and three huge seventeenth-century tapestries, to also be surrounded by modern appliances like a TV, electric radiator, and family photographs. I would definitely recommend to other students to get involved with a heritage work placement. Not only does it look good on paper to future employers but it gives you the opportunity to improve so many skills whilst having fun and gaining valuable knowledge that will help you make decisions about where you want to take your degree. I enjoyed my ten weeks at Sizergh so much that I asked to stay on as a volunteer!
Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
Fine Art | Design | Film Studies | Theatre
Employability Module: Creative Enterprise
This third year module provides an opportunity for you to develop your understanding of the innovative ways in which creative practitioners produce and deliver their work. It provides an overview of the challenges faced by freelance practitioners, producers and small cultural companies within the creative industries. You will also develop a working understanding of the key management and enterprise skills involved in delivering creative projects. Working in groups you will put your learning into practice through the delivery of your own live creative arts project. This will enable you to understand the skills, knowledge, attributes and behaviours relevant for employment in the arts and creative industries.
LICA’s academic staff are professional artists and practitioners who combine theoretical knowledge and research with their teaching career and their passion for the subject. We invite visiting artists and practitioners to give talks, show their work and engage with our students, and have excellent industry links UK-wide. This environment is ideal for you to start developing yourself as a professional and forming your own network of professional contacts.
Art and Design
#3 for Graduate prospects ~ The Guardian Good University Guide 2021
Student Story -Danielle Ash
BA Hons Fine Art (2015) - Visual Arts Technician, Specialist Arts College
“LICA offered me the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of the context in which I wanted to work. The well-balanced theory aspect of the course meant that I could learn the history of diverse arts disciplines from industry experts and visiting artists, alongside creating well-informed work as a developing arts practitioner. The highlight of my course was when I collaborated with LICA students to create an innovative exhibition of work with the theme ‘Sense and Memory’, which challenged viewers’ preconceptions of art.”
Languages and Cultures
Year Abroad (Study or Work Placement)
Your year abroad takes place in the third year of your degree and many students describe this as a life-changing experience. Our language degrees offer flexibility with your year abroad; enabling you to study at a partner institution, conduct a work placement, teach with the British Council, or a combination of these. In recent years students have undertaken some fantastic paid work placements overseas – here are just a few examples:
- Administrative and Commercial Assistant, JCM Conseil Immobilier, Papeete, Tahiti
- Website Coordinator and Client Liaison, Roomlala, Paris, France
- Cinema Festival Event Coordinator, MJC Annonay, Annonay, France
- Project Management Trainee, IFH Performance Solutions, Frankfurt
- Translator and Media Intern, Siemens Nixdorf, Paderborn, Germany
- Marketing Assistant, Bricoflor, Wuppertal, Germany
- Travel Agency Intern, Montevideo, Uruguay
- Teaching Assistant, SEK Galicia, Spain
- Public Relations Intern, Marco de Comunicación, Madrid, Spain
As a Language Assistant, you would work for the British Council and support the teaching of English in a school or university, planning activities and producing resources to help students improve their English as well as introducing UK contemporary culture through classroom and extra-curricular activities. You may also support the running of international projects and activities.
In year two, our non-credit bearing “Year Abroad Preparation” module will take you through the administrative, academic, financial and welfare matters that you should be aware of in order to fully enjoy this exciting opportunity.
Work Placement Module - Professional Contexts for Modern Languages
This optional second year module aims to support you in applying your linguistic and cultural understanding in a specific professional context and reflecting on key issues in relation to your placement organisation. You would typically spend between 25-30 hours over a period of 10 weeks engaging with a placement organisation on a voluntary basis. Alternatively you could undertake a 'block' placement over a two to three week period during the Easter vacation. We have developed a number of local work placements, including some in schools, but you could also source your own placement (subject to departmental approval). We provide workshops to prepare you for the placement beforehand.
We regularly invite guest lecturers to visit the department. Recently the award-winning German author and performance poet, Ulrike Almut Sandig, ran a masterclass in performance poetry with first and second year students. Such events really bring literary texts to life so that they literally leap off the page.
We also engage with language professionals to bring real-world experience into the academic environment. In 2018 we hosted Roman Ehrlich, a young German contemporary writer to listen to our students’ translation of his work. Michael Krüger, a German publisher, shared with students his life in literary publishing. Benoît Peeters, Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Arts, worked with our second and final-year students on translating comics and Canan Marasligil, multilingual translator and poet of Turkish origin, offered comics and video translation workshops to our students between French, Spanish, and English.
French, and Spanish #1 in the UK for graduate career prospects ~ The Complete University Guide rankings 2021
Student Story - Jess Grange
BA Hons Management Studies & Spanish (2016)
"I joined the Communication team of Amadeus as part of my year abroad, based at the company’s corporate headquarters in Madrid. I mostly worked for the executive communication team but I was often asked to complete tasks within Group Communication as a whole. I helped coordinate all the industry events Amadeus sponsors throughout the world. I also maintained the special ‘Industry Events’ section of the intranet for all employees. Everyone welcomed me and I had nothing but great encounters with my co-workers."
At Lancaster University Law School, we believe that one of the best ways for students to learn is through practice and, while we recognise that not everyone studying for a qualifying Law degree will choose to pursue a legal career, we do believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to explore that option during their time here. We offer these voluntary opportunities to all students as either part of their studies or extracurricular activities.
Miscarriages of Justice Clinic
You can be involved with the Miscarriages of Justice Clinic as both an extra-curricular activity and as an assessed, optional module. You will investigate ‘real life’ cases where there has been a potential miscarriage of justice with a view to referring the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The scheme it is run by solicitors and barristers who supervise the work, and the assistance is undertaken Pro Bono to persons convicted of a crime but who have maintained their innocence and exhausted their appeals process.
You can work in the Law Clinic as part of your degree or as an extra-curricular activity. Being involved in the Law Clinic enables you to gain invaluable experience delivering legal advice to clients, developing their communication skills, practising interviewing, drafting advice and managing case files.
The Law Clinic provides legal advice and information on a range of issues including family, employment, consumer, and tenancy issues. In addition, by working in partnership with North Lancashire Citizens Advice Bureau, we can provide legal advice to people from across Lancaster and Morecambe. A pop-up clinic moves around organisations within the community, including a local food bank, a supported housing project, and a youth organisation.
The aim of the Clinic is to provide high quality legal advice and information while offering practical experience to our Law students. The advice is supervised by qualified barristers and solicitors and the Clinic works closely with local firms of solicitors who also provide supervision to students. The Law Clinic is committed to sustaining and developing its links with other advice agencies, local firms and individuals. It is also a member of LawWorks and adheres to their Protocol on Pro Bono work.
Streetlaw is offered as a third year module and as an extra-curricular activity. Streetlaw sessions are delivered by our law students, who put together interactive presentations/lessons on topical issues of the law that will be of interest to school pupils or members of community groups. The aim of the sessions are to inform groups about particular areas of the law and their legal rights and responsibilities. Students research, design, and deliver the interactive sessions whilst being supervised by a legally qualified member of staff.
Examples of recent Streetlaw projects:
- School Admissions Presentation at a Pre School Centre - our students presented to parents at a local nursery about their rights surrounding school admissions.
- Lancaster District Homeless Action Service & Oak Tree House – our students delivered presentations on family law issues and police powers.
- Campus in the City – presentations for the general public covered the importance of making a will, family law issues, consumer rights, social media safety, and facts surrounding universal credit.
Reserved Work Experience Placements - Voluntary or Paid
The Law School’s strong links with the professions means that you will be able to apply for work experience placements exclusively reserved for those in the Law School. Placement opportunities include those at local, national, and regional solicitors’ firms and barristers chambers; and judicial marshalling, an opportunity rarely afforded to students, where you sit alongside a judge in the Crown Court.
Access to the Professions Placement Scheme
Alumni generosity has allowed us to provide a scholarship fund to assist students in gaining work experience in the legal profession. You can apply for money to support your costs whilst on placement, such as accommodation and travel.
Voluntary Work Placement - Citizens Advice Bureau
The Law School works in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau as part of the Law Clinic scheme. However other general volunteering opportunities are available for you to work directly within the organisation. Whether it’s providing relevant assistance to clients as an Advisor, or taking on an administrative role as a Casework Assistant, the Citizens Advice Bureau gives you the chance to give back to the local community using the skills obtained from your degree, as well as obtaining practical experience working with clients.
Each year, we support and encourage our students to consider and develop their career prospects, and to explore the many opportunities both within and beyond the legal sector. Those wishing to pursue a legal career can benefit from our strong links with the legal professions and begin to establish links of their own.
- Law Society – our active, student-run Law Society organises mooting and negotiation competitions, and a range of careers and social events.
- Liaising with Lawyers event - this event welcomes practising solicitors and barristers from around the country to the Law School to give a series of talks on life in legal practice. You will have the opportunity to network and to ask questions, providing a real insight into the profession.
- Judicial Lecture Series - members of the judiciary regularly visit the Law School to discuss their work and meet with students. Most recently, Lord Justice Ryder, Senior President of the Tribunals and a Court of Appeal judge, gave a lecture to students on his career and the role of tribunals in forging a path for lawyers seeking judicial office.
- Law Careers Fair – this event is specifically for those seeking to enter legal practice. Representatives from Law firms across the country attend and provide students with the opportunity to network and learn more about firms they are considering applying to. Regular attendees include Ashurst, Pinsent Masons, and Bird & Bird.
- Careers Dinner – an opportunity to meet partners and trainees from law firms and chat informally about possible career options. Regular attendees include DLA Piper, White & Case, and Allen & Overy.
- Careers support - practising lawyers run the Law School careers clinic, and will assist you on a one-to-one basis with job applications and CVs, running mock interviews, and providing general careers advice and guidance. You can also take part in a range of workshops and mock interviews, and these can be tailored to specific jobs you have applied for.
#1 in the UK for graduate career prospects ~ The Complete University Guide rankings 2021
Student Story -Stephen Cox
LLB Law (International) (2018)
"I would thoroughly recommend the Law Clinic to anyone who wants to enter into the legal profession. I worked alongside Citizens Advice staff, advising clients on housing issues. The staff were great, making sure I felt comfortable dealing with all the cases that I worked on and providing great support. The Clinic is a great way to put your theoretical knowledge into practice. As a result, it is the best legal experience I have had to date; no work experience with a law firm will expose you to clients in the same way that the Law Clinic does, nor would you be given the same level of responsibility."
Client Quote - Law Clinic Client
"I would just like to say how brilliant the service has been and the letter of advice is exactly what I needed - very useful and extremely professional. Please can you thank the students on my behalf."
Criminology Placement Module
The Law School has strong links with third sector organisations operating in the field of criminal justice, allowing us to offer volunteering and work experience placements to our Criminology students. The Law School has a scholarship fund to offer financial support to assist Criminology students in gaining work experience. You can apply for money to support your costs whilst on placement, such as accommodation and travel.
Learning Together Module: HMP Lancaster Farms
This is an unusual but immensely valuable opportunity to learn collaboratively with inmates of HMP Lancaster Farms. Through learning with inmates in the prison environment, you will increase your understanding of imprisonment and what factors can increase successful resettlement in the community.
Employability module: Working with classified police data
In your third year, you will have the unique opportunity to work with classified police data on offenders, victims and crimes via the module ‘Criminal Justice Research’. This provides the opportunity to work alongside the police in understanding and addressing key priorities ineffective policing.
Employability module: Criminology Innovations
This module encourages you to put criminological theory into practice by enacting change through an assessed live project in which you will deliver a live project for an organisation within, or connected to, the Criminal Justice System. Examples of projects could include (but are not limited to), engaging the public in crime prevention and supporting rehabilitation services through advocacy campaigns.
#1 in the UK for graduate career prospects ~ The Complete University Guide rankings 2021
In my final year, I worked on a ten-week placement with WomanMATTA. Women MATTA is agendered specialist women’s centre that provides holistic support to women affected by the criminal justice system and to those at risk. This placement developed my knowledge of the criminal justice system and also encouraged me to understand that the process of rehabilitation is multidimensional.
Linguistics and English Language
Work Experience Placement Module
The Placement Module provides students with an opportunity to undertake a short period of work experience with an employer in the north-west. All second-year students are eligible to apply for an accredited placement that counts towards your degree but the number of students we can accept on this module is limited. If accepted, you will spend 4-5 days working for an organisation which employs graduates in English Language and Linguistics.
Placements are sourced by the Faculty Careers team and include positions in areas such as Publishing, Marketing, Social media, Advertising, and Speech Therapy-related. Workshops will prepare you for your chosen placement and training will be provided. This module aims to give you a flavour for what it might be like to work in your chosen industry, as well as developing graduate skills such as teamwork, taking direction from managers, confidence and independent working. The course is assessed via a reflective project exploring the personal and professional development gained from your placement.
Every year, our department provides up to ten paid internships where second and third year students work with members of staff on a research project. SPRINT interns work intensively on the same project for one month during the summer, while TRINITY interns work one day per week throughout Terms 1 and 2, moving between a variety of tasks and projects. These internships are a great way to develop your research skills and gain experience working alongside our staff.
School Volunteering Placement Module
If you are interested in becoming a language teacher or working in education, this optional year 3 module gives you invaluable hands-on experience of working as a classroom volunteer in a primary or secondary school over the course of one term.
You would be able to observe direct application of linguistics to teaching practice such as how phonics are used in literacy acquisition at primary level, or how grammar is taught to Key Stage 3 pupils. Through group meetings and a final portfolio assessment, you would explore aspects of reading and language development, the role of teacher-pupil interaction, and peer learning. The hours spent doing a voluntary school placement can be used if you apply for a teacher training course at the end of your degree.
We work with the central University Careers Service to support you in preparing for your future career. We embed practical skills such as transcribing language and language analysis into our degrees so that our graduates are well prepared for careers which use these skills and others such as problem-solving, critical evaluation of evidence, and attention to detail.
We offer a range of opportunities that support your personal and professional development including public events, seminars, and major international conferences. Our staff and students contribute to debates via social media, academic and student blogs, media interviews and public talks. This is all part of our vibrant and friendly academic community.
~ The Complete University Guide 2021
Student Story - Sam Armstrong
BA Hons English Language (2018)
"I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the SPRINT programme last summer. Working with another intern, we developed teaching materials for the new-generation corpus software #LancsBox. We also had the opportunity to begin constructing a one-million-word corpus of British English (I can now appreciate the time it takes to construct a corpus!). Other new experiences included coding sociolinguistic data and developing a promotional video for #LancsBox.
It was an honour to work within the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) at Lancaster and to witness the commitment of everyone involved. I feel extremely lucky to have gained this experience, and would unreservedly encourage anyone to get involved."
Politics, Philosophy and Religion (PPR)
The Richardson Institute Internship Programme
The Richardson Institute is the oldest Peace Studies centre in the UK and was established in 1959 in the spirit of the Quaker scientist, Lewis Fry Richardson. The Richardson Institute is an interdisciplinary forum for cutting-edge research into peace and conflict, and is open to all students within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Each year the Institute provides over 60 voluntary internships which enable undergraduate students to work with external organisations on research projects. Recent interns have worked with NGOs, think tanks, charities and faith based organisations on project themes such as Religion and Borders and Religion and Conflict Situations. You will work on the project alongside your studies throughout the academic year and your project supervisor will support you with research training and interactive workshops.
Employability Module: Politics Employability and Engagement through Outreach
If you are taking a Politics and International Relations degree, this module provides the opportunity to work with sixth form students and successful PPR alumni in positions in Politics, the Civil Service, the Media and NGOs. Through a combination of activities, such as preparing digital and written materials for use in outreach work, you will develop a range of skills in communication, analysis, mentoring, feedback and writing. This experience will boost your CV, particularly if you want to work in teaching or the public and charity sectors.
School Volunteering Placement Module: PPR in Education
This optional placement module will give you experience in a classroom, including classroom observation, teacher assistance, as well as teaching small groups (under supervision). You’ll develop transferable skills and will be required to reflect on how your subject area is experienced by learners, delivered in other parts of the educational sector, and applied in a classroom setting.
As a PPR student, you will be allocated an academic tutor, who will offer you regular one-to-one guidance on developing and recording the transferable skills and experience that will make you highly employable after your degree. All our modules are developed with such skills-building in mind.
As well as the above work experience modules, you will be encouraged to participate in Active Research and field studies with external partners. We hold career guidance workshops specifically for students of each of our core subjects and our dedicated careers tutor offers individual advice on how to plan ahead and make the most of the opportunities we offer.
- #7 Religious Studies
- #12 Philosophy
- #12 Politics
~ The Complete University Guide 2021
Student Story - Grant Helm
BA (Hons) Politics with International Relations (2015)
What makes the Department stand out for me is the opportunity to take on other projects such as the internship with the Richardson Institute for peace and conflict research. There are a wide variety of different projects which allow you to complete real world research for key clients such as the Ministry of Defence and Radicalisation Research amongst others. The internship allowed me to stand out more in summer internship applications in my second year and my experience was ultimately enough to gain me a place on the programme run by the Civil Service Fast Stream.
- Social Work
Sociology, Media and Cultural Studies
Employability Module: Independent Research Project by Placement
You will conduct an independent research project whilst also gaining highly valued work experience in a charity, local government, social enterprise, or company. This will foster your ability to ask critical questions, drawing on sociological and critical cultural theories to analyse ‘real world’ problems and come up with viable solutions.
Our staff and students engage with important public debates around social and cultural issues at local, national and international levels. We contribute to debates and campaigns via social media, academic and student blogs, media interviews and public talks, and this contributes to the intellectually vibrant and friendly atmosphere for which Lancaster is been renowned.
We offer a range of opportunities that support your personal and professional development. You can participate in field trips, film screenings, public events, seminars, and major international conferences. All this makes for a vibrant and supportive atmosphere.
We have a dedicated Careers Tutor who works with the University careers service to offer many opportunities: to gain different work experiences through our placement and internship programmes, to develop application skills, and to learn about preparing your CV.
#4 in the UK for graduate career prospects ~ The Complete University Guide rankings 2021
Student Story - Becca
Sociology student Becca did a Schools Volunteering Placement because she is interested in teaching as a career:
“This experience gave me a real insight into what primary teaching involves, an insight that I would not have gained anywhere other than within a classroom environment. I have only been attending the placement for a few weeks but I have already learned more than I ever expected to, such as different teaching techniques right down to how is best to organise a reception classroom. If you are thinking of going into a career in teaching I would highly recommend organising a placement as it is key both to the career and also to applications for teacher training. Institutions deem this experience to be the most important part of your application and like to draw upon what you have taken from it.”