Arts Sciences


Employment prospects

Q: What sort of job can I do after Arts and Sciences?

A: A very wide range of jobs in business, journalism, consultancy, the creative industries, engineering companies, governments, charities, NGOs, health management, science, cultural exchange, games and simulations etc will be open to you. 

Our first year students have already achieved work placements and internships in finance, global consultancy, government policy units, international NGOs, journalism and tech start-ups.

Q: Why do employers ask for 'cross-disciplinary experience'?

A: The world of work is changing very fast and there are many views on what this world will be like in a few years' time. One thing seems to be clear though: we are preparing people today for jobs that we do not yet know exist. By having cross-disciplinary experience, you show that you are adaptable and able to learn in a wide variety of ways and subject areas. This adaptability and flexibility is of premium value to top employers. Please see Careers for some quotes from employers on the value of interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary learning and experience.

Q: Are there internships on this degree?

A: Yes. All Arts and Sciences second year students will have the opportunity to be supported by the BASc Placement and Vacancies Team at UCL Careers if they wish to undertake an internship during their second year or in the summer vacation period following their second year. Please see the Internships page for examples on what internships have been completed by our students to date.

Q: I am worried that I will not have a ‘specialism’ when I leave university and this will put me at a disadvantage in the job market. Can you reassure me?

A: Firstly, by studying a major and a minor you will gain considerable depth in two academic areas.

Secondly, an important statistic to bear in mind is that around 75% of all graduate jobs are open to a graduate in any subject whatsoever. This means that specialism is not a requirement for about 75% of graduate jobs. One of the aims of Arts and Sciences is to allow you to graduate best-placed to apply for leading roles in these areas (see What sort of job can I do after Arts and Sciences? above).

Thirdly, it is a myth that studying in one department is the only way to achieve a 'specialism'. The reality is that from Chemistry, through Psychology to English and History, there are ways to combine modules from different university departments to build up your own specialist knowledge in everything from Child Health to Design Engineering to Politics and Media to Behavioural Economics, and so on. Combining modules from different departments can be intellectually challenging but it is also rewarding as it allows you to think more deeply about your true interests, rather than follow a standard (and possibly irrelevant) set of courses.

Q: Which companies, if any, have endorsed this degree?

A: We have not sought endorsement as we wish to remain independent. However, we are working with groups of employers on an Advisory Committee on Employment (for example the Council for Industry and Higher Education are advising us on employment and work trends of the future) and we will involve further employers in our third year Knowledge Economy module. .

These groups will also advise us on a rolling basis of the aspects of Arts and Sciences that are most relevant and helpful to their industries or areas of work. 

Please also see these quotes from Careers on the value of the sorts of knowledge and skills that Arts and Sciences students will have. Two further examples: one from a world-leading media organisation and the next from an umbrella group which liaises with the creative and digital industries.

'...when we look for future leaders at [our organisation]...we're looking for rounded individuals with a broader skill set.'

'According to e-Skills UK, Skillset and Creative & Cultural Skills - the relevant Sector Skills Councils - a top priority for Creative, Digital and IT industries is the development of hybrid skills - technical, business, creative, interpersonal. These are a vital way of monetising content and services...'

Q: I have heard the phrase 'portfolio career'. What does this mean?

A: A 'portfolio career' refers to the fact that, so far as we can tell, most students entering higher education today will have 2,3 or even 4 careers in their lifetimes.

This may have a profound effect on the purpose and focus of university studies. On Arts and Sciences BASc we aim to give students the sort of grounding and education they will need to be flexible in this work environment and to adapt to any necessary changes. Some of this education will involve technical skills - e.g. learning quantitative methods and the foreign language - but other parts will involve broader skills and an ability to think critically and to synthesise information from many areas - e.g. the Value Judgements course, the interdisciplinary electives and the subjects students will study on their Pathways.