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Department of Philosophy

Alumni career destinations

If you’re worried that a philosophy degree won’t get you anywhere, take a look at some of the jobs our alumni are now doing across a variety of sectors. We have good relationships with our alumni and organise annual events where you can have the chance to meet them and find out about their career paths.

How will studying philosophy help me to find a fulfilling job?

Philosophy is fundamentally concerned with the question: what does a flourishing human life look like? When you choose a philosophy degree, you are embarking on a course which will equip you with the skills needed to think carefully and deeply about what matters in a good life, and how individual happiness is related to friendships, relationships, family, society, the political system, and culture. Whatever you end up doing with your life, a philosophy degree will forever change the way you look at things: once you've spent three years wondering what truth is, and whether we have any knowledge, and why art is valuable, you'll never be able to approach mundane practical matters in quite the same way!

In addition, your philosophical training will give you a whole raft of 'transferable skills'. What that means is: you'll develop capacities and abilities through studying philosophy that potential employers will value immensely. These include:

Intellectual skills

For example the ability to think critically about a problem or issue; to analyse an argument; to synthesise different ideas and texts

Communication skills

For example the ability to write clearly, concisely, and grammatically; to give oral presentations; to participate in a discussion; to chair a meeting; to listen effectively

Organisational skills

For example the ability to work independently, to organise your own schedule, to meet deadlines, to manage competing demands on your time

Inter-personal skills

For example the ability to work with others; to encourage and support others' learning; to be flexible and responsive

Research Skills

For example the ability to conduct literature reviews; to organise a research project; to use relevant resources in the library and online; to structure a large piece of work

Business/IT/Finance

  • International CEO of McDonalds
  • Software developer for running formula 1 cars for McLaren
  • Executive Director of Citigroup Global Markets
  • Graduate trainee at KPMG in London
  • Chief Information Officer at UK Power Networks
  • UK Social Investment Advisor for Shell
  • Corporate Communications Officer in at a sustainability organization in Amsterdam
  • Assistant Manager in Corporate Finance at Deloitte • Internal Auditor to the multinational PLC, Reckitt Benckiser
  • Manager, Commercial Assurance, PwC
  • Associate Director at Coutts
  • Management Consultant at Accenture
  • Management consultant in New York for PwC
  • Strategy Consultant, Economics & Policy team , PwC

Charity

  • Government Relations Adviser for Amnesty International Australia
  • Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Mencap)
  • Hostel manager in the homeless sector
  • Consultant evaluating the impact of international aid programmes at an international development consultancy firm
  • Head of the Student Counselling Service at Newcastle University
  • In the West Bank serving as an Ecumenical Accompanier

Civil Service

  • Head of European Policy in the Intellectual Property Office
  • PA to the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Beijing
  • Programme Manager for an Adult Education department within local government
  • Working for the Department for Communities and Local Government on local economic growth policy

Journalism/Media/Publishing

  • Writer and columnist at The Guardian
  • Desk Editor at Ashgate Publishing
  • Associate Producer in factual development for an independent television company
  • Freelance journalist, writing for the Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and various other newspapers and magazines
  • Journalist specialising in writing about the business of F1
  • Running a publishing company
  • Film journalist and Video Producer
  • Programme commissioner assistant, ITV

Law

  • Child protection solicitor
  • Trainee barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Partner in Trowers & Hamlins (Law firm) specializing in commercial litigation
  • Trainee solicitor at Trowers & Hamlins (London Law firm)
  • Trainee at Eversheds in Leeds (Commercial law)
  • Partner at Linklaters (Solicitors)

Marketing

  • Marketing Strategist at O2
  • Head of Corporate Brand for Morrisons Supermarket
  • Marketing Manager at an Information Security firm
  • Market research strategy consultant

Teaching/Academia

  • Head of Religious Studies and Philosophy at a large Catholic secondary school in Birmingham
  • University Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy
  • Teaching at a Junior College in Singapore (Singaporean equivalent of 6th form)
  • Deputy head at a secondary school
  • Postdoctoral fellow in human osteology (biological anthropology)
  • Head of RE at a large Catholic High School in Northumberland
  • Loughborough Grammar School as a 'Teacher of Humanities'
  • Tutor at Heythrop College, University of London and also Head of Philosophy at Sutton Grammar School
  • Lecturer in Philosophy at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia)
  • Academic Registrar at Oxford Brookes University
  • ESL teacher in Shanghai, China (working for a multinational English Teaching company: Wall Street English)
  • Formerly Senior Advisor for Subject Centres and Academic Lead for Online Learning. Since 2011 I have been an independent consultant in higher education.
  • Lecturer in Philosophy at Nottingham University

Miscellaneous

  • Running a small adventure activity company
  • Vicar of Bolton
  • Army officer specialising in media operations
  • Senior child protection social worker
  • Police constable
  • Career Advisor at the University of Manchester
  • Private practice in Play Therapy and Filial (parent-child) Therapy

Durham University Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre is here to help you.

Employer Testimonial

"Durham is a key target University for us because the quality and calibre of graduates is extremely high. As a result we benefit from recruiting many graduates and interns from Durham University each year"
Annabel Nichols,
UKI Recruitment Director,
Accenture.

Philosophy and Employability