Studying for a degree in French and Irish at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
The First Destination Survey showed that none of our language graduates were unemployed six months after graduating in 2010. A Higher Education Funding Council report for 2008 also showed that 3.5 years after graduation, languages students have the fourth highest mean salary (after graduates in Medicine, Pharmacy and Architecture).
Students graduating from French and Irish in Queen’s have pursued careers in a wide range of sectors, including teaching and education, academic research, translation at home and in the EU, broadcasting and the media, civil service, community development.
The following is a list of the major career sectors (and some starting salaries) that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
- Community Development: c.£30, 000
- Education / Teaching: £22000
- Banking: £28 000
- PR: £20 000-25, 000
- Export Marketing: £15 000 - £25 000
- Media and Publishing: £15, 000
- Fast Stream Civil Service: £27,000
- Translation / Interpreting: £18, 000 - £26 000
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, in Irish, the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies who participated in the course design for the MA in Irish Film and Script Production. An Gúm and Foras na Gaeilge, and other schools and community groups in Belfast provide opportunities for placements for students. In French, employers such as Santander and the British Council, as well as Rolls Royce, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Ulster Carpets’ Export Marketing division have provided placements for our students.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many eminent figures; for example:
- Ferdia Mac an Fhailigh, Chief Executive, Foras na Gaeilge
- Méabh Ní Mhuirí, Presenter, BBC Radio Ulster
- Seán Ó Maoilsté, Founder, Cult Úr
- Kathy Clugston, Radio 4 presenter
- Edward Hughes, Professor of French, Queen Mary University of London
- Siobhan Lavery, Senior Sales executive, U105 radio station
You should also take a look at www.prospects.ac.ukfor further information concerning the types of jobs that attract languages Graduates.
Further study is also an option pursued by French and Irish graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics as shown on the School website.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.