Overview: Studying for a Geography degree at Queen's will assist students 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, including Geography.
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in geography-related areas (town and country planning, environmental impact, Land and Property Services [formerly Ordnance Survey]) significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
- High-level sales
- Civil Service (especially government environment agencies)
- Varied graduate programmes
- Computing (especially using geographic data like Google Maps)
Employer Links – Consultations: We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, National Trust, Geological Survey of N.Ireland, who provide both snapshot advice on their work, as well as run more in-depth advice sessions, the latter often at taught Masters level. We also run a careers seminar programme with guest speaker employers and further study coordinators (teacher training, Masters and PhD degrees).
Placement Employers: Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:
- Marble Arch Caves Geopark
- Geological Survey of N.Ireland
- Ulster Wildlife Trust
- Land and Property Services
- National Trust
- Police Service of N.Ireland
Other Employer Links: One of our key employer links is via our Level 3 module – 'Geography at Work', a highly vocational course based largely on a placement that is written up as a project. The module has proven to be of great benefit to students, to the quality of our degree and to employers. Other modules of course maintain employer links with guest lectures and by obtaining recent case studies of work that can be demonstrated in class.
Please take a look at www.prospects.ac.uk for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Geography graduates.
Further study is also an option open to Geography graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see: http://www.qub.ac.uk/gap
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 Plus initiative, 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 full Employability Statement for 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.