Applied Humanities

A major concern of the School of Humanities is giving our students the best possible undergraduate learning experience, but one that is infused with professional practice and real life work experience.

Second year students within the following programmes  – American Studies, combined Archaeology, English, History, Theology and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics – have the opportunity to take a work placement module ‘Applied Humanities: Employability in Practice’. This module has received sector-wide recognition as a bespoke learning opportunity for undergraduate humanities students, by combining both academic and professional practice together. In this module, students are helped to take the first step on the road to “employability”.  Within the School of Humanities, we understand this term as enabling our students to take the skills-set that they are acquiring as undergraduates and help them see ways to render it relevant to the world of work.

This placement helped me grow into a more confident person with greater self-belief. I am looking forward to getting a job and the challenges that this presents, knowing that I now have the confidence to achieve my goals.

Good luck to students taking this module, you won’t regret it!

Helen Cullen, placed with Wessex Archaeological Trust


In contrast to academic class-based learning, the focus here is on exciting and useful practical work-based experience of 40 hours in total. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills in obtaining relevant work experience, or by working with professionals to set project/problem based work opportunities. Over the course of the semester, students are introduced to a range of workshops that have been designed to offer our undergraduates a bespoke employability experience.

Yearly student focus groups ensures that we deliver a module that our students are invested in, whilst tailoring our placements to their own life goals. This module also benefits from partner feedback which guarantees that we are delivering a degree that meets professional standards, thereby assisting our students with the world of work after the completion of their degrees.

Irina Fridman, Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre

"I strongly believe that collaboration between Christ Church University and Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre benefits both sides – it provides invaluable experience for the students, gives them an inside knowledge of a working place and its resources, and reaches out to wider audiences and potential customers and employees for MALSC."

Andrew Smith, Canterbury City Council

"I was very happy with both the placement student and the recruitment process.  Our student helped us to develop a time limited project to a high standard which will help local organisations in the district."

Anita Sedgewick, Kearsney Historical Parks

"It was great to have students who were enthusiastic about the research they were doing, and it allowed us to discover information that we wouldn’t otherwise have found out. This has added to our understanding of the people who created the parks and what life was like for them."

Danielle Sellers, Royal Engineers Museum

"I found the three students who worked with us to be interested and engaged with the cataloguing work we provided them with. They all adapted to the new skills they needed for the role, working through a number of photograph albums during their time at the Royal Engineers Museum.  The hours they spent with us have enabled the Museum to add over thirty catalogued photograph albums to our online catalogue, enabling access to new material for researchers and the public. We look forward to working with more students, developing their skills and increasing our collections knowledge."

Dave Donaldson - BA Honours History Student. Placement undertaken with the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne

"My placement last year involved helping the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne to find a way of digitising their archives. I applied for this placement, as I am interested in a career in the archives sector. However, I have no previous experience or knowledge about archives and the digitisation process. This module allowed me use skills that I have obtained during my History degree to devise successfully a way that the group I was assisting could digitise their collections. This included contacting various local history groups and museums regarding their own digital collections, then, critically assessing their responses. I also managed to visit a local history group, which was very fulfilling!

Skills gained during my degree, notably regarding research, critical thinking and presentation, helped me a lot during this placement, all whilst illustrating what I have learnt during this module and its many useful workshops. Doing this placement independently also improved my sense of initiative and my confidence in presenting my findings to this local history group’s committee. I am very glad that I chose this module as it has given me experience of a humanities-related job, whilst improving my employability and giving me more to write on my CV."

Mica Hillier, English and History BA Honours Student, Placement with Kearsney Parks, Dover Council

"Applied Humanities helped me to identify everyday activities and tasks, in current employment and as a student, as transferable skills for the future and how best to demonstrate these to employers. It helped me to identify and consolidate my best attributes and convey them effectively through CVs and cover letters. Employability as a module is perfect for those who have not entered the world of employment yet and to re-engage those who already are."

George Wright, History BA Honours Student. Placement undertaken with Faversham Business Centre

"Applied humanities helped me fine tune my communication and social skills towards a professional objective. My previous work in sectors such as retail and bar management provided the basis for understanding employability on a standard level without much knowledge of the business sector, or how the skills that I am gaining from my History degree could be transferred to other sectors. Applied Humanities showed me the different careers and pathways available to me, providing information such as how to approach big businesses or give your CV the professional edge. These skills and the practical experience I gained from the 40 hour work related learning opportunity as part of the course no doubt helped me gain a summer job with FRP Advisory, a financial company in London. I now feel more prepared for the business world."

Savannah Bradshaw. BA Honours Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. Placement undertaken with Wilsons of Carlisle

"Over and above everything that I learned from my experience taking Applied Humanities and working with Wilsons of Carlisle was the real value of self-worth, and that my capabilities are much more than I give myself credit for. I was able to actively take part in the meetings and contribute ideas and questions to help the buying process of both side companies/agencies that we were building together. I reflected back to the self-awareness workshop at the end of the module on a deeper level than before the placement; initially it was taken as a format to know how one can come across to others and know your own body language and presentation, but now it is much more. It is an acknowledgement of what you can achieve and your capabilities, and being able to confidently use them in a professional environment, growing through social feedback and communication."

Organisations often have interesting projects and work related opportunities that they are unable to make happen due to time restrictions or budgets. The School of Humanities, Canterbury Christ Church University, can help! We are seeking work-related learning opportunities with external partners for our second year employability module, ‘Applied Humanities in the Workplace’. Working in partnership with organisations, local businesses, charities, museums and the third sector, we will help you design a forty-hour work-related learning opportunity for students that will be of benefit to all involved. A key goal of the module is to develop our students’ personal and enterprise skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, decision-making, initiative, and creativity. Our partners will benefit in turn from students’ enthusiasm and creativity, as well as their knowledge and skills.

Potential partners are welcome to contact us if they are interested in offering work shadowing, projects or work-related learning opportunities for Humanities students this coming academic year. Please note that placements take place around the Easter vacation. If you have a potential opportunity, please email the Director of Employability, School of Humanities via







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Last edited: 13/12/2018 20:01:00