Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Modern Languages


Language skills are valuable in today’s world where a global mindset is highly prized.

Learn more about the diverse career options that linguists enter from translation to marketing.

Watch our videos from industry professionals providing key advice and read about the exciting roles our Nottingham alumni have moved into.


What skills will I gain during my degree?

Students with languages often underestimate the broad range of skills they acquire and develop during their studies. You will be able to:

  • read, speak, write and understand one or more foreign languages
  • lead and participate in discussion and presentations
  • show a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • demonstrate adaptability, flexibility and cultural awareness, particularly through the time spent abroad
  • evidence strong oral and written communication skills

Being competent in at least one other language aside, these are skills that are extremely transferable to a very wide range of careers and sectors.

In addition, many employers desire candidates with a global or international outlook so language graduates have a lot to offer.

Many language graduates really underestimate the value of their year abroad and therefore don't exploit it to its full potential when applying for jobs. If you would like to discuss how to make the most of your time abroad, get in touch.


What are my career options?

Did you know that 70% of jobs requiring a degree do not specify a particular subject?

You need to decide whether you want a job where languages are central to the role. These include teaching, translation and interpreting. Even in such careers, having the language skill alone is not the only factor, as each of these requires a range of other skills and qualities.

It is true to say that many graduates of modern languages (and other subjects) take some time building their career through a series of roles to get to a specific career where they want to be or even to decide what job suits them. 

Option 1: Using your core language skills


Option 2: Opting for language-related roles

Option 2: Opting for language-related roles

Practically any sector, company and role might require language skills if it is necessary for its operations:

  • a logistics and distribution company might require staff with linguistic abilities and cross-cultural skills to deal with international suppliers
  • market research or business development consultancies might have international clients or analyse global campaigns
  • a global fashion retailer might need people to speak to customers or other businesses in other countries

The language recruitment agencies below have vacancies like these. Bear in mind though that language skills will seldom suffice by themselves; they are usually required together with sector or role-related competencies. In other cases, they might be desirable rather than essential.

It is worth noting that even if you aren’t using the target language, a role or company might want someone who has an understanding of different cultures or who has lived elsewhere to help them understand different customs and practice (both within Europe and beyond), without necessarily the need to speak a foreign language regularly. This is where the breadth of your degree comes in, especially your time abroad where you might have been surprised by small but significant differences.

Another way to immerse yourself in a foreign language is obviously to live in the target country - visit our working abroad pages. Many people start this process by teaching English abroad.

Working abroad

Teaching English as a foreign language


Option 3: Exploring other graduate roles. Includes UoN alumni case studies

As mentioned earlier, 70% of jobs requiring a degree is open to any discipline, so try researching different areas. Recent language graduates have gone into roles as diverse as:

  • accountancy and banking
  • marketing, advertising and PR
  • Civil Service
  • IT
  • other education-related roles to teaching

Research graduate job roles

Read stories from Nottingham alumni

Resource Optimisation Manager

Freddie Field graduated in 2016 after studying Modern Languages with Business. He now works  for Tecknuovo, a digital transformation consultancy.

Freddie Field

Founder of influencer marketing agency

Charlotte is the founder of SevenSix Agency and co-host of Sustainably Influenced, a podcast focused on conversations around ethical practices.

Charlotte Williams



Beth Newton graduated in 2015 with a BA in Modern Languages with Business. Today she is a Merchandiser for TJX Europe.

Beth Newton

Information and Data Analyst

Corinne Leighton, who graduated in BA French and Russian in 1999, discusses how the skills gained on her language degree led her to a career in data.

Corinne Leighton


Languages Careers Event

Interested in putting your language skills front and centre? Hear from a panel of professionals who are using their language skills in a wide range of roles. They provide an insight into their role and using their languages plus advice on how to enter these fields.

  • Phoebe Brown, Film PR at Percy and Warren (Film and TV PR agency)
  • Charlotte Byrne, Growth Marketing Manager at Smol (Berlin based)
  • Anna Richards, Freelance Travel Writer in France
  • Emily Holt, Communications Manager at Civil Service (direct entry role)
  • Niamh McLeish, German Immigration Coordinator at Fragment (global immigration law firm)
  • Lucy Scurrah, Head of Sales for UK and France at Klarna
  • Patrick Crowley, Pre-Recorded Subtitler at Sky

Login to SharePoint to watch a recording of this event 

  • Alumni: Email us to gain access to the webinar

Icon of a video playing


What are my further study options?

Postgraduate study or training can allow you to:

  • develop your skills and current subject knowledge further
  • enter certain careers by building expertise in a specific subject
  • switch careers, by training or building skills in a new subject

It's important to understand your reasons for studying at postgraduate level and to research opportunities and the value of postgraduate study in your sector before applying.

Masters funding is available (eligibility criteria exists) in the form of a postgraduate loan, but you can only access this funding once hence the importance of choosing your course carefully. If you'd like to talk this through with an adviser, arrange an appointment to speak to us.

Careers blog: Thinking About Postgraduate Study?

Find out more about further study


Enhancing your skill set at Nottingham

How can I build my skills and experience?

The opportunities listed are primarily aimed at current students living in the Nottingham area. If you are well into your final year, graduated or are no longer in Nottingham, you can access work and volunteering options in your home area.

Depending on your location and what you want to do, your strategy to develop your skills and experience may vary. You are welcome to have a chat with us, so just arrange an appointment.

Work experience and volunteering

Depending on what area of work or role you might be interested in, and where, there will be specific strategies, from speculative applications to formal processes you need to be familiar with.

Work experience - what, how and when

Nottingham Internship Scheme

We work closely with a huge variety of local and national businesses to bring you an exciting range of internship opportunities, for both current students and recent graduates.


Nottingham Consultancy Challenge

The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge offers the chance for you to gain hands-on experience of managing a short term project for a local business or charity as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  


Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award offers interesting extracurricular modules to develop and reflect on your employability. With over more than 200 modules across our three campus in the UK, China and Malaysia.


Students' Union

The Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering options both locally and internationally which you can fit around your studies.

Alternatively you could get involved in a society or sports club - there's so many, you're bound to find one that interests you!


Working with young people

There are three initiatives which will give you the opportunity to work in a local educational setting.  These initiatives support the academic attainment and raise the aspirations of primary and secondary pupils, whilst developing the skills and employability of those involved. 

These are excellent opportunities for students considering teaching, youth work or community engagement as a career.


Exchange programmes overseas

Undertake an exchange semester in another country and broaden your horizons. Talk to your tutors and find out more about the programmes available from the International Office.


Optional placement year

You can now undertake an optional placement year as part of your degree at the end of your penultimate year of study. The placement can be aligned to your degree discipline or related to your career aspirations.  Speak to a career adviser or your school for more information.

If you are no longer at Nottingham, you can access work and volunteering opportunities at home. Depending on your location and what you want to do, your strategy may vary so come and speak to us or arrange a telephone appointment.


Developing your digital skills

Digital skills are highly valued by employers. Develop your skills through volunteering, online courses through Google or providers such as FutureLearn, or by getting involved in the Digital Marketing Academy.

If you're not sure where to start, begin by assessing your digital capability and identifying your next steps.


Please be aware that study abroad, compulsory year abroad, optional placements/internships and integrated year in industry opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities or placement/industry hosts, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university's control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

How can I prepare for making applications? 

We can help you with all stages of the application, from reviewing your CV and/or application form to interview coaching and assessment centre practice.

Many graduate recruiters also use psychometric tests during the recruitment and selection process. They are common across all sectors and career fields. Practise will really help your performance.


How can I enhance my digital skills?

Digital skills are essential in many career fields, including advertising, publishing, marketing, and general commerce. They range from social media to coding and will definitely enhance your employability. There are various ways to develop your digital skills whilst at university.


Explore more...

Language recruitment agencies

These are examples of agencies that specialise in recruiting a range of sectors/roles such as: personal assistants, sales, finance, transport and customer service.


Language specific resources



Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679