Sponsored feature, words by Russ Thorne

With the graduate job market more competitive than ever, it’s important to make sure your degree gives you as much of an advantage as possible. To give yourself that edge, you need to offer something extra. You need to be able to think critically; you need to be able to show a creative side; you need to display a well-rounded knowledge of a range of subjects. These are all skills that you can learn on a humanities degree.

We spoke to staff and students at Liverpool Hope University to delve deeper into the many benefits of studying humanities. You can get more info on their courses at their open days, which are coming up soon.

1 – Career prospects

A humanities degree doesn't only equip you for one area. You'll graduate with experience and abilities that you can take with you to any job and you'll have trained your mind to think both critically and creatively. It will also give you excellent communication skills, making you a natural at interacting with people – including prospective employers..

“Professor Simon Piasecki, Head of the Dance, Drama and Performance Studies at Liverpool Hope University says “Employers tend to prefer people that shows innovation, initiative, communication and creative adaptability over the person that simply has a mono-disciplinary skill. This is why degrees like our BA Creative and Performing Arts produce graduates with such an exciting future.”

2 – An Exciting Learning Environment

Pick the right uni and your student life won't just be about the course. It will also be about the place itself, which can make for a truly exceptional experience. At Liverpool Hope, for example, students get all the benefits of living and studying in one the UK's great cultural cities, along with world-class facilities at the uni's exceptional campuses.

Indeed, find the perfect match and you'll feel right at home. “The atmosphere on campus is very friendly,” says Art and Design student Agnes Swan, who is based at the impressive Creative Campus – home to the University’s creative and performing arts subjects - “and it's a compact campus so you get to know everybody.”

(Hear more from Agnes here.)

3 – A Chance to Develop Practical Skills

Theory is important in humanities subjects including art, music and drama, but for a truly rounded education you need the practical side as well. That's exactly what a well-balanced degree programme, like the ones offered by Liverpool Hope, can offer: you get the classroom knowledge but also the chance to put it to good use.

Music students, for example, have the opportunity to develop their performance with a little help from the celebrated Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. “Players teach our students, come in for workshops and play their compositions,” says Professor of Musicology Tassilo Erhardt. “In the University orchestra our students will perform next to members of the RLPO.”.

(Hear more from Tassilo here.)

4 – Pursue Your Passion

As a humanities student you'll be able to fully immerse yourself in the subject you love, whether that's Literature, History, Philosophy or any number of other options. As well as the academic side, the right uni will also give you the chance to get involved in other projects – at Liverpool Hope, students can take part in the extra-curricular Service and Leadership Award (SALA), which gives them the opportunity to volunteer abroad in countries such as India and Brazil. The University also offers many other exciting events and initiatives, such as the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize (open to the public), and which has a first prize of £10,000 and attracts many aspiring playwrights.

Students of all subjects also have the chance to engage with the top minds in their fields, both in and out of the classroom. “I'm interested in Early Music,” says music student Nathan Murphy, “and there are lecturers here that I can go and talk to about that.”

If something is still missing, uni is the ideal place to make something happen for yourself, too. “I've started two choirs,” Nathan continues, “Liverpool is a great city and there's plenty of opportunity here.”

(Hear more from Nathan here.)

5 – Go Further

Finally, it doesn't all have to stop after your undergrad degree. A bachelors in the humanities is the ideal jumping off point for further artistic and academic adventures, and you never know where it might take you.

In fact, how about lunch with the Queen? That was the outcome for Liverpool Hope student Kate Earlam, who won the Young Designer Silversmith Award while studying for an MA by Creative Practice and was invited to Westminster Hall as a result. “I had lunch with the Royal Family and the Queen,” she says. “That was definitely a highlight!” So whatever your dream, a humanities degree might help it come true – and much more besides.

(Hear more from Kate here.)