Literatures, Languages & Cultures

What can I do with.... languages?

Employers love Intercultural Competence. Studying one or more languages demonstrates that you're a good communicator, a resilient problem solver, and someone open to other cultures and new ideas.

Skills and experience 

Think ahead - employers love to see languages on a CV

Studying one or more languages to degree level demonstrates that you are a good communicator, and someone open to other cultures and new ideas – what employers value as Intercultural Competence.

Beyond the skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking you'll develop on a language programme, our degrees give you a nuanced understanding of other cultures and societies.

When you graduate with a four-year Master of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh, you also demonstrate intellectual maturity, resilience, and flexibility.

The additional skills you will gain through your language classes, coursework and activities are useful in lots of careers. For example, you will be able to show employers that you can:

  • understand, analyse and articulate complex issues and concepts
  • manage your time to meet deadlines on different types of project
  • work independently and as part of a group.

Opportunities at home and away

With increasing migration in response to changing global dynamics, there is demand for our graduates both at home and abroad.

Wherever you are based in the world, the ability to communicate in another language, and to understand the cultures to which it opens doors, will make you stand out.


Some careers, like translating and interpreting, typically involve using your language skills every day.

In other roles, you will use your language(s) and intercultural competence when you travel, work abroad or communicate with colleagues or clients who are based in, or are from, other countries.

Within the private, public, not-for-profit, and for-benefit sectors, previous graduates have gone on to career pathways in:

  • Business, finance and commerce
  • Communications, marketing, advertising and public relations
  • Education, outreach, advocacy and training
  • Journalism, broadcasting and media
  • Leisure, tourism and travel
  • Politics, policy work, diplomacy, civil service and law
  • Publishing, culture, heritage and the arts
  • Research, development and venture acceleration
  • Translating and interpreting

Further study

The enhanced research skills you will develop on a four-year programme, particularly in your honours years, are a valuable asset if you wish to continue studying at postgraduate level.

At the University of Edinburgh, for example, you can study a Masters by Research degree in a language, or take an interdisciplinary taught Masters programme such as:

  • Comparative Literature MSc
  • Intermediality MSc
  • Film Studies MSc
  • Translation Studies MSc

Careers advice

The University of Edinburgh has an excellent Careers Service. Throughout your time with us, we will encourage you to identify and hone your employability skills, including through peer initiatives such as Life After LLC (Literatures, Languages and Cultures) where you can draw inspiration from our graduates.

Find out more about the Careers Service