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Career Opportunities for History and International Studies Graduates in Nigeria



History and International Studies degree course allow you to gain a first-class exposure to two subjects and to acquire a broader range of skills than a normal single honours degree, whilst at the same time enjoying the benefits of specialisation.

The history part of the course is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory while the international studies element allows you to understand how key global actors have responded to international political, economic and social challenges since the Second World War.

Scope of History and International Studies

History and International Studies seeks to provide liberal arts education with the highest breath in comprehensive human experiences. It offers students the opportunity to study the past, not only for its own sake, but for the perspectives it offers the present. The curriculum lays emphases on training students to understand the nature of evidence and how to interpret evidence. The programme is designed to develop in students intellectual abilities, which will be useful for future careers in diverse fields. It offers perspectives on local history, cultural analysis, cultural diversity, methodology, and gender, while maintaining the traditional strengths in the fields of African, European, American and World history.

Most universities in Nigeria that offer History and International Studies offer it as a 4 year course with course work including likely subjects such as political science, economics, sociology etc. This equips a graduate of History & International Studies with the tools to pursue careers in diverse fields.

Skills Needed for History and International Studies

Language Skills

  • Reading and understanding sophisticated ideas
  • Recognizing complex word patterns and structures
  • Understanding cultural differences as reflected in language
  • Interpreting complex language
  • Reading for tone and attitude
  • Translating languages / ideas
  • Evaluating translations and original texts

Research / Analytical Skills

  • Asking analytical questions
  • Generating and developing complex, novel ideas
  • Compiling and organizing information
  • Analyzing data
  • Examining and evaluating evidence
  • Evaluating theories about societies and cultures
  • Understanding problems about society and cultures
  • Making decisions about social processes and policies

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

  • Understanding other cultures and beliefs
  • Developing sensitivity to multiple viewpoints
  • Appreciating historical continuity and change
  • Clarifying others’ thoughts and ideas

Communication Skills

  • Writing clearly
  • Persuading people / groups
  • Presenting and debating ideas
  • Listening critically

Career Opportunities for History and International Studies Graduates

Graduates of history and international studies/relations in Nigeria generally can take up careers in three major areas;
– Public Sector (Government)
– Private Sector
– Non Profit/NGO

Public Sector

History and International Relations graduates can pursue meaningful careers in government institutions in various capacities. We list some careers one can take up in the public sector as an History and International Relations graduate. The list is by no means exhaustive.

– Research Assistants and Specialists (in National Assembly, government agencies etc)
– Legislator (local, state and federal houses)
– Constituency Officers (working in constituency offices of state and federal legislators)
– Congressional Staffers (work as part of administrative support personnel, public relations staff etc working in the legislative area, conducting research, preparing background reports, drafting bills, following legislation, and arranging for expert testimony.)
– Foreign Service/Diplomatic Corps (work in embassies, foreign affairs and diplomatic missions of the Federal government)
– Political Scientist (in agencies, parastatals etc)

Private Sector

– Management Consulting
– Investment Advisors (work with investment firms , advise on International related business, conduct international research etc)
– Journalist/Foreign Correspondent (work with news agencies and publications covering one or two international angles)
– Political Scientist/Risk Analyst (work for investment firms, insurance companies, conglomerates etc in collating and analysis of political risks in given countries or location prior to making investment and business decisions in such locations)
– Corporate Lobbyist (work for local and international businesses lobbying for favourable legislations and laws affecting your organisation’s line of business. This is a growing career opportunity)

Non Profit/NGO

– Relief Coordinator (work with local and international relief agencies)
– Fundraiser
– Risk Advisor
– International Educator
– Non Profit Management (run, or head key departments of non-profit institutions)
– Peace and Conflict Resolution (work in local and international agencies focused on resolving conflicts and promoting international peace)
– Think Tank/Scholars
– Law & Human Rights (pursue a career in international law and human rights)

There are some more careers any graduate of History and International Relations can pursue which may cut across the above mentioned three broad areas;
– Archivist
– Demographer
– Diplomat
– Foreign Affairs Analyst/Specialist (could work in NGOs, International and local media etc)
– Immigration Specialist
– Journalist
– Language Specialist
– Market Research Analyst

Admission Requirements for Studying History and International Studies in Nigeria

For most high institutions in Nigeria, to study History and International Studies as a course, you need to meet specific academic requirements. Candidates seeking admission through the Jamb are required to have five credit level passes in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (S.S.C.E.) or its equivalent. These should include English Language, Geography, Government/History. A pass in Mathematics is also required by some schools.

Some schools require credit passes in History or Government, English Language and any two of the following: Literature, Economics, Geography and French

For Jamb UTME, English Language is compulsory for this course. History/Govt and any other two subjects from Arts & Social Science is also required. Please check Jamb brochure for requirements for each school.


  • • Abia State University  • Adekunle Ajasin University  • Adeleke University  • Afe Babalola University  • Ajayi Crowther University • Akwa Ibom State University  • Ambrose Alli University  • Babcock University  • Bowen University  • College of Education, Ekiadolor  • Delta State University  • Ekiti State University  • Federal University Gashua  • Federal University Gusau  • Federal University, Birnin Kebbi  • Godfrey Okoye University  • Hezekiah University  • Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University  • Imo State University  • Joseph Ayo Babalola University  • kogi State University  • Lagos State University  • Nigerian Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State  • Northwest University, Kano  • Osun State University  • Plateau State University  • Renaissance University  • Ritman University  • Salem University  • Taraba State University  • University of Calabar  • University of Ilorin  • University of Jos •

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