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Why Study English?

The question, "What are you going to do with it?" is often asked of students and graduates of English. The study of medicine, accountancy and architecture can readily be associated with specific careers, but English... where can it lead? Its connection with the world of jobs and "real life" may be unclear. Today's workplace demands a trained, disciplined, flexible mind. The study of English literature and language gives this, together with two of the most highly prized skills in a world that is full of words - the abilities to read perceptively and to write purposefully and persuasively.

What skills does the study of English teach?

  • Communication - to understand and communicate complex ideas and information through written work and oral presentations
  • Critical thinking - the ability to think in the abstract, to think laterally and approach problems with an open mind
  • Writing and Editing
  • Analysis and evaluation
  • Research
  • Creativity

Where do English graduates work?

While some graduates work directly in literature and language, by teaching English or entering the publishing field, career opportunities are diverse and include:

  • Public sector
  • Policy Analyst
  • Ministerial writers
  • Business/financial sector
  • Human resources
  • Education sector
  • Library and information management
  • Advertising
  • Journalism
  • Public relations
  • Publishing
  • Theatre, film and media
  • Professional writing
  • Creative industries
  • Museums and Art Galleries

Further information about English can be found in the English Career View (712KB PDF)

See also the English department website.