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What can I do with my degree?: English

The skills you gain through studying an English degree are marketable in most career areas. Find some ideas about what you could do…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

As English is a non-vocational course, the skills developed outside your study are also vital in developing a well-rounded CV. While at university, for example, many English students write for student newspapers and magazines, get involved with student radio or film societies, or volunteer in the community or local schools. The combination of evidence of skills gained from work experience and extracurricular activities, as well as through study, can help boost your job prospects.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

English graduates find opportunities with many different employers. Public and private sector organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS), educational institutions, local and national government, financial and legal firms, and voluntary and charitable organisations employ English graduates in a range of roles, including:

  • administration;
  • research;
  • finance;
  • general management.

Other typical employers include:

  • publishing companies;
  • advertising marketing and public relations agencies;
  • media organisations.

The retail, leisure and tourism sectors also typically recruit English graduates.

Find information on employers in media and internet, marketing, advertising and PR, public services and administration and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

The major strength of all English graduates is the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Studying an English degree also develops skills in:

  • independent working;
  • time management and organisation;
  • planning and researching written work;
  • articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories;
  • leading and participating in discussions;
  • negotiation and teamworking to present ideas and information;
  • effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively;
  • using your judgement to weigh up alternative perspectives;
  • critical reasoning and analysis;
  • using IT.

Further study

Some English graduates choose to continue their academic studies by doing an MA or a PhD, while others choose to study more vocational postgraduate courses in areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship or law. Such courses allow you to study in an area you wish to enter as a career. More information on funding for postgraduate study and research is available from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) .

English graduates may decide to undertake further study in areas such as marketing and management, finance, human resource management and business to enhance their knowledge of a specific career area.

For more information on further study and find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do English graduates do?

Three of the top five occupations held by English graduates employed in the UK include marketing associate professionals, teaching assistants and authors, writers and translators.

Graduate destinations for English
Destinations Percentage
Employed 61.9%
Further study 18.1%
Working and studying 7.6%
Unemployed 6.6%
Other 5.8%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 19.3%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 14.1%
Marketing, PR and sales 13.9%
Arts, design and media 8.7%
Other 44%

For a detailed breakdown of what English graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.


Further information

  • University English  - supports the teaching of English literature, English language and creative writing across UK further and higher education.
  • The English Association  - resource for those interested in English at all levels, from primary to higher education.
Written by AGCAS editors
October 2014

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