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Should I study English at University?

14th May 21

Studying English at university takes what you know of communication, literature and writing to a far superior level. You’ll go deeper into the complexities of the English language, reading and discussing some of the finest writing in existence. You’ll also learn how to craft logical and structured arguments about the purpose of text and deciphering their hidden narrative.

From film and theatre to language constructs, modern and classic literature, you’ll explore many interesting topics in great depth. You’ll become adept at writing in different styles, for a variety of audiences.

Aside from spending your time learning an important and stimulating subject, there are other reasons to study English at university. You won’t gain a vocational qualification aligning you with a specific career – but that’s one of the reasons it’s so appealing.

English at university level allows you to come into your own, exploring your individual thoughts and theories. With the platform available to express them to like-minded academics and individuals.

The skills you’ll gain from your degree are highly sought after in many professions. Equipping you for a wide range of career opportunities.

Find out more reasons to study English at university and the diverse ways you can learn the subject below.

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It encourages Individuality and Personal Opinion

Prior levels of English studies like A Levels and GCSEs limit expressing your own opinion to your essay’s conclusion. At this stage, you draw on those of academics, which helps demonstrate your understanding of the reading materials.

When you reach university level study you are encouraged to develop and express your own insights. Your lecturers want to see how you construct your opinions, critical judgements and the arguments you build to justify them. They don’t just want to see that you’ve done the required reading. So be prepared to back up everything you say with evidence from a credible source.

Original viewpoints are applauded at this level of learning, giving you the freedom to express yourself freely through your work.

You’ll learn about Plagiarism and appropriate Referencing

Something that isn’t really touched on until you reach university is plagiarism. This is an incredibly important aspect of your learning as it’s crucial for any career utilising external sources of information.

This involves self-plagiarism too, which ensures you’re not re-using what you have written for other assignments or exams.

You’ll also be educated on appropriate referencing standards, so you’re properly acknowledging the contribution of others work in your own. Formats can vary depending on the university or lecturer. But once you’re taught the preferred one, you’ll lose marks if you get it wrong.  

Your bibliography is also scrutinised at this stage, as it indicates how much extra reading you’ve completed. And is another way to give credit to other authors and point external parties to the resources used. All of these skills being highly valued by employers in many professions.

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There are numerous English related Degrees Available

English courses at the university level split off into more specific areas of the subject. Allowing you to drill down into particular aspects you find interesting or wish to specialise within.

Aside from literature and language, you can find creative writing, comparative literary studies, and linguistics courses in many UK universities.

You can often choose to complete a joint honours degree too, where you combine English with another subject of interest. Typically, combination subjects are other languages or subjects like history, biology, psychology, theatre and film.

So, you have the choice of studying an English degree as a single, joint, and multiple subject combination. You can also study your degree full or part-time. There are further degree options with distance learning providers as well as courses offering placement years for industry experience. Helping you to gain the hands-on skills that are coveted by most employers.

After you complete your undergraduate degree, you can also progress onto postgraduate qualifications in English should you wish to.

You’ll develop many Transferrable Skills

As an English graduate, you’re looked upon favourably by employers because of the high level of communication skills you’ve gained. Not to mention the transferrable skills your degree studies also equip you with that will benefit you personally and professionally.

These include:

  • IT skills
  • Analytical ability
  • Creative thinking
  • Independent working
  • Research and planning
  • Critical analysis and reasoning
  • Ability to construct an argument
  • Organisation and time management
  • Articulating knowledge, ideas and understanding
  • Leading and participating within discussions and debates
  • Negotiation and team working to present ideas and information
  • Effective use of judgement when weighing up different perspectives

Being able to think with clarity, acuity and versatility, among other things, is very important to employers. That’s why English degrees enable graduates to explore many diverse and interesting careers.

While your degree will likely impress, it’s wise to develop your skillset alongside this with volunteer opportunities and extracurricular activities. That way, you can build a well-rounded CV showing employers that you have the hands-on experience to complement your skills.

learndirect - Why study English at university

Become employable in Multiple Fields

An English degree is capable of unlocking employment opportunities in a myriad of different professions. No particular industry takes precedence, but graduates are often found where strong communication and written English skills are required.

A great example of this is journalism, which necessitates appropriate and effective use of language. Working as a creative writer also typically requires English to have been studied at a higher level. Other roles in article writing, scripting and editing all rely heavily on advanced level English.

Many English graduates commonly become authors, publishers, teachers (UK and overseas), librarians, marketers and PR executives. But you’ll also have your pick of many other fields.

Study English at university

If you’re aiming to study English at university, learndirect can help. As the leading UK distance learning provider, we have many courses to help you reach your study goals.

Our online Access to Higher Education Diploma (English Studies) combines the teachings of both language and literature. So, you gain the foundational knowledge of both language constructs and literary analysis for the best start in an English degree.

The Access to HE Diploma is also a Level 3 qualification. Allowing you to apply to accepting universities without A Level qualifications.

The course is studied online, without any set classes or timetables. Enabling you to study without any impact on your current schedule and giving you complete freedom with your learning.   

Find out more about the benefits of studying online, what the course includes and how you can get started. Simply click the link to view our Access to Higher Education Diploma (English Studies) in more detail below.

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