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Study English Studies abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying English Studies
  • Where to study?
English studies

English studies covers a wide variety of degree courses that investigate the production of texts in the English Language. While there is the opportunity to study many great English authors, students are also encouraged to study texts by Irish, American, Canadian and Australian writers, analysing the different literary styles and movements of each culture. English is one of the world’s most popular languages with approx 5.5% of the world speaking it as a native language meaning that the texts and novels written in English represents a significant proportion of global culture as a whole.

From module options in Female Literature, American Literature to Linguistics and Etymology, students will gain insight as to how to define a great piece of literature as well as studying a wide range of novels, placing them within their historical and cultural context.

Is this the course for me?

If you’re fascinated by the written word and are passionate about English Language, then an English Studies Degree would be something you would enjoy doing.

With an English Studies course, you will be expected to attend lectures and to read classical and critical texts during non-contact hours. You will also be expected to write weekly essays and encouraged to engage in debate over key texts in smaller study session, so it is important not only to be highly motivated, but to have strong analytical skills. It is important that you are able to formulate carefully balanced opinions and place texts within their correct cultural and historical context.

Careers prospects

One of the most popular career options for English Studies Graduates is teaching.  Within the UK, there is a significant shortage of teachers, and so many students with a strong degree and some previous work experience are actively encouraged to pursue a career in teaching; particularly at secondary school level.

There are a number of PGCE courses that are partially funded by the government and the starting salary of a new teacher in the UK is approximately £21,588 (£27,000 if you live in London), although this may differ in other countries.

The skills you learn during an English Studies degree is are transferable to so many different industries.  Although the average starting salary of an English Literature graduate is £18,338 a degree in English Studies allows graduates the flexibility to take control of their own career with many students opting to pursue careers as journalists, PR assistants, Media Assistants and Copywriters.

Similarly, many English Studies graduates take post graduate courses in Law in order to train as lawyers or barristers or opt to pursue careers in finance and banking.

Studying English Studies

The English studies courses available at different academic institutions will have different entry level requirements, and most undergraduate courses will last a minimum of 3 years. However, some Universities offer the option of taking part in an Erasmus Exchange Scheme, where you can study for four years, and spend a year attending university or working abroad between your second and final year.

However, despite the low starting salary for new graduates, the competition for courses such as English Studies is incredibly fierce, particularly for the more prestigious courses offered at respected academic institutions.  Most Universities will expect potential undergraduates to have an A-level or A-level equivalent qualifications in a related subject matter such as English Literature or English Language and those who are non-native English speakers will also be expected to sit an IETLS test, scoring a minimum of 6.0.

Those who are looking to study English at a post-graduate level should know that most courses expect applicants to have a minimum of a 2.1 degree in a related field. However, some courses will accept applicants with lower grades provided they have a wide range of extra-curricular activities or work related placements that support their application.

Where to study?

For a degree such as English Studies, the impact your university location will have upon your experience will be two-fold. Primarily it will impact upon the area you live, so make sure to attend University open days and investigate the local area. However, for a course such as literature, the location can also have an impact upon your future prospects within the jobs market. You should try and find a location which will not only make you happy, but will provide you with as much experience as possible. If you’ve the option, try and study at a University located in a city with a strong theatrical and literary tradition as they will have key links with firms and events in the surrounding areas.

Since literature is such a popular course amongst undergraduates, the majority if universities will offer it as a degree course. While this means this means that you will not struggle for choice, sifting through your options may feel like a somewhat daunting task.

When choosing an English Studies course one of the questions you ought to ask is which areas of English Studies fascinate you the most? You will be studying literature for the next three years, so it is important that whichever university or degree programme you choose, offers specialist modules in your area of interest. Whether you love studying the history of language or you wish to study post-colonial literature, there’s a range of options available to suit every undergraduate.

Of course fees and academic grades should also come into consideration when deciding where to study.  Many of the prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge expect undergraduate applicants to have a minimum of 3 A-levels or equivalent and grade A.  Most cities in the UK have more than one University, so if you have your heart set on studying in a specific area, but are uncertain as to whether you’ll make the grade, there are always other places in the near vicinity that may consider your application.

If you are struggling with fees, or are still applying for funding, there are a number of bursaries and scholarships available for students.

What English Studies courses are there?


English Language


English For Speakers Of Other Languages (Esol)


English For Business


English As An Additional Language (Eal)

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