Why study English Literature?
You may perhaps be fond of the idea of doing English at A- Level or at an institute of higher education: reading and appreciating great books and learning about language and the way in which language functions. You might still wonder the purpose and benefits of studying literature at a higher level as an academic—what can studies of English Literature offer us, and where can the skills we acquire along the way take us?
The study of English Literature at a higher level not only enables the student to appreciate vernacular literature, become independent critical thinkers and develop their confidence in analysing and drawing conclusions on critical writings, but it equips them with the skills and competencies that will complement any career path which they may decide to embark on and will highly impress an employer.
While a degree in English Literature may seem to consist of endless reading lists with an ensuing 4000 word essay, there are plenty of skills to be acquired along the way. During the course of your studies, you will find that you will naturally evolve into a literary and linguistic critique and, without realising, you will analyse and appreciate written texts a lot more intensively than before. Students will explore and debate a variety of texts, focusing deeply on how they were written and to what effect. Students will acquire knowledge of literary movements, periods and critical theory that have shaped the way that literature is read and appreciated today. If you decide to take on this degree and field of study, you will develop all aspects of your communicational skills across all areas and become adept at developing an argument, framing a narrative and analysing various levels of meaning.
Perhaps you enjoy English Literature but are deeply apprehensive regarding your future and career once you have graduated with a degree in the creative arts and feel that a degree with a clearer route to employment would be more desirable in this day and age? A degree in English Literature will open more career paths than you have been made to think so. Employment that English graduates find themselves in range from and include the obvious editor and journalist, to lawyer, human resources specialist, or a role in advertising, marketing, PR, teaching, the public sector, management, finance and a plenitude of other rewarding and prestigious sectors- there is something for everyone!
Studying English Literature at A- Level or University can open many doors and prepare you for a professional career without you even realising it. Efficient, effective and clear communication is an essential competency which is required for a role in any sector and by any employer in the current era of globalisation. If you had never considered taking English as an A- Level or studying it at degree level before, or have absolutely no idea about which degree to apply for at this crucial time for UCAS applications, then perhaps this is a path worth considering?