The opportunities provided by an English studies degree

Written by Candace Carlson. Posted in Education

An English studies degree opens up a lot of opportunities career wise for students that majored in English, in any of its many academic disciplines. While focusing on both written and spoken English, in terms of production and text analysis, English studies include literature from all English speaking countries, such as American literature, British literature, or literature from Ireland, Canada or Australia. The English studies degree is not only directed towards fiction or non fictional literature, but also encompasses departments and areas like linguistics, journalism, composition studies, literacy, communication studies, creative writing or rhetoric. The term of English linguistics refers to the study of human language and it seems to be one of the most popular choices of the students pursuing an English studies degree. Depending on the area of study that one wants to follow and get a master’s degree in, there are several different courses required, as well as skills acquired and schools and universities that have great departments in those areas.


Apart from the obvious capabilities of analyzing, interpreting and reflecting upon written texts or spoken English, by means of film or theater, an English studies degree also requires critical thinking, which is an essential ability for may related areas, such as writing, teaching, editing or publishing, not to mention advertising or public relations. The different universities where you can get an English studies degree provide different programs, each with its own set of courses that students are required to take, but generally they have the same focus and cover the same fields, such as literary studies, with a focus on literature, composition and writing and some courses directed towards graduate research. Pedagogy is also widely met in programs supporting an English studies degree, because many students that are interested in this discipline wish to pursue a career in teaching.

If you have already completed an undergraduate English studies course, then getting a master’s degree won’t take you a lot of time. For full-time students an English studies degree requires only two semesters, which is only one year, although part time students have to take courses for double that time. Of course, depending on the are you would like to specialize in, courses can take as much as five years, if extended coursework is needed, including the final theses  or any required exams. The great advantage of having an English studies degree is that it opens up a series of great opportunities in many work areas, starting with the above mentioned teaching career, or any sort of job in education, writing or publishing and ending with law, consulting or even market research. As far as salary goes, the numbers vary a lot in accordance with the specific work area, but if you want to increase your chances of a better salary, you can add to your English studies degree a PhD, which further enhances your opportunities.

All things considered, English studies are a wonderful choice of study and students who decide to follow this discipline not only have a wide range of programs and good schools and universities that offer it, but also numerous and various work options afterward.