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“Why Study English Literature?” you ask yourself as you plan your next steps in education. You love English Literature, for sure. But you’re afraid to risk so much time, energy, and money on a degree you’re uncertain of. Is it worth pursuing at the university level?

There are many reasons why English Literature is worth studying. For instance, around 87% of English Literature graduates were employed or enrolled in further study within 15 months after graduation. Plus, you gain valuable transferable skills. 

But at the end of the day, studying English Literature depends on your personal and career goals. 

In this article, you’ll discover 4 significant advantages of studying English Literature. And if English Literature is something you will benefit from.

1. Enrich Your Knowledge of the World Across Time

The UK has produced many of the world’s most influential and enduring works of literature. Think of the sonnets of William Shakespeare and the novels of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. 

Fast forward, and you’ll have C.S. Lewis, who wrote the best-selling “Chronicles of Narnia.” Or J. R. R. Tolkien, who created the mind-boggling “Lord of the Rings.” Let’s not forget J.K. Rowling and her record-breaking “Harry Potter” series. 

These authors, spread out across time, reveal the world around them through their writings. Reading literature gives you a deeper insight into culture, history, and philosophy.

What are some of the topics you’ll learn in English Literature at the university? Modules vary, depending on the academic institution. But compulsory modules will often take you through the centuries, from Early Medieval Literature to the present day. 

What about the optional modules? There’s a broad spectrum available, depending on the university of your choice. But for the University of Cambridge, for instance, here are some of its English Literature optional papers:

  • Chaucer
  • Material Renaissance
  • American Literature
  • Lyric
  • History and Theory of Literary Criticism
  • Early Modern Drama 1588-1642
  • Visual Culture
  • Love, Gender, Sexuality 1740-1824

2. You’ll Learn Multiple Transferrable Skills by Studying English Literature 

English Literature graduates develop extensive transferable skills that are valuable to a wide range of employers, including

  • Efficient oral and written communication
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Persuasive and substantial argumentation
  • Research skills
  • Time management
  • Independent work
  • Presentation skills
  • Creative Thinking
  • Empathy
  • Ability to meet deadlines

Which leads us to the next point.

3. English Literature Leads You To a Wide Variety of Careers

According to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), “What do graduates do?” 2013 survey, 46.3% of English Literature graduates worked full-time 15 months after graduation. And 12.6% proceeded to full-time postgraduate studies.

What are the top 8 professions most graduates get into?

  1. Teaching and Education Professionals
  2. Marketing Associate
  3. Public Relations
  4. Authors, Writers, & Translators
  5. Human Resources and Industrial Relations
  6. Newspaper and Periodical Reporters and Journalists
  7. Business Sales Executives
  8. Welfare and Housing

4. You Want to Be a Successful Writer

Do you want to become a successful writer? Studying English Literature at the university will give you the guidance and direction you need. After all, many UK English Literature tutors are eminent writers and authors. 

Of course, you can become a successful writer on your own. There have been self-made writers who made a name for themselves, right? That’s true.

But studying English Literature at the university gives you a massive jumpstart. Not only because you get personalised feedback from prestigious writers and authors. But also because of the rich connections you’ll be making. 

Enrolling at a renowned English Literature university puts you right smack in a community of motivated readers and writers. Here you won’t feel alone. Because you’re surrounded by a group of enthusiastic intellectuals who inspires you to climb greater heights! 

What’s more, when you study at a prestigious university, top UK employers and publishers will become accessible to you. And it’ll be quicker to find writing experience. 

So you see, studying English Literature at the university will open a myriad of writing opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. And the path to becoming a successful writer will be easier and faster. 

What if you’re unsure whether becoming an author is something you’d find fulfilling and rewarding in the long run? Fret not! Check out our Creative Writing Summer School. 

Should YOU Study English Literature?

You’re now aware of the major reasons why studying English Literature is beneficial. But the real question is, should you study English Literature? Do you

  • Enjoy reading lots of creative literature?
  • Desire to know more about the world across time?
  • Immerse yourself in various eras and cultures?
  • Want to become a successful writer? (Especially creative writer?)
  • Envision yourself becoming a teacher?
  • Dream of becoming a journalist or reporter?

If you say “YES!” to any (or many) of the questions, then you should study English Literature!

There you have it! As you can see, there are 4 major reasons to study English literature at a university in the UK. But what matters is if these reasons will benefit you and your personal and career goals. If you think English Literature is for you, go for it!

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