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What Can You Do With An English Literature Degree?


What can you do with an English Literature Degree, and is studying it at university worth it? You may be afraid of the unknown because you’re unsure what career opportunities await you after graduating.  

And you don’t want to waste years studying something that won’t give you the future you desire. It’s why gaining insight before university at an english literature summer school is a superb choice.

No worries! In this article, you’ll discover many career options awaiting English Literature graduates. You’ll also find out what careers actual graduates get into. Dive in!

What Career Can You Do With an English Literature Degree?


Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £26,019

A journalist can work in various settings, including newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the internet. The goal? Assemble news-worthy stories that enrapture the audience.

Stories can be about anything from politics to entertainment. Therefore, a journalist typically has to have a good understanding of the English language and be able to think critically and spot a good story.

Here are some of the responsibilities of journalists:

  • Dissect press releases
  • Establish a network
  • Interview sources and witnesses
  • Verify if the information is true 
  • Comply with defamation, privacy, and contempt laws

Check out the best universities in the UK for english literature if you want the best chance of obtaining these careers.

Editor-in-Chief (in a publication)

Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £40,596

An editor-in-chief is the most senior editorial position at a publication. They are responsible for ensuring the final product is of good quality and typically have a hand selecting the content that goes into the publication.

The editor-in-chief also manages a team of editors, writers and other staff members. This includes delegating tasks, managing deadlines and providing feedback. Here are some of the responsibilities of an editor-in-chief:

  • Make sure the publication meets editorial standards
  • Develop content strategy
  • Manage a team of editors, writers and other staff
  • Attend social events to represent the editorial team
  • Decide which stories and photos make the final cut
  • Hires and trains the right people for the team

Editorial Assistant (in a publication)

Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £23,101

An editorial assistant provides administrative and clerical support to editors and writers. They’re also responsible for researching, managing schedules, and proofreading articles.

An editorial assistant is a crucial member of any publishing team. They support the Editor-in-Chief by helping to organise and manage the production of the magazine or newspaper. Some of their daily tasks include:

  • Editing and proofreading articles
  • Sourcing images
  • Layout design
  • Managing the budget
  • Sub-editing
  • Copy-editing
  • Proofreading


Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £31,179

An editor is an experienced member of staff in a publishing team. They are responsible for the overall quality of the content. Editors need to have a good understanding of grammar and punctuation. And they have to be skilled at editing articles for accuracy and style.

Some of an editor’s daily tasks include:

  • Checking the accuracy of facts and figures
  • Ensuring that articles are well written and free from errors
  • Editing articles for style and clarity
  • Making sure that all deadlines are met
  • Working with writers to help them improve their writing skills
  • Readying drafts and approving them for publication


Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £32,108

A writer uses words to create content that delivers value. Whether it is to inform and educate the readers or to encourage them to buy a product to help solve their problem.

Writers employed in a publishing company write for the brand. While independent writers make their own personal brand by writing their own books and/or websites.

A good writer writes in a clear and concise manner and has a good understanding of grammar and punctuation. What are some of the duties writers need to attend to?

  • Overseeing the production of articles
  • Conducting research
  • Interviewing sources
  • Writing articles
  • Editing and proofreading their work (if working solo)
  • Submitting their work to editors on time (if in a team)
  • Working with editors to make changes to their articles (if in a team) 
  • Researching new topics to write about
  • Marketing themselves and their work (if working solo)

Freelance Writer

Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £20,356

A freelance writer is a self-employed individual who writes for various clients. They may have a degree in English Literature or Journalism and often specialise in a particular subject.

Freelance writers are responsible for their own marketing and business operations. This includes finding new clients, negotiating rates, and writing proposals. They also need to be able to manage their own time and work schedule.

Do you want to know more about what freelance writers do? Check this out:

  • Proposes writing project ideas
  • Negotiates contracts and rates
  • Writes articles, blog posts, web copy, etc.
  • Edits and proofreads their work
  • Manages multiple clients at the same time


Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £30,022

A copywriter is a professional writer who creates content for advertising or promoting a product, service or business. They write in a persuasive manner and have a good understanding of grammar and punctuation.

What’s the difference between a Freelance Writer and a Copywriter? A Copywriter is a specific type of Freelance Writer. Because Copywriters are sales-oriented, their primary focus is to sell a product or a service.

Here are some of the responsibilities of Copywriters:

  • Writing ad copy, web copy, and email marketing campaigns
  • Creating compelling headlines and call-to-actions
  • Editing and proofreading their work
  • Conducting research on the latest trends in marketing
  • Working with designers to create visually appealing content
  • Examining analytics to determine the best next steps

Technical Writer

Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £37,736

A technical writer makes complex subjects easy to understand. That’s why they need a deep understanding of the subject matter they are writing about. And who their target readers are. Unlike Creative Writers, they don’t depend on imagination and self-expression.

The goal is to translate the data-packed source material into reader-friendly texts as faithfully as possible. The work of a technical writer varies depending on the company but often includes the following:

  • Writing user manuals
  • Creating online help systems
  • Producing instructional or marketing materials
  • Creating product descriptions
  • Editing and proofreading their work
  • Conducting research on the latest trends in their field


Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £32,510

A publisher is a business or individual who decides what material to publish and distribute. Materials include books, magazines, newspapers, or other works. Some are self-publishers while others work with publishing companies.

What is the key to being a good publisher? Understanding the latest trends in marketing and advertising. Publishers are responsible for the following:

  • Selection and acquisition of content
  • Marketing and distribution of their products
  • Work with authors to help them publish their works
  • Provide editing and proofreading services
  • Budgeting and financial planning


Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £28,434

Interpreters are responsible for translating spoken communication from one language into another. That’s why it’s crucial to be fluent in both languages. So they can interpret both with accuracy and efficiency.

Interpreters also consider the cultural context of the conversation. They often work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Conference interpreting
  • Medical interpreting
  • Legal interpreting
  • Court interpreting
  • Police interpreting
  • Community interpreting

English Teacher

Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £14,889

An English Teacher helps students learn and improve their English language skills. Not only do they help students express themselves better in vocal communication. Teachers also assist their students in improving their English writing skills.

They often work in a classroom setting. But depending on the situation, they may also work one-on-one with students. Here are some of the responsibilities of English Teachers:

  • Planning and implementing lessons
  • Teaching vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation
  • Assessing student progress
  • Providing feedback
  • Helping students prepare for exams

Content Manager

Average Base Salary Per Year in the UK: £37,445

A content manager is responsible for developing and executing a content strategy. This involves creating and managing content across different channels, including websites and social media.

They also work with designers and editors to create visually appealing and error-free content. Typical duties of a content manager include:

  • Creating and curating content
  • Editing and proofreading their work
  • Scheduling posts 
  • Conducting research on the latest trends in their field
  • Working with designers to create visually appealing content
  • Examining analytics to improve content strategy

Which Job is Best for BA English Literature?

The “best job” depends on your career goals. Are you looking forward to working with words and using them to persuade readers to a course of action? Then you’d most likely find writing a fulfilling career. 

What if you want to help unite people from two different languages and cultures? Perhaps being an interpreter suits you most. But what if you’re passionate about reading and marketing new stories and ideas? Then, a job in publishing might be a good fit.

To give you a better perspective, take a look at the following information from The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) 2021/22 “What Do Graduates Do Survey:”

  • 17.1% of employed English Literature graduates work as Educational Professionals 
  • 16% work in Marketing, Sales, and Public Relations
  • 8.2% are working in the Arts, Media, and Design industries

As you can see, there are many different options for BA English Literature graduates. The key is to find the one that’s best for you.

Is English Literature a Good Degree?

Yes, English Literature is a good degree because it helps students develop several transferable skills. Making them highly employable in today’s market. What are some of the skills of English Literature students?

  • Critical analysis and reasoning
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Persuasive argumentation
  • Verbal and Written communication
  • Time Management
  • Independent working
  • Research
  • Organisation
  • Presentation
  • Teamwork

Do you know about 84.7% of English Literature graduates in the UK proceed to work or study further within 15 months after graduation, according to the AGCAS 2021/22 “What Do Graduates Do Survey”?

A degree in English Literature opens up many career opportunities for you, including:

  • Journalism
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Interpreting
  • Content Management

So if you’re wondering if English literature is a good degree, the answer is a resounding yes!

There you have it! Graduating with an English Literature degree can open up various career opportunities for you. Especially in teaching, writing, and journalism. What are your Top 3 career options?


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