Books, books, and more books. English literature is the study of prose, plays and poetry, spanning centuries and continents and involving plenty of reading and analysis. It’s an incredibly varied and diverse subject, and one which overlaps with history, language and the social sciences to create a picture of how literature influences, and is influenced by, major changes in society and the world as we know it.
Although some people might think English literature is just about ‘reading stories’, there’s a heck of a lot more to it than that – although reading is obviously a big part of it, you’ll also find yourself discussing, analysing and exploring the texts you read, as well as linking them to related works and drawing a deeper meaning from them.
WHY STUDY ENGLISH LITERATURE?
If you’ve always been something of a book-worm and you enjoy discussing and analysing novels after you’ve read them, English literature could be the ideal course for you. It will give you the chance to develop your writing and communication skills (as well as your debating skills), and get to know a range of like-minded people who share your passion for a good, old-fashioned paperback.
As the subject of literature is so all-encompassing, you’ll have plenty of different module options to choose from, meaning the course will cater for a variety of different interests (and even if they don’t offer a module in the topic you’re most keen on, chances are you’ll still be able to focus on it for your dissertation).
AFTER YOUR DEGREE…
Although English literature won’t train you for any specific career, it is a very well-respected degree that will equip you with a range of useful skills (all employers value good communication and writing skills, for instance).
Plenty of English literature grads go into the likes of journalism, PR, teaching, and publishing, although there really aren’t that many limitations when it comes to your career possibilities – you might decide to go into events, or even politics, or you may want to apply for a graduate scheme with a top recruiter like Ernst & Young or PWC.
See the full version of this guide – discover what A-levels you need, explore you study options, and find your English literature degree:
English literature study guide by Whatuni.