Career opportunities and further study

A degree in English can open up a broad range of career choices for you. Our graduates have followed careers in journalism and publishing, media, creative writing, arts management, librarianship, business management and personnel. Others go on to train as teachers or pursue research careers through further study at masters or PhD level.

Download the graduate brochure to see where a degree in English can take you and find out where some of our graduates are now.

We recognise the importance of cultivating employability throughout your time with us. At every stage of your degree, we offer careers workshops and regularly invite professionals in a range of careers to come and talk to students. You can choose to take our working-with-literature module in year two which has an internship embedded into the module.

In addition to subject-specific skills, you can develop a wide range of transferable skills, such as:

  • excellent communication, research and presentation skills
  • critical reasoning and analysis
  • self-reflection
  • time management
  • planning and researching written work
  • articulating knowledge, concepts and theories
  • independent study.

These skills will allow you to succeed in a wide range of careers.

Postgraduate study with Plymouth

Our MA English Literature offers you a pathway into further study: here you can explore the ever-evolving world of literature and culture through an exciting array of thematic modules, spanning a broad range of periods from the early modern to the present. 

Work experience

There’s a wide range of work-experience, internship and volunteering opportunities available to you. Our students work with: the English and Creative Writing student magazine INK, SU:Media, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, local schools, The Arts Institute, Radio Plymouth, Plymouth Herald newspaper, Plymouth University Press and other local publishers. We encourage you to aim for the Plymouth Award, which recognises and celebrates student achievements outside the curriculum. 

View Plymouth Extra: a catalogue of our extra-curricular activities.

“The work experience module offered a refreshing and exciting chance to apply my degree to a real life career. There's a lot of chances at Plymouth to gain skills and take part in extra curricular activities that look amazing on a CV.” Luke Caddy, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing, 2013-16.

"Without the working with literature module in stage two, I would probably still have no idea about my postgraduate plans. The module gave me the opportunity to gain experience in law, which I have since built on and has in turn, cemented my chosen career path." Megan Long, BA (Hons) English, 2013-16.

“Studying English literature at Plymouth has been an invaluable experience. It was particularly useful for developing skills in researching, textual analysis, critical reflection, autonomous learning, and academic writing. The staff provide a productive and inspiring study environment and are readily available to support their students. It has aided my career development, enabling me to enrol in postgraduate education with the hope of becoming a primary teacher.” Ashley Knight, BA (Hons) English, 2012-15.

BA (Hons) English - Work placement, Gabriella Thomas

My experience helped me to understand daily deadlines, how to successfully hold an interview, and how to write a concise news article. The experience opened my eyes to the challenges of a career in journalism and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Gabriella did her work placement with the Plymouth Herald newspaper, giving her an insight into how a busy, city press office works.