Explore English language and literature to understand how they reflect and are influenced by the culture, technology and economics of different places and historical periods. Develop transferable skills and knowledge for many careers on our BA (Hons) English degree in Cambridge.
Education provided by ARU is Gold standard
ARU is among the 20% of universities in the country who have been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.
Our English courses ranked 11th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2024, and 7th in the UK for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2023.
On our BA (Hons) English degree you’ll study a range of texts, including classic literary forms such as the novel, poetry, and plays, but also theatrical performances, films, essays, pamphlets, reviews and works of critical and cultural theory, developing your ability to read and respond critically.
You’ll also explore the power of the English language in communication, and how it expresses and reflects crucial global issues such as ideologies, culture wars, conflict, social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.
Studying English – by its nature a multi-disciplinary subject – will develop your understanding of history, politics, philosophy, religion, psychology and many other subjects, giving you a broad interdisciplinary experience where you can develop your own areas of interest and expertise.
Throughout the course, you’ll have opportunities to explore topics from other subjects too, including writing, film, media, sociology and politics.
Our English degree will help you develop many transferable skills valued by employers from all industries, including literacy, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and working both independently and collaboratively.
Our wide range of optional modules will allow you to narrow your studies to interests of your choice. You might decide to learn more about a particular literary genre, such as crime fiction or children’s books, explore digital publishing or online journalism, or develop your own creative writing skills.
You could also further improve your CV by applying for the work placement year option, studying abroad for a trimester, or learning a new language with our Anglia Language Programme. We’ll also support you to find placements and work experience throughout the course, with live briefs embedded into some modules.
Cambridge has a range of vibrant business and industry sectors, ranging from major publishing houses to technology companies, all of which require graduates with strong communication and analytic skills. With over 30 English language schools, it's the perfect place to study English. Our business and industry partners provide opportunities for live briefs, placements and volunteering positions; they also give you a vital network for your future employment and projects. If you’re interested in teaching English, you might also be able to take up part-time work with them, and further develop your skills at the same time.
You’ll have many opportunities to attend co-curricular events that include interactions with writers, publishers, language teachers and other professionals related to the field, allowing you to further expand your network as well as your knowledge base.
Your studies will be supported by our team of expert lecturers, including several published authors, such as Dr Vahid Parvaresh (co-author, Elastic Language in Persuasion and Comforting: A Cross-Cultural Perspective), Dr Cassie Gorman (The Atom in Seventeenth-Century Poetry); Dr Tory Young (Studying English Literature, a text used on many other university courses as well as our own); and Dr Bettina Beinhoff (Perceiving Identity through Accent – Attitudes towards Non-Native Speakers and their Accents in English).
You can also get feedback and support for your writing projects from our Royal Literary Fund Fellowship Scheme mentors.
Our Language and Literature research was awarded 'world-leading' status in the Research Excellence Framework 20211.
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Our BA (Hons) English will equip you with many skills that are transferable to a wide range of graduate occupations. These include research and communication, which lend themselves to careers close to the study of literature and language such as journalism and teaching, while the course’s emphasis on critical thinking and independent learning will transfer to professions including (but not limited to) business, law, consultancy, administration, librarianship, and civil service.
You’ll also develop a range of intellectual, research-based and practical skills that will give you the vital combination of flexible thinking and transferable expertise required for the 21st-century workplace, such as problem solving, data retrieval, persuasive writing, rigorous scrutiny of evidence, creative thinking, computer and digital resource skills, teamwork and communication.
Throughout the course, you’ll receive reflexive peer and tutor support with our Personal Development Tutoring programme, while your core modules at every level will include built-in employability sessions.
Live Briefs in years 1 and 2, and on the Year 3 module Research Communication, will give you opportunities to devise solutions for real-world industry professionals, at once giving you both work experience and potential connections for your future career.
You might also decide to further develop your specialisms or start an exciting career in research with our Masters degrees in English Literature or Creative Writing. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship to get 20% off your fees.
Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.
To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.
Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.
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