Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students



With excellent written and analytical skills, studying English
opens up a wide range of careers options. Learn more about
these options and how we can support you on your journey.

Many students choose to study English due to their prior love
of the subject and their decision is not often a vocational one.
Your career options are open-ended.

Jump to:


What skills will I gain during my degree?

The skills gained from studying English are transferable to a wide range of areas, which means that graduates can, and do, enter a diverse range of roles and sectors.

A graduate in English typically will have the ability to:

  • effectively communicate using advanced literacy and skills
  • work independently and collaborate with others
  • plan and research written work
  • analyse and critically examine diverse forms of verbal and textual communication
  • exercise independent thought, judgement and skills in critical reasoning and reflection
  • be sensitive to the opinions of others and alternative perspectives
  • present ideas and information
  • use digital platforms
  • use a broad range of vocabulary and critical terminology

What are my career options?

The range of higher level courses students chose to study after their degree varies from: those that are related to English, including creative writing, to teacher training, law conversion, publishing, business and finance, journalism, speech therapy and many more.

Of those going into the workplace, the range of occupations and sectors entered include:

  • commercial, industrial and public sector management
  • marketing, sales and advertising
  • business and finance
  • retail
  • creative industries including media
  • education

Stepping stones from my degree

It is true to say that many graduates of English (and other subjects) take some time building their career through a series of roles to get to a specific career where they want to be or even to decide what job suits them.

This could be due to a variety of reasons for example:  the sector they want to enter requires an entry-level position (for example: heritage, media roles and publishing) or they are saving up to fund a postgraduate course or travel and therefore their first destination is a stop gap.

How can I develop my skills and gain experience?

Regardless of whether you are in the early stages of your course or have recently graduated, developing skills outside your degree will enhance your CV and allow you to provide evidence of these in applications and at interviews.  University of Nottingham specific examples are listed below:

Work experience and volunteering

Depending on what area of work or role you might be interested in, and where, there will be specific strategies, from speculative applications to formal processes you need to be familiar with.

Work experience - what, how and when

Nottingham Internship Scheme

We work closely with a huge variety of local and national businesses to bring you an exciting range of internship opportunities, for both current students and recent graduates

Nottingham Internship Scheme

Nottingham Consultancy Challenge

The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge offers the chance for you to gain hands on experience of managing a short term project for a local business or charity as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  

Nottingham Consultancy Challenge

Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award offers interesting extracurricular modules to develop and reflect on your employability. With over more than 200 modules across our three campus in the UK, China and Malaysia.

Nottingham Advantage Award

Advice from Nottingham alumni

With our Career Mentoring programme, you can receive invaluable support from an alumnus while considering your career options. Choose a mentor in the career area that interests you and get a real insight into the sector.

Career Mentoring

Enhance your digital skills

Digital skills are essential in many career fields including advertising, publishing, marketing and general commerce. They range from social media to coding and will definitely enhance your employability.

More about digital skills

School of English placements

The school has developed a range of short-term, voluntary placement opportunities which allow you to develop new skills and gain valuable experience. The placements are designed to fit around your studies and typically last for 10 to 12 weeks.

School of English placements

Students' Union

The Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering options both locally and internationally which you can fit around your studies.

Alternatively you could get involved in a society or sports club - there's so many, you're bound to find one that interests you!

Students' Union

Students in Classrooms

There are three initiatives which will give you the opportunity to work in a local educational setting.  These initiatives support the academic attainment and raise the aspirations of primary and secondary pupils, whilst developing the skills and employability of those involved. 

These are excellent opportunities for students considering teaching, youth work or community engagement as a career.

Students in Classrooms

Optional placement year

You can now undertake an optional placement year as part of your degree at the end of your penultimate year of study. The placement can be aligned to your degree discipline or related to your career aspirations.  Speak to a career adviser or your school for more information.

It's never too late

It is never too late to develop your skills and experience.  If you are no longer at Nottingham, you can access work and volunteering opportunities at home. Depending on your location and what you want to do, your strategy may vary so come and speak to us or arrange a telephone appointment.

Psychometric tests

Many graduate recruiters use psychometric tests during the recruitment and selection process.They are common across all sectors and career fields. Practise will really help your performance.

Use our example tests


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679