School of English

Graduate Profiles

Our graduates are among the best in the country and move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers. Some go into media work, marketing, law, editing or project management. Others become school teachers, teachers of English as a foreign language or university lecturers, while our well-developed links to the creative industries and the heritage and tourism sector provide great opportunities for students wishing to work in those areas.

You will develop a range of transferable skills that will prepare you for a successful career in a wide range of fields.

Our Masters courses also provide an excellent route into studying for a PhD.


Applied Linguistics MA

English Language and literature teacher (Cyprus)

Joelle Eid

English Language and Literature teacher in Cyprus

I am currently working as an English language and literature teacher at a secondary school in Cyprus. My MA degree enabled me to find a job in the teaching field as soon as I graduated. I have acquired research, communication and time-management skills which have helped me to develop my career in teaching. What I enjoyed about my MA is the topics covered, the interaction with tutors and students as well as the independent and disciplined research which we had to undertake!


Marketing, Communications & Recruitment (UK)

Lindsey Dorrington

Student Recruitment Officer within Marketing, Communications & Recruitment at The University of Nottingham

I travel all around the country talking to 16+ year old students about Higher Education, for instance delivering Student Finance talks and Personal Statements workshops, and representing The University of Nottingham at Higher Education and careers fairs.

One of the great things about my job is that I get to see different places and talk to a variety of different students from all over the country – just this week I have been in Birmingham, London and Reading and I have school visits in the near future in Yorkshire, Oxford and Northampton to pick out a few!

Research is a massive part of my job; researching academic schools and individual courses, graduate destinations and understanding what motivates (or demotivates) students to apply to university so I can best advise and inform students while out and about. My Masters in Applied Linguistics really gave me an excellent grounding in these research skills. While doing my Masters, I had the opportunity to conduct my own research into memory strategies for second language vocabulary learning, which I think was my favourite part of my studies – researching and discovering new things and applying this to a language teaching context. I do similar things every day in my current job role, namely researching Nottingham's courses, university applications and Higher Education and thinking about how I can apply this new knowledge to my conversations with prospective students or the many presentations I do on and off campus. I definitely improved on other valuable skills during my Masters, like communication, time management and an understanding of the learning process (another thing that's useful for someone who talks about education!) and think it definitely helped me to get my current job.


Assistant Professor (Saudi Arabia)

Suhad Sonbul

Assistant Professor, English Language Centre, Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia

I finished my MA in Applied Linguistics and then pursued my PhD in the same school the year after. The MA course was really interesting and opened many doors for me. The courses on theories of language acquisition and their application to the language teaching context were particularly useful. They helped to prepare me not only for the PhD program I pursued but more importantly for the role I am performing now as an assistant professor in an English Language Centre. The MA year was also an opportunity to meet people from all over the world with similar interests and to make new friends. It was an enjoyable and valuable experience which I will never ever forget.


Teacher of English (Kazakhstan)

Gulmira Ilyassova

Teacher of English at a school in Kazakhstan

I teach English as a foreign language to students aged 13-16. It's rewarding to see students read, speak and understand English as a result of my work. Students love English and enjoy the lessons which make me realise that I make a difference in their lives.

In my MA course I met prominent scholars and got the information at first hand. I had a unique chance to discover research methods in applied linguistics with Zoltan Dornyei and Michaela Mahlberg, to learn the importance of vocabulary knowledge with Norbert Schmitt and to research vocabulary demands of TV programs with Michael Rodgers. Thanks to Ana Pellicer-Sánchez I revealed the significance of intercultural communication competence as a component of language knowledge. Meeting people from different countries and diverse cultures was another benefit of doing the masters course.

I am currently applying the skills acquired during my masters course. Students research corpus data to find out word collocations and negotiate word meaning to develop speaking skills. I am about to apply the findings of my dissertation research and use television programs in the classroom. Hopefully, these changes will boost the quality of my teaching.  


Research Assistant and PhD student (UK)

Viola Wiegand

Research Assistant, Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

PhD Student

After finishing the MA course in Applied Linguistics, I stayed a student at the University of Nottingham, as I started my PhD course on 1 October. I am currently still reviewing the literature and my aim is to develop a corpus linguistic approach to the analysis of surveillance discourses. Apart from my studies I am a Research Assistant at the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics, where I help with some work on current research projects.

The MA course in Applied Linguistics was excellent preparation for my PhD. During the MA year I was able to consolidate my knowledge of the field and understand viewpoints that differed from those of my undergraduate institution. The MA further allowed me to plan my PhD proposal and carry out small trial studies for the PhD in my MA projects. Indeed, my PhD research builds on my MA dissertation, so that the transition from Masters to PhD level was relatively smooth. Moreover, I was lucky to gather some experience as a member of the organizing team for an international conference hosted by the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics during the MA and thus meet many important people from my research field. Thanks to the experienced and helpful staff teaching on the MA in Applied Linguistics, many of whom are 'big names' in their fields of expertise, the course is worthwhile indeed.


Creative Writing MA

Literary Project Co-ordinator (UK) 

ESOL Tutor (UK)

Clare Harvey

Co-ordinator, Nottingham Lakeside Arts Literary Project, Nottingham Lakeside Arts

ESOL Tutor (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

The Nottingham Arts Lakeside Literacy Project links creative writing students from the university with local schoolchildren. My involvement began last year when, as an MA student, I was one of the volunteers on the pilot project. I was so enthused by this unique and important project, that I came back as a volunteer after completing my dissertation. I have since been involved with recruitment, training, and liaison with this year's group of student volunteers, and successfully found funding to enable the project to continue. I also work as an ESOL tutor, a report writer, and of course I'm still working on the novel I began on the MA course. The MA really did what it said on the tin: it made me understand the internal workings of fiction and, without doubt, made me a better writer.

Clare recently won the Exeter Novel Prize for her debut novel The Gunner Girl.  


Project Manager, Scriptwriter, Copy Writer (UK)

Georgina Stokes

Project Manager for an e-learning company

Hello! My name’s Georgina and I am just finishing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham.

I now work as a Project Manager for an e-learning company named BYG Systems, where I originally joined as a Scriptwriter. I started here around four months ago. My role involves holding client meetings and conferences with a wide array of blue chip companies, overseeing creative projects from beginning to end, and managing people, resource and budgets.

Prior to this, while studying for my MA, I worked as a Copy Writer for Boots for around two years. Here, I wrote product descriptions, blogs and SEO for the Boots website, helping to manage seasonal product launches.

One of the things I have enjoyed the most about studying a Masters is the independence it bestows on you. You must manage your time well, particularly when it comes to your dissertation, which in my case is a long fictional piece on any independently chosen theme.  Also, each week in the writing workshops we would take it in turns to write a creative piece and then read and review each other's work. Although daunting at first, the atmosphere was very supportive and it encouraged you to view things from a different perspective and to gain confidence in your work. 

Having an English Masters provides lots of transferable skills and demonstrates that you are hardworking and keen to learn more. With so many people obtaining Bachelor degrees these days, having a Masters under your belt sets you apart from the crowds of people searching for jobs.

Studying Creative Writing on a part-time basis allowed me to gain invaluable work experience around my university timetable, which employers look for when hiring. It also gave me the time to pursue other interests further, such as photography. While studying my Masters I set up a photography business specialising in wedding photography and portraits - so you really can leave university feeling like you've achieved everything you set out to!


English Literature MA

Researcher & Visiting Lecturer (UK) 

Bianca Leggett

Researcher & Visiting Lecturer, English & Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London

My MA at Nottingham was my first step into an academic career! I am still in touch with some of the staff whose inspiring teaching and support encouraged me to take the next step. I have now completed my doctorate and am enjoying teaching a new generation of university students.


Marketing Executive

Olivia French

Marketing Executive (Home Trade) at HarperCollins UK

As well as improving my literary knowledge and skillset, studying English with Creative Writing allowed me to be part of a writing community for the first time, which was absolutely invaluable to my learning and development. As well as having my own work reviewed and critiqued regularly, I was able to learn about how other people write, what they write about and why, and how to generate feedback and communicate it in a helpful and productive way.

I was also afforded an incredible amount of opportunities when it came to extra-curricular activities: during third year I worked on placement as Production Manager for The Letters Page literary journal, and the year after that I worked on an internship at Writing East Midlands in the city centre. I also joined a student-led poetry performance group called Noumena, assisted on a primary school writing project with First Story, and helped out with productions at The Nottingham New Theatre. I had a busy and varied student life, and the combination of analytical, communication and time-management skills I gained are the ones I now use every day in my current job, as I work with all of the publishing divisions at HarperCollins and liaise with bookshops and independent organisations across the UK.

From supporting your studies and extra-curricular projects to providing pastoral care and career development, the staff at The University of Nottingham will support you from your very first day until long after you’ve left. During my time there I was able to work out what ambitions I had and work towards achieving them. It was an absolute privilege to spend four years studying there, and if you’re thinking of doing the same, make sure you embrace every opportunity - there will be lots of them!


Literary Linguistics MA

Head of KS3 English (UK) 

Jessica Heather

Head of KS3 English, Balcarras School

I started my teaching career seven years ago after completing my PGCE at Oxford University. I've taught at Balcarras for all that time and enjoy my job immensely.

I absolutely loved my MA course - I enjoyed how it gave me the opportunity to investigate the ways in which Literature made me feel. To be able to analyse and then explain my reaction to a text was fascinating, especially within the environment established by the leaders of the course.

I think the MA has been hugely helpful with regards to my career, as it deepened my knowledge of my subject. However, it also showed to my current employers, and the interviewers for my PGCE, how committed I am to my subject and learning. It was a superb year and I am extremely pleased that I took the Literary Linguistics course. I'm confident I wouldn't be where I am now without it.   


Lecturer in Language and Literature (UK) 

Dr Sara Whiteley

Lecturer in Language and Literature, University of Sheffield

I am currently in my second year as a Lecturer in Language and Literature at the University of Sheffield. I love my job. Some of the highlights include teaching and researching subjects I am passionate about, interacting with bright, motivated students and enthusiastic colleagues, seeing my work published in books and journals, and travelling all over the world to attend international conferences.

I studied for an MA in Literary Linguistics in Nottingham in 2005-6 and I treasure my memories of that year. The classes were engaging and truly mind-expanding, and I was taught by hugely inspirational academics who were leaders in their respective fields. I got the space to find out more about my own skills, aptitudes and interests, and pursue them in a supportive and well-resourced environment. I also got to meet a group of similarly passionate students. We regularly met both within and outside of class to debate, discuss and help each other learn (we are still friends seven years on!). All of this on a beautiful campus in a brilliant city.

My MA gave me the rich academic knowledge I needed to go on to study for a PhD and enter academia myself. I learned how to think and analyse deeply and how to develop my own thoughts through interaction with others. My MA also gave me inspiration and the confidence to pursue my ambitions. Today I am still driven by the passion it ignited in me, and I still use the things that I learned every day! 


Viking & Anglo-Saxon Studies 

Iceland Government Scholarship holder

John Gallagher

Iceland Government Scholarship holder, University of Iceland

I currently hold the Iceland Government Scholarship for studies in Icelandic as a second language at the University of Iceland. I follow classes on modern Icelandic, in addition to taking graduate courses on Old Norse literature and language. As a grantee, I have the benefit of using the facilities and extensive medieval research library of the Árni Magnússon Institute, home to some of the most significant manuscripts of Icelandic literature.

The MA in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies provided a strong grounding in historical language study that has benefitted me in my current studies. In addition to rigorous academic training, Nottingham provided many opportunities to develop myself as a researcher: I worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Name-Studies, received funding to attend a graduate training course and academic conference, and presented my work at the Institute for Medieval Research's Postgraduate Conference. MA students are very much integrated into the medieval research culture of the School and the training and experience provided by this programme is, I believe, unrivalled in the British Isles.


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School of English

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The University of Nottingham
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