Why study English Literature A-level?

The study of Literature is a study into the human psyche, human experience and social influences over the years. Any text is the product of its time: a study of it will teach a student to read in context and to understand the influences over the author. The ability to read any content with a deeper appreciation and investigation is an essential skill that will only increase in importance as the platform for sharing news and views — that will be published — grows.

In addition, a study of The Literary Canon will help a student understand History, identify and understand trends and the key events that have shaped our past and present society.

English Literature is one of the Russell Group universities' 'facilitating' subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

English Literature A-level is an essential subject for an English degree. Some drama, media studies, American studies and law degree courses will also ask for an English literature or language A-level. The Russell Group Informed Choices guide also recommends English Literature A-level for those who want to take degree courses in classics, French and other modern languages, teacher training, history, history of art, politics and religious studies.

What skills will you gain by studying English Literature?

Developing your own formal written communication style is a key skill for further studies and communication in a career: a skill that is highly valued by employers but can be overlooked in the modern world.

Many of the skills developed through studying this subject are related to independent thinking — the ability to analyse sophisticated ideas and the ways in which they are presented, to synthesise large and complex text, and to know how to build a convincing argument are just a few.

What careers can studying English Literature lead to?

It is widely recognised by universities that the skills developed through the study of English Literature are among the most transferable, with English graduates going on to develop the widest range of careers — among the most popular are publishing, broadcasting, marketing and PR, journalism, law, teaching and politics.

Top 20 universities for English (The Times)
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019

1 University of St Andrews
2 Durham University
3 University of York
4 University of Oxford
5 University of Exeter
6 University of Cambridge
7 University of Aberdeen
8 Lancaster University
9 University of Birmingham
10 Newcastle University
11 University of Nottingham
12 University of Glasgow
13 University of Warwick
14 = University of Manchester
14 = University of Sheffield
16 = University of Surrey
16 = University College London
18 Loughborough University
19 = University of Sussex
19 = Royal Holloway, University of London

Find out more about degrees related to Humanities, including English Literature, that Kings alumni have progressed to study