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Choosing the right subject and university is a stressful decision for any of us. It’s something that we have to commit to for at least three years. Ultimately, our time at university is a period that shapes us all as individuals, so the decision is really an important one. 

Why English?

For me, English was the subject that made the most sense for the careers I’ve always been interested in, as well as simply the academic field I’ve enjoyed the most throughout school and college. I liked the creative freedom that studying English lets you explore, and I knew it was something I’d be able to enjoy studying for the duration of my time at university. 

Why Chester?

The primary reason I chose Chester after opting for this degree was the setting of the English Department. Unlike other universities I’d looked at, the repurposed Vicarage that homes English at Chester was a real drawing point. It’s relatively small, so it is welcoming whilst also being a really unique and quirky setting to learn in. Chester itself is a relatively small community compared to other local universities, resulting in a naturally more friendly and close-knitted learning environment; as English relies a lot on discussion and communicating with others, this was something that further made Chester an appealing choice. 

Likewise, Chester didn’t have the same daunting feel that some of the bigger, more spread out campuses that I’d seen; it seemed like somewhere that I could quickly get used to and learn comfortably at. 

Favourite module?

Studying English means that there’s a wide range of module choices to tailor the degree to your literary interests. Being able to cater my degree to what I enjoy means I don’t particularly have a standout favourite module. That being said, having set reading lists for each module definitely introduces you to lots of different material that you wouldn’t otherwise have picked up or become familiar with. It’s also always worth going out of your comfort zone with module choices because sometimes, your favourites turn out to be the ones you least expect. Each module brings about different types of discussion and lots of interesting ideas, so realistically they all have their own selling points.

Skills you’ve learnt?

An English degree incorporates many opportunities for sharing ideas and building on others’ contributions to create an in-depth conversation. This is definitely a valuable skill that is applicable to various career paths, as it’s heavily reliant on listening, engaging and appreciating what others have to offer – often including things that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Whilst there’s lots of group interaction involved in an English degree, there’s also more independent learning than you’d perhaps encounter on other courses. This means that through the course of an English degree, you develop vital time management and independent organisation skills that are crucial in the working world. 

Top tip?

A key tip for keeping everything in balance and ensuring that you don’t get too overwhelmed with the workload throughout the year is to read as much as you can before the lessons. Reading lists are released before the start of the academic year, so there’s lots of time to read and become familiar with material during holidays and development weeks. 

Reading even a couple of chapters before the start of a seminar or a lecture gives you a good head start and means that you’ll be able to contribute more confidently to any class discussions. It’s also important to remember that there’s not necessarily any ‘right’ answers when it comes to English. Any idea is useful and offers a new perspective to each text you read. The more contrasting ideas there are in the classroom, the better the overall discussion will be, so don’t hold back or be afraid to say what you think. 

Key points?

The main thing about English is that it’s a creative subject. Its important to be imaginative and think outside of the box (another great employability skill!) so be confident in your ideas. 

An English degree is very adaptable with regards to career options. The skills you learn through essay writing, analysing and discussion mean you’re not restricted to a traditional English-related role, such as a journalist or an author. They’re also essential skills for things such as managerial roles, teaching or for jobs in advertising and business. One of the best things about studying English is that it leaves lots of jobs and opportunities open and you’ll gain skills to become a valued team member across various sectors. 

The future?

I’m interested in applying the skills I’ve learnt to a role in the Communications and PR sector. Much like throughout my degree, these jobs will allow me to work with others, but also complete my own assignments too. I’m keen to utilise the skills my degree has given me to be able to contribute usefully to a team.


You can chat to Emily via Unibuddy, where you can also speak to many of our students about their course, their campus and how they’ve found student life in Chester.

You can also find out more about our English courses and the English Department here.

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