Study English

What is English?

The term English is itself a homograph (a word that is spelled the same but has multiple meanings). And if you love to read and collect interesting facts like that one, then the study of English may be for you!

English can either mean the language spoken by approximately 1.5 billion people across the planet; the racial, ethnic or cultural identification of those born or raised in England; or the academic field of study that makes a strong contribution to the Arts and Humanities. Here, we take a look at the latter of the three.

When you study English, also often referred to as English literature, you will consider how words and texts can be used to create meaning.

Traditionally involving the literary analysis of fictional work, the study of English has expanded to include a wide variety of texts, including poetry, film and other media in all forms.

Literary analysis is a core part of English and involves examining the deeper meanings and interpretations of texts. As an English student, you will study the written word from multiple perspectives. Popular areas of literary analysis include feminist readings, post-colonialist readings, queer readings and many others.

English specialists use these interpretations to shine new light on the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of those in the past and present. Their readings are often used to reveal or draw attention to particular issues at a point in time, or to consider how human nature has evolved over time.

Creative writing can also form a large portion of English studies. English students studying creative writing read a variety of texts and use literary analysis to develop their own skills in creative writing to write their own stories and other types of texts.

English and Communications are subject areas that have become increasingly intertwined in recent decades. As English has expanded to consider the construction and influence of media texts, it has begun to experiment with various modes of communication, and how these can be incorporated into more traditional forms of text construction and analysis.

English offers many opportunities for those interested in exploring the power of the written and spoken word. With clear communication skills highly valued by employers, the opportunities when you study English are limitless.

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Bachelor of Arts

Explore the opportunities within writing and literary analysis and extend your communication skills.

What do those who study English do?

English students understand the value of diverse methods of communication. They are well-practiced in analysing text of all forms and can be highly creative in their approach to modern problems. There are variety of roles and responsibilities well suited to English graduates.

Many English students choose to take their literary analysis and criticism further by pursuing academic research. Usually working out of universities and other academic institutions, English academics focus on one particular author, period or style of writing and take a deep dive into the history, influence and ongoing impact of it. Strong communication skills are vital, as academics frequently produce written and oral snapshots of their work and present these to various audiences.

English graduates with a passion for writing could find themselves working as an author or copywriter. Authors tend to focus on creating books or collected works for publication. A high level of creativity is required, as you construct worlds for others to immerse themselves in, and market your book in a way that will attract a large fan base.

Copywriters also produce the written word, but they tend to operate in the business and corporate spheres. Here, you will work from client briefs to produce informative, entertaining or educational content directed at particular audiences.

English students who are more analytical and have high attention to detail often carve a niche for themselves working in editing. Editors are responsible for assessing pieces of written work and making suggestions for improvement. These improvements could be grammatical or structural in nature or include tips on how to create a piece that better targets an audience.

The skills and knowledge base that come from studying English are extensive and highly flexible. With the right passion and determination, you could turn your degree into the role of your dreams.

What jobs are there in English?

As a JCU English graduate, you will cultivate a range of highly transferrable skills. Your advanced analytical, creative and communication abilities will help you to find work across multiple industries.

With such an adaptable major, JCU English students have gone on to work for a variety of employers, including government organisations, multinational corporations and private enterprise. Studying English through a JCU Bachelor of Arts can also give you the confidence and interpersonal skills to branch out and run your own business. Consider the opportunities in consulting, advising, tutoring and independent contracting for more flexible work options.

An understanding of the principles of clear, effective communication is highly valued overseas. Your studies could see you working internationally, as you share your insights and bring innovative solutions to your chosen workplace.

With a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English from JCU, you may work in roles such as:

  • Author
  • Copywriter
  • Technical writer
  • Editor
  • Academic researcher
  • Marketing executive
  • Community engagement coordinator
  • Literacy coach
  • Advertising executive
  • Literacy advocate
  • Public relations advisor
  • Policy writer and analyst
  • TESOL teacher (further qualifications may be required)
  • English teacher (further qualifications required).

Why study English at JCU?

With personalised learning and small, supportive classes, you’ll feel confident to engage with modern language and communications research and practice. Studying English will empower you to examine representations of the world around you and explore diverse perspectives. JCU’s expansive collection of majors and minors will equip you to specialise or diversify within Arts, so you feel supported in selecting what works best for you.

JCU students emerge with highly developed analytical, creative and communication skills. With a JCU Bachelor of Arts, you’ll have access to JCU’s Work Integrated Learning process, providing the opportunity to work alongside professionals, and produce work that will assist you in your career development. The JCU focus on professional practice means our students develop unique strategies to help them get ahead sooner.

With a blend of online and on-campus courses, JCU is flexible and able to work in with you. Study English your way and meet your personal learning goals through a Bachelor of Arts. Find out more by exploring JCU’s options today.

Be the solution Become a critical thinker
Transferrable skills Expand employability opportunities through elevated thinking
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1 2024 Good Universities Guide

Douresha Drepaul

Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English

"I chose to study a Bachelors of Arts at James Cook University mainly because of the wide range of subjects which are offered at the University. I am very passionate about literature and languages. I have had the pleasure to attend amazing English classes which were led by very dedicated lecturers of the University. My goal is to become a diplomatic translator/ interpreter. I also hope to publish a book one day."

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