Topic outline

  • What Can You Do With A QM English Degree?

    English graduates can go into a huge variety of jobs, as you have a range of skills developed through your degree such as persuasive communications skills, creativity, presentation skills & critical analysis.  According to the Institute of Student Employers, more than 80% of the big graduate recruiters don't really mind what subjects applicants have taken - so there may be more career routes open to you, than you might have thought.

    According to LinkedIn, here are some jobs that QM English & Drama alumni were doing in 2019:

    Rights Manager (Publishing)            Hachette UK
    Marketing Lead          KPMG
    Head of Government & Healthcare  CBI 
    Deputy Editor - Digital  Metro UK
    Teacher     St Paul's Academy
    Global Mobility Effectiveness Manager      PwC
    BarristerLamb Chambers
    Trainee Solicitor Clifford Chance
    Broadcast Journalist BBC
    Media & Campaigns Amnesty international

    For more options with your subject and to find out more about jobs that you might like, visit these websites:
    Creative Choices
    The Guardian
    Career Player   


  • Careers for Undergrads: What To Do In Your First Year

    • Follow your interests: become an active member of a QMUL society. Look for a position on the committee in your 2nd/3rd year.
    • Get skills on-campus building experience through QProjects or QMSU volunteering.
    • Familiarise with our services. You can get your CV checked and ready for applying to internships, volunteering and work experience.
    • Take a look at our Qprogrammes. Our Qprogrammes give students the opportunity to gain invaluable skills that will be appealing for employers

  • Careers for Undergrads: What To Do In Your Second Year

    • Be curious – look around & ask lots of questions about jobs you see around you or read about.
    • Become more self-aware… What interests you? What do you enjoy; What are you good at? What do you not enjoy?
    • Continue to build work experience whether on campus or off… even if not directly relevant to a future career, it will definitely give you transferrable skills
    • Explore job options by attending career events and workshops
    • Take on extra roles- sit on a committee, be a course rep or QMUL student ambassador. 
    • Use the long summer break to get an advertised internship, or write to companies and try to set up your own. has a useful list of companies offering internships in diverse sectors from publishing to banking - remember to start looking in the early autumn of your 2nd year.  
    • The QMUL jobsboard  advertises individual internships with a wide variety of organisations, keep an eye on this from January onwards
  • Careers for Undergrads: What To Do In Your Final Year

    Often English students are looking for jobs in Media/Communications/Publishing roles where graduate schemes are limited.  Look for individual entry-level opportunities too and think about approaching a company with a speculative application if they have no positions advertised.

      Good websites as follows:
  • Masters Students: Get Your Career on Track

    If you want to get a graduate job at the end of your Masters (as opposed to continuing in academia), your campaign should start at the beginning of your MA programme. N.B. Do read the section for 3rd year undergraduates and follow any relevant links.

    Graduate Schemes - Large Organisations

    • A good place to start your research is with a hard copy of The Guardian UK300 (does not exist online – collect from Careers & Enterprise in Queens Building WG3), which highlights the top 300 UK employers, their different schemes & the all important deadlines - many of which will be before Christmas.
    • Remember big corporates need people in all disciplines – so a tech company still needs great staff to work in HR, Marketing, Business Management etc.  Explore beyond the obvious…
    • Read these top careers tips for Masters students

    Law & Teaching

    • Look out for events early in the autumn term to help start your campaign, such as ‘Law Careers for Non-Law Students’ and activities run by Teach First, Ark & other teaching organisations.

     Interesting areas, often without formal graduate schemes…

    • Read our Getting Into… guides. Careers covered include Publishing & Journalism; Marketing, Advertising, PR & Events; Charities, Development & Human Rights; and Politics, Think Tanks & Government.

    • Fine tune your CV and draft an outline cover letter
    • Build a long TARGET LIST of organisations that work in the area you are interested in, prioritise the list and 1) check website regularly for opportunities and 2) approach them directly even if no roles advertised.
      • Earlier in the academic year, look to still build experience/contacts: use the fact that you are still a student - it is a fantastic opportunity to write & ask for work experience, work shadowing, even the chance to come in & discuss what their job involves
      • Later in the academic year, approach them for a graduate role: always do your research, find something that the organisation is doing & show how that relates to your interests; don’t forget to describe your motivation for getting in touch.
      • Use an organisation’s website and/or LinkedIn, to always find a named person to write to.
      • Don’t be surprised if you have to write 50-100 letters to get a useful response!
      • Be persistent, follow up an approach with an email after 2 weeks.

     Still not sure what to do?

    • Think as widely as possible – research job areas you know about, but also research companies/organisations that attract/inspire you and look at what roles for graduates exist in those organisations… there will be many jobs out there that you probably don’t know exist.
    • Book a 1:1 guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to kickstart your thinking, book an appointment by calling us on 020 7882 8533 or drop into WG3, Queens’ Building.

    Know what you want to do, but concerned your CV experience is weak?

    • Even in your MA year, it is not too late to build your CV if you are prepared to work hard, whether through regular part-time work, work-shadowing, an internship, or volunteering.   
    • Book a 1:1 guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to help identify gaps & craft a plan of action…

    Finally, the Basics:

    • Always personalise your CV & Cover letter to maximise relevance to each organisation. Consider mailing old-fashioned paper copies, more unusual and harder to ignore than an email!
    • Get CVs, Cover letters & Applications checked with an Applications Advisor in the Careers & Enterprise team, call us on 020 7882 8533 or drop in to WG3, Queen’s Building to book an appointment.
    • INTERVIEWS… visit QMUL Careers for more resources AND book a Mock Interview with a Careers Consultant by calling us on 020 7882 8533 or drop into WG3, Queens’ Building.



  • 03/03/21 English at Work: an English Alumni Panel

  • SED Careers Workshops February 2021

    • This workshop, on February 8th 2021, aimed to help you think about the shape you would like your future to take, and start to build a plan of actions you can take to get there. 

      Topics include:

      • further study;
      • your skills and values;
      • identifying and narrowing down your interests;
      • the job market and coronavirus;
      • building an action plan.

      The recording of this session can be accessed here.

    • This session, on 10th February 2021, gave an overview of working for yourself, including: 

      • freelancing and owning a business
      • types of business
      • entrepreneurial skills
      • SED-related businesses
      • a Q&A with SED alumni and GradVenture prizewinner Eleni Sophia.

      This is really relevant if you are interested in being a writer or journalist, in setting up your own company, or being a freelancer in any field. 

      A recording of the session can be accessed here

    • This session, on February 17th 2021, aimed to help you explore how to present yourself to potential employers, clients, and contacts in a variety of ways, including: 

      • Skills and how to describe them
      • CVs and applications
      • Interviews
      • Assessment centres
      • Networking.

      A recording of this session can be accessed here

  • 07/10/20 SED Career Cafe

  • 04/11/20 SED Career Cafe


    Career and Enterprise: Who we are and how we can support you

    Whether you know what you want to do or are still deciding, use our range of support and opportunities to explore your options, and develop your skills, experience and networks.

    Felicity Bush is the Careers Consultant for the School of English and Drama. Read our statement of service and to see a full list of services available to you and visit our Careers and Enterprise page to find out more about our programmes and resources. If you would like to book an appointment please call the Careers team on 02078828533.


    We offer 1:1 careers appointments via MS Teams; a limited number of face-to-face appointments will be available from 24th May 2021. If you want to discuss anything that relates to career planning, professional prospects, further study options or if you simply want to have a chat about your career ideas book an appointment with Fliss or another Careers Consultant. If you have a job application you are working on and would like feedback or if you want to discuss how to improve your CV you can speak to one of our student employability advisers. Find out how to book an appointment here.

    Career events

    Each year we have hundreds of employer events on campus who provide inspiration, insight and information about jobs. Events are currently taking place online via Blackboard Collaborate.  To browse upcoming events click here.

    Online Information & Resources

    You can keep boosting your skills and developing your career plans during this period. We have a wealth of online tools and resources to help you learn about careers in different sectors, find opportunities of interest and be successful in applications. Click here to find out more, and see more links and information in the Resources tab above. 

    Employment Opportunities

    There are still employers recruiting during this time. Access QM Careers Hub to browse open vacancies, from part-time jobs to internships to graduate schemes; and take a look at QTemps for well-paid flexible work. We also encourage you to follow our blog to keep up to date with the latest employment market information and insight from employers. Read our fortnightly newsletters to browse lots of job opportunities and employer events.


    Our programmes are currently running virtually; these are amazing opportunities to build up experience and knowledge. 


    For budding entrepreneurs, our Enterprise team is running its services virtually. Visit the Enterprise pages for more information.

  • Alumni stories

    • English BA, 2009

      Booker Prize long-listed author and English alumnus, Gabriel Krauze, discusses the themes of morality, beauty and trauma in his debut novel, Who They Was, the challenges of being labelled a “gangster” in the media, and how his passion for literature made him realise he needed to do something constructive with his life.

    • English and Drama BA, 2010

      I never thought I would live in Switzerland, learn how to speak French, or really enjoy a career as an investment professional! I made plans but I was open to deviations along the way. In the words of Joseph Campbell, “we must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

    • English BA, 2018

      Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and are often misunderstood and misrepresented in society and the media. I really wanted to be part of a charity that was dedicated to helping everyone regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or background. 

    • English and Film Studies BA

      Characters are what matters the most when you’re writing a book. If you don’t understand your characters deeply, feel and care for them, then no one else will.

    • English MA

      My current research is very much informed by and carries on from my MA dissertation. Following on from my research into literary linguistic and formal experimentalism, I am now exploring the limits of discourse and language, and am interested in novels that have silences, gaps, or absences at the centre of their narrative – the expressive potential of this but also its limitations.

    • English MA

      One of the best things about studying in London, and specifically in the East End, is that I was studying with, and being taught by, a diverse group of people. East London has a rich history of migration and revolutionary resistance which makes it an exciting and inspiring place to live and explore. 

    • English BA, 2018

      [My book] is a critique of a tendency to conflate the experiences and cultures of the black British population with the black American population. Obviously, there are instances when comparisons are valid, but the assumption, which I found pervasive after the Black Lives Matter protests last year, that we can analyse black Britain through an American lens, is reductive.

    • English and Drama BA, 2011 

      My book is a beacon of hope for Autistic individuals and their carers, as it promotes the message that individuals with long-term health conditions can achieve great things in society.

    • English BA

      On any given day, I might be traveling to Silicon Valley to interview a humanoid A.I. robot, typing furiously on my laptop, testing out the latest virtual reality headset, or taste testing a $900 bite of lab-grown meat. My work is a mixture of interviewing, researching, writing and rewriting, with product testing, world travel, and drones thrown in. 

    • English and Drama BA, 2008

      With my brand, the mission is that regardless of where you're from, what your background is, what your race is, what your hair type is, it doesn't matter, there's a place for you.

    • English with Russian BA, 2003

      I joined the London Ambulance Service in 2007 after assisting with a medical emergency outside my home. I realised that a paramedic’s job and a broadcast journalist’s job had many similarities. Both professions had to be skilled at questioning people to find out exactly what happened, they were both fast paced jobs that involved highly emotional scenarios, and both involved being constantly out talking to people. I was good at looking after people and dealing with emergencies, which I hadn’t realised was a skill not all people have.

    • English and History BA, 1997

      I’ve always loved writing. Whether it was essays at university, the features when I was a journalist, or copywriting for PR, writing has always been the most enjoyable part of any work.

    • English BA, 2014

      Keep an eye out on how brands market themselves to you whilst you are at university and take note of what has the biggest impact on you. A wide range of degrees lend themselves to marketing, if you can research, creatively persuade, and measure.

    • English BA, 2014

      My main role is sourcing and creating images for Sky’s programming guide on the box. I maintain strong relationships with our partner channels, such as Netflix, Amazon etc. to source their best images for our Top Picks area.

    • English BA, 2014

      In this special blog post for South Asian Heritage Month, Policy Professional for the Department for Education, Anum Ahmed (English BA, 2014), reflects on her experience of her South Asian culture through visits with family in Lahore and Johannesburg as a child, and shares how she strives for diversity through her work, for example through amplifying the voices and experiences of young people from the Global South and Global North in the planning of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

    • English BA, 2016; English Studies: Writing in the Modern Age MA, 2019

      Maansi Kalyan (English BA, 2016; English Studies: Writing in the Modern Age MA, 2019) shares what South Asian Heritage month means to her, why she is proud of her heritage, historical events we all need to be aware of, and how she is taking action via her Brown Girls Don't podcast.

    • English and Drama BA, 2000

      To this day, when speaking to my students I use Lois Weaver’s slogan, “if they don’t get it, that’s ok”, which is an absolute cornerstone of the way I approach work – and I’m very thankful for that. 

  • Resources and information

  • Freelancing and working for yourself

    • If you are interested in setting up your own business, or in freelancing in journalism or any other sector, the Enterprise team at Queen Mary can help you. They provide support for students and recent graduates through funding, one-to-one advice, exciting events and workshops, workspace, access to experts and entrepreneurial networks.


      You can find resources and information on events, workshops, programmes, funding, and how to book an appointment on the Enterprise website.

    • This is a recording of the Careers & Enterprise workshop session held on Wednesday 8th February 2023, covering freelancing and working for yourself.