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English Language and Applied Linguistics skills and careers

UK universities now recruit more international students each year than any other country in the world… Counting students to the UK, and the students enrolling on British courses overseas, the UK teaches over one million international students each year, and engages with every country on earth… The message that the UK must send to the world is one of a willing collaborative partner, eager to learn with and from international friends. A successful tertiary education sector benefits from and contributes to an outward facing UK.

UK Goes Top of the World for Overseas Students

As the quote above from the British Council demonstrates teaching English within the UK or overseas will continue to provide a source of employment for graduates although it is just one of the areas in which graduates of English language and applied linguistics could work as English is marketable in most job sectors.

The video Why English Language Studies? explains what studying English Language at university involves and the advantages of studying it.

Skills you can develop

As well as the specific subject knowledge gained from studying for an OU degree, you'll develop many transferable and work-related skills that are highly valued by employers and which will increase your employability.

For English and Applied Linguistics students the employability skills you will develop include:

  • independent working
  • time management and organisation
  • planning and researching written work
  • articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories
  • effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively
  • using your judgement to weigh up alternative perspectives
  • critical reasoning and analysis
  • using IT.

To check which skills valued by employers can be developed from studying a particular subject, look at the ‘What can I do with my degree?’ pages on the Prospects website.

To see specific learning outcomes related to the degrees in this area have a look at the OU language courses.

If you’re a registered OU student, you can find further careers information tailored to your qualification at your Study Home site, under the Succeed tab.

Destination statistics

All UK graduates are invited to complete the Destinations of Leavers Survey six months after they graduate. For OU Language Studies (Q30), of graduates who responded to the latest survey, 77% go on to work and/or study. For OU English Language and Literature (Q39), of graduates who responded, 87% go on to work and/or study (source: Discover Uni 2017/18).

OU qualifications

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Last updated 1 year ago