Is an English degree useless?

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angelinahx
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#1
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#1
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
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BlueChicken
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(Original post by angelinahx)
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
Note that many degrees don't lead to anything directly. If you enjoy English and will commit to the degree, engage with the subject and work hard, then it seems like a good plan. Degrees teach work ethic, academic rigour, time management, team work, as well as the actual subject at hand, so you will leave with transferable skills. Just a thought: you might need to consider how you will fund it - I am not sure of the funding situation if you drop out of initial degree, but usually it can be tricky to get funding for a second undergraduate degree (unless it's something like grad medicine).

You need to consider why you want to do English and what you might want to do in the future. You will likely to better in your degree if you enjoy it. Good luck.
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Liverpool Hope University
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(Original post by angelinahx)
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
Hi angelinahx

I graduated in 2020 with an English Literature degree and I haven't regretted it at all. English is still very much seen as an "academic" subject which some types of industries prefer. However, it also gives you lots of transferrable skills (communication, presentation skills, analytical skills) that can be used in so many roles. In terms of my graduating class, the types of roles we have gone into vary from marketing, social media and publishing to teaching, curating and research.

Personally, I think if you love a subject you should study it which is why I chose English. You never know, you may discover your dream job through the connections you make at university. There's no point in studying something for 3 years that will get you a decent job at the end but you hate studying.

I hope this helps reassure you!

Laura :rave:
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Thisismyunitsr
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(Original post by angelinahx)
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
I personally think all non STEM degrees are useless.

There are more graduates than there are graduate jobs in the UK so therefore if you do a degree that isn’t in demand (STEM, teaching, nursing etc) you shall struggle to find employment.
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angelinahx
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(Original post by BlueChicken)
Note that many degrees don't lead to anything directly. If you enjoy English and will commit to the degree, engage with the subject and work hard, then it seems like a good plan. Degrees teach work ethic, academic rigour, time management, team work, as well as the actual subject at hand, so you will leave with transferable skills. Just a thought: you might need to consider how you will fund it - I am not sure of the funding situation if you drop out of initial degree, but usually it can be tricky to get funding for a second undergraduate degree (unless it's something like grad medicine).

You need to consider why you want to do English and what you might want to do in the future. You will likely to better in your degree if you enjoy it. Good luck.
What if I’ve studied a year at another university and received funding and plan on changing my course?
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Thisismyunitsr
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(Original post by angelinahx)
What if I’ve studied a year at another university and received funding and plan on changing my course?
You get 4 years of funding for an undergraduate degree. If you drop out in year 1 you can study for a three year degree but you cannot drop out again as you’ll have to self fund your degree.
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BlueChicken
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(Original post by angelinahx)
What if I’ve studied a year at another university and received funding and plan on changing my course?
I'm afraid I don't know - SFE Isaac may be able to help
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Scotney
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#8
(Original post by angelinahx)
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
Have you already applied as this years Ucas round finished 2 days ago.You can still apply but I would ring Goldsmiths and ask what your chances were of being accepted.Funding should be okay if you did not start year 2 at your old uni.As others have said you can get 4 years funding in total.Why do you want to do the degree is the thing.If you think you do not need it start working.Nothing like a year in an office or industry to make your decision clearer.And 24 is nothing.You will be working for 45 years after that so only do something you love.
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hallamstudents
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#9
(Original post by angelinahx)
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
Hey angelinahx

I do Creative Writing at university which, to a lot of people is often considered a useless degree. In reality, however, it is incredibly employable, and I'm sure English is exactly the same, possibly even more so. There is so much you can get into regardless of what degree you've done. I'd advise you to do a degree that you're genuinely interested in as it will motivate you to get on with the work and guide you into an occupation that you will enjoy. Getting decent grades that show your work ethic and attitude to learning is pretty important for employers, sometimes even more than the degree itself.

Whether it's teaching, proofreading, screenwriting, researching etc, the degree is so broad, it really will surprise you what jobs you can get into with a degree in the humanities. There are also countless opportunities that the university will guide you into so that you can bulk out your CV and become more employable. There's nothing worse at university than studying something for three or four years that you don't like. I know so many people that have dropped out because of how boring this can be. Find something you're both passionate about and interested in.

I hope this helps
Quinn - Student Ambassador
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Admit-One
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#10
A huge amount of grad schemes and jobs just ask for an honours degree in any subject.

Being able to string two sentences together, and consider the audience you are addressing, is going to be useful in any profession.
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Thisismyunitsr
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Admit-One)
A huge amount of grad schemes and jobs just ask for an honours degree in any subject.

Being able to string two sentences together, and consider the audience you are addressing, is going to be useful in any profession.
You don’t need to study for a degree to be able to ‘string two sentences together.’
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Admit-One
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
You don’t need to study for a degree to be able to ‘string two sentences together.’
Never said that you did. The second statement is true wherever you get the skills from.

I only did Eng Lang at A-level but it's come in handy quite a few times.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
I personally think all non STEM degrees are useless.

There are more graduates than there are graduate jobs in the UK so therefore if you do a degree that isn’t in demand (STEM, teaching, nursing etc) you shall struggle to find employment.
A very large proportion of STEM degrees are evidently not in demand, as the UK government had to commission two inquiries into why CS, biosciences, earth sciences, and certain other STEM fields had such poor graduate prospects.

The idea that a STEM degree will guarantee you work on graduating is nonsense, and why we see every year threads from people who graduated in maths/CS/engineering, sat exams for 3-4 years and didn't get a lick of work experience not have any job or job prospects (whereas humanities or social sciences students who did make an effort to make themselves employable would not have that problem...).

This is such an absurd statement to make and gets repeated so often by recent school leavers and school students, while anyone who has been in the workforce realises it's entirely nonsense.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 3 months ago
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SFE Isaac
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#14
(Original post by angelinahx)
What if I’ve studied a year at another university and received funding and plan on changing my course?
(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
You get 4 years of funding for an undergraduate degree. If you drop out in year 1 you can study for a three year degree but you cannot drop out again as you’ll have to self fund your degree.
(Original post by BlueChicken)
I'm afraid I don't know - SFE Isaac may be able to help
Hi there,

It's not correct that students can only receive 4 years of funding for an undergraduate degree.

Full time applicants can receive funding for the length of the course + 1 additional year - any previous study.
Part time applicants can receive up to 16 years of funding.

So for example, a full time student on a 4 year course with 0 years of previous study, their calculation for funding would be 4+1-0 = 5 years of funding available.

If you're a full time student and plan on changing your course, it depends on the length of your new course and how many years of previous study you have.

Thanks, Isaac
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Jayyyyy_99
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#15
(Original post by angelinahx)
I’m thinking about applying to Goldsmiths for English but I’m scared it’ll be useless, because of decisions (taking a gap year and then dropping out of uni) I’ve made I won’t graduate until I’m 24 and I’m not sure whether an English degree is actually worth it considering it doesn’t lead to anything directly.
Hi,

I was in a similar predicament as you currently are. I did my foundation year in English, did the first two years of my undergraduate degree and then interrupted midway last year during my final year because of my mental health. Goldsmiths were nothing but supportive of this, the university has an amazing English department. It’s never too late to graduate (I’ll be graduating at 23 this year)! In my opinion, studying something that you enjoy doing is honestly so important, as long as you have a degree, you’re fine for most jobs.
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symptom
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#16
(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
I personally think all non STEM degrees are useless.

There are more graduates than there are graduate jobs in the UK so therefore if you do a degree that isn’t in demand (STEM, teaching, nursing etc) you shall struggle to find employment.
PMSL. Rip nurses, teachers, lawyers, marketers, policymakers, etc.
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Thisismyunitsr
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(Original post by symptom)
PMSL. Rip nurses, teachers, lawyers, marketers, policymakers, etc.
Why are you laughing?

Unless you go to Oxbridge or study medicine you’re going to be financially worse off from attending university. Read this 2016 research paper for more information.
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symptom
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(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
Why are you laughing?

Unless you go to Oxbridge or study medicine you’re going to be financially worse off from attending university. Read this 2016 research paper for more information.
So how do you think we should educate the workforce of solicitors, nurses, teachers etc? And that isn't even a proper research paper lmao.
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Thisismyunitsr
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(Original post by symptom)
So how do you think we should educate the workforce of solicitors, nurses, teachers etc? And that isn't even a proper research paper lmao.
It is a research paper. It’s 40 pages long stating that there is absolutely no financial benefit for you attending university unless you go to Oxbridge or complete a degree in medicine due to the student debt.

We could make university free or low cost for sectors that actually require you to get a degree for the jobs you want to do. I would argue that if you want to be a teacher, solicitor, nurse etc, that the student debt is worth it if you plan to go into these sectors as you need a degree to do so.

Even so I’m in my mid 20s and I have never met anyone who regretted not going to university. I’ve met an awful lot of people who have regretted attending.
Last edited by Thisismyunitsr; 3 months ago
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