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School of English and Drama

Graduate Attributes and Careers

Queen Mary has an excellent record for graduate employment, with 62% of our graduates in graduate-level employment after six months (Guardian, 2014).

Studying English with us will give you a range of key graduate attributes that will serve you in good stead after you graduate. As an English student at Queen Mary, you will also have many opportunities to gain useful work experience and specific careers advice.

Graduate Attributes

Employers regard the English degree as intellectually rigorous, and the skills which you will develop as an English student are transferable to many different fields. You will gain rigorous analytical and communication skills which make our English graduates sought after in the workplace.

Whatever career you choose, by the end of your degree you can expect to have developed these key graduate attributes:

  • analytic skills, as you examine texts written in different genres and explore their authorship, contexts, and audiences
  • communication skills, as you extend your vocabulary and hone your writing through essays, reports, and creative exercises
  • presentation skills, as you learn to shape language for specific tasks and audiences, in seminar discussions and formal assessments
  • planning skills, as you develop and carry out seminar preparation, reading, assessment tasks, individual research, and group projects
  • reflective skills, as you consider your own opinions and knowledge and how these are developing through engagement with literary and critical texts and group discussion
  • research skills, as you identify, locate, and select from appropriate materials relating to specific areas of enquiry
  • IT skills, as you make use of electronic resources and communication tools, including the online learning environment and research databases
  • time management skills and the ability to work under pressure, as you organise and fulfil extensive reading commitments and assessments
  • team-working skills, as you participate with fellow-students in seminars and undertake group work


Work Experience

Alongside your studies, you will also have many opportunities to gain useful work experience to further enhance your skill set.

If you’re interested in careers in journalism, research, or publishing, there are several media outlets at Queen Mary where you can gain important work experience. These include:

There are in addition over 1200 on-campus jobs (ranging from Library Assistant to School Mentor), and many further opportunities for work experience throughout London’s East End. Our Careers Service can help you find the perfect opportunity through their various schemes, including QProjects (working with charities and arts organisations).


Careers Events

As well as gaining work experience, you will also have access to many events run by the Careers Service. These include workshops on job hunting, writing CV’s, and excelling in interviews. The Careers Service also run over 70 employer events annually to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

In addition, the Department works closely with the Careers Service to provide information and ideas targeted towards English students. In recent years this has included ‘Speed-Meet’ evenings where we invited alumni from the college, now working in many different areas, to come and speak to students interested in finding out more about a particular career path. We have also run ‘Value Volunteering’ events to help you to think about ways to boost your cv (and indeed your social life) with a view to helping you to make the most of your skills and talents. Students have also recently attended an Experience Journalism workshop (run by News Associates), several networking forums, and an on-campus Film Festival.



Students in the Department have benefitted greatly from Queen Mary's award-winning QProjects endeavour. QProjects offers exciting work experience opportunities in a range of local charities, and has placed many of our current students in roles designed to allow them to gain a range of transferable skills and potentially some experience working in a career area that interests them.

I worked at The Children’s Heart Federation as a Fundraising Guide Project Leader and found the experience very valuable and it certainly gave me the confidence and experience needed to get the current job I have. Working at CHF provided me with the opportunity to prove to future employers that I have skills in communication, administration, creativity, research and planning. It certainly increased my employability and I found that I could draw upon this experience in my first ever job interview – where I incidentally did get the job! QProjects were very helpful in guiding me on the interview journey – from suggesting a mock interview with Careers, to actually being on the panel of interviewees at CHF which offered a system of support and feedback no matter the outcome!
2013 English graduate
I would love to provide feedback on QProjects because I think it is fair to say without it I wouldn't be where I am now. It gave me so much more than my just having a degree. The opportunities Rachel at StudentVoice offered me were hugely beneficial and in my interview I based most of my answers from what I did for QProjects. There are so many graduates I know struggling to find roles as they only have their degree to base their cv/application on and unfortunately that isn't enough. So QProjects is vital!
2013 English graduate
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