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Royal Holloway included in campaign to show the creative and economic value of English degrees

Royal Holloway included in campaign to show the creative and economic value of English degrees

  • Date22 March 2024

The Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London has joined other universities across the UK to launch #EnglishCreates, a campaign to promote the study of English.


The campaign, launched on Friday 22 March 2024, aims to shine a light on the value of English literature, language and creative writing degrees.

The #EnglishCreates campaign, led by University English in association with the English Association, shows how young people can create a difference in the world through an English degree, and futureproof their skills for life, work, and social change.

Despite its reputation as a ‘low-value degree’, the academics and graduates involved say that English degrees provide skills vital to today’s growing markets in the creative and arts sectors, and language-based systems and industries like AI.

However, the popularity of some English literature and language courses has fallen due to misleading myths about job prospects and skills, academics say.

The project explains that English is a key contributor to the creative industries, the fastest growing part of the UK economy. It also points out that Arts and Humanities graduates have the same employment rate as science graduates across UK Higher Education.

#EnglishCreates also suggests that average graduate starting salaries for Arts and Humanities graduates are comparable with Psychology, Law, Business Studies and Chemistry. 

As #EnglishCreates launches, academics and high-profile graduates of English will seek to highlight the value of studying English.

The campaign is supported by successful English graduates, including comedian David Baddiel, poet and novelist Patience Agbabi, writers Ali Smith and Jeanette Winterson, and children’s author Francesca Simon.

Professor Adam Roberts, Head of the Department of English at Royal Holloway said: “To study English is to immerse yourself in some of the most wonderful, beautiful, moving, stirring and thought-provoking productions of the human culture.

“The study makes you a better writer, teaches you how to think, how to express yourself critically, how to think for yourself and understand your responses to the world. Since it’s a discipline that covers many centuries, you also study history through the eyes of the people recording it and living it.

“There is no other academic discipline like it that builds the soul and enriches life.”

Professor Robert Eaglestone from the Department of English at Royal Holloway added: “Students of English study meaning: who we are, as individuals, as societies, brought to light in language, literature and culture.

“The subject not only gives you great skills for work and changing the world – creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking – but it’s deeply emotionally, socially and intellectually enjoyable and rewarding.”

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