The value of literary analysis to City financial institutions

Employability & Enterprise


The sophisticated manipulation of sign systems is the main business of both literature and high finance.  English graduates excel in thinking in abstracts, using analogies, moving spheres of reference, creating chains of referents and performing to an audience.

This project aimed to demonstrate how English is valued for its subject specific skills and to create a substantiating set of case studies to support careers advice given to students.

Project design

This project asked a small sample of English graduates now in senior and junior positions in accounting, investment, project or systems management, tax advice and merchant banking three principal questions:  whether and how the study of English increased their efficiency, what they think creativity is in their profession, and how English academics might be of use in extending their business or providing training.

Learning outcomes

The report of this project highlights the value of small group teaching in the English discipline and the need to communicate to students how important learning to think will be to their future careers.  It also suggests that English departments offer modules related to the financial world, and exploit funding opportunities to share research and expertise with the commercial sector.

Project Leaders

  • Dr Ceri Sullivan, Reader, School of English, Bangor University. (Previously a Senior chartered accountant with KPMG, focusing on banking clients).
  • Dr Eben Muse, Welsh Medium Teaching Fellow, School of Creative Studies and Media, Bangor University. (Previously a Knowledge manager and IT consultant on EU projects).


Related links


Completed October 2008