Careers service: Careers resource for English Language Graduates

Employability & Enterprise, English language

Project Description

This project created a careers resource specifically for English Language graduates.

This is one a series of projects. You can read about them all on the main project page.

Project report & related outputs


The Careers Service at York St John University works with level 2 English Language and Linguistics students studying the module Language and Communication in the Workplace.  The course tutor has significant input into Careers Sessions with these students. This module integrates two kinds of academic study:

  • the academic study of the Language of Work, essentially a sociolinguistic focus;
  • the undertaking and reviewing of a three week work placement, essentially a vocational focus.

During the course students consider aspects of workplace communication, while at the same time learning about job search techniques. This integration of the academic and vocational leads into students arranging their own work placements, usually undertaken at the end of semester 2. The assessment of the course involves three elements which includes an Action Plan where the students indicate their next steps towards a working life.

In 2007,  42  students completed the course. It was noticeable from the Action Plans submitted that while the students were very positive about their work experience, and in many cases very keen to consider further training in their chosen fields, they currently have very sketchy ideas of :

  • what opportunities there are for further training
  •  what qualifications and experience are required pre postgraduate training
  • how to go about finding out more

After discussion with the course tutor, therefore, it was clear that although each student may ultimately need individual Careers Service advice, a resource looking at  Careers for English Language Graduates would be extremely valuable.

Benefits to English students

  • giving them an overview of some of the career paths open to them
  • enabling them to make an informed choice regarding their future professional development and effectively plan their careers from an early stage.
  • enhancing their employability through prior knowledge of the additional skills, qualifications and experience they will need to be successful in their chosen career.
  • encouraging them to make significant use of the Careers Service at York St John University
  • better preparing themselves during their time at university for the world of work.

In what ways is your project new or innovatory

  • focussing on the career needs of English Language students
  • providing a printed and web-based resource which would be made available both to English Language students at York St John University and to students at other Higher Education Institutions
  • bringing together information and advice on a range of career opportunities for English Language students and graduates based on research into the career needs and aspirations of such students at York St John University.
  • producing an innovative resource which can be updated and added to.

Outline Plan of Activities

November/December 2007

  • Survey of current English Language and Linguistics York St John students and recent graduates to establish their career aspirations
  • Research into the career destinations of English Language and Linguistics graduates from other HEIs in the UK.

January – March 2008
Research and write occupational profiles and case studies by:

  • using the results of the November/December survey of students and graduates
  • contacting relevant Professional Associations
  • interviewing practitioners in the field
  • researching web-based and printed sources
  • researching relevant postgraduate and other training opportunities

April 2008

  • Compile a booklet and have multiple copies printed.  These booklets will  be catalogued using our library management system, Sirsi, and available on 7-day loan to interested students.
  • Compile a web-based resource available on the York St John University Careers Service website.
  • Make the resource available to other HEIs in the UK.

May 2008
Compile project report.

Other information

This project has been given considerable backing by both Adrian Beard, Course Tutor on the Level 2 module Language and Communication in the Workplace and Angela Goddard,  Head of Subject, Language and Linguistics. Professor Gweno Williams, Academic head of C4C CETL and English Literature Specialist at York St John University, is equally keen to support the project.

Contact Details

Liz Whitaker
York St John University Careers Service