Published: 03 November 2022

Hello…? Adele to pause her music career and study English Literature degree

Singing sensation Adele has revealed she is planning to study for an English Literature degree once her current residence in Las Vegas comes to an end.

The plan has surprised many, as well as her confession that if she hadn’t ‘made it singing’ she would have been ‘an English Lit teacher’.  Yet the shift from ‘song’ to the study of literature comes as no surprise to anyone who teaches the subject and recognises the poetic quality of her lyrics. Literature and the arts have always been intertwined and teaching is not the only career available to those with an English Literature degree. 

The University of Surrey offers undergraduate degrees in English Literature and English Literature with Creative Writing, and has recently been ranked 5th for English Literature in the Guardian University Guide 2023. Head of the School of Literature and Languages, Professor Patricia Pulham, comments:

“The UK is a world leader in media: entertainment, news, advertising, business analysis, and PR “ and these are the industries in which many of our graduates work and develop their careers.

The skills students gain from an English Literature degree – including creative thinking, communication expertise and analytical proficiency, the ability to simplify and communicate complex ideas, as well as individual and cultural empathy and highly honed people skills – are in high demand by employers.

Many of these skills were identified by Google’s Project Oxygen as crucial qualities that lead to successful careers and it’s worth noting that literature graduates have been high-flying executives of companies such as Disney, YouTube and Avon. Contrary to common perceptions, arts and humanities graduates are just as employable as those studying STEM subjects. The British Academy’s report, ‘Qualified for the Future: quantifying demand for arts, humanities and social science skills’,  tells us that companies value the flexibility and flair English Literature graduates bring to the workplace. This is further reinforced by the success of the student placement scheme we have been running at the University of Surrey for over a decade.”

Find out more about our English Literature degrees.