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Ros King - Employability and Contact Hours

Last Updated:

15th July 2013

Employability is something that we have taken increasing note of in recent years. It's clearly incumbent on us to be careful about what we are doing with our students. A lot of them will go on to non-academic jobs. That's because academic jobs are obviously very hard to find.

An MA in research degree in English will equip you for all sorts of other jobs outside academia and outside English studies. If you want to become a teacher, doing the MA first is a very good idea. It means you are on the kind of accelerated pathway to promotion in the teaching profession before you even start your PGCE and that can be a good idea.

Clearly the research skills that we are teaching as part of all of our postgraduate degrees are important in all walks of life. People are increasingly going to need to research. Whether they're going into marketing or into business or whether they are going to be able to use their degree as the basis of a research career, I think the research skills that we offer will enable students to find jobs elsewhere.

There are number of different ways of being a postgraduate student in English at Southampton. First of all, you can do an MA. A conventional MA which involves a core course which teaches research skills, a few option courses, and then the dissertation. That's fairly familiar and it's much the same in different places.

You can also do an MRes in which case the dissertation is slightly larger, fewer options therefore. That's really for students who know what they want to do. If you really want to know what you ought to research, you don't want to be bothered with an MA, you can if you're suitably qualified, if you've got sufficiently high class first degree, you can go straight into PhD study. In that case, we will enable you to follow a program which makes sure that you've got your research skills up to scratch.

Of course, if you're coming from overseas, there may be a language issue which we need to address. Our basic requirement for overseas students is7 at IELTS. We really think that you need to be better than that in order to make the most of the research opportunities here. So we are putting in place a program for overseas students whereby they can together and individually improve their language skills. I think it's important that even those students who have very good language skills get the opportunity to develop those and also the research skills that they need in a way which is tailored to them. And that's what we're doing.

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