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Prospective students: English degrees

One of the two official languages of India, English is an important language to know today. India’s economic growth has in part been fueled by English-educated workers. However, more skilled English teachers and trainers are expected to be needed. With an education in English, you may have new career opportunities open to you. A degree in English language and literature can provide background for careers such as teaching, journalism or management.


English education

Degrees in English language and literature include:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Literature
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English Language and Literature
  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in English

The first three degree programmes are very similar and without any significant differences. Twenty-one schools in India require the Combined Aptitude Test for English (CATE) for admission to a B.A. English Honors. To be eligible to take the test, you must have at least 45 percent aggregate marks in 10+2. The two-hour test gauges aptitude for studying English literature, testing writing skills and awareness of books, art, music and cultural studies. Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Physical Handicapped (SC/ST/PH) candidates are not required to take the test for admission. OBC candidates need to have minimum marks of 40.5 percent. Requirements for other English bachelor’s programs are generally the same, though not requiring the CATE.

The B.A. in English/English Literature/English Language and Literature usually takes full-time students at least three years to complete. Classes for the B.A. might include literary theory, English literature, drama, contemporary literature, Indian writing, classical literature and poetry. Courses may vary according to programme focus.


Eligibility for the one-year B.Ed. in English is generally a B.A./Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from the 10+2+3 system with 50 percent aggregate marks and 50 percent marks for any entrance test(s). A B.A. English Honors, B.A. English Literature or M.A. English (and related degrees) with 50 percent aggregate marks and 50 percent marks on entrance test(s) also satisfies eligibility. Aggregate marks requirements may be relaxed for SC/ST candidates. The B.Ed. in English includes classes on teaching methodology, research methods in language education, educational fundamentals and teaching practice.

The B.Ed. degree is a requirement for teaching secondary and senior secondary schools. The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) provides details on qualifications for teaching. In order to teach secondary school, you are also required to take the Teacher’s Aptitude Test (TAT).

Postgraduate degrees in English are also available at many Indian universities. These programmes include:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in English
  • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in English
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in English

The B.A. or B.Ed. in English may provide sufficient training, depending on your career goals.

Careers in English language and literature

English language degrees may allow you to specialise in the following fields:

  • Teaching (B.Ed. required)
  • Linguistics
  • Mass communication
  • Management
  • Journalism

Postgraduate degrees may be an additional prerequisite for entering selected fields. If any of these fields are among your interests, a degree in English could lead you on the path to your chosen goal.

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About Iris Yellum

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