Your Guide to an English Course in Malaysia

cg-english-featureDo you find language fascinating? Are you that one friend who loves to overanalyse the media you consume, tying it to historical events, sociological phenomena and political issues?

If your answer is yes, then an English education may just be the thing for you. In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about studying an English degree in Malaysia, including what it entails, what careers you can go into with this qualification and finally, the top institutions that offer this subject.

So, if you’ve always been a linguaphile (lover of language) with keen interest in culture, keep on reading!

#1. What is the study of English?

cg-english-what-is-englishEssentially, English is the study of language, linguistics and literature that involves reading, analysing and critiquing the words we consume every day.

The scope of an English study is wide. While most English degrees cover both literature (written work that has creative or artistic value) and linguistics (the study of language and its structure, e.g. grammar, syntax, phonetics), some might focus on one aspect more than the other. This will usually be evident from the name of the course.

By pursuing a tertiary education in English, you will learn to master the language in its written and spoken form. In addition, you will also study literary work such as novels, poems, plays and prose while gaining a deeper understanding of cultures and the use of human language.

University of Nottingham Malaysia

BA (Hons) English Language and Literature

Taught by award-winning writers and academic staff



Looking for Foundation in Arts at UNM? Click here to apply.

#2. Entry Requirements for English courses

a) What are the subjects required to study English?

In general, you should have at least a credit in English for SPM if you want to pursue English for your tertiary education.

If you are planning to pursue A Levels or STPM prior to an English Degree, you are recommended to take English Literature as one of your subjects.

(b) Diploma in English requirements

A Diploma in English requires you to have at least 3 credits in any subject at SPM or equivalent.

(c) English Degree requirements

To pursue a Degree in English, you need to complete a pre-university programme and meet the entry requirements:

In addition to that, you will usually need at least a credit in English at SPM or equivalent.

Important Note: Entry requirements for some universities may be higher, so it’s important that you scrutinise the details carefully.

#3. Studying an English Course in Malaysia

a) What subjects will you study in an English course?

English Degrees are designed to prepare you to be creative and critical thinkers with vast knowledge of literature and culture. During the course of your study, you will develop a deeper understanding of English and the basics of the language, which you can utilise to become a better communicator.

In your first year, you will typically take introductory classes that will introduce you to basic linguistic components. As you progress in your studies, you will be able to choose your specialisation and go for more complex and focused topics.

Here are some of the subjects you may cover throughout your English studies:

  • Linguistics
  • English Phonetics and Phonology
  • Expository Writing
  • English Literature
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • World Literature in English
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Fiction and Creative Writing

Some universities may also require you to complete an internship or industrial attachment as part of your degree.

b) How long is an English course?

A Diploma in English is typically 2.5 to 3 years long.

A Degree in English typically takes about 3 years to complete.

c) How much does it cost to study English in Malaysia?

An English Degree could range from RM28,000 – RM48,000.

University of Nottingham Malaysia

BA (Hons) English Language and Literature

Taught by award-winning writers and academic staff



Looking for Foundation in Arts at UNM? Click here to apply.

#4. Your Education Pathway for English

cg-english-education-pathwayUpon the completion of your SPM or equivalent qualification, you can opt to enrol into a pre-university (STPM, A Levels, etc.) or Foundation in Arts programme. Alternatively, you can also choose to pursue a Diploma in English.

Completing a pre-university or a foundation programme will enable you to proceed to an English Degree.

#5. Should You Study English?


a) Is English right for you?

If you’re wondering whether you should study English, here are some questions to think about:

  • Do you consider yourself a creative person with critical analytical skills?
  • Do you have good grades in English?
  • Do you love analysing the media you consume, questioning the hidden messages in everything?
  • Do you love reading old classics and long texts?
  • Are you comfortable with group discussions and public presentations?
  • Are you open to the idea of learning about other cultures?
  • Do you like open-ended subjects?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, English may be right for you!

b) Skills required to be an accomplished English graduate

Here are some key skills a good English graduates should have:

  • Ability to communicate effectively across all platforms
  • Global thinker with a general knowledge of social issues
  • Can work collaboratively and independently
  • Adaptable and can fit in in any career setting
  • A general understanding of the state of the world covering politics and social issues

University of Nottingham Malaysia

BA (Hons) English Language and Literature

Taught by award-winning writers and academic staff



Looking for Foundation in Arts at UNM? Click here to apply.

#6. Jobs Can You Get with an English Degree

English graduates are actually quite versatile. You can seek employment opportunities in a range of industries, including media and publishing, education and communications.

Here are some careers directly related to your English degree that you can seek upon graduating:

  • Journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Broadcaster
  • Content Writer
  • Web Content Manager
  • Proofreader
  • Author

You can also consider alternative career options that are not directly related to your degree such as:

  • Marketing Executive
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Private Tutor / Teacher
  • Media Researcher
  • Social Media Manager
  • Advertising Copywriter

If you choose to pursue a postgraduate or teaching qualification in English, the following jobs will be open to you:

  • Lecturer
  • TESL Teacher
  • Academician

#7. Best Universities for English in Malaysia

If English is right up your alley, then check out some of the best universities for English in Malaysia.


University of Nottingham Malaysia

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English Language and Literature

Quick Facts

Campus: Semenyih, Selangor
Intakes: Sep
Estimated Fees: RM87,500

Key Highlights

The only university in Malaysia that offers BA and MA in English with Creative Writing
Programmes are taught by award-winning local and international writers and academic staff from top universities around the world
Opportunities to apply your creative skills by writing for ‘Particle’, a student-run campus literary magazine, and showcase your creative writing at the George Town Literary Festival (Best Literary Festival in the World 2018)
Ranked 114th in the world and 18th in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2023)

View other colleges

utar 2logo

UCSI University

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English Language & Communication

Quick Facts

Campus: Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Jan, May & Sept
Estimated Fees: RM61,000

Key Highlights

The programme is designed to help students develop their leadership, team working, problem-solving and communication skills
Has a large, vibrant student community with more than 10,000 students from 110 countries

utar 2logo

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English Language

Quick Facts

Campus: Kampar, Perak
Intakes: Jan, May & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM40,410

Key Highlights

The programme is designed to equip students with the skills to communicate effectively and are taught using the latest technology, approaches and techniques
Affordable tuition fees

#8. More Resources About English

Interested in studying English? Here are some more articles you might find useful: