The distinction between an English Studies and an English Literature degree can vary from university to university. English Studies, in most cases, refers to the study of the English Language itself, covering its origin and development as well as its grammar, syntax, semantics, phonetics and sociolinguistic characteristics. This type of English Studies course would suit applicants with a flair for languages and a scientific approach to their study and use. Alternatively, English Studies can sometimes refer to a broader text-based degree, similar to English Literature but making pains to place the texts studied in their historical and social context. Be sure to check the content of individual courses before applying to make sure that you pick the distinctive degree that matches your interests.