Generally you would need a levels but as a mature student you can get onto a course without qualifications although it is better to have done some form of study before. An access course which lasts a year is a good route. If you are thinking about an English degree as a career move, I would say, think carefully there are a lot of English graduates out there. A lot go into teaching or media, pr that sort of thing. Often with a humanities degree you have to go on to further study to specialise in something.