I’m now midway through my time in York as an English student, and I’ve been delighting in every minute of it. Here’s some things I want I ‘d known about the course prior to starting uni:
You find out that there is a whole wide world of literatures (Yes, with the plural’s’!).
One fantastic thing about the York English Lit structure is that it exposes students to English Literature across time periods and across continents, and allows you to discover authors you have actually never ever become aware of previously. In your very first year, you’ll start with a module that includes texts from the 15th century all the way to the modern. In readings, lectures and seminars, conversation of these texts also always includes conversations of the significant historic events of that period, how life resembled in that period, and naturally, crucial philosophical and cultural readings of the text (something which I have actually grown to actually take pleasure in reading).
In another module, York’s English programme exposes us to international literatures, centred around themes such as post-colonialism (the Literature of countries who were ex-British nests, for example). Personally, I discovered that to be a very enhancing experience that expanded my worldview and prompted me to think of the relationship in between Literature and Politics, and to question the function of a literary text.
This may sound a little overwhelming, but it truly isn’t really so! You definitely can expect to discover studying English at uni to be greatly different from the method we did it at A Levels, and while I did feel quite stressed in the very first few weeks of term, I ultimately found my footing and grew to love the volume and rate of work we have at uni. Also, it gives you a substantial sense of achievement when you look back at the end of the term at all the poems, plays and books you’ve gone through in simply 10 weeks!
The broad exposure to many different durations of literature makes you find interests in subjects you never engaged with in the past. For me, post-colonialism was my newly found love.
Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility!
Studying English at York is awesome because the course gives you a lot of independence to direct your research studies. The English course has fairly couple of contact hours (a.k.a. time invested in lectures and workshops) as compared to other subjects. The coolest thing about the English course would be that you get to decide exactly what you desire to write you essay on– there are no set questions (conserve for the written examinations in summer term)!
Having more flexibility with your timetable also indicates that you can utilise the time to join more societies or even take up a term-time internship, which was exactly what I did! Through the York Careers Website, I applied for a term-time internship lasting for 12 weeks in Communications, and invested approximately 12 hours a week at the internship, which equates to about three days a week. This helped me get work experience and employability skills, and also some additional income on the side.
We have film screenings.
We enjoy film adjustments of a few of the texts in our reading lists (side note: I enjoy how these sessions appear on our timetable as legit obligatory lectures to go to)! Who ‘d have thought that studying English at uni likewise includes being in a dark lecture theatre and watching a movie projected on to the huge screen? Consider it as a Netflix movie date … but with a whole lot of people.
In my very first year, I remember enjoying A Midsummer’s Night Dream and caring how the movie represented the characters of the play so much that I wrote among my essays on the play! And just last term, seeing Samuel Beckett’s Endgame during a movie screening made me see the play in an entire various light, prompting me to borrow three different books from the library about Beckett and his works.
They’re not going to let you be puzzled and worried all on your own.
We’re assigned an individual supervisor at the start of university, and this supervisor will be an academic from your department– in our case, English– and you ‘d satisfy him/her routinely throughout your 3 years of research study to simply talk about how you’re finding the course and how you’re feeling, if you’re coping well or if you’re having a problem about module options, etc.