Ask me anything - studying English at university (Uni of Southampton)

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Uni of Southampton Students
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Hi all

I've just finished my second year studying English and History at the University of Southampton and am here to answer any questions about what it is like being an English student at university. I know it can be quite daunting moving from A-Levels to studying for a degree in English and would be happy to give an insight into how the subject is taught at university.

Feel free to drop any questions in this thread about studying English at university or use it to connect with other English students! Don't hesitate to ask any general questions about university life/Uni of Southampton either and I will do my best to answer them

Anna (2nd Year Student Ambassador)
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Jaz._bg
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi all

I've just finished my second year studying English and History at the University of Southampton and am here to answer any questions about what it is like being an English student at university. I know it can be quite daunting moving from A-Levels to studying for a degree in English and would be happy to give an insight into how the subject is taught at university.

Feel free to drop any questions in this thread about studying English at university or use it to connect with other English students! Don't hesitate to ask any general questions about university life/Uni of Southampton either and I will do my best to answer them

Anna (2nd Year Student Ambassador)
Hello! I'm really interested in studying English at university and I was just wondering what interests you most about your course or what your favourite part about studying English is? Are there any aspects of the course that you don't enjoy? How are your lessons taught? And maybe just any general advice for me
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by Jaz._bg)
Hello! I'm really interested in studying English at university and I was just wondering what interests you most about your course or what your favourite part about studying English is? Are there any aspects of the course that you don't enjoy? How are your lessons taught? And maybe just any general advice for me
Hi Jaz._bg

Thanks for your message, I'm really pleased to hear that you're interested in studying English at university!

My favourite part about studying English at university is having a greater variety of books that I can study and write about compared to A-Level English. I have the freedom to choose what modules I pick and what kinds of books I can research into. At the University of Southampton there are some wonderful modules from broad genre-based topics such as Gothic Novels or Children's Literature, to more thematic modules including 'Victorian Feelings' and 'Rakes to Romantics'. The English course also generally offers students to opportunity to have a go at creative writing through a few modules if that is something that interests you too!

Unlike studying A-Level English, there is a lot more reading when studying a degree in English and rather than looking at a few texts for a long period of time, each module will look at new texts each week before moving onto different texts the next. This gives students the opportunity to do some independent study into the texts that they particularly enjoy and are passionate about - and when it comes to writing essays for assignments students are given the freedom to pick any of the texts studied on that module to write about instead of being dictated on what to write an essay on.

Generally, English is taught through lectures and seminars combined with independent study. A typical week might involve you being asked to read a text before going to a lecture, where an academic will spend an hour presenting their analysis on the studied text for that week and provide necessary context for students. Later in the week you would attend a seminar, which involves a smaller group of around 10-15 students and an academic having a discussion about the studied book for that week and comparing analyses and interpretations. I particularly enjoy going to seminars as it allows me to get feedback on my ideas about texts as well as make close friends with the other people in the seminar group!

The only piece of advice that I have for you if you are considering studying English at university is to just keep reading! It doesn't have to be classic literary texts, it can be whatever you enjoy, all reading is good reading! The more you read the more you expand your language and vocabulary and this will really help you to better analyse other texts at university - you might even encounter some of the books you have read in your free time whilst studying for your degree! It’s also really helpful if you have a good idea of what kind of books you enjoy reading before you start your studies at university as it can help you narrow down what modules you might/might not enjoy.

Please let me know if you have any other questions! If you're interested in looking further at the English degree offered by the University of Southampton I've attached a link here. Feel free to also contact the university's enquiries team at [email protected] if you would like to find out any more information about the course requirements.

Do you plan on starting university this September or next year?

Anna
(2nd Year Student Ambassador)
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TobyJenkin
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi all

I've just finished my second year studying English and History at the University of Southampton and am here to answer any questions about what it is like being an English student at university. I know it can be quite daunting moving from A-Levels to studying for a degree in English and would be happy to give an insight into how the subject is taught at university.

Feel free to drop any questions in this thread about studying English at university or use it to connect with other English students! Don't hesitate to ask any general questions about university life/Uni of Southampton either and I will do my best to answer them

Anna (2nd Year Student Ambassador)
Best way to go about writing a GCSE essay?
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user_5678
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi all

I've just finished my second year studying English and History at the University of Southampton and am here to answer any questions about what it is like being an English student at university. I know it can be quite daunting moving from A-Levels to studying for a degree in English and would be happy to give an insight into how the subject is taught at university.

Feel free to drop any questions in this thread about studying English at university or use it to connect with other English students! Don't hesitate to ask any general questions about university life/Uni of Southampton either and I will do my best to answer them

Anna (2nd Year Student Ambassador)
Hi, in September I'm gonna be studying Eng Lit at A-Level - tips and recommendations? I know this thread is mainly about uni, but I'd appreciate it if you could talk about A-Level a bit.
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Jaz._bg
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi Jaz._bg

Thanks for your message, I'm really pleased to hear that you're interested in studying English at university!

My favourite part about studying English at university is having a greater variety of books that I can study and write about compared to A-Level English. I have the freedom to choose what modules I pick and what kinds of books I can research into. At the University of Southampton there are some wonderful modules from broad genre-based topics such as Gothic Novels or Children's Literature, to more thematic modules including 'Victorian Feelings' and 'Rakes to Romantics'. The English course also generally offers students to opportunity to have a go at creative writing through a few modules if that is something that interests you too!

Unlike studying A-Level English, there is a lot more reading when studying a degree in English and rather than looking at a few texts for a long period of time, each module will look at new texts each week before moving onto different texts the next. This gives students the opportunity to do some independent study into the texts that they particularly enjoy and are passionate about - and when it comes to writing essays for assignments students are given the freedom to pick any of the texts studied on that module to write about instead of being dictated on what to write an essay on.

Generally, English is taught through lectures and seminars combined with independent study. A typical week might involve you being asked to read a text before going to a lecture, where an academic will spend an hour presenting their analysis on the studied text for that week and provide necessary context for students. Later in the week you would attend a seminar, which involves a smaller group of around 10-15 students and an academic having a discussion about the studied book for that week and comparing analyses and interpretations. I particularly enjoy going to seminars as it allows me to get feedback on my ideas about texts as well as make close friends with the other people in the seminar group!

The only piece of advice that I have for you if you are considering studying English at university is to just keep reading! It doesn't have to be classic literary texts, it can be whatever you enjoy, all reading is good reading! The more you read the more you expand your language and vocabulary and this will really help you to better analyse other texts at university - you might even encounter some of the books you have read in your free time whilst studying for your degree! It’s also really helpful if you have a good idea of what kind of books you enjoy reading before you start your studies at university as it can help you narrow down what modules you might/might not enjoy.

Please let me know if you have any other questions! If you're interested in looking further at the English degree offered by the University of Southampton I've attached a link here. Feel free to also contact the university's enquiries team at [email protected] if you would like to find out any more information about the course requirements.

Do you plan on starting university this September or next year?

Anna
(2nd Year Student Ambassador)
Wow this is so incredible thank you for taking the time to reply to me! I plan on starting university next year so it's good to get an insight into the degree and know what to expect.

I read quite a lot in my spare time so that's good to know that it all helps! The freedom of choice and the variety of the books to study sound so good, the prospect of being able to study my favourite books is just mind-blowing!!

The seminars also seem amazing I'm always so interested in hearing how other people interpret books so discussion like that in class must be very enriching.
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