English Literature at University

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cialuer
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#1
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#1
Hi! So I'm doing English Lit, History, Spanish and RS for AS level (almost definitely going to drop RS after AS) and I am looking at doing English Literature (maybe combined with another of my subjects) or something related at university but I am totally unsure and just drowning in the wealth of information online.
Does anyone have any advice on how to even begin to pick a university for English?
(I am predicted A/A* in all my subjects)
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Jayyyyy_99
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Hi,

You’ve made amazing A Level choices! Well done for your predictions, I hope you ace them.

Well, I decided to attend a few open days and then chose to apply for the ones that I did (Goldsmiths, Queen Mary, Greenwich, Kingston and Brunel). I was accepted for all five universities and chose Goldsmiths as my firm because they had an English and American Literature course available. It sucks because they’ve now removed that pathway, but I cannot recommend the university enough because the lecturers are honestly so supportive.

The first step would be to decide if you’d like to purely do an English degree or one with a combined course, then tailor your personal statement accordingly. Look at league tables or attend open days to help you make your decision. I guess open days really help to get a feel of the environment but also what is expected of you for the course you’ll be studying.
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McGinger
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#3
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#3
Go to some Uni Open Days in the summer term and listen to the relevant subject talks.
This will make it clearer to you what the differences are between each course and each Uni.
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Liverpool Hope University
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#4
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#4
(Original post by cialuer)
Hi! So I'm doing English Lit, History, Spanish and RS for AS level (almost definitely going to drop RS after AS) and I am looking at doing English Literature (maybe combined with another of my subjects) or something related at university but I am totally unsure and just drowning in the wealth of information online.
Does anyone have any advice on how to even begin to pick a university for English?
(I am predicted A/A* in all my subjects)
Hi

I studied English Literature at Liverpool Hope and loved it!

My main piece of advice would be to first go to some UCAS fairs (these are also run by other companies such as What Uni and UK University Search). UCAS fairs are taking place across the country from next week all the way up until June, so I'm sure there will be one local to you. By attending these fairs you can see what courses and unis there are and see if you get a good vibe from any of them.

When I was looking for university, I found it a lot easier to go to events and talk to representatives in person as I could only read so much information before I got overwhelmed. So, I think that might be a great first step for you. You can find a list of UCAS fairs here.

Hope this helps!

Laura :rave:
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artful_lounger
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Look at the courses and see what is offered on each - it's likely they will vary quite a lot in what texts (and types of texts) they include, and how they approach these.

For example Cambridge I gather has a big emphasis on practical criticism and critical theory, and mainly focuses on British literature. Oxford focuses even more on British literature but I gather you have a fair bit of leeway on which authors to study within any given time period (the course is arranged based on chronological periods), requires the study of Old/Middle English, and has the option to specialise in medieval literature and English philology.

Nottingham and York I gather have some offerings in the medieval realm as well (which is otherwise not too common I gather). Birmingham has the Shakespeare Institute at the graduate level so may have some of those interdisciplinary approaches to Shakespeare evident in the undergraduate course. You may see more Scots literature (contemporary and historical) offered by Scottish unis, and Glasgow has some specialisms in Scottish folklore and Edinbugh in Scottish ethnology generally.

Other unis may focus on other periods more, different literary theoretic approaches (e.g. I imagine Goldsmiths has some options for postcolonial and feminist/queery theory approaches to literature), and may include more or less world literature/literature in translation (such as SOAS). There may also be dedicated courses in comparative literature emphasising the latter even more (for example at UCL).

Also consider what joint honours options there are and with which subjects, and how they complement each other. For example, classics and English would give you a pretty wide ranging survey of Western literary traditions in general, history and English may be essentially a course in "intellectual history" broadly, English and history of art would give you a pretty general background into semiotic analysis applied to both texts and objects, English and a language may approximate a comparative literature course with the literature from the target language studied in the original language, etc. Note that usually "English language" refers to either creative writing/communications type courses, or applied linguistics, and is often offered in joint honours courses with English lit, although at Oxford refers to English philology (i.e. historical linguistics and Old/Middle English study). So that is also something to explore depending on your interests.
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University of Kent Reps
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#6
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Hello! I studied English literature at the university of Kent and absolutely recommend it!

I would definitely make a chart of things that you want from a university: close location? Course Awards? Year abroad? Placement? And tick of what uni has these and which ones do not! I also recommend going to as many open days as possible! It really does help and allows your to talk to lectures and current students!

I’m going to link Kent’a course in English literature as well as some joint honour’s if that’s something you may be interested in!

English literature: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/under...ish-literature

English language linguistics and literature: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/under...ish-literature

English literature and creative writing: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/under...eative-writing

Kent is an amazing place that has supported me through my 3 years here! I have been introduced to books and new ideals that I genuinely would have not found on my own. As well as the careers team is always on hand in case you ever need advise or help!

Dale, UKC rep.
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