Subject: English Literature
In studying English Literature you will explore the psychology of characters, the motives of writers and the political, social and historical contexts in which texts were written and read. How do writers succeed in shaping the responses and opinions of others? How do they draw you into their world? Why do they make you laugh? The study of English Literature trains the brain and frees the imagination; it is about life and living and just where you fit into the world around you. The course offers students the chance to study a rich variety of literature from many different periods. The texts are stimulating and interesting and there are several opportunities for students to develop their own interests and to bring their own creative and independent skills to the tasks.
If you like ideas, discussion and how others seek to manipulate us then English is the subject for you. If you enjoy reading and becoming immersed in the worlds others create and wonder why they were able to exert such magical powers on you then English is the subject for you. If you want to explore times gone, times yet to come and times that will never be then English is the right choice. If you cherish words and think that it would be useful – in all aspects of your life – to have a richer reservoir of words and the freedom to articulate your thoughts clearly and compellingly choose English Literature. It will help to have an open mind, an enquiring brain and a willingness to work hard. If you like reading and enjoy putting pen to paper in a robust and imaginative way then English may well be the right choice. Many of these strengths you will gain and polish throughout the two years and we will encourage you to do this through debate and discussion. The study of literature is about sharing perspectives and opinions and challenging received assumptions in order to reach a strong personal understanding.
Employers tend to believe that a degree in English is 'a good thing', reflecting a creative and rigorous mind, an ability to communicate effectively and self-discipline. Past students are to be found in TV and journalism, commerce and finance, politics and law. Some have become teachers, actors and writers. There is certainly nothing limiting about an interest or degree in literature.