What It’s Like To Study English At York
I’m now halfway through my time in York as an English student, and I’ve been enjoying 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 brilliant feature of the York English Lit structure is that it exposes trainees to English Literature across time periods and across continents, and allows you to discover writers you’ve never become aware of in the past. In your first year, you’ll begin 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 discussions of the significant historical occasions of that period, how life was like in that age, and obviously, important philosophical and cultural readings of the text (something which I’ve grown to really delight in reading).
In another module, York’s English program exposes us to international literatures, centred around styles such as post-colonialism (the Literature of nations who were ex-British colonies, for instance). Personally, I found that to be an exceptionally enhancing experience that broadened 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 might sound a little overwhelming, but it truly isn’t so! You definitely can anticipate to find studying English at uni to be greatly different from the way 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 speed of work we have at uni. It offers 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 periods of literature makes you discover interests in subjects you never engaged with previously. For me, post-colonialism was my newly found love.
Versatility, flexibility, flexibility!
One thing I didn’t expect was how much versatility the English department provides us. Studying English at York is awesome since the course offers you a great deal of self-reliance to direct your research studies. The English course has relatively couple of contact hours (a.k.a. time invested in lectures and workshops) as compared with other topics. This indicates that a great deal of time spent at university is committed to independent studying and taking the effort to discover tutors in their workplace hours to engage them in discussions about a text/idea that you’re actually passionate about. The coolest feature of the English course would be that you get to decide what you wish to compose you essay on– there are no set questions (save for the written examinations in summer season term)! This means that from each module, you get to select the texts that you were most thinking about to write your essay on, and you get to choose exactly what critical readings you wish to read for your essay, and how you want to structure your essay.
Having more versatility with your timetable also indicates that you can use the time to join more societies or even take up a term-time internship, which was precisely what I did! Through the York Careers Portal, I obtained a term-time internship lasting for 12 weeks in Communications, and spent roughly 12 hours a week at the internship, which equates to about three days a week. This assisted me get work experience and employability skills, as well as some extra income on the side.
We have film screenings.
We see film adjustments of a few of the texts in our reading lists (side note: I like how these sessions show up on our schedule as legit obligatory lectures to go to)! Who ‘d have believed that studying English at uni likewise includes being in a dark lecture theatre and enjoying a film projected on to the big screen? Consider it as a Netflix motion picture date … however with a whole bunch of people.
In my very first year, I keep in mind enjoying A Midsummer’s Night Dream and loving how the movie represented the characters of the play a lot that I wrote among my essays on the play! And just last term, viewing Samuel Beckett’s Endgame during a movie screening made me see the play in an entire different light, prompting me to borrow three various books from the library about Beckett and his works.
They’re not going to let you be confused and worried all on your own.
We’re appointed an individual manager at the start of university, and this manager will be a scholastic 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 discovering the course and how you’re feeling, if you’re coping well or if you’re having a problem about module choices, and so on.