English Literature: My Experience So Far

by | Jun 22, 2021 | Arts, Languages and Cultures, Undergraduate | 0 comments

Why did I choose to study English?

I chose English for the reason that most people do; I love books. I love reading books, I love talking about books, and I love learning about books. It goes without saying that English literature is a very reading-heavy course, and so it’s important going into your first year that you’re prepared to spend a lot of your time reading! I liked this; the books on the course are interesting, and it didn’t always feel like I was working when I got invested in the stories I was reading.

Why did I choose English Literature at Manchester?

I chose Manchester not because of the course specifically, but because of the city. I obviously paid some attention to the course, and I was particularly interested in the medieval aspects of first year, but my main focus was on the city. This was a wise decision! Manchester is one of the liveliest student cities, with amazing nightlife pre-pandemic, and with plenty of amazing bars, restaurants and days out already back open. For example, the Whitworth Gallery has some really interesting artworks, and a cute café with a perfect view overlooking all the squirrels in Whitworth Park!
Manchester also has an array of student jobs available if you’re looking for part-time work alongside your degree. I’ve done a range of jobs from bar work to working in schools, so I can safely say there’s something for everyone!

What has my experience of the course been?

Obviously, my experience of the course has been different to those in previous years because of coronavirus. Most of my learning experience has been through online lectures and seminars, and although I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of pre-recorded lectures, I can’t wait to get back into the University properly! I’ve found that the workload is extremely manageable, and the work is interesting, so most of the time it feels like I’m just doing something I enjoy anyway!
All of the English Lecturers are lovely too, with too many favourites to name! They’re all engaging and fun, and I find them really approachable whenever I’ve wanted to ask questions.

What has been the most interesting part of the course?

For me, I’ve gotten extremely interested in medieval literature over the course of my degree, which has surprised me. The first year Beowulf module with Dr James Paz covered some really interesting topics, including the role of nature in medieval literature, the role of women, and the role of the ‘monstrous other’. This module asked us to challenge our preconceptions of medieval literature, and to look at it from a fresh and modern perspective.