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Top English Studies Universities in the UK

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Noha Hatata

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10 February, 2021

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4 mins read

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University Life

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Majoring in English Studies will open a wide door to some interesting fields of work, from which you can start any career you put your mind to. English Studies is quite a popular choice among students, as it’s considered one of the most amenable majors. Imagine having the chance to work in journalism, PR, creative writing, fundraising and entertainment all in just one major! 

We have picked the best 5 universities in the UK for English Studies according to the Guardian 2021:

1. University of Oxford:

The University of Oxford has one of the broadest English Language and Literature Courses in the UK. Students study English language and literature starting from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England to the present. The course is not limited to British literature, as students can choose to study translated works from other parts of the world. Students are taught by active scholars in their field via both tutorials and lectures. 

Some of the university subjects include English Literature in the Renaissance Era, Greek or Latin Literature, History, and World Literature, etc. To earn a bachelor degree from the university, you can either study the standard English Language and Literature degree or a joint degree with English and one of the following subjects:  

1. Classics

2. Languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, etc.

3. History

The University of Oxford also offers postgraduate studies for English studies such as:

1. MSt English Language & Literature (650-1550)

2. MSt English Language & Literature (1550-1700)

3. MSt English Language & Literature (1700-1830)

4. MSt English Language & Literature (1830-1914)

5. MSt English Language and Literature (1900-present day)

6. MSt English & American Studies.

7. MSt World Literatures in English.

8. MPhil in English Studies (Medieval Period).

2. Durham University:

The University of Durham was founded in 1832; it is the third oldest university in England and one of the most distinguished in the UK. The university has undergraduate degrees with both single honours and joint honours with either Philosophy or History. The English language and Literature course delves into creative works from the Anglo-Saxon period until present day. The first and second years cover introductions to drama, poetry and novels, Shakespeare and his works, and the Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism while the third year focuses on a dissertation project with a member of staff from the department. 

Students gain a solid foundation in the study of English Literature while having the opportunity to specialise. The study focuses on different methodological perspectives and encourages students to discover new approaches and develop their own responses. This ensures that students graduate with the key skills and independent thinking that employers need. Durham University also offers research programmes and postgraduate studies, including Taught Degrees and Research Degrees.

3. St Andrew's University:

St. Andrews University was founded in 1410 by a group of Augustinian clergy (ministers in the Christian church); it is considered an ancient university located in Scotland. English literature and Creative Writing courses at St Andrew’s are well-known because of the university's international reputation in academic research and literary creativity.

The BA in English (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree gives the students an opportunity to spend two years at each institution. Subjects you can study include Literature between the period 1680 and1830, Medieval and Renaissance Texts, Drama, and honours modules like Literature and Culture of Sport, Poetry and Cinema, and The Novels of Jane Austen in Context.

The University offers postgraduate studies (Master of Letters) such as: 

1. Creative Writing MLitt.

2. Medieval English MLitt.

3. Medieval Studies MLitt.

4. Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture MLitt.

5. Playwriting and Screenwriting MLitt.

6. Postcolonial and World Literatures MLitt.

7. Romantic and Victorian Studies MLitt.

8. Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture MLitt.

9. Women, Writing and Gender MLitt.

As well as research programmes in English in one of four main groups:

1. medieval and Renaissance.

2. Romantic and Victorian.

3. Modern and Contemporary.

4. Creative Writing. 

The University also offers two MFA (Master of Fine Art) degrees:

1. Creative Writing

2. Playwriting & Screenwriting

4. Cambridge University:

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate research university in Cambridge that was founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III in 1231. It is one of the oldest Universities in the history of the UK with a vast heritage and history in shaping education and academic research around the world.

Cambridge English course is a remarkable programme, as it combines full historical coverage with the chance to discover and specialise  in your interests. The course embraces a wide range of literature written in the English language, including studies that feature American and post-colonial literature alongside British literature. The course also offers the opportunity to study one or several areas in your third year, study literature in other languages, and embrace many genres and periods.

Cambridge University offers great postgraduate English Studies programmes such as:

1. American Literature.

2. Anglo-Saxon.

3. Norse.

4. Celtic.

5. Criticism and Culture.

6. 18th Century and Romantic Studies.

7. Modern and Contemporary Literature.

8. Medieval and Renaissance Literature.

5. Strathclyde University: 

It’s well-known that English studies at Strathclyde University will develop your written and verbal communication and greatly enhance your analytical skills and creative thinking. Students can graduate with a BA in English as a single major, double major of English and another subject, or English and Creative Writing and triple major of English and Creative Writing alongside another topic.

Here are some of the courses within the English Studies major which Strathclyde University offers: 

1. BA (hons) English (optional year abroad)

2. BA (hons) English & Politics & International Relations (optional year abroad)

3. BA (hons) English & Law (optional year abroad)

4. BA (hons) English & Human Resource Management (optional year abroad)

5. BA (hons) English & French (optional year abroad)

6. BA (hons) English & Spanish (optional year abroad)

7. BA (hons) English & Creative Writing. 

If you are taking the English Studies major seriously, you’ll need to conduct thorough research to know the ins and outs of every single detail that might cross your mind. Getting to know the various industries requirements and the nature of the available job opportunities will prepare you mentally to choose the exact sub-major you want to enrol in.     

There are other top English studies universities in the UK, including the University of Exeter, Loughborough University, and the University of Birmingham. Choose your preferred university and book your casita student accommodation now!


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