My experience of studying English Literature at BCU

We caught up with final year student, Joshua Morgan, to hear all about his time at the School of English, including how he came to settle on his course plus his advice for anyone considering taking a similar path.

Why did you choose to study English Literature at BCU?

Having enjoyed English Literature at A Level, I knew I wanted to explore it further at a higher level. I knew early on in my search for the right university that I didn’t want to move away from home. So, after managing to narrow my choice down to several universities, I began comparing what each course consisted of. The course that BCU offered looked varied and the most interesting, with there being plenty of opportunities to tailor the course to suit my interests. Unlike other universities, the modules at BCU seemed more progressive and unafraid to challenge traditional methods of teaching. This, combined with easy access to the city campus via good transport links, BCU seemed like the perfect place to study.

What did you enjoy about your modules in year one?

In the first few weeks I was at university, I was unsure about taking the Foundations of Language and the Foundations of Creative Writing modules as I had come to university to study English Literature as this was my passion. However, I quickly began to realise that having been trapped in the confines of a curriculum for the majority of my educational life, I had never really had the opportunity to explore the things that truly interested me and didn’t have the means of finding new interests. I felt like taking these modules prepared me for the rest of my university life through giving me valuable transferable skills and additionally, the creative writing module inspired new interests which I have continued to explore right up until third year that I perhaps wouldn’t have pursued without taking these first-year modules.

What are the key things you’ve learned on your course?

While studying English Literature at BCU I have amassed a wide range of skills that I know will help with future employment. The skills I had learnt during A Levels such as analytical and research skills have been greatly expanded upon during my time at BCU. I think one of the key things the English Literature course has taught me is to work independently and the course itself is designed in a way that as you progress through each module, the tasks gradually become more and more independent that you don’t even really notice. So when it comes to doing your third year Major Project, the task doesn’t seem too daunting - but there are always lecturers available when you inevitably get stuck!

What do you plan to do after you graduate and how has your degree prepared you for this?

Personally, I’m not too sure. It isn’t that I don’t know what I want to do but rather there is too much choice! The university has a good deal of services available to help with planning for graduate life such as the Careers+ team as well as the weekly emails on graduate jobs and opportunities. I feel that BCU has given me the confidence and abilities to pursue whatever I want to do and so it is just a matter of deciding what interests me the most!

What advice would you give to a new student joining the English Literature course?

Be organised and get a head on the reading are the obvious pieces of advice but I think the most important piece of advice is to recognise and actually appreciate your achievements. Sometimes you can get caught up in the routine of working towards submitting a piece of work then moving onto the next submission and forgetting that with each piece you submit, you are improving and gaining new skills. It's important to stop and reflect on your improvements and I have found through doing this you can often find the motivation you need to help work towards assessment deadlines.

Similarly, the cliché that gets bandied about that these three years at uni will go by so fast seems difficult to believe in first year but then before you know it, you’re in third year. The best piece of advice is simply to truly make the most of your uni experience. Don’t be afraid to take risks and push yourself to try new things as you might not get the chance to do so later in life.

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