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BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:

Suggested reading

You will be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many e-books we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.

In the meantime, there are a few suggested books you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access online to read over the summer, we suggest:

A novel, a poem and a play

Reading enhances your imagination, increases your vocabulary and strengthens your writing ability but reading can also reduce stress levels and help improve overall focus.

These are three pieces of literature that we think you should read if you’re thinking of studying an English degree.

  • Jane Eyre – by Charlotte Brontë
  • ‘Goblin Market’ – by Christina Rossetti
  • A Doll’s House – by Henrik Ibsen

English Literature

LIT1020: Ways of Reading
LIT1024: Literary History
LIT1025: Form

Creative Writing

Creative Writing general texts
WRI1018: Introduction to Poetry
WRI1019: Introduction to Fiction

Read Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Read Charlotte Brontë as a pre-arrival task – you can pick up cheap editions online. Even if you have studied this text before, please reread over the summer and think about the following questions:

  • To what extent does Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre draw on themes and figures from fairy tales and the Gothic to tell the story of Jane’s development from a child into a young woman?
  • To what extent is Jane Eyre a politically engaged novel? Find out what you can about what events were going on in Britain and the world in the 1840s.
  • How does Brontë represent Jane’s psychological development in the novel?
  • How does Brontë represent masculinity through the different characters of Mr Rochester and St John Rivers, among others?
  • To what extent is Jane a reliable narrator of her own story?

Useful websites

  • If you’re looking for something to read, have a look at the Poetry Foundation website.
  • Make sure to visit the Prospects website if you’re thinking about a future career in English.
  • You can also create an online To Do List here.

Other things you could try over the summer

  • Buy a notebook and use it to record ideas, snippets of overheard conversations, poems, short stories, etc
  • Read the first three issues of The Black-Market Review, an international literary journal edited exclusively by Creative Writing students
  • Write a short story
  • Learn a new language, Duolingo is helpful
  • Make a haiku
  • Write a sentence a day
  • Create a bullet journal
  • Start your own blog
  • Join our Facebook group

Meet your programme leads

Additional ways to prepare

Preparing to start

This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.

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Find out more about who you are

The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.

Start preparing yourself