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BA (Hons) English 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:

Pre-entry playlist

To help you prepare for your studies, we have put together a ‘Pre-Entry Playlist: English‘. Watching this set of videos will give you the chance to:

  • Meet your course tutors and find out more about the English programme
  • Discover how your tutors will communicate with you
  • Find out more about how you will learn and be assessed

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 ebooks 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.

Ready, set, READ!

LING1015: The Sound of English

LING1016: The Structure of English

LIT1020: Ways of Reading

LIT1024: Literary History


Read P.H Matthews Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction

You will hopefully have received an edition of P.H Matthew’s Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction from us earlier this year. It is an excellent introductory text that we will be using in Welcome Week as the basis of English Language subject meetings. If you have time over the summer and would like to give yourself a head start, why not have a read and think about the following questions:

  • What is linguistics?
  • Can we say anything with confidence about the origin of language?
  • Why does language change?
  • When different languages draw different distinctions, do their speakers still perceive the world around them in the same way? Or do people speaking different kinds of language think of it differently?
  • What are the two classes of vowels in English and what do they each contain?
  • Are there ‘speech centres’ in the brain?

Useful websites

If you’re looking for something to read, have a look at the Poetry Foundation website, or if you’re after something to listen to, try this podcast.

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 websites include


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. As well, describe one incident in clear prose as though it were a passage from a novel you’d like to read
  • Write a short story
  • Learn a new language, Duolingo is helpful
  • Make a haiku
  • Create a bullet journal
  • Start your own blog

Your programme lead


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.

Watch the session

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