Kent’s School of English is ambitious, inclusive, engaged and international. Several of our staff are published authors and poets and there are also numerous internationally recognised scholars. We try to ensure that you are taught by different lecturers with varying approaches, so that, throughout your degree, you encounter fresh ideas and new authors.
We keep our class sizes small to ensure you receive as much individual attention as possible.
Our degree programme
At Kent, you choose your own pathway through your degree. There are very few compulsory modules, which puts you in control of your learning from the very beginning, giving you the intellectual freedom to grow as an individual and as a student of literature. You may wish to follow modules that provide an account of literature from Chaucer to the present day. Or you can focus on American literature, medieval and Tudor literature, postcolonial literature or modern poetry.
In your first year, you are introduced to the major forms of literature: poetry, narrative prose and drama. You study how writers of different backgrounds and time periods have confronted the concept of identity and gain an understanding of critical theory and theoretical approaches to literature. You also study and produce creative work in the form of poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
In your second year, you select the particular periods of literature you want to study and gain a solid grounding in literary studies. You also take modules that ask you to look closely at techniques and writing strategies in poetry, and elements in fiction such as point-of-view and characterisation. These modules teach you about writing and give you the chance to practise, through writing exercises, workshops and assignments, your own writing.
In your final year, you explore more specialised topics. Our modules are varied, covering Middle English literature through to 21st-century writing, with some focusing on individual authors such as Hardy and Woolf. You also choose modules from a selection specifically aimed at Creative Writing students, which explore areas such as memoir, the boundaries between prose and poetry, and historical fiction.
Your year abroad takes place between your second and final years of study and gives you the opportunity to see your subject from a new perspective and discover a new culture. Previous destinations include:
- the US
- Hong Kong.
Alternatively, you can take our three-year degree, without a year abroad. For details, see English Literature and Creative Writing.
There are a variety of literary activities at Kent. Students in the School of English publish a magazine of their creative writing, poetry and prose. There are also a number of student-run societies with a literary theme. In previous years these have included the:
- Creative Writing Society
- T24 Drama Society
- Poetry Society
- Literature Society.
The student newspaper, InQuire, is run by the student union and gives you the opportunity to develop your writing skills and to gain valuable work experience in journalism.
The School of English runs research seminars, workshops and social events, as well as a successful creative writing series of readings, where well-known writers and publishers share their experiences and skills. Previous guests include:
- Iain Sinclair
- Patience Agbabi
- Terry Eagleton.
All our students receive free membership to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in central London, giving you access to the ICA’s facilities and a small number of internships.