Kent’s School of English is an energetic and enterprising department. 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.
Seminars form a crucial part of your learning experience and you are able to express your own ideas and opinions. We keep our class sizes small to ensure you receive as much individual attention as possible.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you explore to the major forms of literature: poetry, narrative prose and drama. You study how writers of different backgrounds and time periods have confronted the subject of identity and the kinds of identities literature depicts. You also gain an understanding of critical theory and the way we read and think about literature in the 21st century.
You study broad periods and genres of English literature and explore a variety of critical approaches in your second and final years. You take one module in pre-1800 literature and then choose from a broad range of additional modules covering modern American literature, modernism, Shakespeare and Victorian literature.
In your final year, you move into specialised areas of study. Our specialist modules explore specific authors, genres or topics and have previously included contemporary British and Irish poetry, Thomas Hardy, the graphic novel, Native American Literature, the Brontës and postcolonial writing. You can also opt to complete a supervised dissertation.
You have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities between the second and final year. We have exciting exchange links with universities in Canada, China (Hong Kong), Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the USA, as well as many European destinations.
The placement year provides the opportunity for you to gain experience in the workplace as part of your degree. The placement can be either paid work or an internship. It gives you the opportunity to increase your networks and contacts so that you can hit the ground running when you graduate.
If taken, the year is assessed on a pass/fail basis through employer feedback and a written report that you submit.
Tuition fees for the placement year are greatly reduced and some employers may offer expenses or a salary.
There are many benefits to taking a placement year; it gives you the chance to gain some knowledge of the work environment. acquire new skills and develop your confidence.
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.
Teaching and assessment can vary between modules. All modules are taught by weekly seminars. In addition to seminars, the majority of literature modules also include a weekly lecture.
Assessment at Stage 1 and 2 is by a mixture of coursework and examination. Some modules may include an optional practical element.
Assessment at Stage 3 is by coursework only and may include an optional Dissertation.
Attendance at seminars is required, and for the majority of modules, you are assessed on your seminar contribution/performance.
Knowledge and understanding