You start with a broad and varied first-year programme, giving you a basic introduction to all areas of English.
Whilst you will have the chance later in your degree to specialise, you will have the opportunity to study modules from all areas of English during your three years of study. This makes Nottingham’s English degrees unique. We find that our undergraduate students engage extremely well with the disciplines and value the opportunity to explore new and unfamiliar areas of English.
When you begin studying at university, you will probably find that you cover material much more quickly than you did while studying for your A-levels. The key to success is preparing well for classes and then taking the ideas you encounter further in your own time.
How will I study?
Lectures provide you with a stimulating but accessible overview of what you are studying, using a variety of audio and visual materials to support your learning. They are a great format for conveying information that is not readily available in books to a large number of people, often giving you the opportunity to hear significant (and perhaps as yet unpublished) arguments and areas of debate.
Seminars and workshops:
Seminars and workshops give you the chance to explore and interact with the material presented in lectures in a friendly and informal environment. You will be taught with a smaller group of fellow students, with discussion focusing on a text or topic you've previously prepared.
Seminars are a great place to discuss and share your ideas, to consider the opinions of others, and to think through issues raised by the texts with the support of your peers. Workshops are likely to involve more practical exploration of ideas, perhaps through exploring dramatic texts, working with digital materials, or developing presentations.
Individual and small-group tutorials offer you the chance to explore your work with your module tutor, perhaps discussing plans for an essay or presentation, or following up on an area of a module which has interested you.
The school has an interactive virtual-learning environment, Moodle, which complements our lectures and seminars, providing 24-hour access to teaching materials and resources to support your learning.
School online journal: Innervate
The School of English online journal, Innervate, showcases the very best work produced by our final-year students, and is a useful and inspiring resource for your own essay writing.
With twelve hours of contact time per week in your first year, the rest of the time is yours to carry out independent work. This may mean time spent in the library, doing preparation work for seminars, reading books and journal articles from the reading list and researching your assignments.
How will I be assessed?
Our degree programmes are modular, with mainly full-year modules in the first year and mainly semester-long modules in the second and final years. Assessment for most modules takes place at two points - around the mid-point and end of the module.
Assessment for your degree is based on a combination of coursework, including essays, close-reading exercises, research projects and dissertation; oral and performance presentations; and formal examinations. The precise assessments vary from one module to another and across the years of your degree.
The opportunity to discuss ideas and coursework with your tutor is an integral part of your studies at Nottingham and can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your learning. Whether by giving feedback on an essay plan or discussing the results of an assessment, the school is committed to helping you work to the best of your ability.
All teaching staff hold weekly office hours for students throughout the academic year which are a great opportunity for one-to-one discussion of your ideas and your progress. We also seek students' feedback on all modules during the year to ensure that we offer you the best learning experience possible.
The University of Nottingham has rich library resources in the early and medieval periods, with a large collection of manuscripts from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries and extensive book holdings in Old and Middle English, Old Icelandic, Viking Studies, and runology.
The school is, in addition, home to the English Place-Name Society (EPNS) library and archive.
In English Literature, the University's Hallward Library has an exceptional DH Lawrence archive, containing Lawrence family papers, manuscripts, first editions, and books owned by Lawrence. It has also recently acquired the famous Lazarus collection.
Other internationally renowned collections include the Portland Literary Collection (seventeenth and eighteenth century materials), the Cambridge Drama Collection (a printed collection of over 1,500 items, comprising plays and works about the British theatre from 1750-1850), and a rich collection of 1930s theatre materials.
Additional resources are offered by the locally held Byron collections and the Tennyson Research Centre.
In the school's own Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics we have a psycholinguistics lab housing an Eyelink 1000+ eye-tracking system from SR Research. Some of the primary participants in this research are our undergraduate students, who all take part in a language study in their first year and have the opportunity to conduct their own research in their final year.
Learn more about eye-tracking
Students can access general IT facilities through a number of IS computer rooms/areas conveniently located around the University campuses.
A90, Trent, is a dedicated student common room with computer stations, a microwave and hot drink making facilities for student use.