Being a First Year Literature Student

Do you want to know what it’s like being an English Literature student at the University of Portsmouth? Well, look no further. I’m coming to the end of my first year and I want to share my experiences with you.

I can be daunting choosing a degree course. I looked at a number of universities, but what really appealed about the programme at Portsmouth was the high level of engagement with lecturers. Everyone was really welcoming in the first week and it didn’t take me long to get into the swing of things. During my first year, the units covered a broad range of material; we’ve looked at everything from Renaissance writing to modern literature and have studied both British writing and texts from around the world. All genres of writing have been covered (novels, plays and poetry), as well as a very wide selection of writers, including Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters and Ian Fleming. What I also like about this course is how literary works can be linked to critical ideas through theories such as Marxism.

There are also lots of opportunities to tailor your degree to your own interests; I’ve just picked my units for next year, and am looking forward to studying the works of Shakespeare, crime writing and dystopian texts just to name a few. Looking back on some of the texts we’ve read so far, I think my favourite book to study has to be Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire written by George R.R. Martin because there is so much that can be unpicked in the narrative and the characters which coincide with the some traditions and norms and values of our society. In terms of activities and such, I enjoy the open discussions in the seminars as it allows for everyone to collaborate on ideas and helps us to consider points and arguments we might not have thought about.

 

On the programme, I’m able to ask for help from lecturers if needed and feel that I can do my best in terms of writing. During my first year, we have been assessed through coursework on each unit. Our lecturers make sure we are prepared and give us the details of the assessment in plenty of time. We also get lots of information about what’s required. All of this helps us to research the question, find secondary sources, and develop our analytical skills.

Overall, though I am only in my first year, I’ve already learnt a lot. Not only have I found a new appreciation for books from all sorts of backgrounds, but this course has given me the opportunity to meet amazing fellow students. It’s also helping me gain the confidence and transferable skills for the working world. So, If all of this appeals to you and you haven’t already: apply!!!

 

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