Q&A with a literature student

Hi everyone,

i thought today I would do a Q&A with one of my housemates and fellow literature student to give you an insight into what the department and coursers Edge Hill offers!

Q: What has been the best part of your degree?

A: Getting the opportunity to study a subject I’ve always been interested in with like minded people.

Q: Why did you choose Edge Hill?

A: The course has a wide range of modules spanning from classical renaissance literature to more contemporary issues. Also, the fact that Edge Hill is a campus and everything is in one place makes it feel like a community!

Q: What was your favourite aspect of your course and why?

A: The lectures are delivered by tutors who are passionate about their subjects and therefore it makes it interesting to learn from them.

Q: How would you summarise your experience at Edge Hill?

A: I’ve had the best three years at Edge Hill, it’s such an inclusive university it’s nice to be around so many people who are friendly and happy to be there.

Q: Favourite module or anything you found particularly interesting?

A: Special Author in third year in which we studied the works of Rudyard Kipling who wrote the Jungle Book which was really fun.

Q: How have you found living in Ormskirk

A: Really good, Edge Hill provides a lot of support for finding off campus accommodation and in the transition from living on campus to in Ormskirk. The support means that  you won’t come across any landlords that you feel that you can’t trust.

Q: Any advice for future students?

A: Take every opportunity that is given to you as you don’t want to look back on your time at uni and regret not pushing yourself to do new things.

I hope you all find this helpful!

See you next time,

Ellie 🙂

Third Year English modules

Hi everyone,

Last year I wrote a post about the modules I chose for the second year of my degree in English Literature which you can see here.

English

  1. Victorians at Work:

This is one of the compulsory modules I took for this year. It is a period survey about Victorians in a professional context. I found it really interesting to learn more about our ancestors and how they influenced us. it addresses the social side of the Victorian era such as industrialisation. Texts included The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte and The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

2.  Contemporary Literature in English:

This focuses on texts that were written after the end of the second world war right up until the current day. I only started this module this term and I am already really enjoying it! Some of the books include; A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow and Ali Smith’s Autumn.

3. Victorians at Play:

This is fast becoming one of my favourite modules as it is really interesting to see how the Victorians kept themselves entertained and how much they invented as well. So far texts have included J M Barrie’s Peter Pan and Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.

4. Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll: Young Adult Fiction:

This module is all about teenage fiction so its super enjoyable to read the texts. They range from texts from young peoples experiences of war and also first love. Texts include; Forever by Judy Blume and John Green’ s The Fault in our Stars.

I hope you found this interesting!

Ellie 🙂

Global Game Jam 2018 – 48 Hours of Madness!

So, I (along with the rest of my team) have finally recovered from the Global Game Jam this last weekend.

“But, Caleb!” I hear you say at your screen, “This is a blog about University stuff!”

Well, the Global Game Jam is officially supported by the University, and is open to any Computer Science and Creative Writing students.

It’s a 48-hour event where teams of students have to make a game, where digital or tabletop, based on a specific theme each year. This year, the theme was Transmission. Previous years have had themes like Waves, Extinction, an Ouroboros or a heartbeat. You literally don’t know the theme until it’s announced in your area.

With such a wide theme as Transmission, of course most of the games involved some form of virus or zombies. The group I was in went on a slightly different path. Our game (called Hero Chronicle) involves a group of heroes fighting against an evil god and his Plague. The theme of “Transmission” revolved around the heroes’ powers rather than the Plague seen in the game. As the theme was left so open, teams were able to come up with any ideas.

The Game Jam also gave special diversifiers to work with as extra “challenges”. One of these diversifiers, Final Countdown, requires you to make a completely seperate game in the last hour of the Game Jam. So, being the lunatic I am, I made a new game (called VIRUS.exe) which relies on transmitting commands to characters in order to take control of a computer network.

If the two games I was involved in doesn’t show the variety of games, you can find the full list of games made here. If you want just the games made at Edge Hill, the full list is here. You can find the specific page for Hero Chronicle here and VIRUS.exe here.

This is one of the events that show that, should you take every opportunity you can, you can take part in many events you wouldn’t otherwise! To anyone who’s interested, I’ll see you at Global Game Jam 2019!

Creative Writing at Edge Hill

So, this is a pseudo-follow-on from Sean’s post about Computer Science – if you want to know more about that course, you can find it here. But I’m here to talk about Creative Writing, and some of the things you should know before starting! (Note that I’m only a 1st-year! If any 2nd/3rd-years want to input on later years, leave a comment below!)

Classes are split up… bizarrely.

So, I never expected it to be “everyone at once” or “one-to-one” by any means, but no two classes have the same setup! Here’s how my classes were split up during semester 1!

Fiction – Everyone together, then three workshop groups
Narrative Games – Group of everyone who chose it (I’ll explain a little later on!)
Scriptwriting – Two groups of roughly equal size
Building the World – All single-honour students

You do have choice on the module… ish.

When you sign up to do Creative Writing (single-honous only), you’ll get a choice of modules. [This year, the choices were either Non-Fiction or Narrative Games.] This does mean that you’ll have some choice of study, but if you and a friend pick different modules, then you’ll won’t see them in that class – it’s a double-edged sword, but always pick what you want to study most!

The department offers a land of opportunity – as long as you take them.

One of the first things taught to all new Creative Writing students is that “we are a community of writers”. And part of that means that the tutors – and sometimes even fellow students – will give you many opportunities, if you choose to take them. From visiting lectures, to plays written by the tutors and even some long-term projects (which I’m not allowed to talk about… yet.), there is something in every category for every student. It’s on the student to take advantage.

There are zero exams!

Yes, you read that correctly: no exams! Plenty of assignments, sure. But there’s no exams to revise for, to have to write a piece and a commentary in 2 hours (oh, A-Level…), to wait until August to see how good/bad you did. All assignments are marked and released within 4 weeks of the deadline, so you can get feedback in time for the next assignment!

So, that’s just some of the reasons why studying Creative Writing at Edge Hill is a great choice for any aspiring writer! If you have any further questions, leave a comment down below or email think@edgehill.ac.uk for more advice!

What Exactly Am I Studying?

Over the last three years I have really enjoyed studying English literature and creative writing, I’ve had the option of taking a whole load of different modules that cover so many different areas. This post is going to list some of my favourite modules that I have studied since first year and I’ll you a little bit about them.

  1. Periods and Genres one – First year

This module ran for one semester in my first year. It was a literature module in my first semester and was a great way to ease me into the course. It covered genres from Romanticism to post-modernism and gave me a good over-all knowledge of the literature periods which I have now built on. It also started my particular interests in romanticism and modernism.

  1. Writing Short Stories – Second year

This module ran over both semesters in second year, It was one of the core creative writing modules. It built on the fiction module from first year and extended our knowledge of short story writing. It really opened my eyes to the short story form and I have a newfound appreciation for it both from a reader’s perspective and a writer’s perspective

  1. Film Adaptation – Second year

This was a literature module that was also available for creative writing students. It ran in my second semester of second year. It looked at a series of different book/film pairings and used film and literature theory to analyse how books are adapted into films. This has been, by far, my favourite module because I learnt so much; I realised that films don’t particularly have to be ‘faithful’ adaptations of a source text to be successful and there’s a lot of thought that goes into the process. I also got to choose what film/book I wrote my assignments, I chose Matilda for my final assignment – nostalgia much?

  1. Special Author two: Jane Austen – Third Year

This module ran in my first semester of third year, it focused on the work of Jane Austen, looking almost her entire catalogue of literature and a few contextual novels that linked to her work. I enjoyed Jane Austen novels before as I had studied them in my romanticism module in second year, but this module made me all the more interested. We had an incredibly enthusiastic lecturer who made the experience even more fun and I now have a new favourite book – Emma, which I wrote an essay comparing to the film Clueless for one of my assignments.

  1. The Art of Screen Writing – Third Year

Another core creative writing module that runs over both semesters in third year. It looks at screenplays, how to write them and the theory behind them. As I’m mainly accustomed to writing stage plays, this module has been a challenge for me to adapt to screenwriting and how different it is to writing for stage but it’s nonetheless a welcome challenge. I’ve enjoyed studying different screenplays such as The Graduate and When Harry Met Sally and I am now in the process of writing my own.

So You Want to be a Combined Honours Student?

Being a combined or joint honours student has a lot of advantages that may benefit you over being a single honours student. As a Creative writing and English literature student I have had a lot of experience in both subjects and that has really helped me so far in my degree. Having the option of a joint honours can be incredibly beneficial if you enjoy more than one subject or aren’t quite sure exactly what you want to specialise in. In this post I will explain a little bit about my experience as a joint student and bust a few of the myths you may have come across when researching courses.

Advantages

In my experience I have found that there are a lot of advantages to being a joint/combined honours student, such as;

  • You get to learn skills in two different subjects that often complement each other.
  • You will be able to bring new and different ideas to both subjects.
  • It’s a good way to develop your adjustment skills and work to being more flexible. with your work, as you will complete assignments for both subjects that have different requirements.

Myth Busting

Now, you may hear a lot about studying a joint/combined honours degree that may not necessarily be true;

  • It’s more work than a single honours degree – Actually, in my experience, the work load is very similar, if not the same as those of my friends who are just studying single creative writing or literature. The only difference is that you may have a few deadlines at same time and thus have an influx of different assignments, but if you handle your workload it will be no harder.
  • It’s less of a qualification – Nope. It is just as valid as a single honours.
  • You do more modules than a single honours student – At least In my degree I study three modules in creative writing and three in English literature, as opposed to all six in one subject. If you were studying major/minor you would have more modules in your major subject but they would always add up to the same amount of modules as a single student in your field.

Final Advice

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to research thoroughly into what you want to study and get as much information as possible before applying. A joint honours degree may not be for everyone, as a single honours degree may not be, it’s up to you to figure out which you’d enjoy most and which would benefit you most. For more information on different courses you can visit the UCAS website, the subject page of the Edge Hill website and The Complete University Guide’s page on choosing your course.

Good luck to all those who have applied and to those beginning to look for a university course 🙂

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all doing extremely well. It’s been a very busy week for me so far, so I apologise for the lateness of this post.

One of the great things about uni is the chance to create your own degree, you get a lot more flexibility and choice than you at school or college.

As it’s March that means it’s time to decide on module choices for next year!

It can sound very scary at first, especially if you’re not great at decision making (I am guilty of this too, don’t worry.)

Since you’re paying for your education, and the end goal is to get a degree and (most likely) a job at the end of your studies, tailoring your degree to reach that end goal is super important.

The amount of choice can vary depending on your degree type, typically single honours students will get more choice than major-minor or joint honour students.

But there is usually a great deal of flexibility no matter what your programme.

In first year there may not be as much choice. There are compulsory modules for each year of your degree. This year, I didn’t get to choose the modules I studied, but this gives you the opportunity to study some things you might not even have thought about before.

Tutors are around for each stage of the choosing process, so no matter what there is someone to talk to.

We had an initial briefing session, which gave us all the information we needed to know about timetabling and how to choose modules.

Every subject then posts a module description online, so you can find out what type of things you will be studying, the assessments that comprise the module and the module leader’s email. If you have any specific questions about the module they are the one to ask!

I am really looking forward to the second year of my degree now. I was slightly scared, but now I have more knowledge about the modules I will be studying, and I can’t wait to start studying them.

It is a nerve-racking experience, but it’s an opportunity too great to be missed. As long as you take advantage of all the great experiences uni has to offer you, and ask for help if you need it then you are on your way to making your time at university the best it can possibly be.

Quote for the day: “Trust your instincts, and make judgements on what your heart tells you. The heart will not betray you.” Fall of Kings – David Gemmell

Hope you all have a good week, make good choices!

Until next time! 🙂

Lectures? Seminars?

Hi everyone!

Hope you’ve all had an amazing January. This week I’m going to be giving you a little bit of an insight into what the lectures and seminars are like at university.

Some of you might not know what lectures and seminars entail, and sometimes they can be completely different depending on what course you decide to do.

In this post I hope to give you a little bit of an overview and help you understand what class sessions might look like for you.

In English Literature we currently study three modules a semester, and we have a certain amount of contact time each week- that’s basically the amount of time we spend in class with tutors.

For me it’s 4 hours per module, and 12 hours a week in total. It may not sound like a lot compared to your current timetable, but one of the major differences about university is the amount of independent work that you have to put in. This free time helps you do that without over-stretching yourself.

Each module I study has a one hour lecture followed by a one hour lecture workshop, and then a 2 hour seminar later in the week.

So the lecture will be delivered by one of your tutors and it will provide an overview of the main discussions point each week. It will introduce new ideas for you to keep in mind, and is a chance to make some helpful notes for yourself.

A little tip: most tutors make their lecture slides available online so you don’t have to copy everything down, just key points.

For my course each lecture is followed by the workshop. We move into smaller groups, and use this time to start discussions about the lecture, or to clarify things we don’t understand.

Workshops are also usually when your tutor will set you reading for the week. Often you have a few days between a lecture and a seminar, so you can go away and do some research before the seminar.

Seminars are used to take the new ideas and theories for the week even further. It’s basically a chance to discuss ideas with your peers and enhance your understanding.

Seminars are much less informal than the classes you may be used too. Tutors will usually prompt you to take over the discussions, and this is a really rewarding experience.

I hope this has helped with your understanding of how typical university teaching and learning works, and if you have any questions about lectures, seminars or anything else don’t hesitate to ask!

Quote for the day: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Until next time! 🙂

Last Minute Guide… Choosing the Right Course!

Oh how depressing that Christmas is over and there’s only a few days until the new year! This means it’s nearly the year of intense revision, exams and results- but boy is it worth it! Hopefully you’ve submitted your UCAS application, but if not and you’re unsure of what course to choose I’ve decided to help you out a bit…

I first found my course looking through the Edge Hill prospectus when I wasn’t 100% sure what degree I wanted to pursue. This page of the prospectus broke down the course into the main things I needed to know, such as what content was covered and what grades I needed amongst loads of other useful information. The prospectus is definitely worth a look as it has information on every course at Edge Hill, if you’d like a copy you can order one online, to do so please look here.

However if you can’t wait and want more information on the vast array of courses available look here on our website!

You should ensure that you’re happy with every aspect of your course, such as what you will be learning and also how it is assessed! The worst thing would be to choose a course that is mainly exams when you love coursework or the opposite way round!

My specific course involves exams, some in January and April, and also coursework, essays, portfolios, placements and presentations! Phew! It sounds a lot and honestly it can be overwhelming at times but when you manage your time effectively and organise yourself it isn’t bad!

If I could advise anything it would be to create a check list ranked on the most important aspects of a course for you. Therefore you can make an informed decision, and if you’re missing anything that you need to know you can reach out to us so we can help you!

Feel free to comment if you have anything you’d like to ask!

Now, best of luck and have a fantastic New Year!

So Much Variety!!!

As you may already know, I am about to finish my degree in English Literature. Even though I am just about to graduate, my classes still continue to surprise me! If there’s something that has been one of the most pleasant surprises about my course at Edge Hill, it’s been the absolutely incredible variety of things I’ve been able to study, all under the heading of ‘English Literature’. As well as the expected books, plays and poems, I’ve looked at films, video games, role-playing games, and loads more. It’s really incredible that playing a game can count as work towards my degree!

I thought that I’d got used to the variety of things I could study, but last week in my Dickens and Popular Culture module we had a whole week concentrating on illustrations of Dickens’ work from the Victorian era. It made such a change to look at pictures – and we even had a go at creating our own illustrations! Drawing is definitely not my strong point but it was lots of fun all the same, and I discovered that some of my classmates have some hidden artistic talents!

An illustration from Oliver Twist
An illustration from Oliver Twist

The great thing about the content of modules at Edge Hill being so varied is that it makes it difficult to get bored. I also have found myself constantly developing new skills. Last year when I took Texts in Motion, which was a heavily film based module, I had to learn a whole new load of terms in order to analyse the films correctly, which was a challenge but also really interesting and exciting to do.

I’ve found that university has allowed me to experience so many new things, both in my course and outside of it. There’s so many opportunities to try something you’ve never even thought of before, whether that’s joining a sports club for a sport you’ve never played before, or going to see unusual shows at the on campus theatre, or perhaps (and maybe most common!) trying a new kind of alcohol! Whatever you decide to do whilst at university, don’t be scared to try new things and most of all, have fun!