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!
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!
If you’re thinking about studying English Literature at Edge Hill you’re pretty lucky in the fact that we get offered a really wide range of modules to choose from. In first year there are specific modules that you have to study, but in second and third year you get to pick all of your modules yourself. This means there is a really large variety of literature that you can be studying at any one time. For example, last year at the same time as studying work from the 1660s, I was also studying Twilight! It also means your friends could be reading completely different texts from you because there’s so many different possible combinations of modules, giving you lots to talk about!
If you’d like an idea of the modules available, you’re best having a look at the English Literature course page on the Edge Hill website which you can see here. As an example, the modules I took in my second year were as follows:
Writing the Supernatural
Renaissance Poetry & Prose
Texts in Motion (we looked at books and their film adaptations – really interesting and great if you also have a love of film!)
As you can see, they were really varied in content which kept me on my toes, and they were also all assessed differently with some modules including exams, and another requiring me to write a blog! It was pretty hard to get bored!
This year I love my choice of modules just as much. In case you’re interested here they are:
The Shakespeare Problem (if you enjoy Shakespeare this is just wonderful ; a different play every week and I loved every minute of it)
The Sense of an Ending (this includes literature from the 1950s onwards)
Dickens and Popular Culture
Gothic Romanticism (in case you hadn’t noticed, I like Gothic literature)
I’m currently having an amazing last year and looking back at all my old module choices is making me rather nostalgic and I absolutely wish I could go back an experience it all again for the first time because I truly have had a wonderful time!
Yesterday, as I was working out how much money I would have to spend next year, I remembered last minute to factor in money for books. Majority of universities send students reading lists in advance and it is the students responsibility to purchase the books. Edge Hill also has quite a big library so most of the books can be borrowed from there.
Whilst the Film Studies side of my course requires me to buy all non-fiction books the Creative Writing reading lists include non-fiction and fiction. I really like having a list of fiction to buy because it encourages me to read (and often enjoy!) books that I’d never usually notice. I’ve already received the list of plays that I need to buy for my Scriptwriting module next year and I’m excited to read them.
The list includes:
Jez Butterworth – Jerusalem (2012)
Jim Cartwright – Road (1990)
Shelagh Delaney – A Taste of Honey (1959)
Brian Friel – Translations (1980)
Sarah Kane – Blasted (1996)
David Mamet – Oleanna (1993)
Laura Wade – Posh (2010)
Timberlake Wertenbaker – Our Country’s Good (1995)
I’ve never heard of any of those plays, but I know that even if I don’t enjoy reading them I can always learn by expanding my horizons.
In my last Fiction seminar the lecturer had us all name a book that we thought that everyone else should read and then he compiled a list and sent it to all of us. I chose Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. Palahniuk is my favourite writer and I’d recommend his books to everyone. He also wrote the book that became my favourite film, Fight Club.
I’d advise anyone starting university to get their books as early as possible so as to have time to familiarise themselves with them. Some books can be quite expensive but can also be found second hand on Amazon and eBay.
One of my absolute favourite bands is the band “My Chemical Romance” and one of their songs is called “Kids From Yesterday” and I am just that. I have been 20 for just over a month and I’m not a kid anymore. Not only that I am now roughly at the half way stage in my degree and I have to tell my tutors which optional modules I’d like to study next year soon. Also on Wednesday my “Applying Psychology” lecture was centred around careers and the importance of third year for deciding what we want to do after graduation and how the Edge Hill University Careers Centre can help students with their plans. So I thought I’d write this entry on my future plans at this moment in time.
About a week ago everyone on my course received an email about picking our optional modules for next year. After looking at the booklet for my course which details all of the optional and compulsory modules, that will be running next year I have decided that I would like to study:
Next summer my time as an Edge Hill Psychology student will come to an end 🙁 This makes me realize that I am going to have to have plans as to what I want to do. My first career path choice is Research Psychology where I’d conduct my own research or work with an established researcher to assist them with their research. Having looked up other choices online I may also decide to become a Health Psychologist. They help people to overcome health issues like: smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction and eating disorders (e.g. obesity and anorexia). Both paths interest me but for now I am concentrating on getting my degree.
So with the Christmas Holidays over and my statistics exam over and done with it’s time to return to lectures/seminars/usual routine of work on Monday and I have to say I’m looking forward to it. This semester sees my timetable change slightly with an added lecture on a Monday morning (10am-11am) for the Research Methods and Data Analysis module, followed by ‘Social Psychology’ and ‘Cognitive Psychology’ which take the places of last semester’s ‘Developmental’ and ‘Biological Psychology’ modules. Whilst on a Wednesday the lecture for ‘Applying Psychology’ becomes three hours long. This is to facilitate the second of two assignments for this module, a portfolio proposal as well as more in depth lectures on a range of topics given by guest lecturers and those who work in the Edge Hill Psychology Department.
This particular module is about how theories and research within my subject are applied in the real world. Whilst so far Forensic Psychology’ and ‘Health Psychology’ have been the most interesting topics for me that were covered last semester.
Although I have never done a portfolio proposal it will certainly increase my experience of designing research for my dissertation next year (which I will talk about when I reach that stage in my degree) and my future career plans of being a researcher. 🙂 Also If there’s anything you want to know about an area of psychology or studying psychology at Edge Hill University feel free to leave me a comment