English Literature at York?

(52 Posts)
PollyDolly1 Fri 16-Feb-18 16:03:45

My daughter is looking to study English Literature at Uni next year. Her favourite uni so far is York however, she is still a bit undecided over whether to choose it. I wondered whether anyone had studied English Lit there, or have a DD or DS that has recently studied there? What did you think about the course? Was the teaching good? If you don't mind answering, what field of work did you go into after graduating? (She is interested in career prospects, her school is very science and maths driven and states anyone who does an arts degree will get nowhere in life 😒). Also, she likes the idea of the collegiate system - any colleges you recommend for someone studying English lit? She is quite worried about making friends, she doesn't like drinking and partying that much...is York a place where she could still find friends easily?

Thank you very much if you read this and reply!

OP’s posts: |
LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 16-Feb-18 16:37:32

Ooh, do it!


I'll pretend to be calm and dispassionate now. I didn't do my undergrad there but I did teach there while I was a postgrad, and I think it is a lovely university with a really interesting course. The city also has a really nice feel and I do think there is plenty on for students who are not so keen on the drinking/partying (and if she suddenly develops a passion for that, it's a short hop to Leeds for a Friday night out!).

NailedOn50 Fri 16-Feb-18 16:40:55

English Lit at York is a classic, solid combination and will make her very employable.

PollyDolly1 Fri 16-Feb-18 16:44:07

Oh that's great, I'll pass on the info! I'll assure her her employability will be strong as well, the school she is at at the moment is really pushing STEM subjects meaning she feels a bit sidelined!

If you've attended there, are there any colleges you recommend?

OP’s posts: |
PollyDolly1 Sat 17-Feb-18 14:05:17

Also, are there any books she should read to prepare herself for an English Literature degree?

OP’s posts: |
allegretto Sat 17-Feb-18 14:07:04

This thread is making me nostalgic. I applied but they wouldn't have me! Hope your daughter has better luck.

PollyDolly1 Sat 17-Feb-18 14:30:43

Fingers crossed, she has an offer from them, hopefully she achieves the results on results day!

OP’s posts: |


TheRagingGirl Sat 17-Feb-18 15:21:49

I work in the field. It’s an absolutely excellent department. Great teaching and tops at research.

An excellent research record and research-led teaching is very important for a good English lit degree. It means you’re taught by people whose books you’re reading as research for your essays.

Wimpling Sat 17-Feb-18 17:51:44

I applied to York a million years ago - they advised students to read the King James Bible, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, because of their influence on English literature over the centuries. I didn’t go there (and have no idea if they still recommend pre-reading!) but I did read both and it was useful preparation.

Do2Little Sat 17-Feb-18 18:27:09

dd is at York (History) and has really enjoyed it. Teaching is great and she has a job lined up.

Hoppinggreen Sat 17-Feb-18 18:37:06

It was a while ago that I was there ( English Lit and politics/Langwith college)
Could have changed but I found the English Lit dept full of people who hadn’t quite got into oxbridge and York was their 2nd choice and they really wanted you to know it. Most of them were ex Private School as well.The Tutors were amazing but I made most of my friends In The Politics dept where people were a bit more down to earth.
As I said, long time ago so probably very different
Seems to be a well regarded degree by employers though

Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 18:41:45

wimpling : you must be about the same time as me!!

I did apply and did go there. Lots of the same professors are still there which suggest it's very stable.

When I went there, it was called English and Related Literature and everyone did a language . They sadly seem to have dropped this. It was always known for its flexibility as a degree and York was popular because it had a different approach to exams in those days.

The uni and course will have changed but what won't have done is the beautiful beautiful city.

It's a campus university so very 'cosy'. I was in Vanbrugh College.

Tell her to apply and fight the good fight for the Arts and resit the Cult of Stem.

Of course she will be employable : every employer knows anyone who ahs got into York to study English will be very very bright.

Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 18:44:46

The ex private school thing is , statistically, bollocks. Of the top 10 - 15 universities, York ahs just about the highest % of state school entrants.

It is true it has the Oxbridge reject tag ( I was one!!!) and that English may have a slightly larger share of the private school ones. But I met a friend at Oxford interview who went in the end to Durham and cried every night because she was teased and bullied of her accent. She transferred to York.

All my friends were state school educated.

Do2Little Sat 17-Feb-18 19:01:57

dd and loads of her friends are from comprehensives.

Anyway everyone seems to mix together no matter what the school background.

Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 19:35:09

The college atmosphere is nice as well: quite good for forging an identity. I wonder if there is still a weekly bop at each college!

I applied because of a lack of a central SU and because it was campus and quite small, and near a lovely city. Others sneered at this (and I am teacher and some still want the Bright Lights Big City thing) so it's different strokes for different folks. They always said that York has one pub for every day of the year though, so it's hardly dead!

Winteriscoming18 Sat 17-Feb-18 19:45:52

I went to the University of York however I studied nursing. I was also from a state school and north lass. There was quite a lot of southerns for a Northern university at the time when I went in 2005, some went to private or boarding school but they were very sociable and I was friends with many of them. One of my housemates dad was a famous football scout, you wouldn’t think to look at him his dad was super rich one of the most down to earth people I know. There was no division based on anyone’s background. I was in James college..

Libra Sat 17-Feb-18 19:49:14

I went to York. I studied history but did one module with the English department on women’s writing in the 19th century that literally changed my life. I am now a Professor and specialise in women’s interaction with the media. York is brilliant. She should go.

Libra Sat 17-Feb-18 19:51:11

Oh yes, and I was state school and Oxbridge reject. I loved York (was in Goodricke college which was very down to earth).

MrsBartlet Sat 17-Feb-18 19:55:47

I studied History at York and had friends doing English. It is such a lovely place to live and the colleges break everything down into friendly, manageable communities. I was in Wentworth but I believe that is for post-grads only now. Dd is in the third year of her English degree (not at York) but she had it down as her insurance place so I got to go and visit with her in the not too distant past. The accommodation had certainly improved but it still had the same friendly feeling. Ah, Wenty bop - those were the days!

PollyDolly1 Sat 17-Feb-18 20:18:13

Thank you for all your replies! They're very helpful, I've showed them to her and she's very grateful. Thank for the info on colleges, out of interest any opinion on Derwent ?

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 20:19:10

Derwent was the posh college iirc! No real reason for this as I don't believe there was a choice.

It was the one bop we never went to for some reason.

Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 20:21:17

That was a cross post! I posted that before I read yours ... awkward...

She shouldn't base her choice on whether one college disco is a bit less appealing than the others but Vanbrugh and Alcuin were the best bops

PollyDolly1 Sat 17-Feb-18 20:28:02

Derwent was posh? We were looking at it as it was supposed to be very social and welcoming/friendly...and there was the cheapest accommodation! 😂 Apparently close to eng lit dept as well

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 20:50:25

It is the closest to English. Back in my day it was very are to choose college; they were allocated. But there was a way round it , I think. This is, I suspect, how the posh ones did end up together, which is definitely what did happen.

Piggywaspushed Sat 17-Feb-18 20:51:00

very rare! Not very are...

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