Open Day – English FAQs
So this Saturday was an Open Day at Warwick and I was hanging out in the English department all day meeting lots of future students and answering all their questions! It was really fun to meet so many people who are excited about the idea of coming to Warwick and have fallen in love with it just like I did!
It’s usual to find yourself answering the same questions many times over at an Open Day as many students and their parents are concerned about the same things. So I thought, for this post, I would talk about some of the questions I was asked most frequently.
What’s the difference between English Literature, English Literature and Creative Writing, and English and Theatre Studies?
It’s all to do with your modules. In first year, there isn’t much difference between EngLit and ELCW – just one module. EngLit students take Epic Tradition, Modes of Reading, Modern World Literatures OR a Language module, and Medieval to Renaissance English Literature. ELCW take exactly the same modules apart from Modes of Writing instead of Epic Tradition. Then, in second and third year there’s much more difference, as EngLit students take four literature modules (or three literature modules and one from another department eg. History) and ELCW students can split their four modules pretty much however they like between literature and creative writing, as long as they do at least one of each. ELTS is a bit different as it’s structured differently – in first year you take two theatre modules (British Theatre since 1939 and Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies) one literature module (Medieval to Renaissance English Literature) and then your fourth module is a choice between literature (Modes of Reading or The Epic Tradition), theatre (From Text to Performance) or a language module. In second year it’s again much more structured as there is a specific list of modules you can choose from, but then in third year you have a lot more freedom. It sounds very complicated, but you can read about it all in more depth on the website!
So, how do I choose?
Choosing which degree you want to take can be tricky, but my advice in the English department is to follow your passion. If you really love Creative Writing or Theatre then apply for them! With a straight English Literature degree you do get the chance to take some Creative Writing and Theatre modules, but you are much more limited and it’s not guaranteed because the students studying for those degrees mostly have priority. If you can’t imagine not studying something like Creative Writing or Theatre then there’s your answer!
Yes! You can also study English Literature alongside French, German, Italian, Hispanic Studies, Latin, Philosophy or Film. So there’s plenty of options!
When I started, no – but now, yes! New in 2017 there will be a BA English Language and Linguistics. However, because of the Linguistics element this is actually based in the Social Sciences department rather than the English department, so it’s worth having a read on the website to find out more about this!
For many reasons, but mainly because it felt like home. You can read more about my decision to come to Warwick in a previous blog post!
Sure! Because ELCW is such a small course, the admissions tutors ask for a couple more things other than your personal statement so they can see if you’re right for the course. These are a portfolio and an online interview – and sound much scarier than they are! The process is currently still the same as when I applied. You have to submit 8-10 pages of your own original creative writing, which can be any genre or style you like, as long as it’s work that you’re proud of! You also have to do an online interview, but this is so non-scary as you just get emailed a list of questions and have around two weeks to reply, so there’s plenty of time to think about your answers! They aren’t expecting really long, essay-style answers though, just be honest and tell them what you think! All they want to see is how you write and proof that you love it. Yes, there is a lot of competition for places but write from your heart and you’ll do fine.
I don’t know who’s been telling you such things but don’t believe it! The Warwick bubble is an affectionate term for the fact that everything you could ever possibly need can be found on campus, so if you wanted to you would basically never have to leave. We have a doctors and a pharmacy, restaurants, cafes, a hairdressers, a travel agents, a post office, a grocery store, a club… The list goes on. BUT there is so much more going on outside of campus as well that if you didn’t ever leave you would be missing out on so much! Coventry (a city), Leamington (a large town) and Kenilworth (a small town) are all just a bus ride away! Plus, you can get the train to Birmingham, London… pretty much anywhere! There is so, so much to do in the Midlands, I’m still discovering it myself!
Yes! I loved loved loved my first year accommodation in Arthur Vick. There’s a huge price range and varying styles of accommodation so there’s something for everyone, right from the cheapest – Cryfield – to the most expensive – Bluebell. We’re also really lucky at Warwick that we have our kitchens and bathrooms cleaned for us as well – although you still have to keep them in a reasonable state otherwise the cleaners have the right to refuse! University accommodation is expensive, but that’s the case everywhere – it might seem like a lot of money, but it’s so worth it. You will never have another experience like halls where you’re suddenly living with a bunch of strangers who quickly become your best friends. Just bear in mind that the ensuite blocks are always oversubscribed, so you might end up with shared bathroom even if you don’t want it. However, I don’t know anybody that finished the year hating where they lived, so try not to worry about it too much!
Remember that it’s not a competition of how many books have you read, and there’s nothing particular that you will be expected to have read either. So don’t just list books – connect with what you’re talking about by saying something meaningful. Talk about the specifics of a couple of things you’ve read: why do you love or hate it (it’s fine to talk about books you didn’t like too!), why is it groundbreaking, how has it inspired you, what would you like to explore further? Show an understanding of what you’ve read that’s going to convince Warwick you would thrive studying English.
Of course, there were many more questions, but these are just a few that I answered several times on the day! I hope this has been helpful and good luck to everyone who’s about to begin at Warwick or about to start the process of applying!