Why I Love Studying English Literature & Creative Writing at Warwick
I remember it vividly: my open day at Warwick in October 2019. Sitting in a huge lecture hall, listening to a presentation about English Literature and Creative Writing. The degree felt a world away from my mostly science-based A-Levels at the time – Biology, Chemistry and English Literature – and it was a world of creativity I wanted to enter.
Let me give you a brief backstory: I had been debating between studying Medicine or English Literature and Creative Writing at university. After many months of deliberation, I had decided that I wanted to pursue my passion of writing. I always have (and still do) maintain an interest in science, but something about writing has always made me tick just that bit more.
And so I found myself sitting in that lecture hall back in 2019, the talk confirming to me that this was exactly what I wanted to study in Higher Education.
Everything about the course at Warwick was what I wanted – the opportunity to embark on a study year abroad, working with lecturers who had their own published work – and above all, a truly inexplicable sense of passion from the department. This continued forward into my Offer Holder day in March 2020, where I had the chance to meet some of the ELCW staff at Warwick. The passion was there: the staff were so excited about both subjects, and it only made my love for the course grow even more.
If the paragraphs above haven’t already showed you, then let me reiterate: I really, really love my degree! But I’ll start to get a bit more specific. Why exactly do I enjoy it so much?
For starters, the joint-honours nature of my degree is something I really enjoy. The ability to switch between two subjects is especially useful in moments of writer’s block or essay burnout. If I feel that my creative juices are disappearing, I can switch over to a more concrete style of writing essays or watching lectures for the English Literature side, and vice versa.
Another reason why I enjoy (and picked!) my degree is the structure of the course at Warwick. To begin with, in my first year, I studied four compulsory modules – Medieval to Renaissance and Epic into Novel on the English Literature, and Written World and Modes of Writing for the Creative Writing side. The best way I can describe these modules are the ‘foundations’ of the degree. They aim to show you a breadth of the course, for example the different forms of creative writing, or an expansive historical view of many different literatures.
However, in your second and third year, you can choose most of your modules. This year, I was fortunate enough to be selected onto all of my first-choice modules: American Horror Story, 20th Century American Literature and Screenwriting. The other compulsory module, Composition and Creative Writing, looks at constructing fiction and non-fiction work in depth.
There are lots of different modules to choose from; ranging from Game Theory in Creative Writing to Literature & Psychoanalysis or Austen in Theory on the English Literature side. I love the fact that you have the opportunity to begin to specialise in your later university years, after you have laid down a foundation of knowledge. Although the first-year English Literature modules were based on texts or time periods I had never read from, I found myself really enjoying studying texts that were out of my comfort zone.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I love studying English Literature and Creative Writing because it truly does incorporate my passions and genuine interests into a degree. Nothing is better than the feeling of studying something you truly love; and regardless of what degree you may decide to do at Warwick, I encourage you to consider that. Make sure you truly enjoy what you study.
Find a degree that you genuinely love, and all of the hard work and dedication will be worth it! It makes it so much easier to have that resilience and determination to power through a difficult essay or assignment. But ultimately, the knowledge that I am furthering my education about two subjects I love is the most rewarding feeling in the world.