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The English Language course offers a wide range of assessments. In this blog, third-year English Language student, Louise Wilson, shows just how flexible the course can be and how it has allowed her to combine her love of film and TV with her love of the subject. Louise also writes for C.E.L.L.MATES, the online magazine produced by English Language and Literature students from the Department of English.

"When I first chose my A Level options, I was adamant that English Literature was the only subject I really wanted to study. I was good at it at GCSE, I liked reading, what else was I going to do? Cut to three weeks into Year 12; I stood in front of my head of Sixth Form begging him to let me switch to English Language. He said yes, and the rest is history. I had two fantastic teachers who constantly supported my love for the subject, and as soon as we were allowed the freedom to create our own project, even within the restrictive nature of A Levels, I was hooked. At the beginning of Sixth Form I was insistent that I wouldn’t be attending university, and now I’m reaching the end of my degree in English Language and in the process of applying for my MA in the subject. Make of that what you will.

Nearly all of my modules in my three years at Chester have included a project that has required me to choose the data. I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret from my lecturers how much I prefer these assignments to set questions, and my marks tend to reflect this too. Like most people, I engage with something so much more when I’m able to enjoy what I’m studying. I should include a quick disclaimer to say that this does not mean I don’t enjoy the other aspects of my subject, but these types of projects are my favourite part because I can explore the things I’m passionate about outside of my degree. I’ve always been a massive fan of TV and film, and suddenly I found myself being able to use my encyclopaedic knowledge to my advantage by actually studying my favourite films and shows as part of my degree. Modules like Language, Identity and Popular Culture; Creativity in English; The Power of Language; Cognitive Stylistics and Corpus Linguistics have all given me the space to do this.  

In the past two years I’ve written about love schemas in Fleabag and depictions of suicide in popular music. I undertook a perceptual dialectology project based on Doctor Who, and plan to use a corpus approach to analyse characterisation in Ex-Machina later this year. My dissertation is a cognitive metaphor approach to Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, which has allowed me not only to study a book series I adore, but revisit aspects of my other A Level that I’ve missed (I took Religious Studies, and those familiar with His Dark Materials know how seeped in religious themes the books are).

I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this if it hadn’t been for the constant support and interest from my lecturers, who have been integral to my learning and development. I joke to people that I shoehorn my interests into my studies, but the truth is that my course allows for that level of freedom. The result of this is a huge variety of work within the department because students have the opportunity to pursue their own interests, whether that be TV and film, news discourse, classic literature or Cheryl Cole."

If you’d like to find out more about our students' experiences while studying our English courses, you can chat to current students online at

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