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At University everybody's timetable will differ, so I will be taking you through what my timetable looks like as a second-year English Literature student. Unlike a lot of other subjects, on the English Literature course we don’t have face-to-face lectures, we have seminars. For these seminars we are given preparation work, which is usually a novel, play or poetry to read. Sometimes there is also some contextual information to read or a recorded lecture giving background knowledge on the text we are studying that week. For example, for my Children’s Literature module this week the preparation was to read sections of two different Batman comics, note some similarities and differences between them, and watch the pre-recorded lecture about superhero comics. For most of my modules, we spend two seminars discussing each text.

All of the seminars in second year last two hours each with a break in the middle, and throughout the seminar we discuss the text we are studying guided by the lecturer, sometimes being split off into groups for discussion activities. On a Monday I have a seminar for The Gothic module followed by a Children’s Literature seminar. Every Tuesday I have a Victorians seminar, and on Thursday I have seminars for the Romantics and Alternative Worlds modules. This may vary from subject to subject, but for me, my timetable stays the same each week. I was quite shocked by this at first because I was used to having a different week one and week two in high school, but I found that it actually gives me a more consistent routine!

My seminars take place in a range of locations on the Exton Park site. Some of them are in the Vicarage, which is the English Departmental building. The Vicarage is just outside Exton Park towards the city centre, and as the name suggests, it is an old Vicarage which creates the perfect atmosphere to study English Literature. It has a newly added common room for students to hang out before seminars and grab a tea or coffee. The building also currently has a community bookshelf where you can drop off unwanted books and take any you may need (or just want to read). The lecture theatre is cosy and has beautiful arched windows, and there are many other seminar rooms too.

I am with a range of different people for my seminars. Some of my classmates only study English Literature like me (Single Honours), whereas some take English Literature with History or Psychology, or a range of other subjects that you can choose for Combined Honours. In first year, I had some seminars which were just with Single Honours students, but this year we are all mixed together. Another difference between first and second year is that I got to choose all five of my modules for this year, whereas last year we had five compulsory modules to help us get to grips with the basics of studying English Literature. My favourite module this year is The Gothic, which is very popular amongst second-year students. We study classic Gothic books like Frankenstein and Dracula, as well as more modern thrillers such as The Shining, though these set texts may vary each year.

I hope this has helped you to get an idea of what your timetable will look like if you are considering studying English Literature!

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