Student Profiles

What Our Undergraduates Say

Becca Parkinson

Danielle Miller

Current Undergraduate Student Ambassador

When I first visited Lancaster, I felt that it was a place where I could see myself living and it did not disappoint. One of the best things about choosing Lancaster was the flexibility in first year options. Though I love writing creatively and have always wanted to pursue it, I was never certain that I wanted to study it academically, and the chance to switch to either a pure English Literature major or another subject entirely without repeating a year was reassuring.

However, my worries were unfounded. As a first year English Literature, Creative Writing and Practice student, I have had the perfect blend of both the academic side of texts (learning  the foundations of literature) and the practical (learning how texts are written today). One of the best parts about the course is how you are helped to settle in through Autonomous Learning Groups. Autonomous Learning Groups give you a chance to meet with people in your seminar group outside of class to prepare work for the seminar. This has been really useful in helping me get to know people. I’ve had a great experience so far, and am very glad I chose to continue my education at Lancaster!

Becca Parkinson

Yasmine Joyner

Current Undergraduate Student Ambassador

I’m Yasmine, a first year English Literature, Creative Writing and Practice student. Throughout my life, writing stories has always been my passion and reading my greatest getaway, so it was inevitable that I’d study these at university. Though I initially had a tough time identifying which subject would be best for me, I have most definitely made the right decision to study here. Every lecturer walks into the theatre with passion and texts that I once thought boring have been brought to life. The workshops in Creative Writing challenge me to try different techniques, such as minimalism and writing from different perspectives.

As for university life itself, I found it very easy to settle in – living on campus is fantastic! There’s a really strong community spirit amongst the students and the collegiate system is a huge part of that. As well as this, the support systems throughout the university are amazing and have helped me so much during the early months of my time here. I’ve never been more happy about a decision I’ve made on my own, than I am about choosing to study here.

Becca Parkinson

Eleanor Servantes

Current Undergraduate Student Ambassador

I’m Eleanor, a second-year English Literature and Creative Writing student, and ambassador for the department. I chose Lancaster not only it came highly recommended by my friends and teachers, but because of the flexibility and support available in the course. The idea of a campus University really appealed to me, and after I saw Lancaster, I thought it was perfect. The proximity to town – and the frequency of buses - really gives you the best of both worlds. The campus itself, as well as the collegiate system, really makes the University feel like home.

The University is excellent for pastoral care and student support; the colleges in particular are good for this, and our department has a system of academic advisors, who are fantastic. The Literature course is wide-ranged and interesting, and the Creative Writing one allows you the chance to experiment and develop your work.

Jeni Meadows

Current Undergraduate Student Ambassador

I’m Jeni, a first year English Literature and Creative Writing student. I loved the idea of coming to Lancaster University: the accommodation is amazing, the welfare staff are lovely, and the members of the English department are so enthusiastic about their subject that I decided I just had to come here. Not only is every lecturer an expert in their field, but those fields are so diverse that I know I will be able to take my love of Literature wherever I want to in the second year. 

For me, the best thing about Lancaster University is that as a student, I’m not limited in any way. If there’s something I want to try I know I’ll have the opportunity to do it, either through one of the hundreds of societies or the three-subject course system. Everything is well-organised, and students and staff alike are very supportive. I find this particularly brilliant as I’m not sure yet what I want to do after I’ve finished my degree. It’s wonderful that I can keep my options open and give everything a try.

Becca Parkinson

Becca Parkinson

Current Undergraduate Student Ambassador

I'm Becca and I am a second year English Literature student. In the future I hope to work in media or publishing, as I love reading and watching TV and movies. I chose Lancaster for a number of reasons: the quality of the accommodation, the convenience and safety of the campus, the college system, the course content, and the option to be able to take minor subjects at Part 1.

I have enjoyed making so many new friends, studying a huge array of topics and the independence of university. Lancaster University provides lots of opportunities to get involved and experience things beyond your major subject. At Lancaster I don't feel like a small fish in a big pond, due to the helpfulness of staff who keep you on the right track and help you get to where you want to be.

I will always be happy and grateful that I chose to study at Lancaster!

Kieran Rae

Current Undergraduate Student Ambassador

I had my heart set on Lancaster University from the beginning. Not only is the university close to home, but I was familiar with the reputation of the English department from several of my friends and teachers. They all reported back about the fantastic experiences they had here as students. Campus life appealed to me, and I also really liked the brilliant collegiate system and the great flexibility in the courses. The English Literature team is impressively enthusiastic.

I am a final year English Literature and Creative Writing student and though my future is not yet fully clear, I hope to go into media work, with possibilities for my future career ranging from journalism to screen writing.

I have enjoyed a lot about Lancaster so far, but the most prominent benefit of study here is the freedom to be able to choose three subjects in the first year, and the option to change your major course in the second. This opened my eyes to my love of film studies, and I was able to alter my second year modules accordingly - an opportunity that is seldom available at this stage of education.

Angelica Fostinis

Student Representative - English Literature

I chose to study English Literature at Lancaster because I loved the flexibility of the degree, particularly the three part system which offers the freedom to study minor subjects alongside your major. The reputation of the Department and the friendliness of the staff were also important factors in helping me to choose to study English Literature here. The first year course allows you to explore a variety of different texts across time and has been fascinating so far. I've really enjoyed the course and look forward to what I will study over the coming months and years. Creative Writing has also been very engaging and has allowed me to try something new and to experiment with my work. Whenever any issues arise the Department really does listen and takes on board the views of the students through its Student Representatives. The staff are very approachable people who are more than willing to help if you need their guidance. I think that the positive atmosphere and attitude of the Department towards its students makes studying English Literature at Lancaster University both exciting and vibrant which is exactly what I wanted from my undergraduate degree.

Catherine Bateman

Recent graduate - English Literature

Studying English Literature at Lancaster is great; the modules allow you to read texts that you may never have found otherwise, as well as looking at well known ones in new ways with the other people in your seminar groups.  Meeting people with similar interests to yourself is always a plus, and because of the small seminar group sizes, making new friends is really easy.

One major concern I had before coming here was how easy it might be to become invisible, and not be able to tell anyone if you were struggling.  However, from experience I can say that everyone in the department is amazingly supportive, and more than willing to offer help above and beyond what they are obliged to do.

Being taught by the academics here is brilliant!  Special mention must go to Prof. Alison Findlay who once brought in Elizabethan style mince pies and sherry, just to prove a point about Shakespeare's "Henry IV part 2"!

Genevieve Seward

BA Hons 1st class in the Department of English Literature & Creative Writing

During my three years with the department, the possibilities of the subject were really opened up through the diverse scope of literature available in first year. The cross-section of reading from all periods and cultures gives much insight into what you want to specialise in for second and third years. Two of my favourite modules in third year were Sally Bushell's 'Where Do Poems Come From? Process, Manuscripts and Texts'- a course that gave us access to some fascinating manuscripts from the Romantic era, and Alison Findlay's 'Ceremony and Performance in Shakespearean Drama'- a completely unique, practically based module, inspiring a very creative approach to Shakespearean texts.

Above and beyond the rich and varied syllabus, the whole faculty in the English Literature and Creative Writing Department were incredibly supportive throughout, caring for students on a one-to-one basis as well as ensuring the progress of all.

Neil Cheesbrough

Recent graduate - English Literature

As a mature student going back to do my second Lancaster degree, there was a lot of anxiety about starting student life again - would I be able to write essays again? Would I fit in with my fellow students?  Would I be able to keep up with the workload?  I have to say that looking back on my year, I had an amazing time, and have absolutely no regrets about making the change.  Campus is reassuringly familiar underneath all of the new buildings, and the facilities are fantastic for sports, learning, or just lazing about in the green bits of which there are many.

The course is really interesting and well-structured, and opens your eyes to new works and ways of thinking about them. There are some challenging aspects to it, especially the compulsory theory course, but it's surprising how quickly you can relate it to your other modules.  The tutors were all really easy to speak to, and more importantly really knew their stuff and were passionate about it.  It makes you want to do well.  

The best thing about the course is the freedom you are given to pursue your own specific interests. For the creative, the literature and film module lets you express yourself by adapting one of the films studied in a new way which can range from cake baking to film making, artwork to musical scores.

Thomas McIlroy

Recent graduate - English Literature

I'm about to start a career working in radio broadcasting, theatre and film. Lancaster really gave me the opportunity to try so much and really discover what I'm passionate about.

When I first arrived here I was cautious about the major-minor degree structure; I wasn't too keen about studying other subjects. However, the chance to do so was in fact something amazing. Those interests that I adopted from those minor subjects fed straight into my other assignments; I studied Religious Studies as a minor in my first year, and it was my love of religion which underpinned my dissertation topic. Secondly, I met so many more people and studied more widely than I would have done otherwise, which is always an important aspect of university.

What I enjoyed most was having the freedom to explore beyond the content of lectures and seminars. The biggest challenge was always the landmark assignments each year; the second year theory project and my dissertation, for example. However, the department here at Lancaster went so far to make sure I was prepared, and that the learning curve and work load wasn't steep. So, when those assignments that defined my degree came up, I was ready for them.

Outside of my studies I got involved in our award-winning student television and radio stations, LA1TV and Bailrigg FM, as well as the Fencing and Archery societies. I also got involved with Enactus, an international social-enterprise organisation, which gave me the opportunity to start a project which helps those with autism gain employment. The great thing about Lancaster is that it does everything, from offering volunteering abroad opportunities to being one half of Europe's largest inter-university sports tournament, and if it there is something it doesn't do then they'll help you to make it happen.

Ibby Brown

Graduate - BA Hons in the Department of English Literature & Creative Writing

Shakespeare 306: "Rich language, thrilling plot twists, captivating characters and some of the most hilarious scenarios you’ll every encounter. This course is an exhilarating exploration into the depths of some of Shakespeare’s finest works and if it’s an adventure you’re after then this is certainly the course for you. During the course you will experience the heartbreak of the bitterest tragedy, the merriment of the sweetest comedy and appreciate first-hand the sheer genius of the greatest writer in the English language. There are always courses that you envy people for not yet having completed, because of the pleasure that awaits them. This is definitely one."

Women Writers 302: "A fascinating journey of discovery that gives a voice to many silenced women, this course explores a range of genres in order to gain a rich understanding of how women have re-written ‘his’tory. The life-writing is a truly remarkable read, whilst the romance section allows you to gain a real appreciation of a female perspective and the history and fantasy section present fertile ground for exploration. This course is exceptionally varied, yet a common factor that unites all the writers’ is their ability to write with a vivacity and exuberance that proves irresistible. A thrilling and innovative course and one that I feel genuinely privileged to have studied."

Christiana Mangold

BA Hons in the Department of English Literature & Creative Writing

I have recently graduated from Lancaster University with a BA Hons in English Literature. I chose Lancaster not only for its fantastic reputation but the amazing support and friendliness of the University and Staff.

Throughout my time in the Department I have thoroughly enjoyed all my courses not only the topics covered, but the continuous enthusiasm of the staff for their subjects. They are always supportive, encouraging and sometimes utterly hilarious. Yet, no matter how busy they are they always make time for a chat. I have been given a great deal of support and encouragement by the staff in the department and I will always be grateful to them for making me challenge myself further than I thought possible. With such a close-knit faculty their dedication and encouragement is paramount to the success of the Department and the students.

The diversity of the course increases as you progress, but it all remains intrinsically linked and you find yourself linking it all together in one way or another. I got to study some fantastic modules in Shakespeare, Victorian Gothic and Children’s Literature and seminars were always a joy.