Rebecca Peartree

Rebecca Peartree

BA English Language and Literature

Summary: Third year student Rebecca looks back on her time at Leeds so far including her visits to the West Yorkshire Playhouse and the variety of modules in offer in the School of English.

I moved to Leeds for university straight after studying my A levels at Greenhead College in Huddersfield. Although I looked at lots of English courses around the country when applying to university, what stood out to me about Leeds was the wide and varying range of modules. The choice of modules is diverse and covers a multitude of different subjects ranging from obscure interests to more traditional choices. This has allowed me to pursue interests or take chances on modules on topics/areas/time periods that I hadn’t previously studied or considered before.

Although I have always been passionate about reading and studying literature, since I have joined the School of English I have developed a greater appreciation and understanding of my discipline through the guidance of my tutors. Seminar discussion has allowed my own ideas to develop and mature through the interesting and thought provoking concepts the tutors put forward.

I have really enjoyed studying at Leeds. Often the modules I have chosen on a whim having never studied them before – for example Medieval Literature – have ended up being the modules which I have become engrossed in and enjoyed the most. What I appreciated about most the modules is that no prior study or knowledge of the module subject is needed so the module is taught in a way that expects you to be starting with a blank canvas.

The English Society is a great way to socialise with course friends and the trips to the Bierkeller have always been fun. I have written several articles for the Leeds Student Paper which have featured in the printed paper and which is a valuable experience, especially for those wanting to go in to journalism. I’m also involved with several other societies including Yoga, Snowriders and Femsoc.

Coming to Leeds has been the best decision of my life. The course is all encompassing and the teaching staff within the School have really nurtured my love of English literature. It’s always nice to know your being taught by an respected expert of the subject your studying too!

Outside of studying I work at the Terrace, a café/bar/restaurant, in the Union which is a really fun and lively place to work as its often the hub within campus. Most weekends I volunteer at Inkwell which is a creative art space and café in Chapel Allerton run by Leeds Mind. Inkwell hosts lots of events and groups including creative writing, Secret cinema, Jazz cafes, Craft cafes and book groups. Some visitors are referred from the NHS but many come just to experience the easy going and vibrant atmosphere of Inkwell. 

Leeds is amazing city and it seems to be growing all the time. The amount of activities and opportunities the city offers up is endless. For English students, The West Yorkshire Playhouse is fantastic and is often showing plays from some of the modules. Last year a group of us went to see Dr Faustus as part of the core Drama module in first year which really gave us different perspective of the drama. I’ve been involved with some promotion work for the theatre and have even had a few published reviews. 

I have found the course both stimulating and interesting. It has encouraged me to explore aspects of English Literature that I hadn’t even considered before coming to university. The course has encouraged me to have a stronger, wider more comprehensive perspective of the literature I have studied and has enlightened me with a more informed outlook.