Summary: Third year student Michelle describes her second year as an English student as 'incredibly stimulating' and credits the School and University for its employment opportunities.
I come from a small town in Hampshire, so living in a city was a refreshing change. Having studied for a Foundation Degree in Art & Design and deciding it wasnt for me, I decided to return to my first love English. The course Leeds had to offer was exciting in the sheer variety of modules available. The University itself also offered loads of opportunities in terms of employment, as well as the option to study abroad.
My interest in literature stems from the diverse range of ideas it explores from post-colonial and gendered perspectives to more conceptual and philosophical frameworks. It really enables you to reflect on what lies outside of your own sphere of understanding, providing valuable insight into the minds and times of others.
Ive really enjoyed my time here so far! It has been incredibly stimulating and being given such a wide selection of modules leaves you spoiled for choice. I have enjoyed my option modules the most, studying Literature, Reading & Mental Health and Public/ Private Negotiations: Gender and the Spheres. Lengthy essays, although daunting, really enabled me to explore in detail the ideas behind the texts. Moreover, being given the opportunity to put extensive research to use was really rewarding.
As a campus university Leeds is well situated between the student areas of Hyde Park/ Headingley and the city centre so it has the best of both worlds. The city itself is a great, dynamic place to live. With regards to the School of English, its a school that is very much invested in your progression. Tutors actively encourage your ideas and are always willing to help, motivated by a genuine passion for their field of study. The Universitys commitment to employability is also impressive. The School in offering the opportunity to extend your degree, to undertake a work placement, demonstrates their commitment to developing skills that can be taken out into the wider working world. Its something that is definitely worth considering when making a decision as to which universities you will apply to. There are so many societies available at Leeds too. Im an active member of the Union Music Library, Collaborative Arts Society and of course the English Society. But there really is something for everyone. Theres a lot to explore in the city as well, from the Henry Moore Institute to Millennium Square that plays host to the Christmas German Market and various food fairs. A trip to Hyde Park Picturehouse is also a must! We also have loads of great landscapes on our door step, my personal favourite being Ilkley Moor.
Leeds as a city caters to everyone. Its a great size the campus is in walking distance of the city centre and Headingley, a hive of student activity. The proximity of these places has really encouraged me to explore outside of campus and it quickly begins to feel like home. Hyde Park and St. Georges Playing Fields are great places to go and steal a few minutes peace in the heart of the city too. Knowing that there is such a great variety of places to explore and activities to try outside of your academic life affords you a well-rounded lifestyle, which, I think, is really important. Leeds certainly offers this.
Once I complete my course my options really are endless! With a good degree and priceless experiences given by the University were very well placed for graduate jobs. BA students are valuable in many sectors for our skills in problem solving, persuasion and in taking creative approaches with an analytical eye. Its important that you dont limit yourself in assuming an English degree will only lead to being a English teacher (which is, of course, a highly respectable profession). There are so many possibilities! I myself hope to pursue a career in Communications and PR, which the University is supporting in by appointing me Communications and Engagement intern for the School next academic year. This goes to show that the University really strives to assist you in your goals.