Do you enjoy reading and writing? Novels, plays, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction help shape and reflect our individual identities and collective culture. Studying literature opens up worlds and times beyond our experience. It also helps us understand – and question – our own social, natural, and technological environments.
Students of English develop skills in research, interpretation, analysis, formulating an argument, and writing clearly and precisely. This skillset is useful for a huge range of occupations, such as journalism, law, communications, publications, and creative writing.
- UC is ranked in the top 250 universities in the world for English Language and Literature (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
- In addition to teaching the core areas of our discipline – the novel, theatre, 20th century literature – the Department of English offers courses in exciting new fields such as children's literature, human-animal studies, digital literary studies, and popular fiction (including science fiction, horror, and fantasy fiction). We also have a variety of courses that teach writing, both academic and creative, both fiction and non-fiction.
Prior study in English is helpful, or in classics, theatre and drama, history, or media studies at school – but the best background is simply a love of reading and writing, and an interest in the cultures, stories, and ideas that surround us every day.
For the major in the Bachelor of Arts, complete the following courses:
- Three 200-level ENGL courses
ENGL201 The Essay and Beyond: Creative Non-Fiction is recommended.
For the minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, complete the following courses:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level ENGL courses, with at least 45 points above 100-level
A degree in English can take you to surprising places. The skills learned in studying English – the close reading and careful analysis of texts; the ability to write clearly, concisely, and creatively; and the skill to both make and critique arguments – are essential to success not only in education, but also in a wide range of work environments.
Among our graduates are an Aotearoa ambassador; a former chief political reporter for TVNZ; a political commentator for a national newspaper; prize-winning novelists (including Eleanor Catton of Man Booker fame); a prize-winning film-maker; a museum curator; a cultural event organiser for Te Papa; an art gallery manager; a theatre director; a number of publishers' editors; members of parliament; and policy advisors in Kaitohutohu Kaupapa Rawa | Treasury, the Education Ministry, and the State Services Commission.
What these people learned in their English degree impressed employers looking for people who could read, write, speak, and think clearly, effectively, and creatively.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in English.
Level 6, Karl Popper building – see campus maps
Te Kaupeka Toi Tangata | Faculty of Arts
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
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