Published: 01 April 2019

A week in the life of an English literature student

From literary theory lectures to creative writing, discover what a typical week looks like for first-year English literature students at Surrey.

Student reading by the lake with a duck nearby


The following timetable is a general example - for the latest module information, visit the English Literature and Creative Writing subject page and select your degree programme.


  • 9am to 10am – Shakespeare lecture
  • 12pm to 1pm – Literary Theory lecture
  • 1pm to 2pm – Lunch by the lake
  • 2pm to 5pm – Prepare for the week’s seminars with study in the Library


  • 10am to 11am – Personal Tutor meeting
  • 11am to 12pm – Theories of Reading seminar, followed by coffee with coursemates
  • 12pm to 1pm – Meet friends for picnic lunch on the sofas in Hillside
  • 1pm to 2pm – Walk over to the Library and Learning Centre to work on upcoming assignment
  • 2pm to 3pm – Understanding the Novel lecture
  • 3pm to 5pm – Head back to Library to continue working on assignment 


  • 10am to 11am - Shakespeare seminar
  • 11am to 12pm – Introduction to Creative Writing lecture
  • 1pm – Home for lunch
  • 4pm to 6pm – Informal Poetry Workshop, convened by the Poet in Residence

"The University staff are inspirational because they encourage and motivate you to work hard, meet deadlines and be more creative and open in discussing your ideas – their enthusiasm for your work and the course is infectious."

Jack Probyn, BA English Literature and Creative Writing


  • 10am to 11am – Introduction to Creative Writing seminar
  • 11am - 12pm – Meet with module tutor to discuss plans for upcoming creative writing assignment and receive feedback on a short piece of informally submitted writing


  • 9am to 10am – Checking Virtual Learning Environment for helpful links, additional reading, lecture notes and assignment information
  • 10am to 11am – Complete reading for next week’s lectures and seminars
  • 2pm to 4pm – Group work session in the library, followed by assignment work


Outside of lectures and library sessions, there’s lots to do during your free time at Surrey.

Campus life

The Students’ Union lies at the heart of campus life. With over 100 sports clubs and societies on offer (such as Surrey Writers), it’s bursting with opportunities for you to discover new interests, have fun and make friends. The Union nightclub, Rubix, is a popular choice for nights out, and our beautiful lakeside campus has plenty of places to get a coffee, drink or bite to eat.

"My confidence has improved in leaps and bounds, as I have grabbed opportunities and thrown myself into situations that I wouldn’t have even considered had I not gone to university. I have learnt that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and so I have seized the chance to try something new on a daily basis."

Ellie Morley, BA English Literature

Ten minutes to town

The campus is also a short ten-minute walk from Guildford town centre, home to over 70 pubs, bars and restaurants. From ice skating at Guildford Spectrum to watching a film at the Odeon, Guildford has plenty to offer when you’re looking for a well-earned break from your studies.

Further afield

From London to the coast, discover some of the places our students like to visit during their free time at University.

Learn more about our English literature and creative writing degrees and read what our students have to say about life at Surrey to discover why we were named ‘Best University for Student Experience’ by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016