Published: 01 March 2020

Five reasons to study a course within the School of Literature and Languages at Surrey

We’re one of the UK's leading universities for English literature and languages, ranked in the top 10 for creative writing in the Complete University Guide 2020 and top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020. Here are five reasons why you should choose the University of Surrey to pursue your passion in English literature and languages.

1. A fantastic learning experience

We offer an immersive learning experience, where you will be taught by published academics and authors.  Across all programmes, our modules enable you to study a broad range of exciting topics, including:

  • Understanding drama
  • Monsters, mystics and demons
  • Contemporary storytelling
  • Hardcore Shakespeare
  • Children’s Literature
  • Understanding animation
  • Thinking like a writer.

We also have strong interaction with other disciplines, including film, history and sociology, giving you the opportunity to put your studies into a wider context.

2. A vibrant, supportive community

One of the best things about studying in the School of Literature and Languages at Surrey is being able to learn in a supportive environment, where we work together to create a community feel. Our Peer Assisted Writing Scheme, for example, pairs first and second year undergraduates with a trained final year writing mentor.

We regularly host visiting guest speakers, research seminars, and talks by major and new writers. We annually appoint a Poet in Residence, and have as our Distinguished Writer in Residence, the acclaimed author and film-maker, Iain Sinclair.

3. Employability

We place a strong emphasis on helping our students gain employability skills so that you can fulfil your career ambitions.

Our School offers the University renowned Professional Training placement as part of the curriculum, so that you can build your CV during your studies. Past placement students have gained experience at organisations such as:

  • NBC Universal
  • British Council
  • Toyota (PR and press communications)
  • IBM
  • Sony
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation
  • John Lewis Partnerships (social media analysis)
  • Dawbell (Communication Strategists).

4. Highly ranked

Studying with us means learning from one of the UK’s leading school for literature and languages. Our programmes are highly rated, with very good standing in many of the top league tables, including:

  • Top 10 for creative writing in the Complete University Guide 2020
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
  • 2nd for French in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.

5. ​​​​​A cultural environment at Surrey

Surrey is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the world of literature and languages.

We are home to the Surrey New Writers Festival, an annual public event for budding writers who want to find out more about publishing their work, and we also run the Surrey Poetry Festival. Guildford is home to a wide variety of arts activities, such as:

  • The Guildford Book Festival (partner of the School of Literature and Languages)
  • The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
  • A wealth of galleries, libraries and archives that will complement your independent studies.

We also have strong links with Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village, an art gallery nestled in the Surrey Hills which houses an impressive collection of Victorian paintings, sculptures and writing, and offers a range of exhibitions and art talks. We’re also only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres.


Find out more about our courses in English literature and creative writing.

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