Studying English Literature With 300 Ucas Points

Studying English Literature courses at university can seem like a hopeless dream. The way that teachers, universities and the generally elderly speak of the fabled English course gives us an impression of utter hopelessness. In England, A level English literature is a difficult subject, and few students ever get the grades that they deserve or strive for; but, if English literature is truly your passion, then a grade will never be the deciding factor as to whether you study it or not (within the confines of basic reason, of course).
Getting into English at university is not easy, either; in fact, it is a long and arduous process of choosing, researching, applying, praying and hoping like hell. But it is not impossible, as some may have you believe, and the university experience is worth it, all.
So, to help those who have had just as much trouble as I have finding a university at which to study, I have compiled a summary of some of the English literature courses at some of the universities I am considering, with all the benefits and contrasts.
If you have received a good A in English literature, please visit Oxford, UCL, Cambridge, St Andrews, Warwick, Exeter and King’s College. But since I received B’s and C’s for my A-levels, I will have to summarise the Universities in this range. However, some universities mentioned may still apply to those who have achieved higher grades. Here’s a reminder that the university you attend never determines your success in life, and it is always dependent upon the particular person to use their opportunities wisely. But, in saying that, be warned not to waste money on a university course that is simply below par.
Tools
A compulsory tool to use when considering a university is The Guardian’s University League Table. The table ranks each university on an overall score, as well as according to their scores in different subject areas. Each university is ranked by professional adjudicators according to things like teaching, expenditure and student/lecturer ratio.
Once you have selected a University, try using Unistats.com. On this government site you can simply enter a course keyword along with a prospective University, and some well-researched data will present itself. There are statistics for the amount of UCAS points applicants had achieved before being accepted, the male versus female student ratio (which is very important for some), a student survey (which is very inconclusive), and a useful Degree Class Achievements Pie Chart, which labels the class of degree students managed in the course.
Essex University
One University which I have been obsessed with is Essex University. I first discovered the University in the League table at 17th place for English. 17th is a very decent place, and this is from a University that only wants 300 UCAS points and BB with one A-level in Humanities. So, if I was accepted at Essex I would be studying a decent degree, which was only scored 16 places from Oxford. The Course sounds highly interesting and in-depth, with many side-roads and alleys to explore. Essex also had 11% first class honours, and 54% upper second class honours according to UniStats.
The campus is found in Colchester, only about an hour and a half from London. The Essex Accommodation won an award for excellence of quality, with the costs in the ?3000 – ?4000 range.
Roehampton University
With a minimal difference of 9% on first class honours and 57% upper second class honours, Roehampton appears 49th on the Guardian League tables, but is only marked 13 points off of Essex University’s score. The Course seems original and diverse, with a good range of optional modules, (very important for a nerd like me) and a particularly tasty selection of recommended reading introductory texts such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost, an epic poem for the soul; Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre for the Victorian-era cravings; and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw for that unique American voice.
The campus, I am told, is beautiful. And indeed the online pictures of Roehampton campus suggest the same, but what else can you expect from a campus in Hammersmith? Only that accommodation will cost an arm and a leg. Well, ?4000 average for an undergraduate per year. This includes electricity, water, and an internet connection.
In all fairness, studying in London will cost a sliver more than most other places, but, on a more positive note, recent studies show that the higher wages given to students in London allow them to better manage the costs. Sounds fair to me… Anyway, how else can a Humanities student live in such a thriving cultural hub? How else can one be literally minutes away from famous theatres, libraries and Parks (I mention parks only because of the wonderful idea of spending time reading and writing outdoors like some sort of Bohemian.) Having to pay a little extra cash or work a little bit on the side* would definitely be worth it.
* The phrase “on the side” is not meant to endorse a shady means of earning such as drug dealing and/or prostitution.
Kent University
Kent University features 21st for English on the Guardian League tables, and is generally renowned as an excellent University. Unistats.com tells us that Kent received 14% in first class honours and a massive 71% in upper second class honours. This shows an all round intelligence in the literature students at Kent and a competence in the teaching that extends to everyone in the course.
There are also a large number of English students at Kent, a whole 790, assuring that you will meet a diverse range of people on the course; but, at the same time, this may restrict the amount of individual tuition available. Each English course mentioned on the Kent website seems insistent on adding “and American Literature” to the “English Literature” standard. This is a keenly placed detail, as it highlights the differences between English English and American English; a strange observation but true nevertheless, and showing the prospective student that the national context as well as the dialect and respective voices used by the different English speaking nations will be considered in full detail.

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