Welcome to the School of English and Drama – 2022/23

This page contains key information on what’s next and suggested preparation for your degree

Jump to a section: What Happens Next | Preparation for your degree

What happens next

Congratulations, you’ve got a place with us in the School of English and Drama – here’s a handy list of what to expect.

  1. Welcome: You should receive a welcome email from QMUL and your UCAS account should change to reflect that you have a place with us.
  2. Email: In the next few weeks you should get online enrolment information, IT account information, welcome week timetable and lots more information about starting with us. Once your IT account email is set up all emails are sent there so please do keep an eye on it, add to your phone or download our QMUL app.
  3. Preparation: Please read the information below for preparation advice for your course. Our module directory will tell you which modules you’re studying.
  4. Welcome Week: Welcome week starts on Monday 19 September 2022 so please make sure you are ready to attend all sessions you’re invited to in this week.
  5. First Week of Teaching: Teaching begins on Monday 26 September. Be sure to check your timetable and the QMUL map or Apple iOS / Android app to get your bearings and arrive on time.

If you have any questions please get in touch.

Preparation for your degree

Skip to: General | English | Drama | Creative Writing


Please join our Get Ahead programme run by our library service to help with a smooth transition to university life. You can join a book club to meet new students and read The Psychology of Effective Studying: How to Succeed in Your Degree by Dr. Paul Penn together.


If you are starting with us in September you might want to get started on some of the reading you’ll encounter on our first year modules. 

On London Global in the first semester you’ll read Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners and Bernadine Evaristo, The Emperor’s Babe. In the second semester, the books include Charles Dickens, Great Expectations and Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

This is also a good opportunity to read widely. The Penguin Book of Migration Literature is a great selection of material that will enhance your reading of the set texts on London Global. In semester 2, you’ll be contributing to an anthology of London literature, so you might like to do some exploring now. Try Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious City or Elizabeth Bowen’s short stories. 

On Shakespeare, you’ll read the following plays The Tempest (ed. Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan, 2011), Twelfth Night (ed. Keir Elam, 2008), and Macbeth (ed. Sandra Clark and Pamela Mason, 2015), all in the Arden Third Series. 

You could make a start on reading the plays; or you might want to read something about Shakespeare rather than by him – in that case a good place to start would be Emma Smith, This is Shakespeare (Penguin, 2019). 

For Poetry, you will be reading fewer than ten poems a week, so you don’t need to read much in advance of the start of term. If you want to warm up your poetry muscles, here are some suggestions of good places for finding poems: 

  • The Poetry Foundation (a huge compendium of poetry and poets, based in the US) 
  • The Poetry Archive (a British site, which features readings and performances by lots of poets) 
  • Poetry London (this print-based magazine offers a good introduction to contemporary poetry) 
  • Penn Sound (another vast archive of performances and other materials – whose focus is on the avant-garde) 
  • Archive of the Now (established by one of your lecturers, and run from Queen Mary, this archive also focuses on more innovative and nonconformist contemporary poetry than you’ll find for example in Poetry Review) 
  • Woodberry Poetry Room (at Harvard university – again, lots of recordings and resources here) 
  • Magma (contemporary poetry magazine; another good way to see what the poets are up to) 

We don’t stress technical vocabularies for poetry in this module, but if you’d like to learn more about this side of poetics, you could have a look at: 

  • Jeffrey Wainwright, Poetry: The Basics (London: Routledge, 2004) 
  • John Lennard, The Poetry Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2006) 
  • Michael Hurley and Michael O’Neill, Poetic Form: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2012) 

All the reading will be supplied as digital files through QM+, so no costs will be incurred for this module. 


We look forward to welcoming you to a Drama programme at Queen Mary University of London This is an indicative list of some advance reading that will prepare you for starting BA (Hons) Drama or any joint honour programme with Drama.

These are useful suggestions to help you prepare for your degree. None of them are compulsory. These books may also be useful during your first year, and throughout your entire degree.

Critical Studies

  • Allain, Paul and Jen Harvie (eds). Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance 2nd Addition (New York: Routledge, 2014).
  • Campbell, Ali. The Theatre of The Oppressed in Practice Today: An Introduction to The Work and Principles of Augusto Boal (London: Methuen, 2019).
  • Harvie, Jen. Theatre & the City (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).
  • Johnson, Dominic. Theatre & the Visual (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
  • Kuppers, Petra. Theatre & Disability (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
  • McAvinchey, Caoimhe. Theatre & Prison (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
  • Ridout, Nicholas. Theatre & Ethics (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).
  • Young, Harvey. Theatre & Race (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Collections of Plays and Performance Texts

  • Adebayo, Mojisola. Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One (London: Oberon Books, 2011).
  • Adebayo, Mojisola. Mojisola Adebayo: Plays Two (London: Oberon Books, 2019).
  • Fugard, Athol ed. by Dennis Walder. Township Plays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
  • Deavere Smith, Anna. Notes From the Field (New York: Anchor, 2019).
  • Sophocles, Antigone, trans. by Don Taylor (London: Methuen Drama, 2006).

Creative Writing 

In the first semester of your Creative Writing module, we’ll be focussing on poetry. It would be very useful (perhaps also for your own writing during the summer) to look at the great variety of poetry on the Poetry Foundation website, which we’ll be using a lot in the early weeks. In particular, you might look at work by the contemporary poets Claudia RankineCathy Park Hong and Anne Carson, who are all also great writers of prose.

On the Poetry Foundation pages for those poets, you’ll find links to their poems and essays, videos and podcasts with their readings and interviews, and much more. As an exercise, you could challenge yourself to write a poem in the style or voice of one of these poets over the summer. 

Do you have a question?

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