SED Opportunity Digest – 15 January 2021

In an effort to help students focus by not sending too many emails we’ve stored up all the great opportunities into one short digest. Don’t worry if you want to get them first it’s still best to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

From QMUL

POETRY OPEN MIC NIGHT – Sign up: http://bit.ly/poetryopenmic1002.

Message from Jasmine Rothon:⁠

“On February 10th at 7pm I’m hosting a poetry open mic night on zoom, which is partly through my role as one of the editors of CUB. It’s open to all abilities, and might be something that any English, Creative Writing, or Drama students in particular would be interested in – whether they’re taking part or watching!”⁠

Student Support at QMUL: We published this new guide for you to discover the best contacts for getting the support you may need. Read it here

Thinking about your future: SED career workshops starting 3 Feb: Whether you know what you would like to do after university; you aren’t sure and don’t know where to start; or the thought of career planning in the midst of coronavirus is making you anxious, the careers service is here to help. From February 3rd, a short series of careers workshops are running to help you consider your options, and what steps you might need to take to get where you want. 

03/02/21, 2-3.30pm: Making choices This session will help you think about your interests and options, including information on further study, job hunting during a pandemic, and how to build an action plan. Book yourself a place here! https://qmul.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=7837&service=Careers+Service

Outside QMUL

Important note: We are the messenger please contact the organisers themselves if you have questions.

Image

⁦‪BBC Asian Network have announced a brand new talent search for presenters, who will host their own shows on the station from March 2021. More info and application: bbc.in/3qc5cRV

The BFI Future Film Festival 202118-21 FEB: The BFI Future Film Festival is back and, for the first time ever, this year’s Festival will be all digital and completely free.   The largest festival for young aspiring filmmakers, the programme will feature online talks and masterclasses, alongside a film programme of 45 shorts made by young filmmakers from all over the world, hosted on BFI Player and available to view free for the 4 days of the festival.   The full programme and free booking opens on Fri 29 Jan.

ALUMNI ONLY: Create Jobs Future Now as you can’t be in full time education to qualify. Across creative content, software development, and the world of startups, these courses will give you an understanding of the careers available, the mindsets and skills to start that career, and the connections to employers to make it happen. You’ll also take part in workshops and inspirational talks from industry leaders and get wrap-around career support. Be quick applications close on 10am on 18 Jan 2021. Apply here

Creative Industries Federation recruiting young members too: The Creative Industries Federation, the membership body which champions and supports the UK’s creative industries, is looking for a 18-25 year-olds with knowledge and expertise within the creative sector to join their board.
Deadline to apply 18 January 2021.

G-SHOCK SESSIONS: Ashley Walters and Nagajan Modhwadia, in conversation on ActingHosted by Shortee Blitz Friday 29th January, 2021. To apply, visit g-shock.co.uk/sessions and sign up. Places are very limited and will be chosen by ballot.

It’s a Sin Q&A on Youtube: Join BFI for this panel discussion on the much anticipated new drama from Russell T Davies. On the panel will be Writer Russell T Davies, Exec Producer Nicola Shindler, Director Peter Hoar, Channel 4 Head of Drama Caroline Hollick, and cast Olly Alexander, Keeley Hawes, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis.

Reading room

London Library Emerging Writers Programme Applications Now Open: Now in its third year, The London Library Emerging Writers Programme offers unpublished writers, in all genres, one year’s membership of The London Library, alongside writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the Library’s resources. Apply here

Netflix Documentary Talent Fund: Netflix gives creative freedom to writers and directors to tell the stories they want to tell, unrestricted by time and form. We believe that great stories can come from anyone, anywhere – and that viewers want to see their lives reflected on screen. That’s why Netflix is excited to announce this Documentary Talent Fund to find the next generation of filmmakers. Applications close 31 Jan. Apply here

WANTED: young cultural leaders and curators for London’s communities
Fusion Prize winner Play Nice is recruiting its first cohort of Londoners aged 18-25 for the Pattern, a curriculum in cultural production for future community leaders and curators. 20 young people will be granted a curatorial fee of £20,000 to create work for their communities and pitch them to Foundation for Future London and Culture Mile’s partners including Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall.

YouTube One-Day Course on 27 Feb Learn the skills you need to manage your YouTube channel in this affordable one-day class. You’ll learn how to optimise your videos, grow your audience, boost exposure and create strategies to develop your channel.

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | JournoResources | MediaBeans (media jobs) | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

Life as a Language Assistant in Valencia by Haleema Ali

In September 2019, I found myself doing something highly unusual. Instead of enrolling in a degree or frantically looking at graduate schemes and the like, I was boarding a plane that would whisk me away from the dreary throes of English weather, to those of sun-kissed Valencia.

Although I would miss the familiarity of rain and grey skies, of family and friends – I was unbearably excited.

The reason for my departure, though seemingly impulsive, was planned. I would be starting my placement as a Language Assistant with the British Council in a Valencian primary school. Like many other English students, I was exceedingly worried about those dreaded ‘next steps’ after graduation. Would I be lost in the sea of thousands of graduates, hoping to stay afloat in a competitive and constrictive climate?

I never imagined I would be one of those people that took a gap year or went abroad. I had loved studying Spanish at secondary school and decided to be spontaneous and throw myself into an environment that was unknown and exciting. It would turn out to be one of the best decisions I had ever made.

My primary school was located in a sleepy suburban town, by the name of La Cañada. Surrounded by luscious orange trees (a much-loved Valencian fruit), it was a train ride away from the city centre, where I was staying. My daily tasks consisted of organising and managing students from all year groups, and I would plan (what I hoped were) interesting speaking activities for pupils to get stuck into. The school were particularly invested in contemporary UK culture, and this led to eventful lessons on Christmas and Halloween, with games like ‘search for Santa’ and ‘pin the nose, eyes and mouth on the pumpkin’.

Some more memorable moments included seeing the pupils in heaps of laughter whilst playing charades or ‘mímica’. Day-to-day teaching was consistently different, which was challenging but also enjoyable, and I always returned home having learnt something new. The staff were unwaveringly kind – helping me secure accommodation and answering my unending questions. They never failed to put me at ease. I also became accustomed to eating lunch several hours later than I would normally and was introduced to scrumptious Valencian dishes, like paella and calabaza.

In my spare time, which fortunately I had a great deal of, I explored my surroundings and tried to cram in as many galleries, gardens, and other sights as I possibly could. Valencia truly had the best of everything – the city, the beach, and the countryside. My favourite discovery was the University of Valencia’s Botanical Garden, a lush and inviting place with plants both beautiful and brain-like. To my inner bookworm’s delight, I would catch glimpses of literary things everywhere. I saw Petrarch and Dante in museums I visited; the most exciting experience was happening upon Gulliver Park – a huge playground structure entirely modelled on Gulliver’s Travels! It might have been for children – but I had an amazing time!

I also learnt about the annual Falles festival that spectacularly ‘combines tradition, satire and art,’ and which Valencia is famous for. Though the cruel arrival of Coronavirus halted any formal festivities, including the celebratory bonfire, I was thankful for what I had learned from the teachers and from museum visits. I was lucky enough to be shown around the city by a very kind teacher, which led to enjoyable ventures such as visiting the Tasquita de la Estrecha (the narrowest building in Europe), scenic hikes in mountainous villages and the sampling of delicious turrón (nougat). My language skills also improved during these outings. The locals were friendly and accommodating, which allowed me to practise my Spanish freely. I found that my speaking skills developed significantly after several months.

I wholeheartedly recommend the assistantship – it has changed my life in so many unforgettable ways. I am reminded of acclaimed South Asian novelist Anita Desai’s thoughts on travelling: ‘wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow’. The remarkable experience I had as a Language Assistant will always be a part of me. I had an outstanding time teaching, and I will treasure my memories with the staff and students.

The experience has provided me with a fascinating window into Valencia’s enriched culture through visits to renowned sites and the knowledge of important festivals. It has also helped me hone an abundance of skills – resilience, communication, and adaptability. My journey has made me the person I am today and is something I will cherish forever.

¡Hasta luego!

Support for SED students: General, In-Crisis and Well-being

a) General QMUL Support

  1. Your Advisor: first point of contact for help with your university life. Book an appointment by email or via the scheduler on QMPlus (during the semester). If you don’t know who your advisor is find out here.
  2. SED Student Support & Admin Team: If you have a general question please email us, live chat with us or reach out in the following ways.
  3. Directors of Student Support: If you need an extra person to help outside of your advisor contact Bridget Escolme (Drama) and Alfred Hiatt(English).
  4. More Sources:

b) In-Crisis & Emergency Support

  1. Emergency numbers: 999 for life or death emergencies and 111 on your phone for urgent health advice. 020 7882 3333 if you need campus emergency team.
  2. Helplines: Samaritans (crisis phone/chat support), Student Minds (tailored mental health support for students) and search for your local council’s mental health support provision. Tower Hamlets for example has a 24 hours crisis line.
  3. Mental Health First Aiders: A full list is available here or call Rupert Dannreuther to talk directly or he can put you in touch with others.
  4. Talk it out: Reach out to friends, siblings, loved ones and your course mates.

c) Well Being Tips

  1. Sleep: Read the NHS How to get good sleep guide and the Sleep Council‘s resources.
  2. Connection: Be the one who reaches out and use real talk to discuss real things going on not just. You’d be surprised how many people respond well to this. There’s still time to join societies, contact old friends and meet new ones.
  3. Exercise: Use the Couch to 5k or other similar apps to get into a routine of exercise that can improve your mood. Move around when studying to different places at home and at university if you need study space.
  4. More Wellbeing Resouces:
    • Advice and Counselling: There’s an amazing section on the Emotional Wellbeing here.
    • Local NHS services including your GP can do social prescribing including arts, mindfulness and many other well-being activities.
    • Togetherall is the student mental health platform QMUL subscribes to. Use it to do a course or connect anonymously.

If you have any tips we should add please leave a comment below…

7-day grace period for all SED assignments due in January

Dear students, 

This is a message for all School of English and Drama UG and PGT students with coursework deadlines falling in January 2021. Yesterday senior staff in the School met with a large group of students who made representations about the distressing and difficult circumstances in which you are all studying, exacerbated by the recently announced national lockdown. I fully appreciate that we cannot expect students to ‘carry on as usual’ in such circumstances and the measures set out below, which we have worked as quickly as possible to put in place, are one recognition of the impact of Covid-19 and this latest lockdown. The student group raised other matters and we are working to see how we can best respond to those.

In making these arrangements, please note that I have also needed to take into account the consequences for the School’s academic and administrative staff, many of whom are also dealing with the changed circumstances that the lockdown brings. Since yesterday I have been working with Christina Perry, the Faculty Dean for Education, Trudy Mason in the Registry, our own Admin team, our Chairs of Examinations and Heads of Department, and others, to see if these measures could be implemented. I am very grateful to all of them for working with me, quickly, at such a difficult time, to make this possible. 

With immediate effect, students who submit assignments due in January within 7 days (including Saturday and Sunday) of the original deadline will not be subject to any penalties and will not need to submit an Extenuating Circumstances application.  

Students who have already submitted an assignment with a January 2021 deadline but are within the 7-day grace period may resubmit their assignment provided they do so before the grace period ends. 

A list of assignments due in January that now have a 7-day grace period can be found here indicating the end of the grace period in each case. 

Students who submit assignments due in January more than 7 days late will still need to submit an EC Late Submission claim in order for any late penalties to be removed. 

Students who are not able to submit assignments by the final deadline will need to submit an EC Non Submission claim by 24 January 2021. 

During the Semester A Examination Period, which starts today, SED will accept any self-certified Extenuating Circumstances application that cites the various social and personal pressures generated by the national lockdown and the context of the pandemic more broadly.  Each individual claim can relate to multiple assessments/modules. Further details will follow regarding self-certification. 

The deadline to submit any Semester A Extenuating Circumstances claims via MySIS remains 11.30pm on Sunday 24 January 2021. 

Please contact your advisor or sed-information@qmul.ac.uk for further support.  

All best wishes, 

Warren (Boutcher) 

Acting Head of School 

The Importance of Trans Rights in the Fight Against Fascism – Trans Day of Remembrance

In honour of Trans Day of Remembrance on 20 November James Queay exposes the history of the term ‘trans’ and the importance of protecting trans rights.

In the mass consciousness one may be forgiven for seeing the battle for trans rights being a modern one, or even one that only goes back as Stonewall in 1969. However, the term ‘trans’ was first coined in Berlin in 1910 (though the fight of course can be traced back even further if one looks).

Magnus Hirschfeld was a Physician and Academic who championed queer rights seeking to assert the views of it being a natural occurrence through case studies from every culture he could reach. It should be noted that the ethics of this were in no way up to modern standard, but for the period in time we will let that rest. While his vocabulary was limited compared to today’s vast lexicon of queer terms, his work to identify that trans people were separate from gay people was key in further works.

Hirschfeld led the Scientific-humanitarian committee to gather 5000 prominent signatures to overturn paragraph 175 of the section of the German penal code that, since 1871, had criminalized homosexuality. Despite his works being rejected a number of times he championed this cause making headway until the takeover of the Nazi party. Hirschfeld in his efforts to bring about change and promote queer rights additionally opened the Institute for sexual research under the Weimar Republic (A governing force far more tolerant and liberal than previously experienced). This institution not only educated in queer and heterosexual matters but also offered medical consultations to the People of Germany. Hirschfeld himself lived with his partner Karl Giese in the institute, offering himself up as an openly gay man in a world he wished to better, even when that world was not necessarily ready to hear what he had to say.

When Von Papen launched a Coup in 1932 which instated him as the Reich Commissioner the institute stayed open. Papen actively enforced paragraph 175; and in the face of this nigh on further criminalisation of Homosexuality Hirschfeld kept his doors open. However, in 1933 Hindenburg instated Adolf Hitler as the Chancellor. On the 6th May the same year a group of university students belonging to the national socialist student league stormed the institute. They began to smash what they could before the SA (Nazi Storm Troopers) arrived to systematically burn the books. Book burnings had got into full swing months earlier with April featuring the Wartburg festival one of the most prolific book burnings that would occur. Thus, the importance of Nazi suppression of Queer media cannot be overstated. Some reports suggest that the first book burned specifically was Magnus Hirschfeld’s research on Transgender Individuals, and this signifies their importance in the fight against Fascism.

Transgender rights in many ways typify everything that is wrong with Fascism. They promote self-expression, of individuality and the freedom to change and evolve into the best version of one’s self. For fascist ideologies these ideas are dangerous because they draw on how weak Fascism is, it is rigid and restraining, it cares not for its people and incites hatred.

Thus, championing trans rights and queer rights as an extension of that is inexplicably linked with fighting against right extremism. There was no strategic benefit to the Nazi’s for burning Hirschfeld’s work, and he himself was abroad public speaking at the time so he was not silenced. Rather it is that the Nazis and by extension fascists fear acceptance and tolerance as it is only through suppression and manipulation that they are able to maintain control. This evidenced by the extreme lengths in all cases fascists go to, to manipulate their members; whether that is through misinformation, propaganda, or violence.

The furtherment of trans rights is key to queer people without question, but through this link I believe that simply to be on any ethical standing everyone must also believe in its messages.

Therefore, when we remember the long standing fight for queer rights so too must we remember the responsibility we have to those who have upheld that fight before us; the opposition they faced; and most importantly that we carry those opponents with us.

Memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone

A memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone was installed this morning in the First Floor garden/atrium in ArtsOne. It was organised and paid for by undergraduate students in Drama through a Crowdfunder.

Billy Bray (Drama), Leda Maiello (English) and Gwyn Lawrence (Drama graduate) organised the crowdfunder and carried out the practical work.

The following helped Billy, Leda and Gwyn spread the word and advertise for fundraising:

  • Rebecca Barton
  • Niall Loftus
  • Naz Simsek
  • Elliot Douglas
  • Sofia Renzi
  • Anca-Teodora Stoian

I’m so moved by – and proud of – the students who organised it, and those who crowdfunded it.

Dominic Johnson, Head of Drama

The quote on the plaque is from Catherine’s beautiful article on Derek Jarman. Leda (one of the students) chose it. 

Do please visit the bench and think of Catherine when you’re next on campus.

21 Reasons Why You Should Apply to Queen Mary to study English and Drama before the UCAS Deadline

We understand that this year is very strange and confusing time for you – but we want to outline why applying to QMUL is a positive way to end 2020 with a plan.

Here are 21 reasons why you should apply to our English and Drama courses for 2021 entry before the UCAS deadline in January.


a) Why apply now?

1. You can relax and have stress-free holidays without worrying about your university choices. More Netflix time!

Pose (Dominique Jackson and cast) on Netflix
Pose (Dominique Jackson and cast) on Netflix

2. You’ll get invited to interview for all of our courses, to help you understand whether the course is right for you and to ask questions.

3. Quicker offer (usually): Your application will be processed ahead of people who apply later.

b) Why English at Queen Mary?

4. Our values of inclusion and actually decolonising the curriculum are at the heart of what we teach.

5. Professional Support & Work Experience: Employability is at the heart of our English courses and you will gain access to more areas of employment by choosing us.

6. Student Support: We’re here to support your learning the whole way through your degree, with a dedicated advisor, peer-assisted study support, writing workshops and professional practice classes.

c) Why Drama at Queen Mary?

7. Freedom to be you: Unlike Drama schools we support your to tell your own story.

8. Teaching that pushes the boundaries.

9. Space to create: We have 3 rehearsal rooms, 2 studio theatres, and a dedicated technical team to make your ideas a reality.

d) Why Queen Mary over other Russell Group universities?

10. Our history of fighting for social change and inclusion: Listen to this podcast – featuring our very own Nadia Valman – to get insight into this unique history.

East London College (now the Queens’ Building), 1900 © QMUL Archives

11. Our support services & student union.

We are dedicated to supporting students with services like counselling, writing support, Mental Health First Aid and more.

12. Our diversity – and how you can make friends with people from around the world and from different socio-economic backgrounds.

e) Why choose to study in 2021?

13. Learn in lockdown and its aftermath.

Make the most of lockdown and beyond and learn something interesting with us. You can always choose to add a year abroad in your third year when hopefully travel will be less restricted.

14. Time to reflect.

University gives you time to reflect on the wider world, develop your values and try to change the world.

15. The experience of blended learning is benefiting students.

We work with students to improve our online and in-person teaching as much as we can. Lots of students have told us that some experiences work better online. Activities like meeting an advisor or participating in a text-based English class work really well online, so we will act on this feedback for 2021.

neon signage
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

f) Why choose to go to university rather than other options?

16. Transferable skills.

You’ll have time to perfect your transferable skills, including writing, teamwork and creating your own projects.

muslim female freelancer typing on laptop during coffee break
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

17. Time for self-development.

You will have time outside of paid-work and time for internships and other opportunities that may be difficult to fit in around full time work or apprenticeships.

18. Meet curious people and make friends for life.

Lots of our students make friends for life on our courses. We are a friendly department and encourage students to talk and socialise outside of the workshop room.

g) Why do a humanities degree at all?

19. Humanities make us human – we need stories, critique and communication to challenge and celebrate the world we live in.

20. Humanities are relevant to so many careers and make you adaptable for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

21. You’ll find it easier to commit to, read and study about something you are passionate about.

How do I contact the School of English and Drama Administrative team?

THE SCHOOL ADMIN TEAM 

1) You can email us: 

2) You can contact us via Live Chat (11am-3pm): 

Find the Live Chat (tawk.to) box on our homepage (you may see it elsewhere too, e.g. on QMplus): https://www.qmul.ac.uk/sed/  

Live chat is available between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

3) Book a drop in session with our Student Support Officer

You can book a drop in session via QMplus with our Student Support Officer Suzi Lewis.  These sessions will be held via MS Teams.  

5) Pre-booked appointment  

Please note the SED physical reception is currently closed

Because of current social distancing restrictions in the Arts One Building, it is not possible at present to receive visitors to our Reception without a pre-booked appointment.  If you arrive in person and you have not booked an appointment, we may not be able to see you.  

We will have a small team available at the School Reception on the third floor of the Arts One building (room 3.40: follow the signs at the top of the stairs) to take brief queries from students who are unable to find the answer to their query elsewhere or via the online options available.    

The team will : 

  • Answer your queries, where possible, or direct you to the most appropriate source of advice (including the online options listed above) 
  • Recommend other University support services that can help  

In order to ensure you are seen quickly and safely please book a timed slot to see a member of the team by emailing sed-information@qmul.ac.uk. The reception will be open from 11:00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, closed Wednesdays. 

QUEEN MARY VACATIONS AND THE SCHOOL OFFICE

The School Office (where all the Administrative Staff are based) is open and staffed throughout the year, including student vacations but not including Bank Holidays and QM Closure Days.

If you need to see someone in the School urgently and your Advisor is unavailable, you should ask one of the administrative staff to see whether it is possible for you to see the appropriate Director of Student Support.

Accommodation Guarantee for Clearing Applicants

All Clearing applicants are guaranteed a room in Queen Mary halls, or with one or our partner providers.

Applications should ideally be submitted online by Wednesday 19 August (midnight BST), because room allocations for Clearing applicants will begin on Thursday 20 August.

Room allocations are made in date order of application submission.

In order to submit your housing application you must be placed at Queen Mary, i.e. you must be holding an unconditional firm (UF) offer. 

The Admissions Office will send the login details for the housing application system to applicants, once their status is confirmed as UF on UCAS.

There may be a few hours delay in you being able to apply for housing after you receive your login details from Admissions. If you experience any significant delay, please email residences@qmul.ac.uk.

New Undergraduate English and Drama Student Information 2020-21

We can’t wait to welcome new undergraduate students from 14 September 2020 for welcome week!

Please see below for key info for undergraduate students and do get in touch if you have any questions.

Key Information

Enrolment

For September 2020, all student enrolments will be completed online in absentia and you will not have to attend campus in order to become fully enrolled. Once you have enrolled be sure to join Senate House Library too!

More information

IT Account

Your IT account will usually be set up within 14 days so please do keep an eye out for activation emails on and after results day.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week from Monday 14 September 2020 is a time to get to know your course, personal advisor and discover all the things you can be part of at Queen Mary.

We will be publishing details of welcome week here soon.

First Week of Teaching / Your Timetable

Your timetable will begin on week commencing Monday 21 September 2020 and you should get this shortly before then along with your IT login. Be sure to check your junk mail for the email you registered with UCAS so you don’t miss anything important.

All online classes on your timetable are compulsory unless they say optional just as they would be in person.

Key Subject Preparation & Information

Drama

Also why not watch our Ask an Academic seminar with Shane Boyle…

English

Also why not watch our Ask an Academic seminar…

Questions & Contacts

Student of the month: Maria Messias Mendes – BA English with Creative Writing

I’m a storyteller and my time is dedicated to do justice to the stories I tell.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

My time at QM has been truly special. I‘ve had the chance to learn so much about literature but also the craft of writing.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

My course has given me the tools to pursue my passions and develop further even after I have left university.

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole?

I have found theatre to be really complimenting to my studies and many of my fondest memories of the last few years have been in rehearsal rooms.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

I love painting, dancing and singing so I try to find time to do that.

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

I think being open to change is key for a more positive future. This does not mean just adapting but critically thinking about what change is positive and useful and which one might be damaging.

Find out more about our BA English with Creative Writing

Results Day & Clearing Zoom Catch Ups for English and Drama Undergraduate 2020 Applicants

We are available to chat online for the following sessions for undergraduate applicants for 2020 entry.


English and Drama – Results Day – Clearing Drop In #1

Thu 13 Aug – 11am (30 mins)

Register here


English and Drama – Results Day – Clearing Drop In #2

Thu 13 Aug – 4pm (30 mins)

Register here


School of English and Drama Post Clearing Drop In

Wed 19 Aug – 11am (1 hour)

Register here

Can’t make these dates?

Email us to speak to someone: sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

Student of the month: Eve Bolton – BA English

A scouser in London, with impeccable music taste and fashion sense.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

Presenting and creating social media content for QM’s radio station, Quest. Making lots of lovely friends.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

I hope to have a career in broadcast journalism, particularly radio.

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole?

My friends.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

I work in the Wetherspoons on Mile End Road and I have an internship with the BBC.

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

Improved information on what we should be reading over the summer for the next semester.

Find out more about our BA English

No-Nonsense Applicant Guide by graduate Saarah Ahsan-Shah

Even after choosing a degree, deciding which university to do it at might seem daunting. It’s worth researching the nature of a particular degree at various universities to compare them. English at one university is not the same as English at another.

To start off your research, read on for answers to commonly asked questions about English and Drama at Queen Mary, first hand from two students; myself (an English student) and Chris Dhanjal, a joint honours English and Drama student.

Applying to Queen Mary

1. What are the entry requirements?

For English The entry requirements are typically ABB at A Level (or an equivalent qualification), with an A in English Literature / English Language and Literature. Non-standard qualifications are also sometimes accepted from well-motivated candidates who demonstrate achievement in literary study.

For Drama we typically look for BBB at A-level or equivalent in other qualifications such as BTEC Performing Arts.

See our course pages in English or Drama for more details of our entry requirements.

2. Can you combine English or Drama with another subject?

Yes! Students are able to take joint courses, and are able to take English alongside another subject such as Drama, Linguistics, Creative Writing, Film Studies and History.

Our degrees are all about giving you social capital, through work experience, modules from other schools and extra activities, so you have the skills to succeed in life in and outside of university. The QMUL Principal, Professor Colin Bailey talks about this new approach we are taking in this article in The Guardian.

Structure

1. What modules are offered in an English and/or Drama degree?

English: In first year you’ll explore six compulsory modules; Reading, Theory and Interpretation, Poetry, London Global, Shakespeare, Literatures in Time. These modules gave us a foundation in English Literature across the spectrum which becomes more specific in second year. In second year, there are three categories, ‘Medieval and Early-Modern Studies’, ‘Eighteenth-Century, Romanticism, Nineteenth-Century Studies’ and  ‘Modern, Contemporary, And Postcolonial Studies’.

We picked one module from each category and a fourth module either from one of these categories or from a “special list”, which offers a range of options. In our third year, we are given plenty more options, not bound by any categories, allowing us to pursue any field enabling us to take whatever piques our interest.  Third year modules include Postcolonial, American and Children’s literature to name a few.

Drama: In first year, all students take London/Culture/ Performance, and Practices, which help negotiate Drama at university level. Joint honours students take six compulsory modules consisting of four Drama modules which are a combination of seminar and practical based ones and two English. For second year we were given more options, but again had to take one compulsory Drama module and at least two English modules from two separate areas.

In total we were allowed five modules but had to have an equal balance of credits across English and Drama. For final year, the options become a lot more flexible, with the choice of taking seventy-five credits in Drama and forty-five credits in English. Examples of second and third year Drama modules include Choreographic Performance, Shakespeare after Shakespeare and Race and Racism in Performance .

A current list of modules can be seen here, at the English and Drama Module Directory: https://qmplus.qmul.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2960. This list of modules changes every year.

2. How many contact hours do you have a week?

English: We have 8-10 contact hours per week, depending on whether we take 4 or 5 modules per semester. Each module has 2 contact hours; typically a 1 hour lecture followed by a 1 hour seminar. Some modules in second year may not have a lecture and only a 2 hour seminar. In third year, most modules have a 2 hour seminar. Though 8 may seem a little, we’re expected to prepare for each module with 4 hours of work, through reading, research and assignment preparation.

Drama: We typically have 10 hours a week. In third year there may be 14 hour weeks, depending on the modules taken, as Drama practical modules can be 7 hours per day.

3. What are class sizes like?

First year lectures have around 250 students in them, but seminars are smaller groups of 15-20. Lecture sizes get smaller in second and third year as there are more modules available for students to choose from.

Drama: Most seminars and practical workshops range between 10-20 people which creates a good atmosphere for independent and group work.

4. How many books do you have to read a week?

English: We usually have to read one novel per module per week, occasionally alongside some theoretical extracts, making it 4-5 texts a week. Some texts are studied over two weeks so students (particularly in first year) may sometimes only need to read a novel/play every other week.

Drama: Roughly around 2-3 primary books a week, excluding secondary reading, in first and second year. In third year we have 3-5 primary books a week, as well as secondary reading.

5. Do you have field trips?

English: We have occasional field trips, depending on the module. In first year we went to the V&A as a part of Literatures in Time as well as to The Globe to see a play and for a day of workshops for our Shakespeare module. During third year, we attended The Foundling Museum for the Children’s Literature module. Most trips are subsidised by the department so we are able to attend at reduced costs. We are also encouraged to attend museums and exhibitions in our own time.

Drama: Within Drama we had a few field trips in first year to theatres and museums, but second and third year trips vary depending on the module. London Performance Now is a second year module which consists of weekly theatre/museum visits.

Assessment

1. How many assignments do you have a year?

English and Drama: Each module has about 4-5 assignments spread throughout the academic year. So in total there’s approximately 20 assignments. For English, most of them are essays, however there are also a couple of assessed presentations and class contributions. For drama it’s a mix of written and practical work.

2.Do you have exams?

English: In first year there is a final exam for Shakespeare and Literatures in Time. Other modules in all three years are generally assessed by coursework.

Drama: We have no written exams, however, we have assessed performances which can be timed assessments within a controlled environment.

3. Do you have to write a dissertation?

English:  Yes, in third year, all single honours students must undertake a dissertation, which is a 10,000 word research project on anything of our choice so long as it falls under English Literature.

Drama: Instead of a dissertation there is a practical research module. Joint honours students have the option between the English dissertation and a Drama written project.

Support

1. What resources does the department have access to?

Students in the School of English and Drama we have access to a wide amount of literature and criticism through the Mile End campus library, as well as through the University of London inter-library loan system and Senate House Library. The university is also subscribed to many journals and periodicals, giving us access to a huge amount of material. The department has 5 Drama studio spaces including rehearsal rooms, which students have 24/7 access to. Other resources for Drama include a wide range of drama and theatre professionals lecturing on the course who have influential and current experience.

2. Is there any guidance or support for assignments?

English and Drama: As well as useful workshops,  advisers/seminar leaders/lecturers have weekly drop-in hours which  are immensely helpful for advice and guidance on academic work. There are also beneficial student organisations, such as PASS (Peer Assissted Study Support), where second and third year students offer help to first year students and a Buddy Mentoring Scheme. We also have professional Literary Fellows available to review essays before students submit them. For practical work in Drama,  consistent feedback is given by seminar leaders and peers as our work is shared with each other.

3. What’s a personal advisor?

English and Drama: A personal advisor is a teaching member of staff assigned to you in order to help and assist you with any queries you may have. Whether it’s something academic or  personal they are there to support and help you!

Courses still open in English and Drama for 2020 Entry

We currently have availability on the following courses and would love to hear from you if you’re thinking about starting this September.

To find out more:

  1. Join our Results Day and Clearing Webinars
  2. Email us for a call back.
  3. Call the clearing hotline: +44 0800 376 1800
  4. Register your interest online

Undergraduate (Clearing via UCAS)


Postgraduate (Direct Application)