Chair of Department's Welcome

Dr Brigid Rooney

The Department of English at the University of Sydney is by far the largest of its kind in the country, and in the authoritative 2018 QS World University rankings for English Language and Literature the Department was ranked 18th in the world, a clear measure of its teaching and research strengths. With over 20 undergraduate units and over 20 postgraduate units taught in any one year, the Department offers the most comprehensive programme in the country. You can study literature from Anglo-Saxon classics through to the latest contemporary work, and be taught by experts in each of these periods.

The Department constantly expands its offerings. Recent new courses include a first-year unit on Global Literatures in English to introduce students to this highly current and expanding field. In 2018, we will run a first-year creative writing unit. It fits into a larger first year program that includes Introduction to Film Studies; Language, Texts and Time; The Gothic Imagination; Narratives of Romance and Adventure; and Constructing the Fictive Self. You can find out more about these units in this guide. An exciting innovation is the Department’s set of undergraduate Creative Writing units that foster students’ practice and knowledge of creative writing through interactive workshops, seminars and lectures, led by established writers and academics. The Department’s Senior level units cover a vast array of periods and topics including Australian Gothic, the Victorian Novel, Literature and Cinema, Modern Irish Literature, Transpacific American Literature, Shakespeare, Dreams and Visions, Issues in the Semiotics of Language, Introduction to Old English, and The Literary in Theory. Information on these and all the other undergraduate units of study is contained in the following pages.

At postgraduate level your options are just as extensive. Units such as Sentiment and Sensation, Wooing Women in Middle English Romance, Shakespeare and Modernity, Australian Literature and the Canonical Imaginary, Reading Suburbia, and Language and Subject are just some of the offerings within our world-class Master of English Studies program, which also includes core units on Literary History, Genre, Global Literature and Critical Reading. The Master of Creative Writing program is designed for new, established and developing writers to develop their creative practice in a stimulating university environment. It offers in-depth consideration of fiction and poetry, taught in small groups by respected writers and academics.

If your interests lie in the interactions between literature and film, in ancient or modern drama, in American literature or Jane Austen, literary theory or linguistics, in transatlantic, transpacific or Australian literature, in the plays of Shakespeare, in global literatures, in modernism, postmodernism, contemporary British poetry or in creative writing, Sydney has something for you.

Dr Brigid Rooney
Chair of Department