An English major will introduce you to a wide range of literary and cultural works – poems, plays, novels and films – that extend from medieval times to the present day. You will encounter the richness, breadth and depth of the department’s research and teaching culture, allowing you to customise your study according to your interests.

Areas of specialisation include Old and Middle English (800-1500, approx.); Early Modern (1500-1750); Eighteenth Century and Romantic (1750-1837); Victorian (1837- 1901); 20th and 21st Century; Australian, Caribbean, American, or British literatures; literary theory; history of the book; cultural, gender, postcolonial and American studies; film, multimedia, linguistics and language studies. Whatever your pathway, you will explore questions about genre, period and place across a wide spectrum of works in English. You will learn to analyse and explain the formal and linguistic features of texts, aspects of their genre and history, and their dynamic role in local and global cultures. You will formulate and pursue meaningful theories of critical analysis, reading communities and literary value.

We offer a broad and dynamic discipline that prepares students for careers in teaching, the media, public and community service, and academia, and in any vocation or area that demands intellectual flexibility and versatility, critical thinking and the ability to communicate. The cultural knowledge and critical skills provided by an English major are not only marketable for this variety of vocations but will enrich you, and carry you through your life.

Major outline

A major in English requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 24 credit points from core units of study of which at least 6 must be at 3000 level.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
You complete 12 junior credit points from a choice of junior units of study including AMST1001 Global America. Junior units introduce students to foundational knowledge and to current debates in the discipline, allowing you to develop key skills through the study of a wide range of literary and cultural texts.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
You complete at least 18 credit points taken from core 2000 level units of study before enrolling in 3000 level units. Core 2000 level units of study are designed to offer an overview of an area, genre or disciplinary problem, giving you an opportunity to survey and consolidate your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

You complete a minimum of 6 credit points taken from ENGL or ASLT 3000 level units of study. At 3000 Level, you will develop deeper knowledge in your chosen pathway.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Linguistics, History, Australian Literature

Our courses that offer this major

Not available in 2014