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A day in the life of an BA (Hons) English student

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Published: December 10, 2021

Thinking of coming to uni to study one of the most diverse and highly-applicable degrees in the realm of humanities? Here’s what you can expect from a regular day of classes when you’re an English (BA) student at Sunderland:

Close up of a person's hand, writing in a notebook

Table of Contents

  • 11:00 - Sociolinguistics
  • 13:00 - Creative Writing
  • 15:00 - Independent Study


11:00 - Sociolinguistics

My Thursdays always kick off with the sociolinguistics seminar of the week, where we get to learn all about our conscious and subconscious use of language, and the grand social impact it can have on our daily lives. This semester, we’re taking an attentive look at Language and Gender.

During the seminar, we are presented with the theme of the week - which can range anywhere from the language that is used to portray men and women in the media, to the linguistic representation of LGBTQIA+ identities across the last 50 years.

Following that, we are engaged in a group activity that aims to solidify the relevant academic reading we’ve done for the week by putting it all into written or spoken practice. Oftentimes, we do that by thoroughly analyzing a piece of written content from a linguistic point of view - be that a transcript of children’s classroom conversation, a Daily Mail article, or a celebrity column on gender differences.


13:00 - Creative Writing

Once my sociolinguistics seminar is done, I usually grab a quick lunch at the Reginald Vardy cafe and head on to my next class of the day - my Creative Writing workshop.

Every semester brings with it a new opportunity in terms of our creative expression, and this time around, we’re learning all about what it takes to publish our own book!

Over the course of the semester, the entire class has been tasked to devise specialized roles within the university’s publishing house - Spectral Visions Press. Every week, we have to work together in getting our final assignment, an anthology of short stories based around phobias, closer and closer to a publish-ready state.


15:00 - Independent Study

Just a friendly heads up - being an English student involves a lot of independent research. So when you’re not in class, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time at the library or in a quiet coffee shop - just you, your laptop, an extra-large latte … and a pile of accompanying books.

Since I’m in my third year, and my dissertation is just around the corner, I have to double down on my research activities. So once my classes are done for the day, you’ll usually find me spending a couple of hours over at St Peter’s library.

Chances are I won’t notice you at first, as I’ll probably be fully immersed in a mountain of books on the most common linguistic practices in advertising, the history of tobacco marketing, and the psychology of print vs. digital ad copy. Yes, I am doing my dissertation on the Language of Advertising … contrary to my tutor’s warnings of what’s in store for me ... given the difficulty of the topic (but hey, I’ve always liked a challenge!)


A Wrap on Thursday

Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s time to head home, and get some much-needed rest. Before I know it, it’s Thursday again, and we’re back for a whole new day of excitement and new things to learn, explore, and research!

If you have any questions about the English Course or other aspects of uni life at Sunderlan you can get in touch with me via my online profile

Student ambassador Marius

Marius Capra
BA (Hons) English

Topic: Course