The Division offers degree programmes (Honours, BA and General) which in methods of teaching and assessment differ markedly from the traditional balance of lecture, tutorial and examination found in most British universities. There are no final examinations for English students; instead we operate a system of periodic assessment, based on our students' essays. The links at right explain how we work and why we think students will find our aims and methods congenial.
My ability to think critically and evaluate texts has really improved and I now have a basic understanding of every theory, historical period of English. I have the confidence to carry on research in any of these subject areas in my later life. (Student Satisfaction Survey)
Every member of staff in Literature and Languages is an active researcher, and the Division's work includes a wide variety of individual interests and expertise. Areas of particular research strength include Renaissance studies, Gothic studies, Postcolonial studies, and Scottish studies.
This vibrant research culture informs the Division's teaching, both formally and informally. During the semester the Department runs a number of lively literary seminars for students and staff alike, in which writers, staff members, postgraduate students and distinguished visiting scholars give papers on their work and special interests. A Student/Staff Committee meets regularly to discuss matters of common interest and concern.
The tutors were all enormously helpful whenever I have needed assistance with essay planning or writing. Similarly over the last four years the large choice of modules available has been very impressive. I feel I have learnt an enormous amount in the time I have been at university.(Student Satisfaction Survey)
The Division is fortunate in that the MacRobert Theatre is at the centre of the University, presenting a widely varied programme of film, drama and music throughout the year. Small magazines are published on campus and the Literary Society organizes visits from distinguished creative writers each year, along with theatre trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Finally, the University Drama Society is very active, producing about seven plays a year, including performances at the Edinburgh Festival.
In common with other Scottish Universities, Stirling offers a three-year General Degree, a three year BA (specialising more in one subject) and a four-year Honours Degree.Honours and BA and General students are treated identically, except the General and BA students may not do an advanced optional seminar in the fourth semester. (See our guide to English Studies degree programmes for further details.) General and BA students will graduate after semester 6, while the Honours student continues to specialise until semester 8. This means that although selection for Honours is made at the end of the fourth semester, in practice General and BA students who do well enough have the chance to change their category right up to the end of their last year.
Honours English can be taken in various combinations with all the other Arts subjects offered at Stirling as well as with Education. These Joint Honours schemes are arduous but rewarding, and allow students to shape their degree programme in accordance with their own intellectual interests.
International students can study our Undergraduate Certificate if they do not possess the necessary entrance requirements to be admitted directly to the first year of an undergraduate degree programme.