Beth Cutts, BA (Hons) English
I wanted to do something different, that would challenge me, that I would enjoy, and that would take my career in a different direction. I chose to do an English degree at Derby because I have always enjoyed reading, the course looked stimulating and I found the university campus welcoming. It was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made.
An inspiring study experience
I can honestly say I have enjoyed every lecture I have attended over the course of my degree. I have been introduced to such a wide range of literature, from Greek mythology to existentialism; we have covered a fascinating variety of topics.
Before coming to university, I was interested in nineteenth-century literature, and had always enjoyed Shakespeare. Whilst I have been able to significantly develop my interests in these areas, I have also studied sixteenth-century writing, the Romantic poets, modernist and postmodernist literature, along with crime writing, and much more. Whilst I have learnt such a lot at the University of Derby, I have also been enlightened as to how much more there is to study in this field, and now feel equipped and inspired, to continue at a more advanced level.
A supportive network
The lecturers are all approachable and very supportive. They always make time to discuss my studies and future plans with me, no matter what time of the week. I have even had email replies from them on a Sunday afternoon!
They are genuinely interested in the success of their students. In seminars, we have always been encouraged to express our own points of view and develop our own interests. This has helped me to significantly develop my self-confidence, and I have only the patience and assistance of the lecturers to thank for that. They are excellent role models and I can’t thank them enough for their consistent guidance and friendly advice.
Equipping with the essential skills
The degree course has provided me with many options once I graduate. I have developed an interest in research skills and undertook a voluntary research project with Derby museums, at the Joseph Wright gallery. This role was available to both History and English students at the university. I made many connections with the excellent staff at Derby museums, and considerably improved my independent research abilities as a result of the project.
Furthermore, this role gave me the skills and the confidence I needed to apply for a paid research internship at the University of Derby, which was open to all second-year undergraduates. Internships at the University of Derby are advertised each year, and are an excellent way of gaining work experience and developing relationships with professionals. I have continued to work as a research assistant after completing the internship, and have been given the option to carry on in this role when I finish my degree.
The University of Derby has certainly fostered in me a life-long love of literature. I have made some great friends during my time here, some of which I hope to be close to for many years.
I cannot recommend the English degree at Derby highly enough. The course is excellent, and yet it is still being extended and improved further. This shows the dedication of the staff and their interest in the students. My time at Derby has been a very positive experience and I hope many more will go on to find it so.