Alumni

Since the University was founded in 1963 more than seven thousand students have passed through our doors in Derwent, graduating with degrees from one of the top English departments in the country.

Celebrating your past and supporting your future.

You can update your details, support the University, and receive find out about job and volunteering opportunities through YorkSpace.

Where some of our recent graduates are now ...

Luke Martin


Luke Martin, TV Development, Lion

MA Modern and Contemporary Literature, 2010

"I worked on the BBC programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ - a massive genealogy show which involved lots of history research during the filming. Working on that was really fantastic."

James Bonnett


James Bonnett, Consultant, Deloitte

English, 2003

"I split my time between the office, working with high profile clients such as Santander, UBS and Ferrari , and studying for the ACA, the leading business and finance qualification."

Sam Ward


Sam Ward, Development Executive, Sky Comedy
English and Philosophy, 2004

"I've worked on a BBC Radio 4 show with Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson; script edited for Mathew Horne and James Corden; and produced a comedy with Julian Barratt."

Penny Darragh


Penny Darragh, Solicitor, Dickinson Dees LLP

English and Philosophy, 2002

"I enjoy the client contact which comes with being a lawyer - knowing that people are relying on you for advice every day and being able to help them understand the law and solve complicated problems is very satisfying."

Elisa Bray 


Elisa Bray, Music Editor, The Independent
English, 2002

"I was employed as a junior reporter on a local paper, did some freelance work for BBC worldwide, then worked as Editorial Assistant and Music Editor for the Arts section of The Independent."

Louise Redvers, Print and Broadcast Journalist
English, 2001

"I moved to Johannesburg in South Africa, report on Angola for the BBC and other outlets, and cover Swaziland and other countries in the region for the Johannesburg-based newspapers Mail and Guardian and Business Report.

Other notable alumni ...

Graham Swift 

Graham Swift. The author of ten novels. His second novel, Shuttlecock (1981), won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, as did his third novel, Waterland (1983), which also won the Guardian Fiction Prize. Swift won the Booker Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his sixth novel, Last Orders (1996), which has also been very adapted into a very successful film starring Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins.

Sarah Gavron 

Sarah Gavron. British film director. Graduated from the University of York with a BA in English in 1992. Nominated for the BAFTA Award and BIFA Award for best director in 2007 for the film version of Monica Ali’s acclaimed novel Brick Lane. The film was warmly reviewed, with the Evening Standard describing Sarah as 'a talent to watch', and Nick Funnell of Time Out calling the film 'an impressive debut'.

Linda Grant 

Linda Grant. Read English at York 1972-75. Fiction and non-fiction author, and writer for The Guardian. Her second novel, When I Lived in Modern Times, won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2000, and her non-fiction work The People on the Street: A Writer's View of Israel (2006) won the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage. In 2007, Linda made a return trip to York as part of a Guardian series on University life.

Helen Dunmore 

Helen Dunmore. Poet and novelist. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996, and her seventh novel, The Siege was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Novel Award. Dunmore was the winner of the 2009 National Poetry Competition.

Lizzy Dijeh 

Lizzy Dijeh. Read English and Related Literature at York. Her play, 'High Life' debuted at the Hampstead Theatre, in the Michael Frayn Space in October 2009 and was also shortlisted for the prestigious Alfred Fagon Award in 2007. She performed as a guest speaker at the Southbank Centre in late 2009 in a special event to celebrate 25 years of the magazine.

Joanna Moody  

Joanna Moody. Holds a PhD in English literature from University of York , where she taught as a lecturer until her retirement. She now volunteers as a steward and committee member at the award-winning Nidderdale Museum in Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire where she also lives.

Valerie Jack 

Valerie Jack. Poet, playwright and teacher. First poetry collection, Educational, published by tall-lighthouse in 2009. Staged play Fireworks at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden in November 2010.