English and Related Literature
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"a vibrant, international postgraduate community..."
Find out what else our students have said about our department.
Hunting out the right university for graduate study is by no means easy. Doing it through your computer situated thousands of miles away from the site of your research can prove debilitating - it is easy to drown in the deluge of information out there, to get lost in the highways and byways of the Net. More worrying is the realisation of how competitive applications for graduate study are, that you are just one in a number of equally distinguished students hunting out opportunities.
What struck me about York (for York cannot, should not, be excluded from any shortlist of fantastic English Departments in the UK) was that they were the one university who behaved as if my application mattered. Both administrative and academic staff were eager to help with any concerns or queries (and given that I was making a large move, my first, away from home, South Africa, questions kept cropping up, nagging for answers), an experience worlds apart from the attitude of other esteemed universities who seemed aloof, unwilling, even disdainful. Coupled with the department's high ranking, the warmth with which I was received into the York community clinched the deal - after a long and difficult search, I was delighted that my final decision was so easily made.
I was not fully cognisant of it at the time, but I was entering a longer lineage of South African academics at the University of York. If your interests are in the postcolonial, more specifically South African literature, it's hard to match the opportunity of studying under Professors Derek Attridge and David Attwell, never mind access to virtually undiscovered archives from the Southern African studies centre, a hub for South African academics in exile during apartheid, available at the Borthwick Institute. It is little wonder that a move away from South Africa to York meant a research move closer to my place of birth.
Postgraduate study through the York English Department is going to be an intellectual work out - assessment is rigorous, but all in the interests of sculpting and refining the abilities of up-and-coming academics. Whatever your career choices down the line, a degree from this institution speaks for itself.