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Writing in the Curriculum

Writing is at the heart of studying English at York.

By reading deeply across a wide range of literature and developing your own ability to express increasingly complex ideas, you will graduate with an invaluable understanding of language’s power in the world beyond university. Throughout the degree, the tools to analyse and interpret the writing of others are bound up in the honing of your own sophisticated responses.

Undergraduate Writing

York's unique writing provision is embedded in each year of our BA degrees, helping you discover and refine your critical and creative voice. Designed and taught by specialist tutors, our writing curriculum forms a practical spine for your studies, preparing you to communicate clearly and confidently on a rich variety of topics and to any audience:

  • Year One – Innovative peer-review workshops introduce strategies for developing essay-writing skills, engaging with criticism and critical theory, and revising work to improve its fluency and persuasiveness.
  • Year Two – further develops your writing, critical thinking, and research skills, with writing tasks and projects on different media (film, painting) and in different forms (book review, annotated bibliography).
  • Year Three – brings together these strands as you complete your dissertation, with strategies for planning and revising an extended piece of writing. Dedicated sessions provide support for each stage of the process and offer examples of how the writing, critical thinking, and research skills developed at York will help you in your career. The final year also includes creative option modules. 

Postgraduate Writing

Writing on our postgraduate programmes is also supported by a unique training structure, including one-on-one supervision, our 'Postgraduate Life in Practice' seminar series, and range of specialist sessions to suit your needs. This includes focused training around academic writing and submitting or presenting work for academic publications. It also includes opportunities to develop your writing in other forms, or to explore the relationship between critical and creative practice more generally.

Beyond the Curriculum

For all students, your time at York will be full of opportunities to engage with visiting authors and arts professionals, as part of the Writers at York series, and to get involved with a thriving scene of student-run societies, workshops, events, and publications. Our writer-in-residence masterclasses, the University’s Festival of Ideas, and the city’s annual York Literature Festival all offer further ways to immerse yourself in a world of writing at York.