A Typical Day in the Life of an English Literature Student

Kirsten Murray


Before going to university, I had no idea what a typical day would look like! It is completely different from school, but it’s filled with much more independence and fun!

Here’s what I typically get up to in a day as an English Literature student at the University of York:

  • I would say at most you will have 3 (maybe 4) contact hours a day. Whilst this doesn’t sound like much, there is a lot of independent reading and work to fill the rest of your time with!

  • The morning might start with a lecture on that week’s text. This will provide information on the author, the text’s historical and cultural contexts as well as a general insight into topics within the text that will be explored deeper in seminars.

  • Between contact hours I tend to stay on campus and go to the library to get some work done. I use this time to do reading for other modules or doing extra prep for the afternoon’s seminar.

  • The seminar in the afternoon allows us to discuss the finer details and issues raised by the text in a smaller group with a tutor. This is my favourite part of the degree as you benefit from everyone’s ideas and explore different perspectives.

  • After this, I might head to the library again, or head home to do a bit more reading and sort out my notes from the seminar.

  • And then the evening is yours! I prefer to work in the day so I can relax at night with my housemates or go on a night out and unwind with a cheeky bev!

My top tip would be to establish a routine and figure out a schedule that suits you, whether you prefer to work in the mornings, or if you’re more of a night owl.

Above all don’t stress! The work is manageable, different from school, but in the best ways and I personally found first year 100 times easier than my A-Levels!

Kirsten has a blog called The K Word where she writes book reviews, opinion pieces and travel articles, which she would love for you to check out.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to get the latest content straight to your inbox!