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English and Creative Writing

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To quote Oscar Wilde: ‘Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose’. If you enjoy reading and writing, take one of the degree programmes offered by the Department of English and Creative Writing. We will enable you to anticipate life the better by reading critically, writing effectively, thinking creatively and supporting your aspirations. Each of our programmes is designed to take you forward in life. Studying with us will open professional avenues, further career prospects, deepen insights and knowledge – enjoyably.

Our programmes strive to be rigorous while honing the pleasures of reading and writing. We would be careful to point out, for instance, that the above quotation is not quite a statement made by Wilde. It is spoken by a character imagined by Wilde, one Vivian, in conversation with his friend Cyril. It appears in an essay entitled “The Decay of Lying: An Observation”, published in its final form in the collection Intentions in 1891. The essay consists in a dialogue between Vivian and Cyril. Wilde uses Vivian to voice his own credo, but in an ironic and irreverent tone. Importantly, literature and life as Wilde understood them are likely to be quite different from how we see them now, more than a hundred years later.

For Wilde, being a critical reader and a creative writer were closely connected. We know that though closely connected, there are distinct skills and practices involved. So, English and creative writing websites with distinct and overlapping emphases can be accessed from here. Our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offer opportunities to focus on one or the other or to combine them, and also to study literature and language together.

Banner image: Alex Segre / Alamy; Inset image: Elemental Studios / Alamy

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