We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best possible user experience. Disabling these cookies may prevent our site from working efficiently. To find out more about our cookies read our privacy policy.

English Literature - Working with others

English Literature staff have developed a number of working relationships with others, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. A Level 2 module is dedicated to graduate employability, as part of which students undertake a fifteen-day work placement to try out the kinds of work which English Literature graduates might go on to do. These include teaching in a range of local schools and colleges (including Park Grove Primary School, York; Woldgate School, Pocklington; Filey School and Newman School, Carlisle.) and a regular placement with a York-based national arts magazine. Others have found work experience with Vogue magazine and The Daily Telegraph. Every year we welcome international students from a range of countries including Norway, Spain, and the United States – this has enabled us to build working relationships with academic colleagues in Oslo, Bergen, Tarragona and New York State – all places where our own undergraduates have an opportunity to study as part of their programme. Locally, English Literature staff and students have been involved with events such as the York Literary Festival and the world-renowned Mystery Plays.

Aesthetica magazineAesthetica magazine is a York-based publication run by two York St John graduates. Established in 2003, it is billed as ‘the UK’s only art publication to view the arts as an interdisciplinary whole and covers visual art, literature, music, theatre and film in every issue’. Not only has the magazine provided placement opportunities for students, the editor, herself a former student here, has addressed students and staff at conferences organised at the University with a specific focus on employability.

Other journalism opportunities have arisen with the local newspaper, the York Press, and the Whitby Gazette.

A working relationship has also been developed with Shandy Hall at Coxwold, owned by the Laurence Sterne Trust. Once the home of the author of the eighteenth-century classic Tristram Shandy, the house is now a museum and exhibition space. Tristram Shandy is described by Penguin publishers as a ‘strange, eccentric, endlessly complex masterpiece’ (publishers’ blurb), and by critic Christopher Ricks as ‘the greatest shaggy dog story in the language’ (1967: 7). A visit to Shandy Hall gives students the chance to see the largest collection of editions of Sterne’s work in the world, and to see illustrations of his books.

In addition to theatre visits, students on the Level 3 Shakespeare course may have the opportunity to spend a day at Bolling Hall, Bradford, described as ‘one of Bradford’s most precious jewels’ and parts of which date back to the fifteenth century. Here, students can observe and participate in live performance activities. 

One of our international partners is Union College, Schenectady in New York state. In addition to our students going to study at Union, each year a group of their students is accompanied by a member of staff to spend a semester at York St John. This has resulted in productive collaboration between literature tutors from both institutions.