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English learning beyond lectures

English at Brunel is far more than just sitting in lecture halls and libraries or reading books. We understand the importance of practical learning experiences and how they can help you develop your skills and confidence.

Whether you’re on one of our English undergraduate degrees, a master’s in English literature or the English PhD programmes you’ll have the opportunity to take part and get involved in a number of engaging activities and events, both on and off our London campus, aimed around boosting your learning experience and promoting the links between literature and our local or wider community.

Studying within easy reach of central London means you’ll never be far from fantastic events and spaces to hone your literary skills. From iconic centres such as the British Library, Shakespeare's Globe and West End theatres to our very own book clubs, author events and literary debates on campus, you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your literary knowledge and to build your writing skills.

Our campus community is home to many events and opportunities you can get involved in to get your creative juices flowing. From ‘Liberated Libraries’ which celebrates underrepresented minorities in writing, to the annual Hillingdon Literary Festival; a weekend of literary performances, renowned authors and writing masterclasses – there really is something for everyone!

You can find highlights, more information and an overview of just some of the great things we get up to below.

Hillingdon Literary Festival

Our annual literary festival held on campus brings together so many fantastic writers, poets, novelists and more to celebrate some of the creative work and local talent over a weekend of fun. Each year household names like Benjamin Zephaniah and Will Self give talks and workshops to groups of all ages and backgrounds.

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In 2018 the theme of 'Outer Limits: Hidden Lives' challenged the many misconceptions of the outer boroughs of London, and offers a spotlight on the brilliant talent and the multiple vibrant voices that make up the creative community of the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Shakespeare week

Shakespeare has long been considered one of the greatest writers in the history of the English language. He is known across the world for plays such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream that have stood the test of time over centuries. But have you ever taken a step back to think if he really deserves all the acclaim? Shakespeare week at Brunel involves a number of talks, activities and events around the man himself and taking a deeper look into his life’s work.

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In 2018 we covered everything from whether Shakespeare was a fake to Brexit, Trump, and The Bard’s legacy and whether his plays still matter today. We were delighted to be joined by Academy Award-winner Sir Mark Rylance for a special session with one of the foremost actors of our time!

Year 3 anthology

We aim to publish an anthology of student writing every year, bringing together our most creative stories and poems into one great piece. It’s a celebration of the hard work of our students over three years and the first anthology was published in 2014 and featured 29 third year English and Creative Writing students.

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Could your work be next? The 2018 anthology, called ‘Outer Limits: Hidden Lives’ promoted the fantastic upcoming talent we have. Plus, if you decide to join one of our English applicant days you’ll be able to pick up a copy free of charge!

Brunel Writers series

You’ll get to hear from and interact with published writers, renowned poets and industry experts through our Brunel Writers series. Not only will you benefit from analysing their work and thoughts, it’s a great opportunity to network and hear first-hand experiences of what it takes to make it in the creative industries. Events range from intimate and informal conversations with small groups of students to major lectures which are open to the public.

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We attract some of the most interesting and highly-acclaimed authors of our times - novelists, poets, screenwriters, playwrights, comedians and memoirists. In addition, we welcome literary agents, publishers and arts professionals in many different fields who contribute to our understanding of the creative industries. 

Liberated Libraries

Brunel University and the Union of Brunel Students have undertaken and funded a #LiberatedLibrary campaign to diversify our library and offer new books by authors from the global south, people of colour, female, LGBT+, and disabled authors. To see a full list of the books ordered please click here.

The campaign also resulted in a number of events and activities focused on highlighting and promoting the work of minorities in the literary world. From our ‘Dear White People’ event to discuss race and ethnicity in health, social care and higher education to the ‘Book Launch and Poetry Slam’ celebrating the outstanding work of our students.

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We’ve have many high profile names involved in the series from Daljit Nagra to John Agards.

See how our previous events have gone

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