Why study English?
Language is power. We use language for the whole range of activities that make us human, from passion to politics; we negotiate through language in every waking moment of our lives. Literature is language at its most effective.
English at Otago is designed to fulfil three main aims: opening up the vast and delightful range of literatures written in English; providing a grasp of the concepts and techniques for analysing texts; and improving communication skills of every kind.
By taking English you will find your perceptions sharpened, your understanding deepened and your enjoyment enhanced - for life. Above all, you will equip yourself for a career in almost any sector of society.
Literature in English embodies a high level of creative insight into human behaviours, preoccupations, politics and passions. By learning about language from its best practitioners, students gain critical skills that are valued by employers, governments and educationalists; skills that are essential for people taking an active role in an open society.
By immersing yourself in literature, you will gain a unique understanding of the roots of society and its cultures and also develop your own powers of analysis, creativity and imagination.
English develops key skills in critical thinking, cultural awareness, and communication, which are essential in all workplaces, and are increasingly sought after by employers.
Our graduates are working as editors, copy-writers and in publishing, as creative writers or journalists, teachers, librarians and educational administrators.
English graduates may be found in the public service, as analysts, diplomats, politicians, and policy-makers. Others have become ministers of religion, arts administrators, and broadcasters.
Otago has an excellent record of preparing students for postgraduate study in English and related disciplines, both in New Zealand and overseas. Recent Otago graduates have gone on to study at top Universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews, and Harvard, and Otago graduates hold positions at universities in Britain, Australia, and North America.