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Katie GortonWhy did you choose to study at Sheffield?

Sheffield is unique compared to a lot of other cities, because of its close proximity to the peak district and also because the city is filled with things to do. From my very first open day, it has been overwhelmingly friendly and there's also lots of really great pubs, venues and shops. The course itself appealed to me due to the large range of modules, and the extent of choice within these! The department and its lecturers were friendly and approachable, answering any queries I had and were more than happy to discuss the text materials that were used in the core modules. Overall, I loved the idea of living in a northern city, and Sheffield was by far the most attractive choice because of its friendliness, diverse city life and the choice and flexibility within the degree.

Has your experience so far been what you expected?

I would say it has been better than my initial expectations. The degree itself has taught me so much more than I imagined, and I feel fortunate enough to have discussed ideas about literature and various historical processes and events. Socially, whilst university can be tricky at first, I have met so many amazing people and friends that I will have for life. Getting involved with clubs during freshers has also been one of the funnest elements of my degree, and definitely not what I expected as I'm not the most sporty person!

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree?

It's very versatile. There is so much choice within the modules themselves, and the scope to take credits from other departments is great. I did a gender module in bible studies in second year because it was available, and I loved it. The content itself is stimulating and engaging, and I've really enjoyed going to seminars and getting to know the lecturers and discussing ideas about the texts.

What have you been studying this year?

This year, I'm studying Afro-American lit, Victorian poetry and Permissive Britain. Next term I'll also be looking at contemporary literature, and starting my short dissertation. I've enjoyed all of my modules, but criticism and literary theory in second year has definitely been the most interesting and engaging module for me.

What do you enjoy about doing a dual degree?

I have loved being able to explore the culture and literature from various different time periods. Being a dualist encourages critical and analytical thinking about literature and historical events. English and history compliment each other well, and the course at Sheffield combines historical and literary ideas across various modules.

If you’ve undertaken any extra-curricular activities, what do you feel these have added to your time here?

I have really enjoyed assuming a role as a student ambassador. This allowed me to develop good connections within the department. I also joined the lacrosse club in first year, this has been a great experience. Not only have I made more friends, I've played a lot of matches and gone on lots of socials. Definitely consider joining a club, even if you're not particularly sporty!

How would you sum up your overall experience of studying at Sheffield?

It has been such a great experience, I've honestly loved every minute!

What skills have your learnt that you'll be able to take away from your degree?

Studying a degree with so few contact hours encourages independence, with a lot of time dedicated to reading and making individual inquiries. The presentations that we do have allowed me to improve my public speaking, and presentation skills. Socially, university has been great in improving my confidence through interactions in seminars and in general life.

Do you have any plans for after graduation?

Not yet! I've started applying for some internships and grad jobs, but if not I'll hopefully get a job and travel a bit!

What do you like about the University and/or living in Sheffield?

I love so much about living in Sheffield. Its great being in a city, but so close to the peaks- which I definitely don't appreciate enough! It's also an incredibly friendly place. I love uni life in general, and getting to live with all my friends has been a highlight.

Would you recomend studying at Sheffield to a friend?

Definitely!