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The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities

Emma Hills BA English

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Hi I am Emma Hills studying BA English.

I looked at reviews of courses and at the Universities place in league tables and it’s standing as a Russell Group University and that made me want to come here too.


What made you choose to come and study at Southampton?

My brother came here before I did and he really enjoyed his time here so I knew that it was a good University from personal experience. But I looked at reviews of courses and at the Universities place in league tables and it’s standing as a Russell Group University and that made me want to come here too.

How did Southampton help you settle in and help you belong?

I was very anxious before coming to University here because I had never lived away from home before or even stayed away for any extended length of time so I was anxious about coping with everything. When I got here I found that the big wide world wasn’t quite as big and scary as I had expected. Living in halls in first year with the easy bus service made life simple and extremely manageable, meaning that the move to more independence at the start of second year was easy. There are so many support networks at Uni too which though I never used personally, were a great comfort to me. To know that I wasn’t on my own if I needed help and guidance in anything made the whole experience far less daunting.

What is it like studying here?

I really enjoy studying here, there’s such a friendly atmosphere. Both Avenue and Highfield Campus’ are clean and modern and the libraries are great! I love Avenue Campus in particular because it’s smaller and quieter and I know that the people there have similar interests to me so I find it the perfect place to study and a great place to have lectures.I have not had one lecturer that hasn’t done all that they could to help me, they are always willing to see students even outside of their office hours and are very friendly and approachable so it’s never hard to ask for help.The facilities are normally fairly good, many of the texts are digitised and there are copies of most other texts in the libraries.

How do you rate study facilities at the University, such as the Library?  

The study spaces at Southampton are great! There’s a range of different study spaces which make them available for different purposes and mean that you can find somewhere that helps you study best, whether you like to study in silence, in a room where people are chatting, whether you need to study as a group or with access to a computer, projector or whiteboard, there are facilities for everyone, for everything!

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ so far?

Most people I think would say that some of their highlights would be their social events, and though I have enjoyed some of the Uni Balls and the student cinema, what I remember most are some of the lectures. Occasionally, I have found, amongst the many other interesting and enjoyable, or not so enjoyable lectures (especially the dreaded 9ams!), you sit down in a lecture hall and the lecturer proceeds to fascinate you for the next hour or so and you discover that you are passionate about things that you never cared for before and you really want to learn more about them. Those experiences are the biggest highlights and the most rewarding for me.Having said that, as part of one of our modules, we were taken to the Nuffield to see a production of Twelfth Night and to go to a Q&A afterwards and that production was absolutely amazing, like nothing I’d seen before. That I really enjoyed!

What other activities have you taken advantage of while at University?

 I have particularly enjoyed taking part in self-defence classes. The instructor is a comedy genius and makes the whole experience fun but you really learn valuable skills that I wouldn’t be without now!


What are you enjoying most about your course?

What I enjoy most about my course is the breadth of material that I get to cover, but also the ability to somewhat specialise, to choose exactly what I want to study. The lecturers are all really encouraging and open to new ideas so it makes discussion really thought-provoking and effective as well as enjoyable.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area? 

I have the opportunity to study modules from many disciplines outside of my own, I know people that have studied history modules and enjoyed them but personally, I have chosen to study a number of film modules. I have decided that my career lies in film now, but I always wanted an English degree so this course is perfect for me. Also, studying modules outside of my own discipline has given me a refreshing change and it is nice to indulge in something a little different once or twice a week.

What networking, employment and work experience opportunities have you undertaken and how have they enhanced your undergraduate experience?

I have undertaken work experience which has been related to my course and possible future careers for me, these have been influenced by my studies but have not been directly involved with the University. I have arranged an undertaken these myself. However, doing work experience has opened my eyes to certain career paths which I would like to consider following and others which I know I will never step foot into again and both of these outcomes I view as highly worthwhile and valuable.

Do you have any idea of what you would like to do in the future?

I know that I would like to work in film production, ideally I would like to become a director. My studies of film modules and independent research that I have undertaken, as well as talking to course tutors has helped me develop my intentions and has helped to guide me towards where I want to go.

Did you stay in University accommodation?  

I lived in halls in first year and although I was not placed in the best of the available accommodation, I found that it actually became quite homely. I am good friends with a few of the people I met there and am living with a few of them in second and third year. Our facilities were not the best as we were in some of the oldest and smallest accommodation, but on the whole everything worked well, if it didn’t then it was fixed fairly promptly and it was fine for a year.

Do you like living in Southampton

Coming from the country, Southampton was not too busy and is close to the surrounding countryside as well as being fairly green so it wasn’t too much of a shock.


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