Frequently Asked Questions

Literature Emphasis

Some courses improve your skills in academic research and writing (ASTU or WRDS), others focus on the basic skills in the discipline of English (100 level English). Arts One gives you a broad introduction to liberal arts and humanities. ENGL 140/LING 140 is specifically designed to address issues of language and approaches to language study.

You have two options:

  • Option A: You can apply to Honours at the end of first year; if you are admitted, you will take ENGL 210 and ENGL 211 in second year as introductions to Honours. (see Apply)
  • Option B: You can apply to Honours at the end of second year, after taking (ideally) 6 credits of second-year English, including ENGL 200 (required).

ENGL 200 is a collaboratively-taught exploration of key scholarly, theoretical, and critical approaches informing the study of literatures in English at UBC. Students in the course work closely with one faculty instructor in a small-class setting; these small classes join together for one lecture on each week’s designated texts and topic. ENGL 200 is a graduation requirement for students declaring an English Literature Major or applying to Honours, though the class is open to all students interested in exploring the fields of literary study.

Only in exceptional circumstances.

You should design your schedule to meet upper-level English requirements with upper-level English courses. For advising related to your English program requirements, contact the English Undergraduate Office (english.undergraduate@ubc.ca).

Generally no. All 300-level courses have the same pre-requisite, and you can meet your program requirements in whatever order makes the most sense for you.

That said, we encourage Literature program students to complete the required course ENGL 200 in their second year, or as early as possible afterthat; the same is true of ENGL 229 if it is required for your program in English Language or Language and Literature. For Honours students, ENGL 491 and 492 (4 sections) should be taken across your upper-level terms.   Your graduating essay (ENGL 499) is usually completed in your final year.

A seminar course is an opportunity to participate in research, even on a limited scale. It is also a student-driven scholarly environment. Readings required are typically of a scholarly kind (rather than textbook-like). Students are expected to propose a small research question, collect appropriate readings and discuss possible ways of answering the question from the perspective of frameworks learned. The seminar often requires the ability to present scholarly work in class and typically ends with writing a research paper.

 

Language and Literature Emphasis

Some courses improve your skills in academic research and writing (ASTU or WRDS), others focus on the basic skills in the discipline of English (100 level English). Arts One gives you a broad introduction to liberal arts and humanities. Only ENGL 140/LING 140 is specifically designed to address issues of language and approaches to language study.

You have two options:

  • Option A: You can apply to Honours at the end of first year; if you are admitted, you will take ENGL 210 and ENGL 211 in second year as introductions to Honours (see Apply).  You can opt at the end of second year to take either the Literature emphasis or the Language and Literature emphasis.
  • Option B: You can apply to Honours at the end of second year, after taking (ideally) 6 credits of second-year English, including ENGL 200 (required) and ENGL 229 if you think you might want to do the combined Honours Language and Literature option.

ENGL 210 is a 6-credit year-long course for the second-year Honours cohort, introducing students to the genres, methods, and concepts of English literary culture and history.  Students admitted to second-year Honours all take this course together.

ENGL 211 is a 3-credit seminar focusing on literary theory for second-year Honours students. 

 The course focuses on selected issues in the study of language. It is not a generic overview of English linguistics; rather, it shows students what kinds of questions or methods are used in a more specifically defined area of English language study (such as language in social context, rhetoric, dialects of English, meaning in language, etc.) ENGL 229 is either required or recommended in all programs focusing on language or language and literature.

ENGL 200 is a collaboratively-taught exploration of key scholarly, theoretical, and critical approaches informing the study of literatures in English at UBC. Students in the course work closely with one faculty instructor in a small-class setting; these small classes join together for one lecture on each week’s designated texts and topic. ENGL 200 is a graduation requirement for students intending to apply to English Honours, though the class is open to all students interested in exploring the fields of literary study.

The goal of this is to make sure that students take a variety of courses while being able to follow their interests to some degree. There are five groups of courses, divided in terms of general topics in language study (such as grammar-and-pronunciation, methodologies in language study, how we use language to express meaning, what does the discipline of rhetoric add to your understanding of language). Students should choose three such areas and do one course in each. If the program allows more credits in language (most of them do), students can then either add more courses in groups they have already tried, or they can expand and try other groups.

The goal of this arrangement is to make sure that students take a variety of courses while also being able to follow their interests. The credit-requirements in each course group may be taken in any order.  Honours students may also count ENGL 491 or 492 seminars which cover particular areas as meeting those area requirements.  For instance, a section of ENGL 491 on “Beasts in Medieval Romance” would count as 3 credits of medieval literature.  Students still need the same number of total ENGL credits, but your 4 seminars can count toward area requirements. Students wishing to specialize in one of these areas can use their remaining elective credits in one group; students looking for greater variety and coverage can distribute their electives across the groups.

The Honours program has admission criteria and requires more credits (48 rather than 30). It also allows students to take more than one seminar (all students take one seminar as a requirement for the Major) and has an independent research component – an honours graduating essay.

Only in exceptional circumstances.

You should design your schedule to meet upper-level English requirements with upper-level English courses. For advising related to your English program requirements, contact the English Undergraduate Office (english.undergraduate@ubc.ca).

Generally no. All 300-level courses have the same pre-requisite, and you can meet your program requirements in whatever order makes the most sense for you. It is generally advisable to distribute Honours seminars across your upper-level terms, and the honours graduating essay is usually completed in your final year.

A seminar course is an opportunity to participate in research, even on a limited scale. It is also a student-driven scholarly environment. Readings required are typically of a scholarly kind (rather than textbook-like). Students are expected to propose a small research question, collect appropriate readings and discuss possible ways of answering the question from the perspective of frameworks learned. The seminar often requires the ability to present scholarly work in class and typically ends with writing a research paper.


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