English Literature, Language and Linguistics

On this page, you will find some recommendations on what to watch, read, listen and do to engage with your subject. As well as feeding your intellectual curiosity, these links may provide useful material for your UCAS statement. Once you have engaged with the links, make sure that you practise putting your thoughts into words with the writing activity at the end.


Studying English at University

How Language Shapes the Way we Think – TedTalk

Language and Our Genes

My Year Reading a Book from Every Country in the World

Why People Need Poetry – TedTalk


Starting an English Degree: Advice from a Former Student

Learning to Love Poetry Again

Why You Should Study Shakespeare

Language and Power

AccessEd Reading List


How did Shakespeare Speak?

Word of Mouth Podcast – BBC Radio 4

English Readings Podcast

A Way with Words Podcast

Bookclub Podcast – BBC


  • Visit the British Library – it’s an amazing place to visit at any time of the year, but check out if there is an exhibition or show you could attend.
  • Go to a Slam Poetry event. They are run in pubs, clubs and bars across the country. Give it a quick Google and see if you can find one nearby.
  • Go to the theatre. Perhaps a play that you will be studying next year is on, or something else you are interested in. The Globe often have great deals for students, so you could visit the home of Shakespeare plays for a bargain!


  • To apply to university, you need to demonstrate that you are well informed about the subject and have a strong interest in studying it at greater depth. To get started, practice writing about your subject interests by composing short responses to the following questions:
  1. What have you watched, read or listened to that has inspired you?
  2. Why was it interesting?
  3. What new issues did you learn about?
  4. What do you want to find out next?
  5. What excites you about the subject?
  6. Why do you think studying the subject is important?