Frequently Asked Questions - Future Students

Why should I study English at Western?

  • You can choose from an inspiring variety of courses which range from the classics to popular culture.
  • Through courses such as The Culture of Leadership I & II and Creativity and the Local, you can gain hands-on, practical experience in the community for a deeper understanding of course content.
  • Through small classes and lectures you can engage with world-class professors whose knowledge and enthusiasm create a stimulating environment for the study of literature, writing, theory and culture.
  • We feature exciting interdisciplinary programs such as Theatre Studies, Film Studies, Medieval Studies and Creative Writing.
  • Our current Writer-in-Residence, Daniel MacIvor, is an award-winning playwright, actor, director, producer and television personality who provides support for both experienced and novice creative writers through readings, classroom visits and cultural events both on and off campus.
  • Our innovative partnerships with Poetry London and the Stratford Festival enhance your classroom studies.
  • Our modules allow you to combine the study of English with other disciplines throughout the university and create a program of study which satisfies your own intellectual curiosity.

What can I do with an English degree?

The study of English prepares you for professional success. Through the discussion and engagement with literary text, students develop their cultural competence and acquire the constructive communication skills necessary to enter the workforce with confidence, distinguish themselves in a number of fields and build a meaningful career.

Our students have advanced to MA and PhD programs and have excelled in careers in a wide range of fields such as:

  • Law
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Politics
  • Government
  • Librarianship
  • Teaching
  • Publishing
  • Advertising
  • Television
  • Politics
  • Performing Arts
  • Arts management
Check out our Alumni or read more about the value of an English degree.

Can I take courses in Creative Writing?

Yes! Our Writing Studies Program offers a variety of courses that will help hone your creative edge as well as an Honors Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature.

Can I take courses in Theatre?

Yes! Our Theatre Studies Program offers several courses that will introduce you to a host of topical social and cultural issues in theatre and performance. In classes on Dramaturgy and Adaptation, you will learn about the challenges that face playwrights when they create for the stage. Throughout your course of study, you can take advantage of trips to see and discuss live theatre and performance. During summer term, you may opt for intensive voice and text courses taught on site at the Stratford Festival. In second or third year, you can also opt for our amazing study abroad course, Theatre Studies 3900G - Destination Theatre. In spring 2018 we are going to London, UK, for two weeks of immersion in one of the world’s most vibrant theatre communities! Read the student blog here.

Our Theatre Studies program also offers a Major, Minor or Certificate in Theatre Studies. It is not a conservatory program. The degree is a BA, not a BFA, and it’s in Theatre Studies, not Drama.

Will I get to be in shows?

Yes! In our popular hands-on Fall Theatre Production course you can take up a major role in a full-scale public production of a noted classical play text, which you and your peers will build from start to finish.

We also offer two Stratford courses, both of which centre on production, AND lots of opportunities to make theatre with Theatre Western, our campus’s vibrant student theatre club, and the Arts & Humanities Student Council, which puts on a major show every winter term.

Do I apply for English in first year?

No. English is not direct entry. You must apply for the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and then make sure you take English 1020E or 1022E or 1024E or 1035E or 1036E or both English 1027F/G and 1028F/G, because at least 60% in 1.0 of these courses are the prerequisite for our second year courses. Then, declare English going into year two.

Do you provide funding for students?

Yes! We have over 35 scholarships and awards that recognize both creative and academic achievements. More details here.

What is The Coterie and how can I get involved?

The Coterie seeks to foster a positive and exciting learning environment for English students at Western through a wide range of activities and services, including:

  • Social events for English undergraduates
  • Seminars given by Western alumni and other Canadian writers or poets
  • Academic information about and assistance with English courses
Join us on Facebook! 

What is the Student Writer-in-Residence Program?

Created by the USC and co-sponsored by the Department of English and Writing Studies, the Student Writer-in-Residence (SWIR) is a program that provides a unique opportunity for students to take a leading role in promoting creativity. The SWIR is expected to provide mentorship for student writers, participate in a variety of literary and cultural events on campus, and develop and present his or her own writing to the greater Western community.

The position is open to all fourth-year students in any discipline, full or part-time, and provides a total stipend of $1000 and serves from September to April.

I still have questions: who should I talk to?

If you have further questions you can email or Mark McDayter (Vice-Chair,