English and Film Studies

Undergraduate English

What is English?

What do novels, songs, poems, memoirs, images, films and new media tell us about our contemporary culture and the social and creative worlds of our past? We explore the richness of literature and language to help us understand, interpret and appreciate the many forms of imaginative representation through the evolution of the English language.

Why Study English at UAlberta?

Our award winning teachers and researchers will help you discover, think and see in new ways, instead of reciting facts. Students have access to internationally renowned professors and can take courses spanning a broad range of topics, cultures, histories and perspectives. You can study, among many others, Renaissance, Victorian, Canadian, and Indigenous and Children’s Literature. Additional studies can include popular culture, creative writing, film studies and new media (including radio, television and social media). Students at all levels of study are eligible for a large number of awards and prizes, many of substantial cash value, distributed annually.

  • English Undergraduate Program - Honors in English

    Students who pursue the Honors program in English will enjoy a concentrated and intensive encounter with language, literature, and other cultural forms – including popular culture and new media – across a diverse range of courses. Offering all the intellectual and educational opportunities of the English Major, the Honors program is distinct in three key ways:

     - students must maintain strong academic performance  (General grades of 3.0/English grades of 3.3 or higher);
     - students enjoy even greater specialization in English than afforded by the Major;
     - students complete a unique course, ENGL 498, which involves mentored independent research culminating in an original honors essay.

    Honors English students are eligible for Honors prizes and, in the program’s fourth year, an extended library loan period. They also enjoy representation on Departmental Committees and have access to the Undergraduate Student Lounge, where they can meet other students with similar interests. While today an increasing diversity of educational backgrounds will prepare students for advanced study in English, the Honors program remains a reliable pathway to graduate work in the discipline.


    What courses do you need for the BA Honors in English?

    In addition to satisfying the Faculty’s Basic Requirements for the BA (and any relevant requirements toward a minor), students taking the Honors in English must complete between 54 and 72 credits in Senior English (including at least 9 credits at each of the 200 and 400 levels) as well as ENGL 498: Honors Essay.

    For complete program information, see the University’s 2018/19 Calendar

    Bachelor of Arts – Combined Honors

    Students may choose to pursue a combined Honors degree in English and Creative Writing, English and another discipline, or Creative Writing and another discipline. 

    For complete program information, see the University’s 2018/19 Calendar

    English and Creative Writing: A combined Honors degree in English and Creative Writing involves the minimum English requirements and the minimum Creative Writing requirements, plus 18 credits in options; ENGL 498 may be scholarly, creative, or both.

    For more information, see the University’s 2018/19 Calendar – Combined Honors in Creative Writing

    English and Another Discipline: A combined Honors degree in English and another discipline requires a minimum of 36 credits in English at the 200 level or above (including at least 6 at the 400 level, among them ENGL 498 or equivalent). 

    For complete program information, see the University’s 2018/19 Calendar

  • English Undergraduate Program - Major in English

    Students who major in English can explore and engage critically and creatively with language, literature, and other cultural forms – including popular culture and new media – across a diverse range of courses. The major in English enables students to:

     - discover the powerful role representations play in how we understand our world;

     - learn a variety of approaches to critical analysis and literary research;

     - understand literature, broadly defined, in historical perspective and also in contemporary manifestations;

     - encounter exciting approaches to topics in (among many others) popular culture, Victorian literature, Indigenous literature, old and new media, Renaissance literature, Canadian literature, and Children’s literature.


    What courses do you need for the BA Major in English?

    In addition to satisfying the Faculty’s Basic Requirements for the BA (and any relevant requirements toward a minor), Students wishing to major in English must take a minimum of 30 credits to a maximum of 48 credits at the 200-level or above, including 6 credits at the 400-level.).

    For complete program information, see the University’s 2018/19 Calendar
  • English Undergraduate Program - Minor in English

    Bachelor of Arts/Science – Minor in English

    Students who minor in English can explore language, literature, and other cultural forms – including popular culture and new media – across a diverse range of courses while majoring in a complementary discipline in arts or science.
    What courses do you need for the BA Minor in English?

    In addition to satisfying the Basic Requirements for a degree in arts or science, students taking the Minor in English must complete 12 credits at the 200 level or higher of which 6 must be at the 300 or 400 levels.

    For complete program information, consult the University’s 2018/19 Calendar
  • Sub-disciplines within English
    Cultural Studies - the analysis of the political dynamics of present-day culture, including its historical foundations, defining traits, and conflicts.

    Print Culture - the study of the history, making, and impact of printing and printed forms since the invention of the printing press in the early fifteenth century.

    Media Studies - the study of the content, history, and effects of various media—especially mass media—including newspapers, magazines, television, film, sound recordings, and the Internet.
  • What can I do with an English degree?
    Students gain effective communication skills and enhance their analytical and critical thinking skills; traits highly valued by many employers. Pursue jobs in communications, professional writing, games development, media and public relations, journalism, public policy, publishing/editing, digital archiving, libraries, fundraising and web development.