School of English

Words are all we have - Samuel Beckett Freedom is something that dies unless it's used - Hunter S Thompson No boy is worth crying over, and the one that is doesn't make you cry - Sarah Kane A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended - Ian McEwan War is what happens when language fails - Margaret Atwood

The School of English at the University of Sussex combines an illustrious history with a commitment to innovation and interdisciplinarity that places it at the forefront of the discipline. An English degree at Sussex helps you become a critical and imaginative reader and thinker, with a deep understanding of the history and future of English.

Welcome from the Head of School

The School of English at Sussex brings together a number of areas of inquiry: English and American Literature, English Language and Linguistics, and Drama. These disciplines share a commitment to understanding and rethinking the ways in which language creates and shapes our world : imaginatively, structurally, and through performance.

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English at Sussex combines world-leading research with innovative, creative teaching. Since the University’s foundation fifty years ago, Sussex English has challenged conventional critical and cultural models. This continues. Our faculty, over forty strong, are distinguished scholars, many of whom have won academic prizes and research awards. Our degrees are widely recognised as inventive, inviting interdisciplinary study. With over 750 undergraduates and nearly 200 MA and PhD students, the School of English enjoys one of the largest concentrations of students reading English, English Language and Linguistics and Drama in the UK. Yet, we take efforts to see our students as independent individuals and provide considerable personal support. Students in the School come from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages, from all parts of the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and The Americas. The wide-ranging expertise of our faculty allows us to cater for interests and provide supervision across virtually all areas of English and American literature, contemporary critical and cultural theory, English language and linguistics, and new developments in drama and performance.

In his recent novel Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan – one of the School’s most distinguished alumni – has a character who studied English at Sussex turn on another character who studied at a traditional university: ‘I reckon my place was more ambitious, more serious, more enjoyable than yours. . . . Sussex would never have allowed you to stagnate the way you did’. English at Sussex offers the opportunities for imaginative growth that have always been at our core.

Tom Healy
Professor Tom Healy

Head of School of English

Our degrees are widely recognised as inventive, exciting and challenging, inviting interdisciplinary study. We offer a variety of specialist undergraduate and postgraduate subjects which cover the whole range of English studies. 

Undergraduate disciplines include English literature, Drama, English language and American literature. Students can choose modules from across the School, giving them control over shaping their own studies and inviting the interdisciplinarity which Sussex is famous for. 

Our taught and research  postgraduate courses offer a wide range of literary, performative and linguistic studies, supported by a large, distinguished faculty, who are successfully redefining the boundaries of their fields on both national and international stages. Our tutors and lecturers are distinguished scholars, many of whom have won academic prizes and research awards.

We pride ourselves on the essential interconnection of our teaching and research at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and our success in this area is reflected in the number of thriving Research Centres operating within the School.


School contact

School of English
Room B133, Arts B
University of Sussex

T +44 (0)1273 877303
F +44 (0)1273 678434

The School of English on Twitter

Events in the School of English and University of Sussex

RT @sussexlinguist: Values & Choices in Television Discourse: new publication from our Roberta Piazza & colleagues. @Palgrave_Ling…

Our own Dr Lynne Murphy @lynneguist on 'Is It Necessary to Say ‘Please’ in America?'…

RT @USSU: #sussexfreshers can now register online to officially become a Sussex Student and member of the Students' Union!

RT @YorkCofC: Very excited to announce our keynote speaker for "The Early Modern World: Near & Far, 1450-1650" is Dr. Andrew Hadfield @SussexEnglish

@haychjackson Hello Hannah, you can find them here…

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