School of English

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  Mark Twain

The School of English at Sussex engages with the cultural, historical, creative, performed, theoretical, and linguistic aspects of English as a world language and literature.

Comprising over 45 faculty, the School offers opportunities for study with some of the most innovative and exciting scholars in Britain in a supportive and welcoming environment.The School of English is delighted that the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework place us 9th in the UK out of 89 submissions to the English Language and Literature panel. 45% of work has been assessed as ‘world leading’, while a further 39% has been assessed as ‘internationally excellent’. Our research environment is assessed at 90% ‘world leading’, placing us 3rd in the UK. Faculty in Literature, Language and Drama were submitted to the English panel. English leads the University of Sussex with the best overall result in the institution.

Language is the foundation for the investigations we undertake about the human place in the world. The School pursues diverse intellectual directions to understand how language works. We employ creative and critical methods to probe imaginative literary writing across a wide cultural and historical range. We re-conceptualise the nature of dramatic performance. We explore the premises that account for linguistic phenomena. We investigate the intersections of the verbal and the visual in film and photography. We consider how theoretical ideas about gender and sexuality, psychoanalysis, and the relationship between language and reality challenge our perceptions of what and how we know.

Through our teaching we seek to develop independent, informed and questioning thinkers. In a world of increasing complexity, the School believes that a trained critical imagination - one that grasps the importance of the analytic and the evocative, the poetic and the explanatory - is vital to negotiate the intricacies of both self and society.

Professor Carol Watts

Head of the School of English

Main School Office

(For enquiries) Room B133, Arts B
T (01273) 877303


For contact details of faculty members please see the people pages

School of English Academic Induction for new students


Events in the School of English and University of Sussex

Your views matter 📣 Taught postgraduates, please let us and @officestudents know what you think about your course.……

Join us for the last HI Zero Poetry event this academic year on 28th May at 7:30 in the Hope and Ruin pub in Bright……

RT @SussxUniCareers: While you're putting together your dissertations and preparing for your exams, the Academic Skills team are running……

RT @sussexfood: It's Vegetarian week this week and we want to remind you that we have a 100% veggie cafe on campus - The Dhaba! Pay……

RT @SussexDocSchool: WIN! Prize draw with five chances to win a £100 voucher for @SussexUni doctoral researchers completing the Postgrad……

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