Our programs

Undergraduate programs

We offer a wide range of courses and programs appealing to both specialist and non-specialist students in our Majors and General programs.

Our Honours Program allows talented students to investigate topics more intensively than is possible in the Majors program.  The program is particularly useful for students who want to pursue careers in senior secondary teaching, or who want to gain admission to professional or graduate schools.

We also offer a program in Professional Communication, with courses including professional writing, social and electronic media, copyediting, visual rhetoric, and web design. The Professional Communication program can be taken with any Majors program offered by the University of Victoria, and is particularly suitable for students wishing to pursue careers in writing, public relations, technical or technical communication, social media, publishing, public policy, and advocacy.


Major

We welcome new majors. For details about the course structure students need to follow to complete the English major program, please see the English Major Program page of the University Calendar.

To declare English as your major program, please follow the instructions on the Academic Advising Centre's website, and fill out a "Request for Record of Degree Program" (RDP) form. You may download the form from that site, but you must submit it in person to the Academic Advising Centre (University Centre, Room A203).

If you have questions about the English major program, please contact the English Department's Literature Program Advisor, .

Honours

Recognized as one of the preeminent Honours programs in Canada, our Honours English program provides students with a strong grounding in traditional and emerging fields of literary study, critical analysis, and writing skills, as well as theory and research methodologies.

This program is designed for students who show a strong commitment to an intense study of English literature. At a time when undergraduate class sizes are increasing across the country, English Honours students at UVic have the opportunity to work with individual faculty members and in small groups of students with similar interests.

General and Minor

Combined Major

A combined major opens up the opportunities for students who wish to gain in-depth knowledge of two disciplines. Students will be able to combine select requirements from the fields of two different majors.

English and French Canadian Literature
The Combined Major in English and French (Canadian Literature) is not a double major in English and French, but a single B.A. degree program composed of selected courses from each department. The term "Canadian Literature" will be formally recognized on the transcript. Students should consult the Combined Major in English and French page of the University Calendar for details about the course structure they need to follow.

Fine Arts and Professional Communication Co-op
If you are in the Department of English then you are eligible to participate in the Humanities, Fine Arts and Professional Writing (HFPW) Co-op program.

Co-operative education is an integrated approach to higher education which enables well-motivated students to follow a program that combines study terms on campus with paid work terms in a variety of job settings.

Professional Communication

The Professional Communication program will teach you the skills you'll need to succeed as a writer. You'll be ready to enter the high-technology workplace of science, business, industry, government, and the professions, using new media to solve the problems of professional communication.

If you've declared a major or an honours degree in any of the disciplines UVic offers, you're eligible to also declare a minor in Professional Communication. You'll combine your knowledge of your discipline with the ability to communicate it to other professionals and to general readers.

Digital Humanities

Why DH? Read about it in Matt Kirschenbaum's "What is Digital Humanities and What's it Doing in English Departments?" as well as in the Companions to Digital Humanities and Digital Literary Studies -- plus the Day of DH, which documents typical days in the life of those who practice DH.

The digital humanities -- and, more specifically, its incarnations in digital literary and textual studies -- are well-represented at UVic across a curriculum that incorporates computing at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Digital Humanities produces research of international significance involving graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty, and across a range of activities that engage the local, national, and international community.

Co-op

Students in the Department of English are eligible to participate in the Humanities, Fine Arts and Professional Writing (HFPW) Co-op program.

Co-operative education is an integrated approach to higher education which enables well-motivated students to follow a program that combines study terms on campus with paid work terms in a variety of job settings.

Graduate programs

We offer an MA and a PhD in British, Canadian, American, Irish, and Postcolonial literatures in English, as well as Critical Theory.

You may also receive an MA or PhD in English by completing a concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought (CSPT). Also, MA students may do a concentration in Literatures of the West Coast (LWC), Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), or Nineteenth Century Studies (NCS).

MA

Our MA offers subjects in British, Canadian, American, Irish, and Postcolonial literatures in English, as well as Critical Theory. Students may also receive an MA in English by completing a concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought (CSPT). M.A. students may also do a concentration in Literatures of the West Coast (LWC), Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS), or Nineteenth Century Studies (NCS).
The MA program consists of course work only, course work and a Master's Essay, or course work and a Master's Thesis. Students doing a concentration in CSPT must complete a thesis; students doing a concentration in MEMS or NCS must complete course work, or course work and a Master's Essay. All other students normally complete course work, or course work and a Master's Essay, but may apply to pursue a thesis; however, the Graduate Committee does not always approve a student's plan to pursue a thesis program. Students--other than those in the CSPT concentration--who wish to pursue a thesis program must find a supervisor willing to direct their thesis and submit a thesis proposal by April 30 of their first year in the program.

PHD

A PhD program consists of coursework, candidacy exams, and a dissertation. The program is designed to be completed in four years, though the University allows up to seven years to completion. Students may choose to concentrate in any of British, Canadian, American, Irish, and Postcolonial literatures in English, as well as Critical Theory. A separate concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought is available as well

Cultural, social and political thought

The concentration in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought is available to students in either the MA or PhD programs. It gives students the opportunity to grapple with the big thinkers and big issues of our time, in a context that puts aside disciplinary boundaries, and encourages intellectual exploration and critique. It features a small cohort of committed students who study how critical theory can help us understand contemporary social and political phenomena. Please note that the concentration is highly theoretical, and does not offer much in the way of case studies or concrete empirical studies.

MA students who do the CSPT concentration must complete the Thesis Option in English, including 4.5 units of English courses and 3.0 units of CSPT or equivalent courses; their thesis must also have a substantial theoretical component.

PhD students who do the CSPT concentration must take at least 3 of their total six units in CSPT or equivalent courses; their dissertation must also have a substantial theoretical component.

Medieval and early modern studies

The Concentration in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is designed for MA students who wish to make an intensive study of the literature and culture of the periods. We invite applications from students working on topics across the entire range of the field.

Nineteeth-century studies

The Concentration in Nineteenth Century Studies (first offered in September 2013) is designed for MA students who wish to make an intensive study of Victorian, Romantic, and nineteenth century American and Canadian literatures and cultures. Students may declare the concentration at any time. Graduates receive an MA in English, with a concentration in Nineteenth Century Studies. The substance of the concentration will vary according to individual interests and annual course offerings.