English Literature student Daisy Cooper tells us about her average week studying at Kent.
“I adore having so much agency over which direction my degree goes in, from the choice in modules to the choices in what we do for our assignments, I like having so much independence to pursue what I am interested in the most.”
Tell us a bit about your weekly life on campus
Beginning the week with Monday, I have an in-person theory lecture at 11am which lasts for an hour. Lecturers are usually available afterwards to discuss any questions or queries you may have, which is always helpful. Lecturers are also a fantastic way to meet new people on your course. Afterwards, I often see a friend for coffee or to go study in the library. Tuesday is also a day of lectures, one being another in person theory lecture at midday, which likewise lasts an hour. Additionally, I have another lecture online for my romanticism module which is pre-recorded. On Wednesday, I don’t have any lectures or seminars, so I do the readings for the seminars the next day. Then we have Thursday my busiest day of the week. I have three seminars in one day, starting with a romanticism seminar for an hour at 9am. Who doesn’t love a 9am seminar! After, I spend an hour reading in the library, then I go to my next seminar from 11am – 1pm, then I get lunch on campus with a friend. Lastly, I go to my last seminar of the day from 4pm to 6pm.
How many contact hours are on your course? Is this easy to manage and balance with your social and work life?
As a full time English Literature student, each academic year of the programme will be comprised of 1,200 learning hours, including both private and direct study hours. The arrangement of these hours will vary according to modules. I find that the contact hours are easy to manage and balance with both my work life and social life. Although, when you have assignments, this will also affect how much time you can allocate to other parts of your life. I would say organisation of your time is key to a comfortable balance.
How many different modules do you cover over the week?
I study three modules, one compulsory module which is theory based, and two optional modules. I chose my modules by reading their descriptions and seeing which ones I found the most compelling, and which would be the most enriching to my knowledge. For example, one module I chose this spring term was Black Girl Magic, which is about contemporary feminism; bringing to light intersectional issues. This module is so interesting and empowering, learning about remarkably transgressive women. Additionally, the seminars themselves are such a supportive environment to share your ideas. I adore having so much agency over which direction my degree goes in, from the choice in modules to the choices in what we do for our assignments, I like having so much independence to pursue what I am interested in the most.
Does your course have any special facilities that you can use?
The Templeman Library is available 24/7 on the Canterbury campus, which has lots of places to study. It also is home to a wide variety of books and resources, some of which you can also access online. Additionally, something last term that I found intriguing was the special collections and archives in the library, we got to see such rare books and materials which were enchanting, I was surprised books from so long ago were still intact.
How much do you travel to get onto campus? Do you live on or near campus? Is your commute longer than from the city centre?
I’m a commuting student as I live in Whitstable, which is only a short bus journey away, so the commute is straightforward. I was concerned at first that I would be the only commuting student or that commuting would negatively impact my university experience, but for me neither are issues. I have met others on my course who commute from a variety of places such as Medway, Margate and even London. Also, I have made wonderful friends and still go out with them; commuting has not hindered my social life.
What is the social scene like in Canterbury on and off campus?
Canterbury is undeniably a beautiful city with a rich history. The social scene in Canterbury is great – Canterbury is a lively, little city. Café des Amis is a wonderful restaurant offering delicious Mexican cuisine, or Woody’s on campus has such a great atmosphere. My personal favourite place to eat is Wagamama – the food is just too good! Fun bars and clubs in Canterbury I’ve gone to include Tokyo Tea Rooms, Club Chemistry and The Pound at One Pound Lane.
“I have honestly gained so much confidence at university, I am so proud of myself. I got welcomed into a wonderful community at Kent.”
Have you been on any trips within Kent and London since studying at Kent?
I’ve been to the cathedral which, even though I have lived locally my whole life, I surprisingly have never visited. The cathedral is a majestic place, with opulent architecture. Students have free access, and I would definitely recommend a visit.
Do you work alongside your studies? If so, what is this like balancing along with your studies? How does it fit into your week?
I work as an ambassador alongside my studies which is an excellent opportunity to get work experience that would look great on a CV and is also flexible. I probably would still have enough free time to get another job especially on weekends, so balancing work and studies should be simple if your work is flexible.
What would be your main advice to prospective students looking to join the community here at Kent?
I’m an over thinker and an introvert so the thought of going to university made me quite anxious. Consequently, my advice to both prospective students and my past self is to put yourself out there and have fun socialising with the diverse range of students you meet during university; I promise it’s not as scary as it seems! I have honestly gained so much confidence at university, I am so proud of myself. I got welcomed into a wonderful community at Kent. Good luck to you all!