Faculty of Arts


The study of English introduces students to a wide range of human creative activity, from the literature of ancient civilizations to the most recent developments in film and creative writing.

Why study English at TRU

Our introductory literature and composition courses emphasize writing, but they also introduce Arts students to the close reading and interpretation of texts, a process that is essential in understanding ourselves and how language, images, and stories work in all walks of life. For our senior-level students, we offer English Major and English Minor programs.

The English Major provides students with the opportunity to experience both the depth and breadth of literature and writing in English, from Medieval to Postmodern, Canadian to African, children’s literature to aboriginal drama. While engaging the imagination and probing the human condition, English studies also encourage students to develop complex reading, writing and thinking skills, all of which are essential in the Information Age.

The English Minor, although less concentrated than the Major, also allows students to develop interests in imaginative writing and earn a valuable credential in conjunction with another Major program at TRU.

The Creative Writing Minor challenges students to tap into their creativity, teaches them the elements of form through critique of contemporary works, and provides them with the opportunity to practice writing in the following genres: short fiction, novel, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting.

Opportunities for students

The advantage of small classes translates into individual attention and a wide variety of opportunities for students. The Department of English, through the Writing Centre and various research projects, has employed students in editing, researching and tutoring. The Department also sponsors informal groups devoted to reading and writing, such as TRU Fiction, the university’s creative writing group, and hosts readings and lectures which afford students the opportunity to hear novelists, poets and other writers present their work and offer advice to student writers. All of these activities reflect the dynamic creative nature of English studies at TRU.

Careers for graduates

Because our courses focus on reading, writing, thinking, and imagining, English studies also form natural interdisciplinary links with a variety of other areas, including history, Canadian studies, law, journalism, philosophy, fine arts, sociology, and psychology. But English is also a good start for those interested in the ministry and religious paths, counselling and therapy, social work, education, management, and other areas where imagination, precision, organization, and good communication skills are important.

A degree in English will never be obsolete; it provides experiences and develops skills that will remain valuable throughout one’s lifetime.