Studying English at Bishop’s results in an understanding of how our culture – the very “operating system” of all our lives – is circulated through novels, movies, poems, TV shows, podcasts, graphic novels, etc. It also provides the training ground for discovering your voice through the production of creative works across all mediums including essays, stories, screenplays, poems, films, podcasts and more. Our students graduate with a voice that is distinctively their own, but that carries the authority of deep cultural knowledge.

Students in class

Why English at Bishop’s

When you graduate from Bishop’s English Department, you will think clearly, write brilliantly, and express yourself precisely and persuasively, in word and image. You will have taken full advantage of the small class sizes, events and experiential opportunities.

Conference in the Old Library

Career Possibilities

Studying English gives you immense confidence from understanding how you fit into the much larger flow of culture over time. With that confidence, you can do an extraordinary range of things. Our students have gone on to pursue graduate studies or become teachers, lawyers, public relations experts, literary agents, actors and more.

Students at Convocation

Academic Advisor

Academic advising is a key component of academic success. Your academic advisors are here to guide you from the time of your admission to your graduation. They offer guidance in matters related to your program requirements, help you design an academic pathway that aligns with your personal and career goals, help you with course selection, and program planning.

Courses & Programs

We have two major streams in our English programs: literature studies; and film and media studies. We offer Majors (48 credits), Honours (60 credits), and Minors (24 credits) in both streams. We also offer two professionalizing programs: a Divisional Major in Arts Administration with a Concentration in Film Studies (75 credits); and a Minor in Communication in Digital Culture (24 credits).

English Honours (60 credits)

Honours in Literature

Students specialize in the study of literature, developing a rigorous understanding of its history and its full diversity in both form and origin (British; Canadian; American; Post-Colonial; Indigenous; etc.). They respond critically and creatively to that tradition and are therefore very well prepared for graduate study in the field of English literature or in any graduate program, professional program, or career that requires critical insight, deep cultural knowledge, and powerful creative and expressive ability.

Honours in Film and Media Studies

Students specialize in the study of film and media, drawing from courses offered both through English and across the various disciplines at Bishop’s (Music; Modern Languages; Philosophy; Fine Arts; etc.) to understand our moving-image culture in the context of its 130-year history, media theory, and moving-image media’s diverse contemporary forms. They develop the practical skills, through both courses and experiential learning, to contribute critically and creatively to that culture. These students are well prepared to join the workforce in media and culture industries or to go on to graduate or professional study in the fields of media and culture.

English Majors (48 credits)

Literature Concentration

Students study literature written in English over its whole 1000-year history, in all of its various forms (poems; plays; short stories; novels; essays; etc.), by a very diverse range of English-speaking peoples. There is plenty of room in this program to also study film and media, creative writing, and various forms of professional communication (journalism; professional writing). A 24-credit Minor is also available.

Film and Media Studies Concentration

Students study film and media against the longer backdrop of the history of literature and culture, understanding that our contemporary electronic media (film, radio, TV, the internet) have evolved from that historical context. In particular, they develop a critical awareness of our global culture of moving images, understanding its origins in Europe and the United States in the 1890s and the diversity of its forms and modes of application in the present, for example in streaming-TV dramas or TikTok videos. Many students also produce their own creative work in such forms as screenplays, podcasts, and short films. A 24-credit Minor is also available.

English Minors (24 credits)

For students in any discipline at Bishop’s who, in addition to their major concentration, wish to develop a secondary area of expertise in one of the fields offered through the English Department, we offer four different minors.

For more information on these Minors, please consult the Academic Calendar.

The English Minor

This minor allows students to sample from the many different aspects and areas of English literatures, film and media studies, and communication offered through the English department. The English Minor requires any 8 courses (24 credits) from the
department’s List of Courses.

Literature Minor

This minor allows students to focus on English literary texts. The Literature Minor requires any 8 literature courses (24 credits) from the department’s List of Courses.

Film and Media Studies Minor

The Film and Media Studies Minor provides an introduction to the study of film through the increasingly rich, interdisciplinary approach that now defines this field. Film courses are typically taught in the cinema class room (Nicolls 4), which is equipped with excellent projection and sound equipment, as well as cinema seating.

Communication and Digital Culture Minor

This innovative minor is a powerful add-on to any degree taken at Bishop’s. It allows students either to develop a broad overview of different modes of communication, from creative writing through journalism and documentary filmmaking to marketing, or to specialize in one particular area of interest. Many students have the opportunity to participate in one or more experiential-learning opportunities or internships that allow them to build confidence and to gain professional experience.

Indigenous Studies Minor

A number of English courses contribute to the Indigenous Studies Minor an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the global processes of cultural encounters and the resultant responses of resistance, accommodation, and adaption. Students will be exposed to theories and world-wide applications of, and responses to, imperialism and colonialism, as well as decolonization and post-colonialism.

Divisional Major in Arts Administration, with a Concentration in Film Studies

This unique program combines the study of business and the creative arts (Fine Arts, Film, Drama, Music, Public History), providing students with the skills and knowledge to administer the cultural organizations and industries that increasingly enrich our culture and power our economy. The English Department contributes the Film Studies component of this divisional major.

Conference in the Old Library

Experiential Learning

We have a priority at Bishop’s to offer practical, experience-based opportunities to put students in a position to learn in a work-like environment while earning credits to their degree. In the English department you can take advantage of existing opportunities or create your own!

Events & Opportunities

BU Talk showing Professor Chad Gibbs

BUtalks Podcast

BUtalks is a student-run, experiential-learning-based podcast series created as a collaboration between the campus radio station, Toast Radio, and the English Department.

Students at the BUFF ceremony

Bishop’s University Film Festival (BUFF)

The Bishop’s University Film Festival (BUFF) celebrates the creativity and skill of Bishop’s students, no matter what program they are in, through an annual competition in digital filmmaking.

Shakesperience banner

Shakesperience Summer Institute

Shakesperience is a one-week, 3-credit course taken during the spring semester in June. During this week, students will travel to the renowned Stratford Theatre Festival in Stratford, Ontario to see six plays, participate in workshops and backstage tours, and have discussions with directors, actors, and writers.

Canada’s Oldest Student Literary Journal

Photo of woman taking notes
Get Involved

The Mitre

The Mitre is an annual, student-run publication that accepts all forms of written and visual creative expression from the Bishop’s and Lennoxville communities.

Past issues of The Mitre

The Mitre Archives

Browse the archives as far back as the 1890’s on the Old Library website!

Student holding a book outside Morris House
2023-2024 Season

Morris House Reading Series

The Morris House Reading Series brings both established and up-and-coming authors to Bishop’s University to present their work, answer questions, and meet with the audience during the informal reception that follows.

About your professors

As an English student you will benefit from award winning, dedicated professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds. We take pride that the bonds created here between students and professors often last well beyond graduation.


Want to know more about studying English at Bishop’s?

Contact the Chair of the Department