Reading between the lines

This is a English literature and creative writing Subject Spotlight with Professor John Holmes from University of Birmingham. An interactive, cinematic course taster experience to allow students to gain insights into what it's like to study English literature and creative writing.

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Join Professor John Holmes as he looks at developing skills within English Literature, thinks about how you read, and explores the notion of expanding consciousness, with a focus on literature and diversity. He also considers literature and the environment, discussing how studying literature can help us to think through major global issues, before offering a deep dive into Shakespeare. Here, John explores the different ways in which an English degree might help you understand and enjoy a specific author.

About University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham was established in 1825 and was the first Russell Group university to receive a royal charter. As a member of the coveted Russell Group, the University of Birmingham is a prestigious university and considered a top representative of British education. As would be expected from such a high ranking institution, the university has produced many notable alumni including two UK prime ministers - Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin.

Meet the academics

Professor John Holmes

Professor John Holmes joined the English department at the University of Birmingham in 2015 as Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture. His research focuses on the relationship between scientific ideas and cultural forms in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including poetry, architecture and the visual arts. More widely, John works on and teaches a wide range of nineteenth-century literature, with interests in poetry and poetic form, especially the sonnet and the epic; religious belief and doubt; and the history of sexuality. John has been actively involved in the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) since its inaugural conference in 2006, Treasurer from 2006 to 2009, Book Reviews Editor from 2008 to 2012, and Chair from 2012 to 2015. While he was Chair he helped to establish links between the BSLS and other related academic societies, including the international Commission of Science and Literature (CoSciLit), the European branch of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSAeu) and the British Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE-UK).

In every Subject Spotlight you'll find

On-demand interactive video content

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Remarkable & relatable academics

Learn from some of the UK's finest and most decorated academics as they give you a genuine, insightful, and engaging experience of studying their courses at their universities.

Interactive quizzes and activities

Have a go at fascinating interactive quizzes and activities, then get meaningful and intuitive feedback from the academics to see how you've done.

Content to enhance students university applications

Hear direct from the academics what's expected of you in your university application, and the things you can do to improve your chances of getting on the course you most desire!

Certificate of completion

You'll receive a certificate of completion to evidence your learning - why not add this to your CV and university applications to show your dedication to your future pathway!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Subject Spotlight?

Subject Spotlights fuse education and entertainment to bring you the new way of researching your university options.

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Who is this Spotlight for?

This subject spotlight is made for students aged 16 and above, that are considering applying to University, particularly to study the subject in the title, or similar areas.

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The easiest way to include it would be to briefly mention one or two things you learned from it and how/why those learnings have furthered your desire to study the subject. We don't want to prescribe an answer because it's your personal statement but this is a good starting point!