Portrait of Nicholas Kwok

Nicholas Kwok

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I’ve found that English and Comparative Literature are both fields of study that interweave and intersect one another in many aspects: having been fortunate enough to have studied both disciplines has fundamentally changed the lens with which I interpret and engage with literature.

The Comparative Literature side of my degree has enabled me to study texts which I undoubtedly would not have otherwise been exposed to, and has encouraged me not to limit myself to the typical literary canon. The theoretical aspects have been particularly engaging, touching on contemporary, on-going dialogues on the nature of literature in a global sense: from the fascinating complexities of translation, to the infinitely large spectrum of cultural differences, and how these aspects impact the transmission and reception of texts. I have found that throughout the course of my degree, I’ve been able to constantly use these methods to interrogate the texts I’ve studied, enabling me to approach them from many different perspectives: this has meant I’ve been able, and am sure I will continue, to enjoy reading even more.

What aspects of the course do you find the most enjoyable?

The structure of the course allows for a large degree of freedom in choosing from what feels like an endless selection of modules, and more importantly, this has meant I’ve been able to study things that have always interested me, alongside broadening the scope of my interests with areas I’d not previously studied.
My degree encourages a certain level of independence, giving you the capacity to work at your own pace and to structure your work in a way which suits you best, whilst also progressively pushing those boundaries to help you grow, academically and personally. The mixture of coursework, group-work, and assessment allow you to develop a varying range of skills, and mean that the work is unlikely to feel stagnant or repetitive.

What would you say about the learning facilities/resources in your School and at the University in general?

I believe firmly that the learning facilities during my time at university have really come down to the lecturers and people who have taught me. The lecturers have all been fantastic, with each respective member of staff usually specialising in the very thing they are teaching you: their unwavering passion for their fields make a massive difference and they are always excited to engage with the ideas you bring. The seminars have been a great opportunity to discuss ideas with others, and provide a good platform to develop your own.

What are your next steps once you graduate?

I am hoping to pursue a career in the fields of Marketing or PR, and I feel confident that my degree has equipped me with the necessary transferable skills that would make this a reality. The study of English and Comparative Literature has improved my ability to communicate, analyse, and understand ideas effectively, and I have begun to develop an acute understanding of the values a product needs in order to be marketed across vastly different cultures.