Current students

These pages are designed to help current students find out more about resources and support available to them within the Institute and School, as well as being a hub for information about regulations and policy information.  

Academic writing support

Royal Literary Fellow

The School hosts a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, to assist research and masters students to adjust to the demands of academic writing of various kinds. Find out more about the current Fellow and book a session.

The Royal Literary Fund Fellowships offer students at UK institutions of higher education the opportunity to access writing advice from professional, published writers who offer confidential, one-to-one tutorials during which students can discuss any aspect of their academic writing. The idea behind the scheme is that, although writers do not have expert knowledge of the subject matter students are studying, they know a lot about the process of writing and - simply by being available to students to  respond to their questions and listen to their concerns - are able to help them find ways of improving their written work. Typical problems discussed in tutorials include the following: struggling to start writing after a long period of research - being overwhelmed by one's materials; difficulties with editing down an overlong piece of work; difficulties structuring an argument; not knowing how to write an effective introduction or conclusion; difficulties with ‘flow’ - getting from one paragraph to another; planning and organisation - leaving things too late, uncertainty about how to plan a piece of written work, not leaving enough time for drafting; questions of grammar and punctuation - apostrophes, semi-colons and commas; questions of style - overuse of academic jargon, overcomplicated sentence structure, lack of clarity.

The range of questions which can be discussed is as broad as students want it to be: the RLF Fellow is there specifically to respond to students’ needs and there is no restriction on the kind of work that may be brought to a tutorial: it might be a thesis or a dissertation, or it might be a funding application, a letter or a presentation. What RLF Fellows do not do is proofread or correct students’ work, and they have no expertise in dealing with dyslexia or EFL.

Writing Skills Seminar

The Institute of English Studies hosts a Writing Skills Seminar which is open to all SAS MA, MRes, MPhil, and PhD students. It meets twice per term to assist students in their writing assignments. Topics include writing dissertations, improving your writing, and writing presentations. Find out more about forthcoming seminars.