Brief History of the Department
The Department was one of the foundation departments of the University with Dramatic Arts as a sub-department. The Senate of the University of Nigeria approved a full departmental status for Dramatic Arts in 2004 and at the same time approved for it a change of name to the Department of Theatre Arts. The parent Department also had a change of name that same year to the Department of English and Literary Studies in order to bring out more clearly its scope of coverage. In the accreditation exercise of 2005 the Department came out with full accreditation status, and it has since 2010 been the proud possessor of a fully equipped modern language laboratory donated and furnished by a former student and former member of staff, Dr Mrs Virgy A. Anohu of FINHOMES Ltd.
The Department has exerted considerable influence in the development of other universities, especially in the Eastern zone as many of the foundation members of their departments of English are alumni of this Department. The Department continues to play an active part in the training and upgrading of manpower for these sister departments. The programmes developed in this Department have also been influential in the development of the programmes of many sister departments across the country.
The relation between literary art, language, and thought has been known, discussed, and researched into at least since Aristotle. The approach to teaching and in-depth exploration of English language structure and the nature, functioning, and manifestations of the literary is hinged on the idea that this knowledge is irreplaceable for language and literary workers. Thus exposed to the working of language and literature the student grows in clarity of thought and perception, and develops the minds creative capabilities. This is one of the reasons why the graduates of English language and literary studies find employment in a vast range of activities in the service industry as well as in the management and productive sectors of the economy.
The main objectives of the programmes in the department are as follows:
a) To produce graduates who have a well-informed literary sensibility which enables them to respond in a creative manner to their environment.
b) To produce graduates who have such linguistic competence that will make them skilful users of the English Language.
c) To produce graduates who can exploit the rich resources of language for a sharper literary appreciation.
d) To equip the graduates with adequate knowledge of the full range of the major land-marks in English and African literature in all genres and periods.
The various programmes available to students in the Department of English and Literary Studies are designed to give them a rich and rounded humanistic education as well as practical competence in the language of science, business, and international relations in the modern world and to expose them to literary art in all its forms as it has evolved over time and as encountered in different places and cultures as well as the theoretical discourse that accompanies and assists in its development.
The Department of English offers a four-year B.A. Standard Degree Programme by entrance examination, a four-year B.A. Combined Honours Standard Degree Programme by entrance examination, and a three-year B.A. Standard Degree Programme by direct entry.
The courses in the programme are grouped into four main stress areas as follows:
1. English Language
2. English Literature
3. Modern African Literature
4. Traditional African Verbal Arts
Candidates for admission must satisfy the University minimum entry requirement. In addition:
(i) Candidates admitted by UTME must have passed English language and English Literature at least at credit level in the WASC examination or its equivalent.
(ii) Direct entry candidates must have passed with a grade of at least D in English Literature in G.C.E. A/L or at an equivalent standard at the Higher School Certificate or at an equivalent examination like N.C.E.
Graduates of English and Literary Studies have job opportunities in a variety of administrative positions in the private and public sectors as well as in teaching, editing and publishing, broadcasting and the mass media. They are also equipped to make careers as writers and literary agents.
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