English Studies

Welcome to the English Studies Department at Nipissing

The primary way human beings communicate is through storytelling. Almost every interaction we have involves exchanging and analyzing stories, ideas, impressions and emotions. Given this fact of human culture, we see English Studies as teaching essential skills for life beyond the university.

In English, we challenge simplistic or superficial modes of thought—or non-thought—by finding out how texts of all sorts work. We learn from the past by reading classic works of literature, such as novels, plays and poetry. We also engage with contemporary culture by considering the texts that shape our current lives, such as movies, television, web-culture, graphic novels, theatre, and other media forms. With analytical reading, research and writing practice, we equip the citizens of the future with the skills of discernment, focus, resilience and adaptability that they will need to build their own careers and communities.

Delivered with an emphasis on dialogue, our courses reflect faculty research interests and the shape of our discipline by being a mix of tradition and innovation. In first year, you can choose from among a number of topics courses. In upper years, you may take courses in British literary history, such as Shakespeare or Victorian literature, as well as choosing from a broader range of subjects such as children’s literature, Canadian and American literature, the graphic novel, postcolonial and indigenous literatures, Harry Potter, fan vids or disaster films.​​​​​

Recently offered courses

First-year Topics

  • Science in Literature
  • Love and Loss
  • Monsters, Madness and Malice
  • Sport in Literature and Film
  • Photography and Literature

Honours Seminar Topics

  • The Art of Sacrifice
  • Early Modern Cross-dressing
  • Cannibalism in Literature
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Canadian Historical Novel
  • The Victorian Fantastic

Feeling Creative?

  • ENGL 2015 Theatre Production
  • ENGL 3126 Writing for Digital Media
  • ENGL 3127 Writing for Mass Culture
  • ENGL 3516/7 Creative Writing: Poetry and Prose
  • ACAD 3006 Mentoring the Writer
  • ENGL 4695 Honours Essay
  • ENGL 4795 Creative and Critical Writing Honours Essay

Creative Writing Courses

Students wishing to enroll in ENGL 3516 and/or ENGL 3517 must prepare the following application package:

  1. A letter of application containing all contact information, including student number, and indicating which course(s) student is applying for entry to
  2. A portfolio of the student’s best work in poetry (5-10 pages, double-spaced) or prose (5-10 pages, double-spaced) or both, as required
  3. Packages should be submitted, in paper copy, to the Chair of English Studies by April 15
  4. Students will be contacted by the Course Instructor

English Studies Honours Seminars

The Seminar is a “capstone” experience for students in their fourth year of the Honours Specialization in English Studies. Learn more...

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

Scholarships, a​wards and bursaries for students in the English Studies program.

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

Conspiracy of Three

Creative writers might want to consider getting involved in the “Conspiracy of Three”—a community group of active writers who meet monthly to share their work and to enjoy the work of a featured writer. C3 is a great opportunity to meet creative people in the North Bay community and to share ideas in a relaxed, casual and welcoming setting.

Shakespeare After School

Students in our Shakespeare class regularly present a drama club at the local North Bay Public Library for children age 8-12, which gives kids an opportunity to act in a Shakespeare play. The university student leaders select and adapt a play and take the children actors through a 6-week process of reading, rehearsing and staging a final performance.

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Confucius

Experiential learning is an effective medium that enhances and reinforces classroom learning. In addition, skills and competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, analysis, work ethic, and problem solving are all learning outcomes that assist with finding the right career path for you.

Third and fourth year Arts and Science Students will be interested in our 3 credit course, UNIV 3006 Experiential Learning for Arts and Science Students. Within this course, academic assignments and at least 60 hours of placement in the community within a field that is related to your course of study is offered.

Nipissing Promise

Students enrolled in the Nipissing University Promise program will be invited to return to Nipissing, tuition free, for up to 30 additional credits if six months after completing their four-year undergraduate degree program with a 70 percent average and all required elements of the program, they have not secured career-related employment.

For more information please visit The Nipissing Promise.

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Involvement and experiential learning lead to more personal and academic success by connecting classroom learning to real world experience. Volunteer on your campus and within the community and be officially recognized for all that you do. The Record of Student Development (RSD) documents that you have completed a series of involvement outcomes that all employers are looking for. Achieving all the competencies associated with the RSD will help you communicate the depth of your experiences as you apply to career opportunities.

Employers are looking for people with the following proven abilities:

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-Solving skills
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Teamwork

To register and see the full list of RSD competencies visit www.nipissingu.ca/rsd

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.


Full-time Faculty

Part-time Faculty


Mary White

Meggan Gould

Jenna Demers

Stevie Lyons

English Studies at Nipissing is an ideal place to prepare yourself for the job market of the future. In this fast paced world, professionals need the capacity to communicate, to be able to read and analyze texts and people and to be able to identify problems and offer creative solutions. English Studies prepares you by helping you find the independence of thought, resilience and adaptability that will lead you through a range of interesting, satisfying and lucrative careers.

An English degree opens up a diverse range of career paths by giving you a broad base of key skills. Graduates come away with expertise in written and oral communication, critical thinking, research, and analysis.

With those skills, you may pursue careers in areas like journalism, editing, copywriting, translation, or marketing and public relations. Many students choose to continue on to Master and graduate level studies, or to professional schools like law and teaching. With such a great foundation, you will have many possibilities in front of you!

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, Library Science, MBA)
  • Careers in journalism, public service, public relations, marketing, professional writing, and creative writing