The School of English at Trinity is one of the oldest in Britain or Ireland, and in 1867 it founded the first ever Chair in English Literature. Today the School comprises a total of approximately 500 undergraduates, over 100 visiting students, and about 90 students who are reading for a higher degree. There are around twenty-three permanent members of staff whose research and teaching expertise encompasses a wide range of areas and topics, and a substantial number of Teaching Associates and Teaching Assistants. The School's achievements include its long-held international reputation for influential research and publication, the intense demand for its English courses from highly qualified undergraduates and postgraduates, and the internationally-recognized high quality of our graduates. Our distinctive commitment to small group teaching, combined with our innovative course design, gives the School an enviable international profile.
In spite of the large numbers of students, the School maintains its strong commitment to small-group teaching, which, when allied with our innovative course design, gives the School a coveted profile internationally. In the first two years of all undergraduate degrees offered by the school all lectures are supported by tutorial groups (of up to nine students) dedicated only to that course, and in the final two years most courses are taught through seminar with an intended maximum of twenty students in each option.
The School of English has an extremely strong international research profile. The last School Review (2008) rated the School as Research Intensive, a technical term indicating the highest possible category of achievement, putting us on a par with other top International English departments, such as Oxford, Cambridge, York and Durham. This is the international research context within which the School places itself, and the one in which it has consistently been placed by successive School reviews.
Members of the teaching staff publish regularly in all areas of current teaching and research activity and there are currently strengths in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century literature, as well as contemporary writing, popular literature, horror and the Gothic, American and postcolonial literature. Irish writing in English, 1590-present is an area of particular strength. Members of the School who are also active as distinguished creative writers of poetry and fiction include award-winning poets Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Gerald Dawe, as well as novelist Deirdre Madden, whose book Molly Fox's Birthday was short-listed for the 2009 Orange Prize for fiction.
We are committed to leadership in the further development of English Studies as a vigorous, multidisciplinary subject. Our vision for the future is of a School that is firmly built on our existing strengths: a single-discipline School with the highest possible international research profile based on the achievements of staff who are world-leaders in their fields; which continues to attract undergraduates and postgraduates of the highest quality; which maintains and builds on its already vibrant culture of excellence in teaching and research; which continues to foster innovation in teaching and assessment; and which has at its core our firmly-held belief that research and teaching are intimately connected and mutually stimulating.