University of Sydney’s English program ranked first in Australia

3 April 2023
Exploring the extraordinary and inspiring world of literature
The discipline of English at the University of Sydney offers a wide range of literary and cultural works, allowing students to customise their studies based on their interests.

Proudly ranked first in Australia and 18th internationally in the 2023 QS World University Rankings by subject, the discipline of English is known for its excellence in teaching and research, which is reflected in the outstanding achievements of its students and staff members.

Our staff are renowned for their expertise and experience in the field. They include prominent author, Vanessa Berry who specialises in zines and DIY literary practices, novelist Briohny Doyle, award-winning teacher and novelist Belinda Castles, Indigenous academic and prize-winning poet Peter Minter, prominent poet Toby Fitch, along with novelists Beth Yahp and Louise Katz.

We have a proud history of teaching medieval literature and Old and Middle English language and literature. Professor Dan Anlezark and Associate Professor Jan Shaw continue that tradition and are involved with the Medieval and Early Modern Centre. The discipline also has two of the most highly-regarded and published Shakespeare academics in the country on staff: Professor Liam Semler and Associate Professor Huw Griffiths.

Our students also contribute to the excellence of the program, including Indigenous poet Evelyn Araluen, who won the $50,000 Stella Prize for ‘Dropbear’, Mykaela Saunders, who won the 2022 David Unaipon Award at the Queensland Literary Awards last year, for Always Will Be: Stories of Goori Sovereignty from the Future(s) of the Tweed, forthcoming with UQP in 2023 and graduate Annette Higgs who won the $20,000 Penguin Literary Prize in 2022 for her novel On a Bright Hillside in Paradise.

Our academics have such a broad range of expertise and that is evidenced by recent books published on topics like the mutiny on the Bounty, Alfred the Great, making ideas visible in the Eighteenth Century, the literary representation of the Palestine/Israel conflict, translation, and second language acquisition, and authors like David Foster Wallace, William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, Charles Henri Ford, Samuel Beckett, George Eliot, and Thomas Wolfe
Associate Professor Rebecca Johinke, Chair of English

Studying English at Sydney provides the cultural knowledge and analytical skills that are not only marketable but also enriching for students throughout their lives. It prepares students for a wide range of career paths and gives them highly sought after skills that are valued in fields such as academia, teaching, journalism, policy and communications as well as senior roles in the arts sector.

The discipline of English is a proud sponsor of several prestigious literary and poetry prizes including the University of Sydney People’s Choice Award.

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