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Enrichment at NCH

NCH Student Blog | June 10, 2021

Enrichment at NCH is a fantastic opportunity to explore an extra subject in addition to those involved in your degree programme by going to the lectures of, and writing one essay each for, two 30-credit modules from the same Faculty. It is of course optional, but if you complete it your NCH Diploma will be enhanced to an NCH Diploma with Enrichment.

As a second-year Philosophy with Politics student I was able to do two English courses, Literature 1830-1900 and Literature 1900 to the present, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

For each of your two Enrichment courses, you only have to write one essay and you only need a passing mark. This means it isn’t a huge additional workload to do something that makes you stand out a little and allows you to try some courses you might be interested in but decided not to do as part of your degree.  For me, that was English.

Think the Victorians were stuffy moralists and sexual prudes, their literature dull unending tomes? Think again. This period was in many ways revolutionary, and we looked at a range of themes including Science, Religion, Realism, Gender, Aestheticism, and Empire. For the Literature 1830-1900 course, I wrote an essay on Evolution and Degeneration in H.G Wells’ Island of Dr Moreau and Time Machine. Wells studied biology under ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ Thomas Huxley and was concerned by the implications of Evolution via Natural Selection, with his Time Machine speculating about the degeneration of the human race into two subspecies: the subterranean Morlocks and the effete Eloi.

Of particular interest in Literature 1900 to the present was D.H Lawrence (who was inspired by philosophy’s best moustache Friedrich Nietzsche), Modernism, Postmodernism, African Drama and The Caribbean and History. I’d highly recommend Omeros by Derek Walcott, an epic poem imitating Homer and the Iliad but set on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia. (I also found out that VS Naipaul had lived in my home county of Wiltshire – it’s a small world.) This time I wrote about technology and what it means to be human in Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the book behind the blade runner films – which are also brilliant. What distinguishes the human from the android? Does technology bring us closer together, or forever apart, disunited and atomised? What would it be like to live in a world where most animal species are extinct, their last members up for sale as a mark of status in a new world religion?

Whether you choose English or one of the other fascinating courses on offer at NCH, Enrichment allows you to explore another subject, get to know your peers outside your major/minor, and best of all – you feel the relief of not having to sit that 24hr English exam at the end. It’s probably best to do Enrichment in your first year when you tend to have more time and can then focus on your degree subjects in the second year, but it is possible. If you do find yourself in the second year and want to do Enrichment- go for it! But I’d recommend taking a look at your assessment planner and setting aside a week in which you don’t have any formatives in which to write your essay.

Otherwise, you might end up like me – writing your essay on New Year’s Eve and finishing it two hours before the midnight deadline…

Written by Max, Philosophy with Politics & IR