BA English Literature
Explore a range of writers from across the globe and every period of history, from the middle ages right up to the present, with our BA English Literature course.
Our English Literature degree will enable you to examine in greater detail authors and genres that you may already know (from tragedy to Gothic, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Plath and Beckett). But it will also introduce you to aspects of literary studies that may be less familiar to you, from children's literature to publishing studies and the history of the book. Our academics have published research on everything from medieval poetry to contemporary American fiction, and they will help you to develop your own literary enthusiasms.
On this course, you will also have the option to study creative writing throughout your degree. Our lecturers and professors of creative writing are all writers who work at the highest professional levels.
Your first year will ensure that you have the advanced skills in literary analysis necessary for undergraduate work as you explore the major genres of English literature:
You will think about the different ways that literary texts respond to their cultural contexts and how they accrue new meanings in the process of interpretation. Other, optional areas of study can include creative writing, American literature, translation, book history, and comparative literature.
In your second year, your studies can range from medieval poetry to contemporary fiction and cover a wide range of topics and approaches to reading.
In your third year, your studies can be more diverse and specialised. For example, you can do archive work or look at the politics of literature.
Everyone in the Department of English Literature, from new lecturers to professors, teaches at every level of the degree. This gives you the benefit of our expertise and makes you part of the conversation about the ways that English studies are developing. 94% of students in the Department of English Literature said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023).
BA English Literature with Foundation
We also offer BA English Literature with Foundation. This four-year programme includes a foundation year that leads directly into the three-year course, providing a route into a degree in English literature if you do not have the typical entry qualifications.
We prioritise small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment, and a mix of lectures and seminars.
We believe that the study of English Literature is a discursive process in which we learn by sharing our ideas. For this reason, all our third-year teaching takes place in seminars taught by research-active experts in the field. We will provide detailed and thorough feedback on your written work. This is crucial to your development as a writer, whether you intend a career in creative or professional writing.
For more information, please visit the Department of English Literature website.
Throughout your degree you will be thinking about the career choices that will enable you to thrive after graduation: we will help you put in place the skills and experience that you need to launch that career. Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take a placement module on languages and literature in heritage, in education, and in the media. Students on our Literature, Languages and Education module also undertake a short placement to explore the ways in which the skills and knowledge gained in their studies have direct application to the workplace.
In your second year, you can spend a semester studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA. To find out more, visit the Study Abroad website.