About the course

Study English Literature with us and we’ll help you grow from passionate reader into critical thinker and literary scholar.

You’ll be taught by research-active academics who bring fresh thinking to our accessible, engaging courses. This means you’ll study literature written in English by writers from all parts of the globe, whose voices are relevant and important in our modern world.

We’ll introduce you to writers who will open doors to contemporary worlds and cultures remote from your own, and also help you explore more familiar literature in ways that challenge your preconceptions.

Whatever your taste in literature, our courses will interest and provoke you. From The Tiger Who Came to Tea to Jane Eyre, from Paradise Lost to Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, we’ll broaden your literary horizons and hone your critical thinking.

A core module in your first year will equip you to read and interpret both traditional and contemporary literary texts critically as a scholar of English literature. Alongside this you can choose to study international and American literature or revisit Shakespeare and consider his cultural relevance today through fictional, cinematic and TV adaptations.

In your second year you’ll focus on period-based literature from the Renaissance onwards and gain an understanding of literary history, from Elizabethan verse and drama, via Augustan poetry and the emergence of the novel in the 18th century, to the radical transformations of the Victorian age, and the emergence of modernity in the 20th century. You’ll also have the opportunity to consider ways of reading that go beyond textual analysis or historical context, such as understanding literature through the political or ideological lens of Marxism, feminism and post-colonial theory.

You’ll have the chance to specialise in your final year, tailoring your degree to reflect your own interests. Themed options include children’s literature, young adult fiction, Renaissance tragedy, 21st century American literature, European crime fiction, literary adaptations and the culture of print in the 18th century.

If you have a particular interest or independent research idea you can choose to work with a supervisor to write an extended dissertation. Previous dissertations have focused on subjects as diverse as anthropomorphism in Beatrix Potter’s animal tales; Black British identity in young adult fiction and grime music; women in Shakespearean tragedy; and slavery and the frontier in early American gothic short stories.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) English Literature
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) English Literature

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • A fresh take on traditional writing and the opportunity to study contemporary works that speak directly to our everyday lives
  • An expert academic team to support you and build your confidence as you develop into a literary scholar
  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • Teaching rated excellent by 92.14% of our students in the 2018 National Student Survey
  • CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities

You can also study English Literature in combination with another subject:

Course details

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Our courses equip you with transferable, intellectual and personal skills and experiences that are valued by employers in a wide range of industries. Past students have gone on to careers in teaching, publishing and the media, journalism and marketing. Many of our graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.

For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with the School of Education.

Work Placement

Our English Literature students can choose a work experience module, Literature at Work, which explores English in the classroom and aspects of the literary heritage industry. The module is centred around a six-week work placement where you’ll gain valuable transferable skills. Our students have worked as school classroom assistants, in publishing houses or attractions such as London’s Charles Dickens Museum and Dr Johnson’s House.

Study Abroad

A natural step from studying global literature is to go out into the world and experience it for real. We encourage our English Literature students to take a year’s study abroad at one of our many partner institutions across the world. If you’re reading African American literature and choose to study in the American South you’ll see the legacy of slavery or the birthplace of the civil rights movement at first hand. Your year will broaden your horizons and enhance your understanding of the literature of other cultures – it may even inspire your dissertation subject. 

Find out more about our Study abroad opportunities.

Structure

  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Texts Up Close: Reading and Interpretation 15 Credits Compulsory
    Make it New: Literary Tradition and Experimentation 15 Credits Compulsory
    Journeys and Quests: Adventures in Literature 15 Credits Compulsory
    Border Crossings: Modern Literature from around the World 15 Credits Compulsory
    Shakespeare Reframed 15 Credits Compulsory
    Identity and Contemporary Writing 15 Credits Compulsory
    American Voices: Introduction to US Literature and Culture 15 Credits Compulsory
    Romantic Origins & Gothic Afterlives 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Ways of Reading: Literature and Theory 15 Credits Compulsory
    Graduate Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    A Nation of Readers: British Identity and Enlightenment Culture 15 Credits Compulsory
    Revisiting the Renaissance 15 Credits Compulsory
    Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, 1900-1945 15 Credits Optional
    American Literature to 1900 15 Credits Optional
    Twentieth Century North American Writing 15 Credits Optional
    Images of Contemporary Society: British Literature and the Politics of Identity 15 Credits Optional
    Age of Transition: the Victorians and Modernity 15 Credits Optional
    Literature at Work 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Renaissance Tragedy 15 Credits Optional
    Eighteenth Century Bodies 15 Credits Optional
    Literature Project 30 Credits Optional
    Between the Acts: Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature 1890-1920 15 Credits Optional
    Postmodern Genders 15 Credits Optional
    Children's Literature:Growing up in Books 15 Credits Optional
    Native American Literature 15 Credits Optional
    East End Fictions: Interdisciplinary Studies of London's East End 15 Credits Optional
    Worlds Apart 1: Utopian & Dystopian Writing 15 Credits Optional
    Texts and Screens: Studies in Literary Adaptation 15 Credits Optional
    The Golden Age: Victorian Children's Literature 15 Credits Optional
    African-American Literature 15 Credits Optional
    Generation Dead: Young Adult Fiction and the Gothic 15 Credits Optional
    Twenty-first Century American Writing 15 Credits Optional
    Euro-Crime on Page and Screen 15 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1540 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS points A Level BTEC IB requirement
    104 BCC DMM 104 points

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Part Time, 6 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    Locations
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

    2020

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Part Time)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

    2021

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Part Time)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students