This degree allows you to explore the great variety of literature in English from across the globe within a programme that covers traditional genres and literary periods.
Our English Literature degree will enable you to examine in greater detail authors and genres that you 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 you may not know so well, 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 Caribbean and American fiction, and they will help you to develop your own literary enthusiasms.
Our first year core modules ensure that all of our students have the advanced skills in literary analysis necessary for undergraduate work. We explore the different ways that literary texts respond to their cultural context (‘Genre and Context’); we trace the development of poetry in English over time and across the globe (‘Poetry in English’); we examine how literary texts accrue new meanings in the process of interpretation (‘Research and Criticism’). You can take additional modules in other subjects in your first year, but you also have the option to study creative writing; non-fiction persuasive writing, or twentieth-century American literature. In the second year, you choose modules that range from Renaissance lyric poetry to contemporary fiction. In the third year, your module choices are more diverse and specialised: you can do archive work on ‘Studying Manuscripts’, or look at the politics of literature in ‘Writing Global Justice’. Everyone in our department, 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 is developing. Creative writing modules are available in all three years of the degree. Our team of poets, fiction and non-fiction writers will help you to develop your skills, whether you want to explore creative writing in one module or make it a designated part of your degree.
We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment. In your first and second years, you will have a mix of lectures (which can be quite large) and seminars (which will never have more than 14 people). 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 provide detailed and thorough feedback on your written work within 15 working days: this is crucial to your development as a writer, whether you intend a career in creative or professional writing.
Study abroad - In your second year, you can spend a term studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in the USA, Canada or Australia. Within Europe, we have exchange programmes with the University of Heidelberg in Germany, with Charles University in Prague, and with the University of Salamanca and the University of Valladolid in Spain. This is a great opportunity to continue your study of English literature while immersing yourself in a different culture and enhancing your language skills.