Traditional and modern literature
Why take this course?
This course is for those that reading or are curious about poetry, fiction and drama. It brings together the traditional and the innovative, from the Renaissance to the present day, with the possibility of Shakespeare and Quentin Tarantino sitting together on your bookshelf.
Examine texts from a variety of perspectives including thematic, historical and cultural approaches and discover your own critical voice through close textual analysis.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Engage with and evaluate current critical debates
- Undertake work or research placements, volunteer roles and internships alongside your study
- Take up the option of some foreign language study
What opportunities might it lead to?
You will be well positioned to find employment in a variety of fields including teaching, publishing, journalism and media. While studying English literature is a great foundation for a career in the arts, the sophisticated analytical and presentational skills you will gain are also highly valued by a range of non degree-specific graduate employers.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- television script writing
- public relations
- web design
- further academic study
The tutors are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about their subject, allowing students to broaden their mind and debate their ideas in a comfortable and relaxed environment.
Rachael Grosberg, BA (Hons) English Literature student 2012
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time
240-300 points from 3 A Levels or equivalent, to include 100 points from A Level English.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £8,750 p/a*
International full-time students: £10,500 p/a*
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Structure & Teaching
Core units will introduce you to key concepts in literary study and enable you to begin to hone the analytical skills that will carry you through the next few years.
- Literary History 1
- Literary Theory
- World Literature
- Writing Now
- Introduction to Narrative
- Introduction to Poetry
In the second year you can begin to make real choices in the balance of your studies and design your own programme of study to suit your personal areas of interest with a wide range of optional units on offer.
Core units in this year include:
- Literary History 2
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature
- Early Modern Drama
- American Literature
- Nation and Travel
- Victorian Literature and Visual Culture
- Crime Writing
- Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim
- Shakespearean History
- Foreign Language
In the third year you can engage in the close study of Renaissance, Romanticist, fin-de-siecle, modernist or postmodernist fiction. You’ll select from units with a conceptual focus, for example in psychoanalytic, feminist or postcolonial criticism, or with a regional-cultural basis, such as post-war American fiction, travel writing and European literature.
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Early Modern Literature and the Bible
- Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity
- Magical Realism
- Postmodern Historical Fiction
- War and Fascism
- Tracing Borders: Women and Writing 1890-1940
- Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Fiction
- Friendship, Community and Identity in Seventeenth Century Poetry
- Charles Dickens
- European Literary Decadence
- Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
- Holocaust Literatures
- US Masculinities
- (Re)writing Revenge on the Early Modern Stage
*Please note that not all options or special subjects will be available at any given time.
Teaching and Assessment
Our teaching approach involves lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. We aim to provide a stimulating and supportive learning environment that encourages participation in group discussions and projects, alongside individual study.
How are you assessed?
The majority of the course (62%) is assessed through coursework including:
- close textual analysis
- a 10,000-word dissertation
Facilities & Features
The Study Centre
A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, alongside access to the University 3rd Space.
You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring you are kept abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for Literary Studies (CSL), which brings together scholars from different fields within literary studies.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Of all the facilities the university has to offer, I have found the IT facilities the most useful, as well as the online resources such as Ebrary and Jstor, which have been indispensable in providing additional information when writing assessments. In addition, all the units have been taught by passionate and engaging lecturers, whose passion for the texts we were studying, and literature in general, often proved to be inspirational.
James Tattington, English Literature student, 2013
Careers & Opportunities
Studying English literature is a great preparation for a career in publishing, the media, teaching or research. The transferable skills you’ll gain will also set you up to take on a wide range of roles such as marketing, PR and recruitment. In addition, a number of our graduates go on to postgraduate study.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- publishing assistant
Our degree fosters a positive attitude to career planning and the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option allows you to earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. This gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, reflect on the ways in which you've done so and learn to express this to potential employers.
We can offer you a number of work experience opportunities in a range of local organisations during your degree course. Currently these include projects at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the New Theatre Royal, with local government departments and political groups, and a number of our students have worked on small research projects for the local community.
Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 89 per cent of our 2011graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Our next open day is Wed 10 July
VISIT US! Have a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to live and study here. We’ll be on hand to talk to you about your course interests and show you all of our amazing facilities. You’ll also get to meet tutors and other students…
Application, Fees and Funding — find out more