University of Hertfordshire

BA (Hons) English Literature

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. 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.

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too. 

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.

Entry Requirements

UCAS pointsA LevelBTECIB
112-120BBC-BBBDMM-DDM112-120

GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language and 4/D Mathematics

Access course tariff: An overall merit profile in 45 credits at Level 3.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Course Details

Year 1

Texts up close: reading and interpretation
Make it new: literary tradition and experimentation
Journeys and quests: adventures in literature
Border crossings: modern literature from around the world
Shakespeare reframed
Identity and contemporary writing
American voices: introduction to us literature and culture
Romantic origins & gothic afterlives

Year 2

Ways of reading: literature and theory
Graduate skills
A nation of readers: british identity and enlightenment culture
Revisiting the renaissance

Optional modules
Studies in twentieth century literature, 1900-1945
American literature to 1900
Images of contemporary society: british literature and the politics of identity
Age of transition: the victorians and modernity
Literature at work
Employability skills

Year 3

Optional modules

Renaissance tragedy
Eighteenth century bodies
Literature project
Between the acts: late victorian and edwardian literature 1890-1920
Postmodern genders
Children's literature:growing up in books
Native american literature
East end fictions: interdisciplinary studies of london's east end
Worlds apart 1: utopian & dystopian writing
Texts and screens: studies in literary adaptation
The golden age: victorian children's literature
African-american literature
Generation dead: young adult fiction and the gothic
Twenty-first century american writing
Euro-crime on page and screen

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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