On an English literature degree course you will explore the greatest works ever written in English, from traditional classics to transgressive contemporary works that shake the foundations of our society. English literature as a degree subject focuses mainly on analysis, debate and critical theorising of novels, poems, plays or other literary works. You will study a variety of modules from ‘crime fiction’ to ‘modern drama’. You can also expect to be taught aspects of creative writing and how to express ideas in various literary forms.
Some universities offer a combination of the above in one degree course.
Studying English Literature allows you to develop a thorough knowledge of literary history, theory and criticism, and enhances your understanding of a wide range of cultures and intellectual traditions.
However, it will also help you to develop transferrable skills that are highly sought by a wide range of employers. The major strength of all English graduates is the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Studying an English degree also develops skills in:
An English Literature degree can open a number of doors once you’ve graduated. Journalism, media and PR can be a good fit for an English Literature graduate, as they offer a good way to apply your knowledge of the written language. These skills will also serve you well in marketing, publishing or communications. Teaching is another option as English is an important subject at all stages.
Graduate careers include:
This course is primarily taught in small group seminars where students are actively involved in discussions and class activities. You’ll learn from published authors and critics, including: Dr Paul Innes who wrote Shakespeare’s Roman Plays; Professor John Hughes who wrote Invisible Now: Bob Dylan in the 1960s and author Tyler Keevil, winner of the Journey Prize and 2014 Wales Book of the Year People’s Prize. You’ll benefit from industry links with the Parabola Arts Centre, the Everyman Theatre and London-based literary agency Johnson & Alcock, which judges our annual novel writing contest. Cheltenham is also home to the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival that attracts writers, journalists, philosophers and historians from around the globe. Our students volunteer, interview speakers and blog about the event.
Be mentored by professional authors who will help you find your creative voice. See your work performed by actors in a staged reading, and get published in our student-led magazine, as well as our annual paperback anthology, the New Writing Series.
Interested in studying English literature at university and applying for one of our English literature courses? Applications for undergraduate English literature degrees are made through UCAS, while applications for postgraduate English literature degrees are made directly to the university. You can find out more about applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree using the links below, where you’ll also find details about how to get in touch with our admissions team if you have any further questions.