English Literature BA (Hons)

Key information


Our English Literature programme gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of literary forms, genres and themes, from the early medieval period to the present day. You will gain a detailed knowledge of literatures from a range of historical periods, while also developing skills of textual analysis and critical thinking.

Programme in detail

In Year One, you will develop key skills and subject knowledge that will equip you for more advanced and specialised modules in the later years of the degree. You will explore the ways in which literary texts and themes are rewritten and reinterpreted in different historical and cultural contexts. You will consider how literary texts interact with and speak to their own and other social contexts, what it means to interpret texts, and how meanings emerge from our reading.

Year Two will give you the opportunity to study texts from particular literary periods, ranging from the medieval to the modern. These modules will help you to develop a detailed understanding of the range of literatures written in a particular period, and the ways in which they relate to wider social, artistic and political contexts. Modules in Year Three allow further specialisation, with focus on specific genres, such as children’s literature, Noir, or the Gothic, and on advanced study of literary periods that considers matters such as reception, translation and adaptation. You will also have options to study modules in creative writing.

Year Three also includes an optional dissertation module, which allows you to work on a research project of your own design; and the option to undertake a work placement with an organisation relevant to your degree through the SOTA300 module.

Year in Industry 

This programme is available with a Year in Industry. Year Three is spent on a paid placement within an organisation in industry, broadly defined. You will be supported by the School of the Arts and the Department throughout, and your reflexive written account of the experience will contribute towards your final degree result. If you wish to study this programme with a Year in Industry please put the option code YI in the Further Choices section of your UCAS application form.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

Combining English with another subject allows you to take advantage of the range of choice available on our English Literature programme, while also developing your interests in another subject.

In Year One, you will take modules aimed at developing the skills necessary for advanced study. From Year Two, you will choose from a range of Literature modules that focus on specific periods, genres or themes. You will develop specialist knowledge of English Literature, while also developing analytical skills that will inform and be enriched by your study of another subject.

In each year, you will take 60 credits of English and 60 credits from your other subject choice.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

170 Year One undergraduates in 2018

Graduate prospects

99% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)

Research performance

Ranked 10th in the UK for 4* and 3* research in the REF 2014 (THE 2014)

Facts and figures

Three BBC "New Generation thinkers" teach in the department. Staff at Liverpool are internationally renowned for their work, as evidenced by the presence of three BBC ‘New Generation’ thinkers within the department.

Why this subject?

Challenge yourself to look deeper

We will challenge you to engage fully with words and texts, informed by the best in critical thinking and debate. The flexible framework of our programmes allows you the freedom to choose areas of specialisation as you progress through your degree. Our English degree programmes are also valued by employers who recognise the skills our students develop, including teamwork, project design, critical thinking, proficiency in text analysis and communication and presentation skills.

Explore English in all its breadth

Our Literature modules cover a wide and continuous range of writing in English, from the Middle Ages to the present, and including every major genre: drama, prose fiction, poetry and nonfictional prose. Language modules cover topics ranging from the history, contexts and regional variations of English to child language acquisition and multilingualism. Our Creative Writing modules are provided by a group of award-winning writers.

Share ideas in our small group tutorials

We are committed to small group teaching.This encourages a more rewarding learning experience, where ideas are shared and explored with your peers and tutors.

Debate with leading academics in the field

Our tutors are all respected academics - including four BBC "New Generation Thinkers". Our teaching is research-led, which means not only will you be challenged intellectually but your own research skills will be fostered and encouraged.

English Attainments Scholarships

We are pleased to offer two Attainment Scholarships per year to undergraduate students from the UK or EU. The Scholarships will cover the entire Home (UK/EU) tuition fee for both Years 2 and 3 (currently £9,250 per annum). Awards will be made by the department at the end of Year 1, based on performance.