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English Literature

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2022 / September 2023



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years

UCAS Tariff Points



Would you like to explore the biggest questions and ideas that have inspired writers and thinkers across the centuries?

When you study English Literature at Oxford Brookes, you'll examine critical moments and movements in culture and society. You’ll learn how works of literature explore issues such as

  • inequalities in ethnicity, sexuality, gender and class
  • how values, ethics and ideologies can change
  • relationships between identities, communities and environments
  • how society can face its past, and its future

Our expert teaching staff are active researchers and are widely published. This means that your teaching is informed by cutting edge insights. 

As you progress through your course, you’ll develop attributes and capabilities to prepare you for your future. You’ll enhance your skills in communication, critical thinking, and creative problem solving. You’ll develop intercultural and interpersonal understanding. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement, internship or entrepreneurial project.


English Literature study group

Joint honours options

You can also study this course as part of a joint honours degree. This course can be joined with:

How to apply

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions:

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

You will have the opportunity to undertake an internship or work placement and will be responsible for any travel costs. It is advised that you choose from local, regional and virtual options bearing this in mind.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements

Learning and assessment

Sharing ideas is central to how you’ll learn on this course. You’ll explore your opinions, and those of your peers. You’ll question. You’ll challenge and you’ll be challenged. And you’ll examine perspectives that are different to your own. 

You’ll study literary voices from the well-known to the avant-garde. Through these voices, you’ll explore some of the critical concerns of your era, and responses to them - like Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter. 

In your first year you’ll build the core skills and understanding you need for your degree. In year 2 you’ll broaden these skills and deepen your knowledge of literature in relation to movements and cultures past and present. You’ll participate in seminar discussions and develop confidence expressing your ideas. You’ll begin to specialise, following your own interests.

In year 3 you’ll specialise further. You can explore topics like urbanisation, utopian societies, artificial intelligence, sustainability or even witchcraft. You’ll also develop your talent as a presenter, team-worker, writer and thinker.



Student in seminar

Study modules

All modules are subject to availability in any given academic year.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Reading for Meaning

In this module, you’ll develop the tools you need to succeed in your degree. The gap between school and university can feel daunting, but these skills and techniques in literary study will unlock your academic and creative potential, allowing you to thrive. You’ll develop skills in:

  • close reading
  • critical analysis
  • referencing
  • research
  • understanding writers’ stylistic choices

You’ll be taught in small groups (seminars), allowing you to delve into your ideas and those of others. Seminars involve weekly close reading, discussion and critique, as well as writing and research activities.


The Culture of Criticism

Are all interpretations of literature equally valid? Are some texts more influential than others? In this module, you’ll build on the skills you’ve gained from your Reading for Meaning module. You’ll enhance key skills in essay-planning and constructing a persuasive argument, allowing you to succeed in your assessments. You’ll develop analytical aptitude, as you practise how to read and write critically. You’ll consider how your circumstances and assumptions about the world might affect the way you read and your perspective as a literary critic.

Reading Wonderland: The Literature of Oxford

In this module, you’ll investigate Oxford’s rich literary life, both past and present. You’ll dive into texts written, performed and set in Oxford, as you think about how the city’s literature is shaped by its geography, population and reputation. You’ll read established texts and writers, as well as literature outside of centres of power and privilege. You’ll think critically about yourself and your own writing and analysis, in relation to the city’s spaces. You'll spend some time getting to know your new home by walking around it, and you'll be asked to create your own guided literary tour of the city. 

Shakespeare Now

In this module, you’ll explore Shakespeare’s wide range of plays and poems, analysing this work not only as a cornerstone of English literary tradition, but as a global phenomenon. You’ll delve into Shakespeare’s language, themes and genres through recent interpretations and adaptations in performance, film and visual art.

You’ll enhance your understanding and analytical skills as you explore the cultural context in which Shakespeare wrote and investigate his impact in the past and his relevance in today’s global culture.


World Literatures

In this module, you’ll investigate literature from a diverse range of cultures beyond the British Isles. You’ll look at relationships between cultures and identities, and explore language and textual form. You’ll enhance your intercultural awareness and analytical skills as you develop knowledge of:

  • local and global literary contexts
  • language and translation
  • how ideologies shape our views of the world.

Theory, Writing and Power

In this module, you’ll get to grips with key elements of literary criticism and theory. You’ll debate pressing critical questions, and develop your awareness of issues that are key to understanding literature and society.  

You’ll build on the knowledge you’ve gained in your other introductory English modules and you'll learn to think quickly but carefully about yourself and your place in the world, enabling you to excel in both academically and professionally. You’ll increase your knowledge of:

  • a range of theoretical and critical concepts
  • how those concepts can be applied to literary texts from different periods; 
  • how these theories apply to issues of language, culture, and textuality.

You’ll cover one text over two weeks, applying a new theory or critical framework to it each week. You’ll gain skills and strategies that will benefit you for your whole degree.

Optional modules

Understanding Digital Cultures

Are you interested in exploring how digital technologies are shaping our everyday lives within government, business, education, social and entertainment contexts? In this module, you’ll explore the impact changing digital cultures has on our institutions, communication practices and consumption habits. You’ll examine aspects of digital cultures through some of the objects and practices that they themselves engage with. And you’ll be given opportunities to reflect on issues of identity, relationships, privacy, truth, and power through researching aspects of your own digital life and experiences.

Creative Writing 1: Voice and Craft in Poetry and Prose

In this module, you’ll enhance your abilities as a creative writer. You’ll participate in workshops where you’ll learn through reading, writing, discussion and feedback. You’ll practise your own writing, explore the interplay of creativity and craft, and analyse how you work as a writer. You’ll join other students in exploring approaches to crafting poetry and prose, through: 

  • practical writing exercises
  • discussing each other’s work
  • critically analysing the work of published writers
  • exploring key writing practices.

You’ll produce a portfolio of original creative writing, as well as a study of the aims and processes of your creative work. You’ll develop excellent writing habits, and the ability to reflect on your own writing practices. You’ll also understand the literary and cultural contexts of your own writing.


Theatre Styles and Contexts

In this module, you’ll examine theatre in the spotlight, and gain a range of theatrical skills. You’ll question the false dichotomy between performance in practice and performance theory. You’ll explore a range of performance ideas, including how to stage Expressionist theatre and rehearsal techniques for naturalist performance. You’ll develop knowledge of theatrical forms and approaches to performance, such as: 

  • naturalism
  • performing modernist political theatre
  • melodrama
  • staging and lighting

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Choose ONE module from the three ‘Literature in Time and Space’ themed modules below.

Literature in Time and Space: American Vistas: The Literature and Culture of the USA

In this option, you’ll read a range of American literary texts from the 19th century to the present day. You’ll think about American literature from different viewpoints, learning about the historical and cultural contexts of the texts you’re reading. You’ll discover the great diversity of American writing, from Willa Cather’s My Antonia to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Along the way, you’ll explore fascinating themes, such as:

  • the links between material culture and literary culture
  • race and ethnicity in American writing
  • American self-mythologising
  • women in America
  • modernism and postmodernism.


Literature in Time and Space: The Culture of Modernity

What do you understand by ‘modernity’? What connections are there between advances in science and technology and literary experimentation?

In this option, you’ll explore definitions of modernity, reading short stories, novels, plays, poetry and essays from the early 19th century to the present day. You’ll focus on the individual in writing, and explore texts in relation to four main sub-themes:

  • sexuality and the body
  • self-fashioning, narrative and journeys
  • capitalism and consumerism
  • scientific and technological progress and terror.  

The texts you study could include poems by Mina Loy, short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and novels from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

Literature in Time and Space: Renaissance Tragedy and Comedy

What were the rules of comedy? How did Renaissance actors perform melancholy (sadness)? And how did the theatre spaces then available influence the kind of drama that was performed?

In this option, you’ll learn about tragedy and comedy through a range of dramatic writings from the Renaissance period. You’ll analyse the rules and language of tragedy and comedy, exploring how Renaissance theatre shaped these genres. Typical content will include:

  • city comedy
  • the comedy of humours and characterisation
  • clowning and jigs
  • the performance of melancholy
  • revenge tragedy, domestic tragedy and tragicomedy.

Choose ONE module from the three ‘Literature, Self and Society’ themed modules below

Literature, Self and Society: Landscapes and Mindscapes

In this option, you’ll examine the relationship between landscape and ‘mindscape’ – in other words, between individuals in literature and their physical and social environments. You’ll read widely varying poems and prose fiction, from the Romantic poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge  to the novels of Thomas Hardy and Mark Twain. You’ll explore issues such as:

  • the pastoral as a genre
  • the development of the cityscape 
  • Renaissance concepts of internal climate and humoral ecology
  • changing concepts of the individual and their importance in the Romantic era 
  • the effects of the Industrial Revolution 
  • parallel or contrasting developments in post-colonial environments.


Literature, Self and Society: Crime, Culture and Transgression

Why does crime fiction occupy more and more shelf space in bookshops? And is it true that, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan has all the best lines? Rule-breaking and criminality have fascinated writers for as long as writing has taken place.
In this option, you’ll explore themes of transgression and criminality in literary culture since the early modern period. From Milton’s Satan to the Golden Age crime novel and beyond, you’ll examine what happens when we don’t follow society’s rules. You’ll track how ideas of crime and transgression have shifted through different historical periods, and think about issues like:

  • the philosophical question of evil
  • the limits of individual freedom
  • resistance, rebellion and terrorism
  • crimes against books and art (censorship, destruction)
  • authority and heresy. 


Literature, Self and Society: British Theatre, 1950 - Present

In this option, you’ll explore what’s happened in British theatre writing and practice from 1950 to the present day. You’ll learn about how significant, publicly funded theatres and companies, like the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, came to life in post-war Britain. We’ll cover topics like theatre censorship, which went on until 1968, affecting plays like Joe Orton’s Loot and Edward Bond’s Saved. You’ll also look at:

  • feminist, queer and alternative theatres
  • notions of nationhood, race and class. 

We’ll study play scripts, but also, where possible, by watching them in performance.

Optional modules

Special Topics (Genre): Robots, Cyborgs and Digital Worlds

We’ve always been obsessed by machines. Social media, and how we’re currently immersed in digital worlds, are just the most recent examples. In this option, you’ll encounter robots, cyborgs and digital worlds as they’ve been imagined in literature. 

Looking at the literature and culture of the 21st century and last decades of the 20th century, you’ll study the robots, cyborgs and digital worlds imagined by writers. You’ll question and explore what technology can tell us about our own human existence.

Special Topics (Genres): American Poetry: Origins and Legacies

In this option, you’ll explore the range, energy, and influence of modern and contemporary American poetry. Beginning in the early 20th century, you’ll read poetry that deals with some of the fundamental issues of America’s present and past, such as:

  • history
  • race
  • sexuality
  • nationalism.

You’ll look at the way in which certain types of writing were adopted by American poets, such as epic, documentary or confessional styles. You’ll think about whether poetry as a form can make a unique contribution to how we communicate and reflect on our experiences today.

Special Topics (Periods): Guilty Pleasures: Victorian Sensation

Why were shocking and ‘sensational’ themes like bigamy, madness and murder so popular in Victorian literature? In this option, we’ll look at the rise of the sensation novel. You’ll explore the background of a growing readership, with improvements in literacy and rising numbers of women readers (and writers). You’ll also think about how ‘sensational’ themes might reveal hidden fears and cultural anxieties about class mobility, science, gender roles and sexuality. You’ll investigate how the greater number of readers kicked off a moral panic about the purpose of literature, and you’ll consider how the ‘dangers’ of reading are connected to its pleasures.

Special Topics (Periods): The Shock of the New: Avant-Gardes and Experiments in 20th Century Literature, Theatre and Cinema

Early 20th-century modernists saw themselves as part of an ‘avant-garde’ – meaning they were working with new, experimental ideas. They believed in the power of their art to bring about a fundamental shake-up of society and people’s thinking.
In this option, you’ll look at the avant-garde against the background of European and North American culture and politics in the early 20th century. You’ll think about how political events might have triggered or influenced experimentation in writing, drama and cinema. While you’ll focus on one or two central texts or figures of the time, you’ll also map essential events and avant-garde networks.

Special Topics (Periods): Renaissance Material Culture

What can you learn from simple objects like spoons, handkerchiefs or ruffs? What can these ordinary possessions tell us about their early modern owners, and how they experienced life or thought about themselves?
In this option, you’ll immerse yourself in early modern culture, by focusing on objects in Renaissance drama. Studying some examples of domestic tragedy, you’ll think about how early modern people experienced their living spaces. You’ll consider how life’s material trappings – the things people owned, used and perhaps treasured - shaped their identity.
In seminars, you’ll explore the importance of objects like tapestries, apostle spoons, handkerchiefs, feathers, starch and ruffs. You’ll consider the value people gave to rings, seals and letters, and examine how and why goods and money were circulating both inside and outside the home. 

Special Topics (Stylistics): Advanced Stylistics

Stylistics is the study of the language of literature, focusing on how texts (and readers) create meanings and interpretations. If you learn about stylistics, you’ll be able to develop richer interpretations of any texts you meet. You’ll have a better understanding of how you reached those interpretations and be able to explain them more clearly.
In this option, you’ll explore some key concepts in literary study, such as characterisation and point of view, and you’ll gain a new understanding of how they work. In the second half of the semester, you’ll also try guided creative rewriting and critical comparison of texts. This will help you gain further insight into how to interpret writing.

You’ll read prose fiction, play texts and written poetry, and you’ll also look at performed and digital literature.

Special Topics (Themes): Angry Writing: Protest Literature

There’s a rich tradition of protest literature from the 17th century to the present. In this option, you’ll look at a wide variety of literary texts to discover dissent and protest in literature. You’ll examine links between forms of protest and meanings of literature. You’ll explore how political and social anger has been expressed in novels, autobiographies, poems and music, as well as in political pamphlets from across the world.

Special Topics (Themes): Human Animal

How have animals been represented in writing? Are they seen as hostile, or as sources of entertainment? How have they been used to explore the human condition?
In this option, you’ll explore how the interaction between humans and other animals has been portrayed. You’ll investigate this topic in a range of literary forms, focusing on writings from the 20th century. You’ll consider some of the many novels (and poems) that use non-human animals as antagonists (opposing forces), or as objects, or as allegorical stand-ins for people.

Modern British Theatre in Performance

In this module, you’ll get to grips with British Theatre, including playwriting from 1950 to the present day. You’ll gain first-hand experience of the theatre, and core critical skills, as you use practical workshops to develop and perform modern British Theatre, through social and political debates.

Creative Writing 2: Exploring Genre, Form and Style

In this module, you’ll develop your talent and range as a creative writer. You’ll build on the skills you gained in your Creative Writing (Introduction) module in Year 1. You’ll experiment with a number of forms and prose styles, including:

  • crime writing 
  • travel writing 
  • science fiction.

You’ll also explore techniques of writing poetry through forms such as the sonnet. You’ll increase your creativity, and reflect on your creative choices, as you critically examine what you and your fellow students write.

Independent Project

This module gives you the chance to do independent research on a literary topic that fascinates you. You’ll have the support of an expert lecturer, as you work independently to your own timetable, and design your own assessment method. This might include: 

  • a blog 
  • a video documentary
  • a long essay 
  • a performance 
  • a report.

Professional Practice

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your course. Previous placements have been provided at Oxford University Press, Oxfam, the Oxford Literary Festival, and the Story Museum. Students have also worked for magazines, video games companies, schools, and well-known commercial brands.

You will also have the opportunity to work as an intern for university initiatives or for the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which publishes poetry pamphlets, hosts events and workshops, and runs an international poetry competition every year. 


Year 3

Compulsory modules

English Literature Dissertation

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. Over the course of your final year, you’ll work independently on a research project, with the help of an expert tutor. Whether you’re delving into gothic literature, gaming or the dystopian worlds of George Orwell, your dissertation will grow out of your specific passion, and you’ll gain excellent self-discipline and organisational skills for work. You’ll gain core skills for your career, including:

  • research
  • critical analysis
  • time-management 
  • planned and focused writing.

If you’re a combined honours student, you’ll be able to write a dissertation on both of your chosen subject areas.

Optional modules

You can choose one or more options from the following Advanced Options:

  • Poverty and the Novel
  • The Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian Literary Imagination
  • Playing House: Early Modern Domestic Spaces
  • Can Literature Help Save the World?
  • Windrush Stories
  • Video Games, Digital Texts and Interactive Narratives
  • Urban Jungle: the American City in Modern and Postmodern Literature and Culture
  • Utopias
  • Witchcraft and Magic in Literature
  • The Theatrical City: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
  • African American Avant-Gardes.

Poverty and the Novel

How have authors engaged with poverty? How have they represented poor and marginalised people – their struggles, their dialects and their inner life?
In this option, you’ll follow the theme of poverty through novels of the 19th and 20th centuries, running up to the present day. You’ll look at how authors have dealt with a complex of issues around poverty. You’ll focus on how they’ve tried to represent ways of speaking that are specific to class or region. You’ll engage with contexts such as workhouses, factories, immigration and unemployment. And you’ll think about texts as products of historical and social conditions, but also as interventions against those same conditions.

The Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian Literary Imagination

Who were the Pre-Raphaelites? How did they fit into their Victorian context? And was their fascination with the past mainly a way of escaping the uncomfortable realities of their Victorian present?
In this option, you’ll explore the work of this group of poets, painters and designers, which included the poets Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. You’ll focus on the interaction between images and texts, exploring a range of material – including magazines, newspapers and domestic objects as well as poems, paintings and prose. You’ll follow Pre-Raphaelitism from its radical beginnings in 1848 to the end of the 19th century when it was championed by Aesthetes like Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley.
You’ll also consider critical work on subjects like:

  • masculinity
  • material culture
  • class and empire

to discover connections between literary and visual modes of Pre-Raphaelite self-expression.

Playing House: Early Modern Domestic Spaces

The household was the core unit at the heart of early modern life, but how did it shape people’s everyday lives? In this option you can explore how playwrights explored the multi-layered concept of the ‘household’ through staging them in plays. How was the theatre building used in early modern performance? Since theatres were politicised spaces, this option invites you to explore how the plays link with broader political narratives being played out at court.

Can Literature Help Save the World?

This option explores the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and investigates how literature could help achieve them. You’ll look at some of the goals in depth, such as ‘Climate Action’, ‘Reduced Inequalities’ and ‘Good Health and Well-Being’, and will explore how, and how far, literature can raise awareness, evoke empathy, change minds and inspire action.

Windrush Stories

This option explores the Windrush immigration to Britain, and the ways black and Asian writers and artists have sought to tell their stories and cultural encounters in Britain from 1948 to today. You will study themes including racism, multiple identities, gender roles, and black and Asian queer identities, along with topics such as religious fundamentalism, terrorism and Islamophobia. You will learn about written and spoken patois, and will look at a range of texts and media by writers and artists such as Sam Selvon, V. S. Naipaul, Hanif Kureishi, Jackie Kay, Zadie Smith, Gurinder Chadha, Bernadine Evaristo, and Guy Gunaratne.


Video Games, Digital Texts and Interactive Narratives

It is an exciting time to play video games, as gaming technologies like VR become affordable, designers innovate modes of storytelling, indie studios and BIPOC game-makers redefine commercial success, and the gaming population expands. This means it is an exciting time to study video games and the kinds of literature and textuality that intersect with game spaces and narratives. This module immerses you in the interactive worlds of video gaming, electronic literature, and multimodal texts, and reflects on how they work as distinctive mediums, how people do things with them, and how they are meaningful to individuals and society at large. 


Urban Jungle: the American City in Modern and Postmodern Literature and Culture

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles – three of the greatest urban centres, not just in America, but in the world. In this option, you can explore how writers and artists have represented American cities. You’ll read novels, poetry, drama, short stories, essays, and a graphic novel, all from the 20th century. You’ll try to understand how these different metropolitan spaces influenced the presentation of:

  • gender and sexuality
  • economic and racial differences
  • the relationship between native-born Americans and immigrants to the United States.

You’ll look at how communities in these cities are represented, and how the tensions between them are explored.


Is a utopia possible? The ideal state or society is the central vision of utopian fiction. In this option, you’ll look at the different ways in which utopias have been presented in fiction, from Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) to the 21st century. You’ll investigate the importance of issues like social and political control, and technologies of race, gender and sexuality. You’ll explore utopian thought, and different concepts and definitions of utopia – and also of dystopia and anti-utopia.

Witchcraft and Magic in Literature

You’d recognise a witch if you met one – wouldn’t you? Or maybe you wouldn’t. If we look at the kind of people who have been the subject of witch-hunts through the ages, the picture becomes much less clear. Witches, who are generally scapegoats of some kind, come in all shapes and sizes.
In this option, you’ll examine the way that the witch, magus and magician have been represented in literature from the Renaissance to the present day. You’ll consider this literature from a range of viewpoints, including:

  • gender and class
  • social relations, whether local or national
  • education and superstition
  • the Enlightenment
  • the development and endurance of popular culture.

The Theatrical City: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

How does city-living affect who we think we are? How do the buildings, streets and districts we live in shape our identities and our lives?
In this option, you can explore the idea of the city through plays and other texts made in London in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At this point in history, London had gone through a series of dramatic and far-reaching changes, and emerged as a transformative space. As London grew and changed, the theatre became a place both to celebrate city life, and to satirise its vices.
You’ll think about how city spaces (both indoors and outdoors) affected men and women’s physical, emotional and spiritual identities. As well as plays, you’ll discover other, less well-known ‘urban’ texts, from criminal confessions to ballads and drinking songs.

African American Avant-Gardes

In this option, you can trace the evolution of African American avant-garde movements in the 20th century. You’ll explore experimental African American writing in a range of genres. You’ll start with the New Negro movement and Harlem Renaissance in the modernist period, before studying the major African American novelists of the 1930s to the 1950s. We’ll conclude with the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and early 70s.

Contemporary Literature

From 9-11 to the rise of the digital world, how does literature explore issues which are directly relevant to our lives? In this module, you’ll tackle literature written in the last decade. You’ll examine a series of exciting texts, exploring how we live in the 21st Century. From climate change literature to political manifestos, you’ll study and debate the big issues that face our society today.

Creative Writing 3: Towards Professionalism and Publication

In this module, you’ll meet literary agents and editors, as you explore the submissions process for publication. You’ll understand how a book works as a whole, developing the skills you gained in your Creative Writing modules in Years 1 and 2. You’ll produce a 6000-word piece of writing on a theme or idea that fascinates you. You’ll also consider how this piece would look within a published work, for example, chapters from a novel, or poems from a proposed full-length collection. 

Advanced Independent Project

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll work independently, with the support of our expert academic team, and will carry out work on a specific project of your choosing. You’ll gain core skills for work, including in:

  • enquiry
  • research 
  • analysis 
  • evaluation.

Work placements

Optional modules

Professional Practice

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your course. Previous placements have been provided at Oxford University Press, Oxfam, the Oxford Literary Festival, and the Story Museum. Students have also worked for magazines, video games companies, schools, and well-known commercial brands.

You will also have the opportunity to work as an intern for university initiatives or for the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which publishes poetry pamphlets, hosts events and workshops, and runs an international poetry competition every year. 


Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Your teaching and learning will include a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials: 

  • Lectures - offer rich insights into texts and topics as well as guidance for further study.
  • Seminars - give you the opportunity to develop your abilities to think and debate within the flow of discussion.
  • Tutorials – give you the chance to discuss course content, and your coursework planning and assignment feedback, usually one-to-one, with your tutors. 


Assessment methods used on this course

Your assessments will allow you to develop your skills - wherever your strengths lie and whatever your learning style.

Assessments will involve independent written work such as essays, literature reviews, blogs and position papers. You will also have opportunities to produce short presentations, your own literary tour, and creative visual assessments such as craftwork, posters and games.

The assessments are designed to help you develop your confidence in using a wide range of skills, preparing you well for your future career.


Study Abroad

Our English programme has links with many universities across the world, allowing you the opportunity to spend a semester experiencing another country and culture. Previous students have studied in Australia, the US, Canada, Norway and Denmark.

Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK. You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas.

After you graduate

Career prospects

As you study, you’ll develop highly transferable skills and competencies in the areas that employers care about. These include:

  • critical thinking
  • creative problem solving
  • written, spoken and visual communication, in a variety of media and styles
  • intercultural and interpersonal understanding
  • research and analysis
  • working independently and collaboratively

You’ll graduate able to analyse issues, express your ideas, inform and influence others, and respond to challenges – critical skills for the 21st century workplace.

Our graduates go on to work in diverse areas like

  • NGOs and charities
  • Research
  • Publishing
  • Public relations
  • Sustainable start-ups
  • Media and journalism

And many pursue postgraduate study, often here at Oxford Brookes.

Further study

Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can stay with us to continue on to more in-depth postgraduate study.

We currently offer taught courses for MA Creative Writing and MA English Literature, and also welcome those who would like to join us to undertake further research such as an MA by Research, an MPhil, or a PhD.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Dr Andrea Macrae

I teach, research and publish in the areas of stylistics, narratology and world literature.

Read more about Andrea

Dr Niall Munro

I mainly work in the field of American literature, especially modernism and poetry and am currently completing a book about twentieth-century memories of the American Civil War. I have also worked on post-war commemoration more broadly and my first book was about the poet Hart Crane. I am the Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and of our poetry press, ignitionpress.

Read more about Niall

Free language courses

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme Changes:

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

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