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English Literature

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years


Department of English and Modern Languages

UCAS Tariff Points



Our English department is one of the best and most innovative in the UK. You can study English Literature as a single honours or combine it with another subject. 

Our teaching staff are active researchers and are widely published. Some of the many research areas in which our teaching staff specialise include:

  • American literature
  • 20th-century drama
  • witchcraft in the 19th century 
  • and Shakespeare.

We’re experts in Creative Writing and offer modules throughout your degree to develop these skills. Successful undergraduate students have received prizes for their work. And many of our MA Creative Writing students are published authors. We offer English and Creative Writing as a named degree.   

You'll have opportunities to develop your career with our Work Placement module and our careers services. Recent graduates have started careers in a variety of fields including:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • advertising and media
  • public relations
  • teaching 
  • and commerce. 
Student study group

How to apply

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


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

If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

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

A Level: Grade C in English (English, English Language, English Literature or English Language and Literature)

GCSE: Grade 4 in English (English, English Language, English Literature or English Language and Literature)

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 with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU 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/EU 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 and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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.

Financial support and scholarships

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

Additional costs

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading, this is at their own discretion. 

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement and will be responsible for travel and associated costs. It is advised that you organise placements bearing this in mind.

Learning and assessment

In year 1 you will develop the core skills which you will use throughout the rest of your degree. You can choose some modules outside your core subject and even learn a new language, for free. You'll study a range of optional modules allowing you to specialise in areas of literary study that most interest and stimulate you.

In year 2 you will choose core modules which broaden and deepen the knowledge and skills gained in Year 1.

In your final year you will specialise further. Your modules will relate specifically to the areas of English literary research in which your lecturers are engaged and in which they publish.

The Advanced Options modules offer intensive, small-group teaching in a specialised area of study. They will extend and deepen your:

  • knowledge
  • analytical skills
  • and appreciation of yourself as a critic.

You will also choose either:

  • Contemporary Literature (Synoptic), or
  • Dissertation Module.

If you'd like to continue your studies at postgraduate level we recommend the dissertation.

Student in seminar

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Culture, Criticism, Literature 1 & 2

These modules focus on developing higher-level reading skills. Working closely with a range of poetic and fictional forms, we explore how to understand texts in order to see how factors such as genre, context, language choice, and form build an overall literary effect. These modules also develop your confidence in speaking and writing about advanced literary concepts.

Reading Oxford

Through this module, students will explore the literary landscape of Oxford. Students will engage with, consider and compare literatures produced inside and outside of the ‘literary establishment’ and the University of Oxford.


This module examines Shakespeare not only as the cornerstone of the English literary tradition but also as an international cultural phenomenon whose influence has echoed across history and in every corner of cultural endeavour. By analysing a selection of his plays and poems, exploring the culture and the times that produced his work, and examining the impact his work has had on world literature, you will become a critic of the living presence of literary history in contemporary culture.

Optional modules

Critical Theory in Action (compulsory for single honours)

This module introduces you to the practice and history of literary criticism. It focuses on developing your ability to read critically and with a sensitive, informed awareness of how your own values, beliefs and background affect your interpretations of the world. You will be introduced to key theoretical concepts such as Feminism, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Postcolonialism and Environmentalism.

World Literature

This module explores writing in English and in translation. It presents global literature from a diverse range of national and regional cultures from across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Texts in Performance

This module introduces you to key issues and debates in the reading and performing of dramatic texts. It discusses a range of works covering a broad spectrum of drama and focuses on three distinct theatrical movements drawn from the 1590s, 1890s and 1990s. It examines the theatrical practice and dramatic writing of each historical period in detail paying particular attention to such issues as the questions of textual genre, acting styles and performance spaces. The practical element of the module will develop your spatial awareness of staged moments and a sense of the historical specificity of performance.

Creative Writing (Introduction)

For those interested in exploring their own creative potential, this module offers an introductory course in the development of key techniques. Whether your interest lies in prose, poetry or drama, this module will teach you the core skills you need to develop your craft.

Approaches to Performance

This module introduces you to a range of theatrical skills and forms. You will examine a range of key performance skills and techniques including a performer’s use of voice and movement. You will also be introduced to a range of theatrical forms and critical approaches to performance including naturalism, political theatre, melodrama and polyvocal performance.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Landscapes and Mindscapes (double module)

This module explores the relationship between the human mind / psyche, character and place, through an examination of the ways humankind has conceptualised, explored and exploited the world in which we live. You will examine why and how the ways in which we have viewed landscape, space and place in this and other worlds have changed through time. Students will encounter a range of creative representations of place and space from Renaissance pastoral and Romanticism’s veneration of nature, through Modernism’s celebration of the cityscape, to current anxieties about the degradation of the environment.

Crime, Culture and Transgression (double module)

The structures of society – physical, moral, philosophical – determine how human beings behave but, as this module explores, we are fascinated by our dark, resistant capabilities. Exploring ideas of transgression from Milton’s Satan, through post-Darwinian degeneration, and the Golden Age Crime novel, this module asks students to consider what happens when we don’t follow society’s rules.

American Vistas (double module)

This module introduces a variety of American prose and poetic texts studied for both their formal characteristics and the relation to their social, historical and cultural contexts. The module focuses specifically on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries but will also familiarise students with a broad historical and textual range. Topics include the construction of America and its myths, the American Renaissance, voices and spaces of America, and slavery and race.

The Culture of Modernity (double module)

This module explores various definitions of modernity by focusing on a range of short stories, novels, plays, manifestos and essays from the late 18th century to the present day. It examines relationships between political, scientific, technological and philosophical dimensions of modernity, literary innovation and artistic experimentation. A range of sub-themes are investigated in each run, for example sexuality and the body, self-fashioning and narrativisation, mass culture and consumerism, and scientific and technological progress and terror.

Optional modules

Modern British Theatre in Performance

This module aims to introduce students to some of the major developments in British Theatre practice including (but not restricted to) playwriting from 1950 to the present day. It will give students the opportunity to use practical workshops to explore and perform modern and contemporary British theatre in a manner than is informed by critical and socio-political debates.

Modern British Theatre: 1950-Present

This module aims to introduce students to some of the major developments in British theatre writing and practice from 1950 to the present day.  It will give students a chance to explore modern and contemporary British, largely text-based theatre through a series of lectures and seminars in a manner that is informed by relevant critical and socio-political debates.


This option helps students to develop their textual sensitivity through innovative analysis of the language of literature. Students enhance their understanding of the relationships between language and interpretation in literary reading, and develop insights into how meanings are made available in texts. The module explores poetry, prose and drama, in written, performed and digital forms.

Creative Writing (Intermediate)

This module offers an intermediate course in developing the writer’s art. It provides students who took the Creative Writing (Introduction) option in Year One with the opportunity to continue their practice working with a published novelist.

English Literature Work Placement and Graduate Skills

This module provides an opportunity for students to develop work-based skills and knowledge by engaging with professionals and organisations that have links to language, literature and the arts more widely. Students evaluate and reflect critically upon this experience, linking theory and practice in a professional context.

Renaissance Tragedy and Comedy

This module gives you the opportunity to study a selection of early modern drama, both comedy and tragedy, by Shakespeare and other playwrights such as Thomas Middleton, John Ford and Thomas Kyd. Particular emphasis is placed on theatre history and contemporary aspects of theatre making. As a practical Drama module, teaching will be via practical workshop and seminar-style discussion. You will have the opportunity to write critically and comparatively about plays on the module as well as select a short scene for group performance.

Angry Writing: Protest Literature

This option examines the rich tradition of progressive protest in world literature. Using a broad definition of “protest literature,” we focus on the production and consumption of dissent as a site of social critique, using a wide variety of literary texts. We examine the historical links between forms of protest, social change, and meanings of literature; and we explore how various expressions of dissent function as political, ideological, rhetorical, aesthetic, and performative texts within specific cultural contexts. “Readings” range from novels, poems, and music to political pamphlets.

Guilty Pleasures: Victorian Sensation

This option introduces students to the ways in which sensation writing challenges the moral, social and literary conventions of the mid-nineteenth century. An unsettling blend of Gothic romance, newspaper reports and domestic realism, sensation writing was celebrated and condemned as a sign of modernity. Dealing with, as one critic of the genre put it, the 'mysteries which are at our own doors’, sensation literature would give rise to crime fiction, the detective novel and the suspense thriller. The module explores how surface ‘Sensational’ themes of adultery, bigamy, madness and murder reveal deeper cultural anxieties about gender roles, class mobility, science and the body.


This option explores the representation of interaction between humans and other animals in a range of literary forms across the twentieth century. We consider texts which respond to our humanist fear of becoming beast-like, including texts which represent non-human animals as antagonists, or objects, or as a vehicle to explore the human condition, or merely as a source of entertainment, along with works which attempt to penetrate the experience and mindscape of animals. We go on to look at texts which reflect a post-humanist and post-Christian sense of our connection with non-human animals – texts much more critical of the human-animal opposition, and human treatment of non-human species more generally.

Independent Study in English

This module offers students the chance to study a literary topic of their choosing, working independently or in groups under the supervision of a lecturer. Students taking this module design their own study programme and form of assessment (e.g. a long essay, a performance, a report, a video documentary, a blog, etc.).

The Shock of the New: Avant-Gardes and Experiments in 20th Century Literature, Theatre and Cinema

This option explores the daring technical and formal experimentation, as well as the philosophical speculation and political engagement, of modernist writing and art. However, it stresses that these individuals were not only radical artistic innovators: they saw themselves as members of a cultural “avant-garde” that fundamentally re-imagined society. This option explores the dynamic political and social forces that brought experimental art into ever closer contact with everyday life. Each week it considers how essential events in European and North American culture map onto key avant-garde networks by focusing on the work of one or two central texts or figures.

Robots, Cyborgs and Digital Worlds

What does our devotion to technology tell us about how we understand life in the twenty-first century? Has digital culture changed the ways in which we relate to the world around us, to others, and to ourselves? This option allows to critically explore some of these issues and considers the future of writing in an age of mass media communication.

Year 3

Optional modules

Advanced Options Modules

The Advanced Options allow students to develop a deep knowledge of a specialist area by working with experts on research-led topics. Single honours students can choose up to three options; Combined can choose up to two. Options change yearly but may include:

  • African-American Avant-Gardes
  • The Theatrical City
  • The Victorian Supernatural
  • Poverty and the Novel
  • Utopias
  • The Pre-Raphaelites
  • Women and Modernism
  • Witchcraft and Magic
  • Urban Jungle: The American City in Modern and Postmodern Literature and Culture
  • Staging Riots, Resistance, and Power
  • Spectacular Origins: Theatre, Madness and the Mind

Dissertation Module

In doing a dissertation, you work one-to-one with a specialist lecturer to devise, research, and write a 10000-word project on a topic entirely of your own choosing. The dissertation gives you a degree-ending capstone which tests all the skills of literary research, critical reading, time-management, planning and focused writing that you have learned over the course of your studies. You may use the dissertation as an opportunity to focus on a familiar area, or to address a literary subject not covered by the degree curriculum. Combined honours students have the option of writing a dissertation which embraces both of their chosen subject areas.

Contemporary Literature

This module engages with literature from the last ten years in order to explore how issues directly relevant to students’ lives, such as globalisation, post-9/11 culture, and digitalisation, are being debated in literary texts. The module also offers students an opportunity to relate this recent material back to other modules they have studied over their degree, to examine the resonances and echoes of recurrent cultural ideas across centuries.

Creative Writing (Advanced)

This module brings together the skills developed in the Creative Writing modules in Years 1 and 2, enabling students to work on a longer piece of writing and to develop an understanding of how a book works as a whole. Through exposure to visits from a literary agent and/or editor, they also learn about the submissions process for publication. The final submission for the module is a large piece of 6000 words (or equivalent in poetry) which shows an awareness of the final publication context within which the submission might exist, for example - chapters from a novel or memoir, or short stories/poems/essays from a proposed anthology.

Top up

Optional modules

Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching

An introduction to the theory and practical application of the principles of second or foreign language teaching at secondary or adult levels. This module enables candidates to develop an awareness of a range of teaching techniques and apply these to the language classroom.

Opera and Politics

This module introduces the political agendas that have governed the composition and production of opera since its birth to the twentieth century. The course aims to develop skills of argument and debate through the detailed study of two or more repertory operas, in terms of their libretti, music, historical and cultural contexts.

Understanding Communication

Communication is an essential part of social life - the glue binding humans together. From our solitary readings to our computer-mediated social networking, and from our hallway chats to the academic papers we write, we are constantly involved in designing and producing messages that express who we are and allow us to coordinate our thoughts and activities with other people. This module zooms in on communication as a form of social action, and examines how a range of factors - psychological, social, cultural, semiotic, etc.- govern how we engage with one another to achieve our goals.

Work placements

Optional modules

Work placement

You can explore possible careers in the Work Placement Module and gain valuable work experience while earning credit towards your degree. You will build on the skills and knowledge you have gained to engage with professionals in the fields of publishing, journalism, education, cultural heritage and literary history. Recent placements have included the Oxford Story Museum, the Oxford Literary Festival and Oxfam. Students organise placements themselves, and Oxford Brookes Careers Centre is on hand to provide assistance. Students are responsible for their own travel and associated costs, therefore it is advised that they organise placements bearing this in mind.

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 - given by course tutors, lectures offer a framework for the course as well as guidance for further study.
  • Seminars - give you the opportunity to develop your oral skills, ability to think and argue within the flow of discussion.
  • Tutorials - usually carried out on a one-to-one basis. You can get advice on the preparation of coursework and we provide you with feedback on your work.
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 18%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 82%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 13%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 87%

Year 3

  • Lectures and seminars - 9%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 91%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.


Assessment methods used on this course

We use exams, coursework, or a combination of both to assess your work.

Coursework includes:

  • creative writing and essays
  • critical rewrites of literary texts
  • group presentations.

Your examinations usually involve essays, or critical responses to a passage from a set text.

  • Written exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical exams

Year 1

  • Written exams - 20%
  • Coursework - 80%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 2

  • Written exams - 38%
  • Coursework - 62%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 3

  • Written exams - 0%
  • Coursework - 100%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Assessment method percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

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

English will help you to acquire a range of highly transferable qualities including analytical thinking, evaluative and research skills, self-discipline, and effective written and spoken communication.

Oxford Brookes English Literature students do well in the job market after they graduate, leaving the University with a well-regarded qualification. Recent graduates have begun outstanding careers in a variety of fields including publishing, journalism, advertising and media, public relations, teaching and commerce.

Others have gone on to further study at postgraduate level, often staying at Oxford Brookes to do so.

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 cognitive poetics, with a specialism in deixis.

Read more about Andrea

Dr Niall Munro

I mainly work in the field of American literature, especially modernist writings. I have a particular interest in the poetry of Hart Crane (the subject of my first monograph), as well as in queer modernism and queer theory more generally.

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

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.