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English Literature

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2020 / September 2021



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years

UCAS Tariff Points



Would you like to explore what it means to be human? When you study English Literature at Oxford Brookes, you will immerse yourself in some of the biggest questions and ideas that have inspired writers for generations.

From Shakespeare to contemporary literature, you'll examine key aspects of culture and society. You’ll gain a keen understanding of how writers have tackled some of the major issues facing human beings across the centuries. And, you’ll read some of the greatest works of literature, exploring issues such as

  • What identity means
  • Whether literature can change the world
  • What motivates us

Our expert teaching staff are active researchers and are widely published. This means we can offer modules that provide specialist pathways in:

  • Creative Writing 
  • Drama

As you progress through your course, you can expect to build essential skills for future employment. You’ll develop your communication and critical thinking abilities. And, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work placement or entrepreneurial project. 

Student study group

Combine this course

You can study this course as part of a combined honours degree. This course can be combined 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

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
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

International full time

International part time
£1,810 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2020 / 21
Home/EU full time

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

International full time

2021 / 22
Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

International full time

International part time
£1,810 per single module

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.

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.

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, including those modules that lead to a specialist pathway in either Creative Writing or Drama. 

In year 2 you will take core modules and choose options 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 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 may also choose to continue developing your specialist knowledge in:

  • Creative Writing
  • Drama.
Student in seminar

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Culture, Criticism, Literature 1

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

  • active close-reading
  • critical analysis 
  • research
  • bibliography and referencing.
  • reading a wide range of texts
  • understanding writers’ stylistic choices

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

Culture, Criticism and Literature 2

Are all interpretations of literature equally true? Is it fair to consider some texts as more influential than others? In this module, you’ll build on the skills you’ve gained from your Culture, Criticism and Literature 1 module. You’ll gain key skills in essay-planning and constructing a persuasive argument, allowing you to succeed in your assessments. You’ll develop key analytical knowledge, as you practise how to read and write critically. You’ll consider how your circumstances might affect the way you read and how your way of reading would change depending on your situation. You’ll challenge your own assumptions about the world, and how these affect your perspective as a literary critic.

Reading 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. 


In this module, you’ll explore Shakespeare and gain the skills to study his writing at university. You’ll dive into Shakespeare’s wide range of plays and poems, exploring him not only as a cornerstone of English literary tradition, but as a global phenomenon. You’ll dig into Shakespeare’s language, themes and genres through:

  • film
  • visual art
  • other media. 

You’ll gain key analytical skills as you explore the cultural context in which Shakespeare wrote, and investigate his impact on the world. You’ll also watch live Shakespearan performances as part of your study.

Critical Theory in Action

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.

World Literature

In this module, you’ll investigate literature from a diverse range of cultures beyond the British Isles. You’ll look at the relationship between cultures, and criticism, textual form and genre. You’ll explore the development of the English language across the world. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you examine issues of meaning that arise when we translate literature into different languages and contexts. You’ll also develop knowledge of:

  • literature and its global context
  • postcolonial theory and its relevance to the flourishing of different perspectives
  • culturally and historically significant literary forms
  • the ideologies which help to shape our views of the world.

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 (Introduction)

In this module, you’ll enhance your power and ability as a creative writer. You’ll attend 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 key approaches in 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 context of your own writing.

Approaches to Performance

In this module, you’ll examine theatre in the spotlight - and gain a range of theatrical skills. You’ll question the false difference between performance in practice and performance theory. You’ll explore a range of key performance ideas, including how to stage Expressionist theatre or draw on rehearsal techniques for Naturalist performance. You’ll gain firm knowledge of theatrical forms and approaches to performance, such as: 

  • Naturalism
  • Performing modernist political theatre
  • melodrama
  • Staging and lighting

You’ll also pay attention to your own actions as you learn, enhancing your knowledge of theatrical skills. 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Literature in Time and Space

Literature, Self and Society

Optional modules

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.

Special Topics: Genres

Special Topics: Periods

Special Topics: Stylistics

Special Topics: Themes

Creative Writing (Intermediate)

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.

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.

Independent Study in English

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.

Work Placement and Graduate Skills

Do you want to enhance your CV and professional skills by working for an organisation that interests you? Or would you rather focus on developing key creative enterprise skills that will enhance your career prospects? In this module, you can choose between two pathways. You can do a work placement, where you’ll be able to explore a potential career path and gain valuable work experience and academic credit. Alternatively, you can choose to work on a creative enterprise project, allowing you to develop professional communication and project management skills.

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

Advanced Options Modules

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 (Advanced)

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. 

Independent Study Module

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.

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

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.