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English Literature

BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) - combined

Department of English and Modern Languages

Oxford Brookes has one of the best and most innovative English departments in the country. You will be taught by staff whose publications contribute to the development of English Literature. Oxford Brookes is recognised for its excellent teaching on this programme and in the National Student Survey 2019, 97% of our students reported that they were satisfied with the quality of the course (source: unistats).

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. You can also choose to study a named degree in English Literature with Creative Writing.

There are also opportunities to develop your career with our Work Placement module and our careers services. You’ll have access to professional networks, unique resources and specialist facilities to prepare you for any career.

You can study English Literature as single honours or combine it with another course.


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - to include English (English Language, English Literature or English Language and Literature)

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Be taught by experts – 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.
  • Personal approach – our low staff-student ratio means you’ll have more opportunities to interact and discuss your ideas with your tutors.
  • Flexibility - you can adapt to the course to suit you. For example you can choose to take ‘wild’ modules from anywhere across our undergraduate modular degree programme.
  • Creative writing – We offer modules in each year of the course to develop your creative writing skills, from mastering the basics to preparing a manuscript for publication.
  • Excellent on-campus literary resources - including the Man/Booker Prize Archive, Royal Literary Fund Fellows and the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.
  • Flourishing student-led literary groups - including the Drama Society and the Creative Writing Society.

During your first year, you will develop core skills to be employed throughout the rest of your degree. You also have the opportunity to take some modules outside your core subject of English literature – and even to learn a new language, for free.

You will study a range of additional, optional modules which will allow you to specialise in areas of literary study that most interest and stimulate you.

As a second-year student you will choose core modules which broaden and deepen your knowledge and skills gained in Year 1.

In your final year of study, you will specialise even further by taking modules relating specifically to the areas of English literary research in which your lecturers are engaged and in which they publish. This will allow you to develop knowledge in areas which most appeal to you.

The Advanced Options modules offer intensive, small-group teaching in a specialised area of study. They are designed to build on the work you have done in Year 2, and to extend and deepen your knowledge, analytical skills and appreciation of yourself as a critic.

In addition, you must choose either:

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

A dissertation is recommended if you are hoping to continue your studies at postgraduate level. If there is a particular topic or approach which is not included in the English degree course and which you would like to cover, it is possible to undertake further independent study in the form of a dissertation or project.


Study modules

Throughout your studies you will have a wide choice of modules, allowing you to pursue your interests. We regularly review and update the modules we offer, so it is possible that the options available to you will differ slightly from those listed here.

Year 1

Modules include:

  • Culture, Criticism, Literature 1 & 2 **
  • Shakespeare**
  • Critical Theory In Action*
(**Compulsory for single and combined honours; *compulsory for single honours.)

You will also have the opportunity to add modules from the following:

  • World Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Approaches to Performance
  • Texts in Performance

Years 2 and 3

As a second-year student you will be able to choose between the following compulsory core modules, which broaden and deepen your knowledge and skills gained in Year 1.

  • Landscape and Mindscapes*
  • American Vistas*
  • Culture, Crime and Transgression*
  • The Culture of Modernity*

(*Core modules of which single honours students must choose at least two, and combined honours students must choose at least one.)

Alongside your compulsory modules, you will have the opportunity to choose from a range of options which enable you to begin specialising in the areas of literary study that most interest you. These options change from year to year but include:
  • Tragedy
  • Renaissance Love Poetry
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature and Psychoanalysis
  • Witchcraft and Magic in Literature
  • Satire
  • The Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian Literary Imagination
  • WWW: Wired Writing Worlds
  • Post-War American Fiction
  • Possible Worlds: Science Fiction
  • Victorian Poetry
  • Avant-Garde Poetries
  • Independent Study in English Studies
  • Work Placement in English
In your final year of study, you will specialise even further by taking optional modules related specifically to the areas of English literary research in which your lecturers are engaged and in which they publish.
Contemporary Literature (Synoptic Module)
This module explores literature of the last ten years, and considers how issues directly relevant to students’ lives such as globalisation, post-9/11 culture, and digitalisation are being debated in literary texts. 
Advanced Options modules
These options offer you the opportunity to develop deep knowledge through working with experts on research-led topics. Single honours students can choose up to three options; combined honours students can choose up to two. Options change each year, and include:
  • African-American Avant-Gardes
  • The Theatrical City
  • The Middlebrow Novel
  • Literature, Technology, Culture
  • Postcolonial Writing
  • Literature and Madness
  • Creative Writing
  • The Gendered Self
  • Ecology and Romanticism
  • The Victorian Supernatural 
  • American Modernism
  • Utopian/Dystopian Writing
Dissertation Module
You will work one-to-one with a specialist lecturer to devise, research and write a 10,000-word project. The topic is entirely of your own choosing, and 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 subject not covered by the curriculum. Combined honours students have the option of writing a dissertation which embraces both their chosen subject areas.


Modules in detail » Module diagrams »


Work placements

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 students with assistance in finding their own placements. Students are responsible for their own travel and associated costs, therefore it is advised that they organise placements bearing this in mind. Oxfordshire based placements, such as at Pegasus Theatre, are accessible via public transport – a trip which is included on the Brookes Bus route, whilst placements in London will incur higher travel costs. It is encouraged that students explore opportunities for their placement provider to cover travel costs if they opt for a placement which is not local. 

Study abroad

The English programme has links with many universities across the world, and you can spend a semester experiencing another country and culture. Our students have studied at our partner universities in Australia, the United States, Canada, and English-speaking universities in Norway and Denmark.

Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your Student Loan or directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference. 

You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas.

Find out more about studying abroad here

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

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.


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.

Teaching and learning

Modules employ a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials:

  • Lectures given by course tutors offer a framework for the course as well as guidance for further study.
  • Seminars provide the opportunity to develop your oral skills and your ability to think and argue within the flow of discussion.
  • Tutorials are normally offered on a one-to-one basis and are designed to assist in the preparation of coursework or to provide you with feedback on such work after your tutor has marked it.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 13%87%0%
3 9%91%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 19%81%0%
2 15%85%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 14%86%0%
3 11%89%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 17%83%0%
2 15%85%0%
3 10%90%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 20%81%0%
2 13%83%4%
3 12%88%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 17%83%0%
2 14%86%0%
3 13%87%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 14%86%0%
3 14%86%0%

Approach to assessment

Assessments take the form of exams, coursework or a combination of both. Coursework ranges from essays to critical rewrites of well-known literary texts to group presentations. Examinations are normally essay-based or ask for a critical response to a passage from one of the set texts.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 20%0%80%
2 38%0%63%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 40%0%60%
3 6%0%94%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 17%0%83%
2 38%0%63%
3 13%0%88%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 13%0%88%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 20%0%80%
2 25%0%75%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 42%0%58%
2 25%0%75%
3 6%0%94%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 20%0%80%
2 25%0%75%
3 0%0%100%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

*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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - to include English (English Language, English Literature or English Language and Literature)

A-Level: BBC

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.

IB Diploma: 30 points including 4 in English (Higher Level)

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: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Specific entry requirements

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

If you choose English Literature as part of a combined honours degree, the offer you will receive from us will lie in between the offers quoted for the two subjects. For example, you may receive an offer of BBC if the subject you combine with English Literature has a lower tariff.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard 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.

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.

How to apply

International applicants

Apply direct »

For full-time study you can also apply through UCAS.

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

Oxford Brookes operates 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.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is the ideal city in which to study English. It has a vibrant literary community and is home to many writers and publishing companies. Cultural and literary events, such as the Oxford Literary Festival, take place throughout the year and Oxford also has a number of world-class libraries, archives, collections and museums.

As a student in Oxford you'll also be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region and in a centre for leading industries which will provide you with a host of work placement and other learning opportunities.


To see what's happening in our department follow @BrookesEnglish »


Support for students studying English Literature

Students are provided with academic and pastoral support throughout their degree programme. The department and the University offer academic advisers and student support coordinators. 

The department also hosts two fellows from the Royal Literary Fund (RLF). The RLF scheme places experienced writers into higher education institutions to offer confidential one-to-one tutorials on any aspect of writing and presentation, whether creative writing, academic assessed and non-assessed work, exam writing or seminar presentation. All Oxford Brookes students can sign up and consult with one of the fellows, who are available across four days each week.

Specialist facilities

Our course in English Literature makes the most of Oxford's rich literary, historical and cultural heritage. Students have recently undertaken projects and fieldwork at the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, the Oxford Union, the Pitt Rivers Museum and Modern Art Oxford. 

The department is also home to the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which offers an exciting programme of events open to all students.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

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.

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