UndergraduateEnglish Literature

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  • Our vibrant and diverse curriculum on our BA English Literature degree covers traditional subjects such as Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, as well as engaging contemporary topics such as gender, multiculturalism, environmentalism, and digital technologies.
  • As a London-based university, we explore the ways in which literature has been shaped by the city, and arrange trips to Shakespeare’s Globe, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Museum of London, the National Gallery and the BFI. We are partners with a major literary festival and have numerous internship opportunities for students.
  • 92% of our students are satisfied with the quality of our teaching (National Student Survey 2017)
  • Roehampton is in the top 12 universities in England for graduate earnings in English (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2018 results, earnings five years after graduation).


This engaging BA English Literature degree is for people with a passion for literature. It spans topics as varied as children’s literature, the poetics of surveillance, Shakespeare on screen and Victorian novels. You will have the opportunity to study classic and modern writing from around the world, including the work of Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Zadie Smith and Neil Gaiman.

You will be taught by world-class researchers and writers. Our department is ranked 15th in the country* on the strength of our research output. Additional lectures and masterclasses have also been given by renowned authors including our Chancellor, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Kazuo Ishiguro and Emma Donoghue.

We run some of the UK's most innovative modules in any BA English Literature degree. Recent examples have included Literature of Food, taught by The Great British Bake-Off adviser Professor Nicki Humble; Literature in the Digital Age, which explores how the narrative form is changing in response to new formats and media; and Memory and Being, which considers the role that childhood reading has in shaping memory.

The programme will provide you with a range of skills you will need in the workplace, including clarity of expression in written work and oral presentation, research skills, and the ability to analyse arguments and ideas. In the classroom, you will be supported to realise your potential through individual tutorials, small group work, and lectures.

Roehampton has thriving partnerships with leading literature festivals and cultural organisations, including Battersea Arts Centre, Wimbledon Bookfest and Barnes Children's Literature Festival, providing you with the chance to volunteer or undertake paid work placements during your studies. We also have our own press, Fincham Press, which will give you the chance to see your own work published.

You can also expect to make full use of London's extraordinary range of libraries, museums, galleries and theatre spaces. Built into our modules are guided trips to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Maritime Museum and Shakespeare's Globe, to name but a few.

According to the latest official survey, 93% of English Literature graduates are working or in further study six months after finishing this course (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education Survey, 2017 results) and our graduates earn more on average than those from any other modern university in London (Longitudinal Education Outcomes 2017 results, earnings one, three and five years after graduation). This means you'll leave us not only with a deeper appreciation of literature, but also highly-equipped to succeed in whichever career you choose to pursue. 

You can study English Literature combined with Creative Writing and with Drama, Theatre and Performance.

* Results from the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

In your first year, you will immerse yourself in a wider range of literature, building your knowledge of modern and classic books. You will learn how to present your work effectively and confidently, and gain experience of evaluating and using critical material. Our current students study texts including Shakespeare's King Lear and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and explore the representation of London in the work of Arthur Conan Doyle and Neil Gaiman.

In your second year, you’ll get to focus on particular historical periods. This could include Victorian Literature, which gave us Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest; The Making of American Literature, 1600-1900, which begins with Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, or Post-War and Contemporary Literature, which includes works by Don DeLillo and Caryl Churchill.

In your final year, you'll get to shape your course in areas that interest you by choosing from our rich and varied modules. These could include Literature and Cinema which looks at how the works of Shakespeare and Beckett have been adapted for film; Writing Multi-Cultural Britain, where you can study authors such as Zadie Smith; or Subversive Children's Literature which includes the work of Melvin Burgess and Mark Haddon. As a Single Honours student, you will also write a Dissertation, on a topic of your choice, enabling you to demonstrate the skills of independent research and critical analysis that employers value.

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.