English Literature and Philosophy


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Undergraduate Digital Open Day
Saturday 14 November 2020

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  • Cover traditional thinkers such as Plato, Kant, Dickens and Shakespeare as well as contemporary issues such as gender, sexuality, multiculturalism, environmental ethics, and animal rights.
  • Tailor your degree to your own interests, choosing from a range of modules in both English Literature and Philosophy.
  • Explore the way literature has been shaped by the city, visit the museums and theatres of London, attend philosophy talks and seminars hosted by the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and enjoy the opportunities to participate in major literary festivals.
  • Develop skills in logical thinking, critical analysis, independent research, and effective writing and presenting.
  • Roehampton is in the top five universities in London for graduate earnings in Philosophy (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019 results, earnings three years after graduation)
  • 92% of English Literature students are in work or further study within six months of graduation (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2018 results).


From the Ancient Greeks and Romantic poets to contemporary writers, philosophy and literature frequently overlap. Philosophers often develop their ideas through literary methods, and literary writers often explore serious philosophical concepts. This course in English Literature and Philosophy will allow you to consider the important and universal questions common to both subjects and reach a deeper understanding of yourself and your intellectual and cultural landscape.

You will learn to think logically and express yourself clearly, to sympathetically analyse a wide range of viewpoints across contexts and to read texts critically and creatively. As a result, you will develop the skills to become a careful and analytical reader, a rigorous and independent researcher, and a clear and creative and writer.

Each year, you will take one compulsory module which provides clear connections between literature and philosophy. In your first year, you will receive an introduction to philosophical and literary methods, an introduction to key concepts in both disciplines, and the opportunity to apply these to contemporary works of literature and film. In the second and third year, you will develop a more detailed understanding of the relationship between the two subjects, as well as being able to choose options from both the English Literature and Philosophy degree programmes, tailoring your degree to your own interests. Both subject areas specialise in the history of literature and philosophy, and in contemporary issues including feminism, gender, politics, and environmentalism.

You will graduate with highly employable skills, able to read and analyse difficult texts, write effectively and persuasively and be able to work in a team. You will benefit from being taught by staff with diverse research areas, who apply their research directly to their teaching. You will receive face-to-face teaching through seminars and lectures, and you will participate in online forums as part of your assessment.

Year one:

  • Receive an introduction to the key fundamentals of philosophy as a discipline, as well as its application to contemporary social and ethical problems.
  • Immerse yourself in a wide range of classical and modern literature, and explore London through texts ranging from Dickens’s Night Walks to Zadie Smith’s
  • Develop a range of techniques enabling you to critically evaluate source material, construct and analyse philosophical arguments, and present your own position with confidence and clarity.

Year two:

  • Participate in the ‘Literature and Philosophy’ module, where you will explore the deep connections between the two disciplines.
  • Deepen your understanding of Philosophy and English Literature systematically, with a range of modules exploring detailed theoretical, historical, and ethical concepts in each subject.
  • Tailor your degree with a diverse selection of optional modules, that range from Continental Philosophy and Metaphysics, to Romantic Literature and Writing Multicultural Britain.

Year three:

  • Hone your skills of analysis and argument by choosing from a range of advanced modules, from contemporary political philosophy and Marxism to Early Modern Gender and Shakespeare.
  • Participate in cutting-edge modules led by your lecturers’ research specialisms in areas such as Animal Rights, Environmental Ethics, and Contemporary Dystopian Literature.
  • Undertake a dual-supervised English and Philosophy dissertation, allowing you to pursue your own research interests and develop your independent research and critical analysis skills.

Year 1

Classical Philosophy
Constructing the Classics
Discovering Literature
London in Literature
Philosophy, Film and Literature
Practical Ethics

Year 2

Literature and Philosophy
Students must choose 40 credits from the below Philosophy modules
Continental Philosophy I
History of Political Philosophy
Professional Practice and Placement
Philosophy Text Tutorial Study
Rationalism and Empiricism
Students must choose 40 credits from the below Literature modules
Literature and Media
Literature, Gender and Sexuality
The Literary Renaissance
The Romantic Period
Victorian Literature
Writing Multicultural Britain

Year 3

English Literature and Philosophy Dissertation
Students must choose 40 credits from the below Philosophy modules
Animals and Environment: Past to Present
Contemporary Political Philosophy
Continental Philosophy II
Love, Sex, Death and God*
Marx and Critical Theory
Research in the History of Philosophy
Students must choose 40 credits from the below Literature modules
Contemporary Literature: Dystopias
Diaspora Voices
Early Modern Gender
Literature on Screen
Shakespeare: Stage and Page
Victorian Literature and Culture

You will graduate equipped to succeed in a wide range of careers, including publishing, marketing, politics, the civil service, journalism, business, commerce, broadcasting, law, the charity sector, and teaching.

Our careers team is available to support you from the start of your studies until after you graduate. They will help you build your CV, prepare for interviews, and meet and learn from successful graduates working at the top of their careers. You’ll also have opportunities to work with our partners across London and beyond, and to attend a Roehampton jobs fair where you can find out about graduate opportunities and meet employers.

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.