English Literature and Philosophy


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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.
  • Explore the way literature has been shaped by London, visit the museums and theatres, attend philosophy talks and seminars hosted by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
  • The 2022 Complete University Guide ranks Roehampton top in London and ninth in the UK for student satisfaction in English. It also ranks Roehampton top in London for student satisfaction in Philosophy.
  • 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).
  • Give your career a head-start through the option of a one-year work placement, after year two.
  • Tailor your degree to your own interests, choosing from a range of modules in both English Literature and Philosophy.


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.

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.

This course offers all students the option to apply for a one-year paid work placement. If you successfully secure a work placement, you will undertake the placement following year two of your programme and return following the placement to complete your studies.

A placement year is the perfect opportunity to implement the skills and knowledge that you will learn in year one and two, while gaining valuable work experience. The opportunity to make connections in your chosen industry will greatly improve your career prospects and equip you with the skills and experience you need to secure graduate-level employment.

The University Careers and Placements team will support you to develop your CV and skills though webinars, workshops and 1-2-1 appointments. You will also benefit from regular communication about available opportunities to aid your placement search.

Please note while the University will support you with your placement search and applications, a placement cannot be guaranteed.

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.