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 Athur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Zadie Smith and Neil Gaiman.
You will be taught by world-class researchers and wriers. 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.
Here is some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:
Victorian Literature: Politics, Sensation and Sexuality
The Romantic Period: Revolution, Slavery, War
American Literature: 1865-1915
Modernist and Post-War Literature
The Literary Renaissance
Writing Multicultural Britain
Genre in Context
Literature, Gender and Sexuality
Children's Literature in Context
Literature and Media
Continental Connections: Study Trip
Dissertation and Professional Development
Early Modern Gender
Victorian Literature and Culture
Modern American Literature
Literature on Screen
Shakespeare: Stage and Page
Literature and the Culture of Print
Perspectives on Children's Literature
Literature in Context
Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.
“Each module allows us to immerse ourselves in a certain time and place, enabling me to expand my knowledge not only on the texts themselves, but the social and historical context alongside them. I intend to complete a PGCE course, as I would love to teach English Literature A-Level, and pass on this passion."
BA English Literature
You will gain the skills you need to succeed in publishing, journalism, public relations, media, marketing, advertising, arts and events management. The most recent official figures show that 90% of our BA English Literature students are in work or further study within six months of graduation (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education, 2017 results).
BA Single Honours
BA/BSc Combined Honours
Single or Combined honours
Offers are typically based on 320 points or ABB from A-levels (including at grade C in English Literature or English Language or English Literature and Language.
Offers are typically based on 128 points from A-levels (including at grade C in English Literature or English Literature and Language.
3 years (full-time)
This course offers the opportunity to undertake a semester abroad as part of your degree.