English Literature


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Undergraduate Digital Information Fair
Wednesday 26 May 2021

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  • Our diverse curriculum covers traditional subjects such as Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, as well as contemporary issues 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’re partners with a major literary festival and have numerous internship opportunities for students.
  • Roehampton is ranked in the top 8 universities in the UK for graduate salaries for English and Creative Writing (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2020 results, earnings one year after graduation).
  • Roehampton is ranked 6th in London for English (The Complete University Guide 2021).
  • 95% of students said staff were good at explaining things and made the subject interesting (NSS 2020).


This engaging BA English Literature degree is for people with a passion for literature.  

Explore topics as varied as children’s literature, literature and media, Shakespeare on screen and Victorian novels. You’ll also study classic and modern writing from around the world, including the work of Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Zadie Smith and Neil Gaiman. 

You’ll be taught by world-class researchers and writers, and be part of a department that’s ranked 15th in the country* on the strength of its research. We also run extra lectures and masterclasses with renowned authors, such as our Chancellor, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Anthony Horowitz, Emma Donoghue and Daisy Johnson. 

Develop a range of skills you’ll need in the workplace, including clarity of expression in written work and oral presentation, research skills, and the ability to analyse arguments and ideas. 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. You can volunteer or undertake paid work placements. We also have our own press, Fincham Press, so there’s the chance to have your own work published. 

You can 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 just a few. 

According to the latest official survey, 92% of English Literature graduates are working or in further study six months after finishing this course (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education Survey, 2018 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 wish to pursue.  


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

First year

  • Immerse yourself in a wider range of literature, building your knowledge of modern and classic books.
  • Learn to present your work effectively and confidently, and gain experience of evaluating and using critical material.
  • Our current students are studying texts such as Shakespeare's King Lear and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and exploring the representation of London in the work of Arthur Conan Doyle and Neil Gaiman.

Second year

  • Focus in 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; American Literature: 1865-1915, which spans from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn to Willa Cather's My Antonia, or Modernist and Post-War Literature, which includes works by Don DeLillo and J. G. Ballard.

Final year

  • Shape your course in areas that interest you by choosing from our rich and varied modules. Literature and Cinema, for example, looks at how the works of Shakespeare and Beckett have been adapted for film; Diaspora Voices invites you to study authors such as Zadie Smith; and Perspectives on Children's Literature includes the work of writers such as Melvin Burgess and Mark Haddon.
  • As a single honours student, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, building the independent research and critical analysis skills that employers value.


You will graduate equipped to succeed in a wide range of careers, including publishing, marketing, 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.

We offer three cash scholarships to high-achieving students commencing undergraduate study in the Department of English and Creative Writing, provided to students who demonstrate their commitment to enriching the life of the Department.

The Anthony Horowitz scholarships are worth £2000, paid in three instalments during each year of study. The scholarships are for home students enrolling in undergraduate degrees in the Department of English and Creative Writing. Please note successful applicants will also receive a Roehampton Academic Excellence Scholarship, worth up to £3000, which means successful applicants will be provided with up to £5000 cash scholarships during their studies.

Find out more 

During lockdown, Roehampton's Dr Andy Kesson got together with a group of academics to create a remarkable online video community called A Bit Lit. The idea was to celebrate and share creativity and research in the arts and humanities - particularly literature and writing.  

You can read all the contributions made to A Bit Lit by Roehampton staff here. Or you can access the entire community's output via its website or its YouTube channel.  

Chat to our students

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.

Anthony Horowitz Scholarship

Find out more