This engaging BA English Literature degree is for people with a passion for literature. It will allow you to study both modern writing and classic texts. It spans topics as varied as children’s literature, the poetics of surveillance, Shakespeare on screen and Victorian novels.
You will be taught by world-class researchers. Our department was recently ranked 15th in the country on the strength of our research output. Additional lectures and masterclasses have also been given by renowned authors including 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.
We have a thriving partnership with leading literature festivals Wimbledon Bookfest and Barnes Children's Literature Festival and with local schools, providing you with the chance to volunteer or undertake paid work placements during your time at Roehampton. We also have our own press, Fincham Press, meaning you might see your 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, 94% of English Literature graduates are working or in further study six months after finishing their course – which means you'll leave us not only with a deeper appreciation of literature but well-equipped to succeed in your chosen career.
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
Early Modern Literature
The Making of American Literature: Puritanism to the Civil War
Modernism and Modernity
Postwar and Contemporary Literature
Memory and Being
Shakespeare on Screen
Origins and Developments of Children's Literature
The History, Theory and Performance of Stand-Up Comedy
Literature and Addiction in the 20th Century
The Literature of Food
Literature and Cinema
Subversive Children's Literature
Staging Gender: Shakespeare to Behn
Writing Multi-Cultural Britain: From Sam Selvon to Zadie Smith
Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist
Rewriting London: Text, Film, Image
Poetics of Surveillance
“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
BA Single Honours
BA/BSc Combined Honours
Single or Combined honours
2017 entry: 128 points
3 years (full-time)