The course team is very engaged and committed to their students. There is a high proportion of seminar time, which is vital to being able to express and discuss ideas.


How do you want to study?


4 years

UCAS code:



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A foundation year helps you develop the study skills and self-confidence needed for higher education when you don’t reach the entry requirements for your subject.

If you have a passion for reading books, and thinking about the ideas and debates they reflect and inspire, then you’ll enjoy studying English Literature with us.

You’ll engage in topical discussions about how books empower people to tell their own stories, and how they help us redefine notions of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class and other markers of identity. Booklovers will feel right at home here.

Why Study English Literature with Foundation Year?

If you like to read, are curious about the questions that reading raises, and value the opportunity to share your discoveries with others, you'll find that our course can bring benefits and rewards extending far beyond graduation.

You'll have the opportunity to study modules that span right across literature in English, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and you'll find yourself responding to a range of absorbing and thought-provoking literary texts.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During the foundation year, you'll be introduced to English Literature and you'll develop essential skills to help you as you progress through your degree. 

You'll study in a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year may give you a way of accessing higher education.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will typically be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and one-to-one tutorials.

Lectures will introduce you to periods, themes, and important ideas, often in larger groups whereas seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and independent study. During workshops, you'll focus on the practicalities of textual analysis and writing.

You'll be fully supported throughout the course whilst also being encouraged to become an independent learner and thinker. In individual tutorials you'll be able to talk through your ideas, discuss plans for your assignments and receive feedback on your work.

You will typically have 9 contact hours per week, though this will depend on the modules you select.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

Throughout the course, you'll develop skills in independent reading, research, analysis, and writing and when you are not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or tutorials, you'll continue to learn through independent study. Typically, this will involve reading primary texts, and critical and contextual books and journal articles. You'll undertake research in the library and online, preparing for seminars and other study opportunities, and for assignments and examinations.

Your module tutors will give you reading and other tasks to complete in preparation for time spent in class.

If you are taking the Individual Study module in your third year, (this is compulsory for single honours students) you will undertake independent research. This will be supervised by a member of the teaching team, who will meet with you regularly to help develop and guide your project.

Each week during semester time your overall workload will typically consist of 9 contact hours, 3 hours of directed study and 18 hours of independent learning/assessment activity.

The teaching team consists of highly qualified, academics who hold doctorates and have research expertise in various fields. Many staff have published their works widely and the majority hold teaching qualifications.

All our staff are research-active scholars with extensive experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching team on our Meet the Team webpage.

You should note that members of the teaching team might change and also that postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, our permanent programme team teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

We aim to nurture your passion for literature, enrich and extend your reading skills, and support your individual academic journey every step of the way.

Susan CivaleEnglish Literature Programme Director

How you’ll be assessed

Assessment is by a combination of coursework assignments and end of-module exams. The former range from short critical skills assignments to longer academic essays and, in the final year, an opportunity for individual study based on your research interests. Some module options are coursework only (i.e. no exam), some involve a ‘takeaway’ exam, and others involve assessment via work on online discussion boards. This wide variety of assessment methods is designed to help you extend your knowledge, deepen your understanding, and develop your skills in research, analysis, debate and writing.

The balance of assessment by coursework and examination will always depend on the balance of optional modules you choose. For example, the approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework in a typical year is as follows:

90% Written assignments
10% Unseen exams

Your future career

The analytical and communication abilities that an English Literature degree provides are called ‘transferable skills’ and are desirable in almost any occupation. When you are looking for a job, they are often the most valuable skills to have. Because of this flexibility, an English Literature degree lets you choose from many different employment sectors and occupations. Teaching and social work are common career destinations. A large number of graduates choose to work in a creative field, like journalism, advertising, public relations, or marketing. There are also lots of opportunities for further academic study, and many of our students go on to pursue postgraduate work in English Literature and other related fields.

Foundation Year provides an introduction to academic study and life at university, supporting every student to achieve their full potential.

Martin WattsFoundation Year Programme Director


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 relate to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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4 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS
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