BA single honours English Literature with Foundation Year 2019/20

Year of entry

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). 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 course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following your Foundation Year in English Literature you will explore areas including:

  • the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
  • the Victorian era
  • the Romantic period
  • the eighteenth century
  • the Early Modern period (also known as the Renaissance)
  • the Early and Later Middle Ages

English Literature at degree level is a subject that develops your communication skills and fosters independent critical thinking. Anybody who likes to read, who feels curious about the questions that reading raises, and who values the opportunity to share with others the discoveries to which such questions lead, will find that the subject brings benefits and rewards extending far beyond graduation.

All our lecturers are passionate about their specialisms and committed to supporting their students. The modules on offer travel down the ages, from the early middle ages to contemporary writing, and look at what makes the literature of each period distinctive. Whatever options you choose, you will find yourself reading and responding to a range of absorbing and intriguing literary texts. The process of studying these will stimulate the exercise of informed critical judgement, the analysis and evaluation of evidence, and the practice of thinking, writing, and arguing with clarity, cogency, and precision.

Students on this programme are also eligible to apply to study for a year in North America as part of their degree.

The English Literature course at Christ Church offers a broad range of study opportunities in an historic location, where you will be taught by an enthusiastic and dedicated team of scholars working at the forefront of their disciplines.

‘My lecturers are all enthusiastic and clearly highly knowledgeable in what they are teaching - 100% supportive of me, my work, and personal circumstances that may occur. I always receive positive feedback on my work, regardless of the grade, and if it is not what I have expected or wanted I am able to contact them and discuss it’.

‘I have found the course stimulating and I have grown in terms of my confidence in the subject. The content has been diverse and opened up new areas of interest for me in terms of the literature we have covered’.

‘Staff are extremely supportive. Programme directors have helped me overcome serious problems. I've had a massive amount of support’.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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Our single honours course provides a comprehensive study of the subject. After a grounding in literary history and key theoretical approaches in year one, you will have the freedom to shape your course from a range of modules. This variety gives you the option of specialising in the period/s you have found most intriguing and also allows you to branch out into fresh areas of study. In the third year, your work is further deepened and developed through an extended study of a particular author or topic, written with one-to-one supervision. The same scope for choice is offered to our combined honours students, who experience the intellectual challenges of our subject, while enjoying the opportunity to venture more broadly in another discipline. Our teaching methods are characterised by flexibility and inclusiveness, mixing interactive seminars with formal lectures and one-to-one tutorials, and making use of the latest learning technologies.

English Literature students at Christ Church benefit from the opportunity to attend a range of optional research seminars, as well as guest lectures and talks given by visiting authors and academics. We also regularly arrange theatre trips and field trips, both as part of the course and as extracurricular activities.

Foundation Year Zero

Students on all of the  Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:

  • Academic Writing and Study Skills
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Understanding Arts and Humanities
  • Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities

In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:

  • Dangerous Ideas
  • Foundation English Language and Communication
  • Foundation English Literature
  • Foundation Media and Communications
  • Analysing British Cinema
  • Historical Foundations
  • America and the World (subject to validation)
  • Music and Performing Arts in Context
  • The Languages and Theory of Music

Core modules

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. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

Year 1

There are three core modules which are taken by all single and combined honours students:

The Art of Criticism: Writing about Literature (20 credits)

The module aims to introduce you to the practice of critical reading and writing and to equip you with the core skills necessary for success in the study of English literature at university. It fosters the skills of close reading literature in different genres, and allows you to develop these skills in your oral and written work. It aims to support you as you become familiar with the conventions of academic writing, the research process, bibliographic practice, and the use of Library Search to access both physical and virtual resources. 

Texts and Contexts I: Medieval to 18th Century (20 credits)

This module introduces you to medieval and early modern literatures. It aims to explore some of the important themes, ideas, and genres within each period, and to situate these within the English literary tradition in its wider contexts. You will develop critical and historical skills for close reading and broader analysis.

Texts and Contexts II: Romanticism to the Present (20 credits)

This module introduces you to Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Postmodern literatures. It aims to explore some of the important themes, ideas, and genres within these periods, and situate them within the wider English literary tradition. You will further develop the necessary critical and historical skills for close reading and broader analysis which are introduced by Texts and Contexts I.

In addition, all single honours students also take the following three modules:

Critical Approaches to English Literature (20 credits)

This module introduces you to a range of approaches to the study of English literature. Combining practice with theory (and thus complementing but extending the work done in the core module ‘The Art of Criticism’), the course encourages you to examine the principles and prerequisites of informed theoretical engagement and of active critical reading.

Literature Comes Alive (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to explore tangible intersections between life and literature by analysing texts not only as printed words in an anthology, but also as material objects, political interventions, artistic innovations, sensory experiences, and community projects. It encourages you to take their critical reading skills outside the classroom and to make connections between texts and a range of ‘real world’ contexts. You will be introduced to a range of texts and encouraged to think about them in relation to a variety of contemporary material, cultural, artistic, political, technological, geographical, religious, and environmental issues. The works studied will vary year to year, and will come from a range of genres and historical periods.

On the Shoulders of Giants: Intellectual and Cultural Sources for English Literature (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the wealth of intellectual and cultural sources that have influenced the development of literature written in English from the Ancient world to the present. It will encourage you to engage with a range of different texts and genres, literary and otherwise, that have determined the development of literature written in English, and to show awareness of this in your writing. It will show you some of the various ways in which you can demonstrate your knowledge of broader European and World literatures and cultures, and relate them to the intellectual culture of writers who produced works written in English and other languages.

These modules are designed to introduce you to a broad range of texts from across the historical spectrum of literature written in English, and to equip you with the skills necessary for studying literature of all periods in your second and third year. You will study literature in its historical and cultural contexts, learn to analyse texts critically via close reading exercises, and present this analysis in essays and other written assignments.

Year 2 and 3 no core modules

There are no core modules in Year 2 or 3, though all single honours students are required to take the 20 or 40 credit version of the module ‘Final Year Individual Study’ (see optional modules). The module is optional for combined honours students, who may take the 20 credit version. 

Optional Modules

In your second and third years we offer a wide range of exciting modules which cover the full span of English literary history from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present day, and the list typically includes study opportunities in medieval, renaissance, eighteenth-century, Romantic, Victorian, twentieth century and contemporary literature. These modules are informed by the current research of our staff members, so their focus may vary from year to year, as we aim to offer teaching which reflects current thought at the forefront of our subject specialisms. We also update our modules on an annual basis in response to student feedback in evaluations and in regular meetings with academic staff. Examples of the modules available in 2017­/18 give an indication of the range and types of modules we usually offer. Please see our website for further details. In your final year you will have the opportunity to write an extended essay with one­to­one supervision, on a topic which you will decide with the help of an academic supervisor. You will attend several meetings throughout the year with this supervisor, and produce a longer piece of work based on your own independent research and study.

Second year optional modules

Martyrs and Exiles: Old English Language and Literature (20 credits)

Few students have the opportunity to study the first six hundred years of English language and literature, and the works of literature, history, and hagiography that were written in Old English during the Anglo-Saxon period. This module will teach you the language skills necessary to translate and analyse prose and poetry written in Old English, and do this using the latest online hypertexts, textbooks, and other learning aids. If you are interested in studying literature in its historical, cultural, religious, and mythological contexts, or want to know more about what Tolkien read whilst he was writing The Lord of the Rings, then this module is for you.

The Once and Future King: Arthurian Literature (20 credits)

The literature of the later Middle Ages spans some four hundred and fifty years, and is home to much about Arthur and Camelot. Many figures from Arthurian literature will already be familiar to you, such as Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, Lancelot, Morgan le Fay, Gawain, and Mordred. This module will introduce you to the origins and development of the Arthurian tradition in England, though we will focus on later works such as the Stanzaic Morte Arthur, which focuses on the adulterous affair between Guinevere and Lancelot, and the Alliterative Morte Arthure, in which the world of Camelot falls into destruction and ruin. As well as these works, a good portion of our study will be devoted to Thomas Malory’s prose compilation Le Morte d’Arthur, one of the first books to be printed in England, which broadly defines the Arthurian tradition as we know it today.

Elizabethan Theatre (20 credits)

This module focuses on the theatre of the 1580s and 1590s, a dynamic period that saw the establishment of the theatre as an entertainment industry and the development of playwriting on an unprecedented scale. In the course of our study you will investigate texts from the major genres of the Elizabethan stage: comedies, tragedies and histories, including subgenres such as revenge tragedy and romantic comedy. In addition to a close analysis of the module texts, you will also learn about the conventions and techniques used by Elizabethan playwrights and actors.

Jacobean Theatre (20 credits)

This module focuses on drama written during the reign of King James VI & I, between 1603 and 1625. The Jacobean period was an exceptional time for drama; writers such as William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and John Webster were at the height of their careers, the theatre provided an immensely popular and prolific entertainment industry and playwriting was developing into new and exciting directions. You will investigate plays from the major genres of the Jacobean stage: comedies, tragedies and histories, including subgenres such as citizen comedy and baroque revenge tragedy. In addition to close analysis of the module texts, you will also study the conventions and techniques used by Jacobean playwrights and actors.

Radicalisation and Retreat: Political Landscapes in Early Modern Literature (20 credits)

This module invites you to use your critical skills and your awareness of your own culture and take ‘the long view’ of certain current political issues. In 1633, William Prynne, a puritan with views that we might interpret as extremist, described the plays performed in the public theatres as ‘Sinfull, heathenish, lewde, ungodly spectacles, and most pernicious corruptions.’ This and other conflicting visions of Britishness were played out both rhetorically on the printed page and were physically fought for in an extraordinarily turbulent period that witnessed civil war, the execution of the monarch and the temporary instigation of an experimental form of republican government. On this module you will study the ways in which poets such as Ben Jonson, Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, Andrew Marvell, John Milton and Lord Rochester responded to national vision(s) of British-ness and engaged with issues such as religious extremism, national security and civil liberties.

Eighteenth-Century Fiction: Bunyan to Smollett (20 credits)

This module supplies a showcase for a remarkably rich range of novels, allowing you to sample the work not just of Bunyan and Smollett themselves but of several other novelists also active between 1678 and 1771. It promotes reflection upon the historical rhythms that connect novels separated in time perhaps by several decades, and upon the ways in which novelists echo or transform the themes and emphases of their predecessors; and it pays careful and sustained attention to the various styles of telling, and different ways of seeing, that the novel as a genre accommodates.

British Romanticism 1785-1831 (20 credits)

In this module, you will read major poetry and prose of the period known as ‘Romanticism’, a half-century that witnessed revolutionary changes in literature and society. In addition to studying the ‘Big Six’—Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats—you will read a wide range of other Romantic writers including political thinkers such as Thomas Paine, early feminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, gothic authors like Mary Shelley, and labouring class poets such as John Clare.

Victorian Literature: From the Brontës to the Nineties (20 credits)

Rather than attempting to cover the literary output of the Victorian age in all its vastness and variety, this module seeks to set up connections and comparisons which travel from one end of the period to the other. Its initial focus is on the three Brontë sisters, representing each sister by one novel: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The fiction of the 1890s then comes under the spotlight: George Gissing’s novel The Odd Women, whose sisters have come a long way from Haworth Parsonage, alongside Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles and George Moore’s Esther Waters. In respect of Victorian poetry, attention will centre on two poetic careers (those of Browning and Hopkins) which between them nearly span the era and do much to define it.

Literature Between the Wars 1918-39 (20 credits)

This module aims to examine literature between the two world wars with attention to cultural, political and literary contexts. The years 1918-1939 were a complex and traumatic period in our history and one of unprecedented experiment and counter-experiment in the arts. In the wake of the First World War, and in the slipstream of the Second, writers had to find new ways of representing experience, and new ways of validating the role of the imaginative writer in society. This module explores the fiction and poetry of the period with particular attention to the relationships between literary form and cultural contexts. Key texts in recent years have been Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land’ and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway.

Mad, Bad and Sad: Women in American Literature (20 credits)

In the widely influential Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), Leslie Fiedler identifies a fundamental trait of U.S. literature which distinguishes it from the European tradition: ‘Our great novelists’, he argues, ‘tend to avoid treating the passionate encounter of a man and a woman, which we expect at the center of a novel. Indeed, they rather shy away from permitting in their fictions the presence of any full-fledged, mature women, giving us instead monsters of virtue or bitchery, symbols of the rejection or fear of sexuality’. This module will explore the representation of women and the conceptualization of gender in American writing, with attention to cultural, political and literary contexts. You will engage with feminist writing and other theoretical debates that underpin gender definitions, and the fight for women’s rights. You will also develop a critical understanding of the intersectionality of gender, ethnicity, class and other social categorizations.

Applied Humanities Employability in Practice (20 credits)

This module aims to complement the theoretical elements of a humanities degree by taking the skills-set that student acquire as undergraduates and helping them see ways and means to render it relevant to the world of work. In contrast to academic class-based learning, the focus here is on exciting and useful practical work-based experience. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of a work environment either through a 40 hour micro-placement; or by bringing students into contact with professionals who will help set out a project/problem based work opportunity; or through a relevant case study. This could be work shadowing, a reflective diary, a portfolio, or a research report.

More details can be found on this page. 

Third year modules

Final Year Individual Study (20 or 40 credits)

The Final Year Independent Study offers you the opportunity to work on a specific topic which you will devise in consultation with your supervisor, in order to produce a sustained piece of research-led critical analysis. You will discuss your work and plan your writing with your supervisor, and pursue in detail your chosen area of literary investigation, producing a dissertation appropriate to third-year English Literature studies. Teaching is through individual tutorials at times agreed between the supervisor and student.

Monsters and the Monstrous: Further Old English Language and Literature (20 credits)

The focus of this module is Beowulf, which tells the story of a young man from southern Sweden who travels to the hall of the Danish king Hrothgar to fight a monster who has been killing and eating the king’s men. This module questions what it meant in the early medieval world to be human, and to be something other than human - a fine line that Beowulf himself crosses more than once. On this module you will also look at other works in Old English to broaden your understanding of monsters and the monstrous in early medieval England. These will include Judith, in which the poem’s heroine Judith sets out on a dangerous expedition from her besieged city to behead the savage drunken leader of the attacking army, and Andreas, in which St Andrew goes on a rescue mission to rescue St Matthew from cannibalistic devil worshippers who inhabit a ruined Roman city.

Nature and Environment in Later Medieval Literature (20 credits)

Europeans in the middle ages were closer to the earth in more ways than one. They lived according to the regular, rhythms of the annual agricultural cycle, and were dependent upon the mercy of the seasons and the bounty of the natural world for their continued survival. In the twenty-first century, as the scale of the ecological crisis becomes increasingly apparent, many are considering the ways in which the literature of the middle ages - a time when people did not think of ‘nature’ as something distinct from the human - can help us to understand our precarious position in the present day. This module will teach you to understand the ways in which nature and the environment appear in the literature of the later middle ages, considering human relationships with landscapes, birds, animals, plant-life, weather, and the elements, over the course of several centuries. We will look at works such as Geoffrey Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess and The Parlement of Fowles, the works of the ‘Gawain’ poet (Sir Gawain and the Green KnightPearl), William Langland’s Piers Plowman, and other works by unknown authors.

Topics in Renaissance Literature and Culture (20 credits)

The internet offers the opportunity for us all to become authors and critics. Whether it is writing reviews, giving feedback on purchases, tweeting or blogging, it has never been easier to express an opinion in writing to a potentially global audience. This module considers a parallel technological breakthrough some six hundred years ago: the invention of the printing press, which for the first time provided the possibility of quickly printing multiple copies of a page of text. This may not sound impressive in the age of the Kindle but when the alternative was to painstakingly copy out a text by hand, the potential for the printing press to revolutionise the circulation of ideas quickly becomes apparent. This module focuses on book production and book ownership. It asks questions like, ‘Who read Shakespeare’s Sonnets anyway?’ and ‘What else did they read?’ and sometimes, ‘Did these readers venture into print themselves?’  It looks at writers who courted a book-buying public and those who preferred the intimacy of circulating their work in hand-written manuscripts. Authors frequently studied on this module include Sir Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, John Donne but attention will also be given to women writers and to the book collections and writing habits of the ‘not famous’. While poetry will be a dominant genre studied, the module will also offer insight into the diversity of works that made it into print in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Topics in Shakespeare and Shakespeare’s Background (20 credits)

This module will encourage you to analyse Shakespearean texts in their historical and cultural contexts. This year, the particular focus will be on magic and the supernatural on the early modern stage. Supernatural elements (such as fairies, witches, ghosts and prophecies) were a staple of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. They were used in both comedies and tragedies to many different effects: in discourses of gender, for the demonisation of opponents, to mark religious difference, to make a point about the nature and legitimacy (or illegitimacy) of power, and sometimes to celebrate the magic of making theatre. On this module you will study the various ways in which writers of the period used supernatural phenomena to make sense of their world. Our reading will centre on a number of plays by William Shakespeare which are likely to include The TempestA Midsummer Night’s DreamKing Henry the Sixth and Macbeth. In addition, we will read (extracts from) Elizabethan and Jacobean witchcraft tracts and plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries such as Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton.

Satire 1693­-1759 (20 credits)

This module brings together a range of rich and rewarding texts which in conjunction one with another should conduce to an appropriately ‘joined-up’ understanding of satire in the period under consideration. At the chronological centre of the period, we have the high-water mark of eighteenth-century satire, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Around Swift the module arranges a glittering constellation of fellow satirists: John Gay, Henry Fielding, Charlotte Lennox, Samuel Johnson, and – by special invitation – Voltaire (studied in English translation, of course). Most of the time we shall be reading prose rather than verse (which sidelines Alexander Pope); but satire is generically volatile and crosses all of the period’s major literary ‘kinds,’ entwining itself potentially with all forms of artistic production. So the material prescribed for study on this module is remarkably diverse. With that diversity goes a genuine excitement, since the energies of satire are frequently destabilising and work in a dissident direction. This is comedy whose interest is on the dangerous edge of things. 

Scandalous Romantics (20 credits)

On this module you will examines texts which alarmed, offended, or polarised readers during the Romantic period, 1785-1831. By exploring these texts in the context of the moral, political, personal, sexual, religious, and aesthetic controversies which surrounded them, you will consider both the norms and transgressions of the period, as well as its most divisive debates. As many of these texts were considered ‘scandalous’ for what they revealed about their authors’ private lives, you will also have a chance to investigate issues of self-fashioning, fame, and personal reputation. You will draw on contextual and biographical material, as well as contemporary critical responses to the texts and their authors. Key issues raised will relate to: class, gender, sexuality, genre, radicalism, celebrity and anonymity, privacy and publicity, and the creation of literary afterlives. The module will cover a range of genres, and is likely to include the poetry of Lord Byron, gothic novels like John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819), and Mary Robinson’s Memoirs (1801).

Topics in Victorian Literature (20 credits)

This module is given over to an intensive consideration of the works and lives (including the cultural networks to which each belonged) of two leading Victorian novelists: Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. Their paths frequently crossed, and indeed each writer is richly revealed by the contrast that the other presents. That juggling, however, will be kept out of the seminar room; rather, the learning and teaching will be so organised as to keep the two writers in separate compartments, with the Dickens novels slotted into the first half of the module and the Gaskell novels into the second. Two chronologically arranged sequences of three texts each are planned, with every novel chosen to illustrate not only the development over time of the author in question but his or her position—relative to the other’s—within the wider literary culture of the period. The works by Dickens which we shall be stringing together are Oliver TwistA Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations; the corresponding trio for Gaskell will comprise Mary BartonRuth and North and South.

Topics in Contemporary Literature (20 credits)

This module seeks to study imaginative writing since the 1950s in relation to a key topic, exploring relationships between texts and literary theory. The current topic is ‘Literature and Power 1958-68’ through which we will explore the creative and ideological aspects of literature, and inquire into its place within the broader culture. How do works of the imagination respond to powerful people and systems? How do they engage with the discourses of power? Does literature have any power of its own with which to ‘answer back’?

The years 1958-1968 were a period of great social change in Britain. A series of events undermined the authority of the ruling establishment. The Empire was vanishing in a process which saw most former colonies gain independence; the Secretary of State for War (John Profumo) was forced to resign over a sex/spy scandal; the ‘satire boom’ ridiculed the pomposity and hypocrisy of the nation’s rulers. In a key moment for literature, the High Court ruled in favour of Penguin Books to allow the publication of D. H. Lawrence’s sexually explicit novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (32 years after it was first banned). Meanwhile, the Cold War developed, leading to a very real fear of nuclear annihilation and heightened political conflict over such events as the war in Vietnam.

Throughout the period, there was a much-publicized youth rebellion in music, fashion, sexual mores and politics. In the midst of these events, came the rise of fiction and poetry that represented working class lives, women’s experience, aspects of sexuality and cultural difference, in new and challenging ways. On this module you will study works such as Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Sylvia Plath’s The Colossus (1960), Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings, Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man and Jean Rhys’s, Wide Sargasso Sea. Our study will be underpinned by a range of theoretical ideas concerned with power and textuality.

Contemporary Ethnic American Literatures (20 credits)

On this module you will explore the vibrancy and richness of contemporary American literature, with a specific focus on authors from a variety of ethnic minorities. To begin with, you will study writers from communities with a long history in the US (such as African Americans and Native Americans), before moving on to consider narratives about recent immigrants to the US. Instead of providing an overview of any one cultural tradition, the module engages with recurrent themes in ethnic literatures, such as the desire to create a strong sense of personal and communal identity, and to develop an original voice; the need to gain acceptance in mainstream American society without losing one’s individuality; the attempt to retrieve forgotten narratives, to challenge dominant historical representations and to contest racial stereotypes and, last but not least, the celebration of one’s heritage and/or of multiculturalism. Contemporary minority writing in the US exposes the harsh reality behind the myth of the American Dream and the ideal of the melting pot. It openly addresses the shameful history of racial discrimination, and the long-lasting legacy of slavery and of the genocide of indigenous population in the New World. While retaining this element of protest against mainstream American culture, ethnic writing is also about self-affirmation, and finding new ways of making one’s voice heard, as the creativity, the freshness, the humour and optimism of some of the texts on the syllabus testify. The module therefore investigates how minority writing reconciles its initial role as ‘literature of resistance’ with its renewed claim, in a globalized world, for a wider readership and a greater, universal resonance.

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.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900

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

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Voluntary field trips are occasionally offered as part of teaching in English Literature, and do not usually cost more than £5-10. Staff also arrange occasional optional theatre trips; these will usually not cost more than £20.
Text books Students are expected to purchase their own copies of books and textbooks for study on English Literature modules. These will usually cost between £10-20.
Library Fees and Fines Students will be expected to pay their own library fines.
Printing and Photocopying Students may have to print (or photocopy) hard copies of materials such as articles and shorter texts for personal use in preparation for class and assignments.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


You will typically be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops, and one-to-one tutorials. You will typically have between 9-12 contact hours per week, though your actual hours will depend on the optional modules you select.

Lectures will introduce you to periods, themes, and important ideas, often in larger groups.

Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and independent study, whilst workshops will often focus on the practicalities of textual analysis and writing.

In individual tutorials you will have one-to-one meetings with tutors to discuss plans for your assignments, and to receive feedback on your work.

Independent learning

Humanities subject like English Literature enable you to develop skills in independent reading, research, analysis, and writing. When you are not attending lectures, seminars, workshops, or tutorials, you will continue to learn through independent study.

Typically, this will involve reading primary texts, and critical and contextual books and journal articles. You will 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 Final Year Individual Study module in your third year, which 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.

Overall workload

Your overall workload will typically consist of 9 contact hours, 3 hours of directed study, and 18 hours of independent learning and assessment activity per week.

Academic input

The English Literature programme team consists of highly qualified academics with research expertise and publications in various fields, all of whom hold doctorates, and many of whom hold teaching qualifications. All members of our programme team are research-active scholars with extensive experience in delivering research-informed teaching.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, our permanent programme team teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework assignments and end­of-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 course work 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. Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

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 the academic year 2017-18 is as follows:

Year 1

75% coursework 25% written exams

Year 2

72% coursework 28% written exams

Year 3

95% coursework 5% written exams

You will receive feedback on all assessments undertaken by coursework, and feedback on examinations is available on request from module leaders. In addition to written feedback supplied for all assessments undertaken by coursework, you may also take advantage of the opportunity to discuss your work with your module tutor. We will normally provide you with feedback within 15 working days of submission for coursework assignments.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email: courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • Q323 English Literature with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • Candidates should have studied at level 3 and have attained 48 UCAS Tariff points, although those without formal qualifications will be considered.

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



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Last edited 16/10/2018 16:19:00

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Last edited: 16/10/2018 16:19:00