BA

English Literature

BA English Literature Code Q300 Apply Now Register for an Open Day

Apply Now

Key Facts

Code Q300
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

Apply Now

If you want to study a course that explores the widest possible range of literary texts and cultures with superb choice from the early medieval period to the present day, our degree in English literature will fire your imagination. We enable our students to develop their powers of expression, hone their critical thinking, and establish specialist knowledge and research skills - all grounded in a detailed and broad understanding of literary history and an applied knowledge of literary theory.

Department of English and Creative Writing: 97% student satisfaction (NSS 2017)

95.4% of undergraduates from the UK/EU from the Department of English and Creative Writing who graduated in 2016 were in professional level jobs or graduate level further study six months after graduating (DLHE 2017)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views

Overview

Why study English Literature at Aberystwyth?

  • We rank in the top 10 English departments in the UK (NSS, 2017).
  • You will be taught by staff who are world leaders in their fields of expertise.
  • We offer you opportunities to engage with a wide variety of approaches to literature and cultural history, combining critical thinking with scholarship.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore literary theory - philosophical and conceptual ideas that inform, challenge and problematize the ways we read.
  • In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.
  • We have one of the biggest libraries in the world, the National Library of Wales, on our doorstep. This copyright institution receives a copy of every book published in the UK.
  • The department is home to New Welsh Review, Wales’ foremost literary magazine - this could be an exciting opportunity for you to get involved.
  • You will be immersed in a supportive and vibrant community of creative and critical thinkers, literary experts, and published scholars from every field
Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Modules

Employability

Career Prospects

A degree in English Literature is the “gold standard” for any employment setting where communication is valued. All of our modules deliver key skills that enable you to build a comprehensive C.V. that evidences your diverse range of competencies.

Our graduates have been successful across the widest possible range of career destinations:

  • Broadcasting
  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  •  Education
  • Civil Service
  • Business
  • Finance
  • New Media 

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in English Literature will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • The ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
  • Effective problem-solving and creative-thinking skills
  • The ability to work independently
  • Time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
  • The ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
  • Self-motivation and self-reliance
  • Team-work, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
  • Research skills

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

This degree will allow you to explore literature of all genres and from all periods within the context of the broadest possible interpretation of literature in English. You will become skilled in the interpretation and analysis of literary texts and you will engage with current critical debates.

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you may discover:

  • New techniques for analysing literary texts;
  • Some key figures from literary history (from Shakespeare to the Brontës);
  • Lesser known texts, and writers who are new-to-you;
  • A variety of “ways of reading” and some theoretical approaches to textual analysis;
  • Poetry, prose, drama, American Literature, adaptations, Classical literature, contemporary writing, medieval texts and much more.

In your second year you may explore:

  • The theoretical approaches to, and the practice of, literary criticism;
  • A range of selected core texts from the medieval period through to the twenty-first century;
  • A number of specialist topics chosen by you (these might focus on a specific genre (such as crime fiction), historical period (such as the Victorian era),  or theme (such as “place”).

In the third year you may master:

  • Literary theory and the application of theoretical perspectives to literary analysis;
  • Extended writing and independent research in your final year dissertation project (on a topic chosen and defined by you);
  • Your own specialisms drawn from a diverse range of option modules taught by researchers in those fields. Our option modules include topics such as Elizabethan drama, the ghost story, the early English novel, queer fiction, children’s literature, Romanticism, and much more. 
  • In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.

How will I be taught?

Our degree is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. We also encourage self-directed learning designed to stimulate your academic interest in English Literature and nurture your personal and intellectual development.

You will be assessed through essays, exams and oral presentation. You will also be required to complete additional, non-assessed, assignments and to work with others on particular tasks.

Further information

As you study, you will develop a range of skills which will benefit you in further study or any graduate workplace. You will learn to: employ multiple critical techniques when approaching texts; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject; and respond to any task with creativity, flair and style.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or pastoral issues. Your personal tutor will also be responsible for delivering tutorials that will help you in the development of key skills. You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

What I love about the English Literature course at Aberystwyth University is the diversity which is offered. From the beginning of the degree to nearly finishing I have studied such a wide range of literature, some of which I didn't even know existed. I feel this has broadened my mind and provided me with a wide understanding of the different types of literature which will benefit me in my further studies.
Chloe Morgan

Q300 English Literature has given me the chance to study a wide range of different periods and genres, but the basics (Encountering Texts, Literary Theory) are interesting and well-taught as well. The lectures have a great range of specificity, from the very broad realities of authorship and historical context to unconventional and imaginative approaches to aspects of some texts. The seminars are enlightening too and have helped me to build both working and social relationships with other students and lecturers. All in all, a comfortable and thorough programme.
Edmund Morton

English Literature at Aberystwyth allows me to excavate the psychological depth of humanity shown through fictitious works. It enables me to show how identities, self and communities are constructed by society and how we interact with the world. The discussions - formal and informal - that I have with course-mates gives me a broader perspective on the world and helps me to form my own thoughts and feelings about how and why I interact with the world. The course is stimulating and I enjoy working with the people, texts and tasks that the course provides me with.
Samuel Peter Callard.

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30 points overall with 6 points in English Literature at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
65% overall with 70% in specified subject

Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary. For further information, please contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

Back to the top