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English Literature - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Delve into a rich and diverse literary history from the romantics to the Victorians and on to the modern age through poetry, script, prose and short story. You'll study with a group of friendly, dynamic and experienced lecturers who place teaching and the student experience first.

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

In the National Student Survey 2017 this course scored an impressive 100% overall student satisfaction.

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Your first year of study is a very wide-ranging and general introduction to the history of poetry, drama and prose and you'll learn about the development of each form. By the end of the three years you'll know about the development of English literature from the eighteenth century to the present day, and will have considered, discussed and written about how changes in society and changes in literature intertwine. You'll also learn about the historical origins of literature and study periods and cultures very different to our own, for example Elizabethan England and Classical Greece. Your lecturers are specialists and published writers who will guide you through the cultural history of literature over the course of the degree.

In your second year of study you'll begin to specialise and choose module options that suit your interests. You may want to study performance poetry or examine literature written for and about children, or concentrate on Shakespeare or the short story. You'll also begin to consider particular developments in the history of literature in greater depth, such as early twentieth century modernism. In addition, you'll begin to develop your critical analytical skills and learn about how people analysed and criticised literature in the past. You'll study popular commercial literary genres such as horror, crime, science fiction and romance.

In the third year you’ll be able to study in-depth research topics relating to your lecturers’ academic and professional specialisms. You can study how writing can be a form of political activism and discuss censorship, banned books, the imprisonment of writers by repressive regimes or writers that live in exile. You’ll study with lecturers who have worked as writers, campaigners and journalists overseas and whose work reflects this experience. You can also look at the way writing can be a profession of faith or gesture towards spiritual experience, and again you’ll study with lecturers who have written literary and critical studies on these ideas. You might be interested in studying literature from a philosophical perspective and want to consider the problem of what we claim we’re talking about when we discuss fictional worlds. If so, you’ll work with philosophy lecturers who make the study of literature their special interest. Alongside these varied and critical topics you'll study the development of drama, poetry and prose from the post-war period to the present day.

You'll work with a supervisor and develop your own specialised topic via a dissertation. Previous topics have included D.H. Lawrence in Italy and New Mexico, The Double in Sylvia Plath’s Poetry, Dreams of Technology in Science Fiction and the Literature of Early Eighteenth Century London. You'll also be able to choose from various optional modules such as Existentialism in Writing, Literary London, From Page to Performance, and Book, Print, Hypertext.

You won’t just study in class. You’ll travel all over London with your lecturers, to places such as Keats House, the Charles Dickens Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe. Novelists, writers, poets, performers, publishers and literary agents will also visit the University to give you the benefit of their experience. You’ll learn to work and study in external archives, libraries and museums so that you can benefit from the full range of research opportunities that London offers.

This course is a wide-ranging, stimulating and innovative degree for any student wishing to pursue their interest in literature and cultural history and acquire practical and critical skills for future careers in teaching, publishing, the cultural industries and the arts.

The course has a Facebook page with news and events from alumni, students and staff.


Assessment is 100% coursework. You'll undertake a wide range of coursework assessments including the traditional essay, in-class open book assignments, group work and portfolio submission. You may also choose to be assessed on a poetry performance, a theatre or literature review, or a walking tour of literary London locations. Many modules include an assessment option relating to potential areas of employment, such as publishing, PR, education, arts administration and journalism.

You'll have the opportunity to submit work electronically through our English literature Weblearn provision. Over time you'll build up your own online assessment record where all of your work and staff feedback is available in one place.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent)

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

Mature students with previous relevant experience are encouraged to apply.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

"A brilliant and satisfying experience. The course explores many literary and artistic movements and theories, and allows personal and independent development. It treats literature as a current part of modern life, which changed my attitude and interest in the subject and is the course's greatest strength. This is backed up by great and enthusiastic teaching, which has inspired me and many other students to go onto further study. I will definitely be sad to leave." Misbah Ayub

"It is an amazing experience to be able to discuss books that you love with people who share your passion. There is nothing more helpful than finding ways to improve your work with people who support and motivate you. A benefit of learning at a higher level is that the lecturers are already successful in their given field so offer you lots of support, advice and guidance from their personal experience. My course helped unleash my imagination and develop my creative voice as a writer." Charnjit Gill

"Studying English Literature at London Met is interesting and enlightening. The course has helped me develop analytical skills, vocabulary and knowledge, has built my confidence in debating, and has taught me to ask questions and to think for myself. What is great about the course is its diversity - we also cover history and philosophy. Likewise our enthusiastic lecturers make the course worthwhile, as they believe in and are passionate about education. English Literature is a course which builds foundations for its students." Salma Lynch

"The two things I loved most about my degree were the range of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds of the people taking the course, and the industry expertise of the teaching staff. I've made friends for life with people that helped to create a supportive learning environment; people with the same kinds of ambitions and love of writing. The degree itself was flexible, and there were always activities happening that kept things varied, like guest speakers and writing competitions." Ellie de Rose

Successful completion of this course offers improved career opportunities in publishing, arts and other administration, communications work and business. Students should graduate with strong literary, verbal and presentation skills, and competency with new technologies.

The programme is also excellent preparation for further research study in English literature.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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