English Literature - BA (Hons) - Undergraduate course | London Metropolitan University
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English Literature - BA (Hons)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Entry requirements Modular structure What our students say After the course How to apply Meet the team Visit us

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 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 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.

More about this course

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

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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code Q320
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module provides an introductory orientation to the study of the novel and other forms of prose fiction and will thus be essential preparatory learning for Literature modules at higher levels. Students will consider the origins, evolution and purpose of prose fiction forms through reading the work of a wide range of historical and contemporary writers. The module also introduces key theoretical ideas as well as aspects of book publishing and selling today. The module is taught primarily by weekly three-hour weekly classes typically comprising a lecture and discussion seminar. It is assessed by pieces of written coursework that offer students the opportunity to develop skills in different kinds of critical writing.

    The module aims to equip students with an historical and theorised understanding of the rise of the novel; to engage students in debates about the cultural function of prose fiction writing today; to develop students’ skills in close reading and in contextual and structural analysis; and to encourage students to explore their own position and voice as practitioners within the field of literary criticism.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module will provide students with a wide-ranging introduction to reading poetry and to the great variety of poetic forms and genres, from sonnets to free verse and performance poetry. It will introduce students to poetic literary history through major poets such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Eliot, and equally explore contemporary poetry and poetics. Throughout the module, students will be provided with skills and opportunities to read published poetry, write their own poetry, and discuss poetry in a supportive environment facilitated by their tutor. The module is taught primarily by weekly three-hour weekly classes typically comprising a lecture and either a discussion seminar or writing workshop. The module is assessed by written coursework and an oral presentation.

    The module aims to introduce a range of critical and technical skills required to read, write and discuss poetry; to examine poetic forms and genres in the context of both the historical development of (mostly British) poetry and also the diversity of contemporary poetic practice; and to explore different ideas about the function of poetry.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    Romantics to Victorians is the first of a spine of historical modules running across all three levels of the English Literature programmes. It introduces students to the major transformations of English literature and culture during the mid-18th to the mid-19th century period. Through the study of literary and other primary texts of the period, the module provides a contextual introduction to the study of literature in the late modern period and related critical debates. The module is taught in weekly sessions and is assessed by a series of written coursework pieces. The module will also provide an extended induction to academic study skills.

    The module aims to familiarise students with a range of literary material from the period 1750 to 1880; to relate the thematic concerns of literary works to an historical account of social, political and cultural developments within the given period; to develop students’ ability to analyse and write critically about literary texts; and to develop students’ study skills and academic competences as independent learners.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    Theatre and Performance: History and Craft provides an opportunity to study the development of the genre via a number of canonical texts and transformative moments in the history of the form. Students study the formal characteristics of representative playtexts and the political, social and cultural concerns of the societies in which they were first performed. This is combined with a study of developing theatrical practice and performance, where students examine how writing and performance intersect, inform, and inspire each other. According to pathway, students will specialise, either in the critical and theoretical analysis of dramatic genres, or in creative writing and the production of playscripts. The module is taught in weekly three-hour sessions comprising a lecture and English Literature seminar or Creative Writing workshop, and is assessed by essay, presentation, script and/or reflective writing.

    This module aims to examine a range of playtexts and theatrical forms within critical and historical contexts, to familiarise students with the vocabulary and awareness necessary to discuss texts and the creative process, and to encourage students to explore differences between texts as literature and texts for performance. Additionally, Creative Writing students will develop their scriptwriting skills.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    From detective and spy fiction to children’s fantasy and romantic comedies, a well-established range of narrative genres dominates the production of popular, commercial fiction for both page and screen. Often dismissed as escapist, conformist entertainment for the masses, genre fiction may also be considered a literature of subversion and resistance in its expression of transgressive desires and imagination of alternative realities. This module studies the historical development, interplay, techniques, conventions, audiences and themes of some major types of genre fiction from the eighteenth century to the present day. It contributes to the programme’s exploration of contemporary publishing as a cultural industry and hence develops students’ employability.

    The module will be taught via a programme of weekly sessions supplemented by tutorial and online support. It allows students to specialise in genres of their choice. As well as developing skills of literary analysis, students will have the opportunity to practise the role of creative producer and critical reviewer by producing a variety of written coursework. Students will also give a short presentation on a popular text of their choice.

    The module aims to examine a range of popular narrative genres across prose fiction and in relation to contemporary cultural production more broadly. It will develop students’ critical, analytical abilities and their reflexive awareness of their personal relationship to popular culture, as consumer, fan, critic and/or creative producer. It will engage students in using a range of practical skills for discussing or creating works of genre fiction.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    Publishing and the Book: then and now is a level 5 year-long module which examines London’s literary and publishing culture through, firstly, a series of historical case studies of famous and significant writers, which charts the development of the publishing industry in London from the 17th century and the post-WWII period. Through the discussion of authors and their works, students will study and research transformations in literary and print culture, in conditions of authorship and copyright, developments in literacy, readership, criticism, marketing and the production of literary material and the book.

    The second part of the module emphasises employability and immerses students in London’s current publishing industry, and through a series of guest lectures and masterclasses students will learn about the process of author rights and representation, commissioning, editing, book production, design, marketing and sales, digital and audio publishing, and the post-production landscape of bookselling, literary festivals, prizes, podcasts and blogs.

    The module aims to give students a historical understanding of London’s publishing industry and the opportunity to respond critically and creatively in writing to this, and further to give students a current understanding of the process of taking a manuscript from author to publisher, bookseller and reader, and an opportunity to devise a research project, a group studio publishing project and/or a placement in the industry.

    The module is taught through a combination of lecture/seminar, guest speaker sessions and masterclasses, studio project group activities, and is assessed by critical essay, critical and/or creative portfolio, publishing studio project and/or professional placement/shadowing in situ.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    The Writer’s Craft is a year-long level 5 module which offers students the option of developing their work in one of a number of writing studios throughout the year. Studio I Craft and Performance develops students’ understanding of writing for performance through a series of projects that focus on the adaptation of literary material for screen and stage, on original writing for stage, and on performance poetry and the spoken word. Students will learn about (i) the process of reading for adaptation, script development and writing for a performance medium through the close examination of literary, film and televisual sources, and through critical discussion of representation, storytelling, visual narrative and genre; (ii) the creation and adaptation of original dramatic material for the stage and the writer’s critical relationship to acting, directing and production histories, and (iii) the history, culture and practice of performance poetry; performance skills and the adaptation of material to audience, medium and venue, and critical and theoretical perspectives on performance poetry and the spoken word. Studio II Craft and Ethics aims to equip students with a historical, critical and practical understanding of key forms of prose fiction, as both entertainment and literary texts. Students will develop an understanding of contemporary fiction in its various forms, as well as learning techniques and approaches necessary for creating their own. The prose studio also encourages students to locate their own creative practice in wider literary, historical, ethical and social contexts. The module will encourage students to develop their own creative practice in the context of contemporary literary as well as popular fiction.

    Additional studios may run within this module depending on staff specialism and availability

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    Victorians to Moderns forms the central section of the chronological spine of English Literature modules that also includes Romantics to Victorians and Moderns to Contemporaries. It examines the transformations of English literature and culture from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. Through the study of literature, philosophy, criticism and the arts, the module develops students’ critical understanding of cultural context and formal innovation in the English literary tradition. The module develops and extends debates encountered in Romantics to Victorians and introduces intellectual and critical debates proper to Modernism. The module is taught by weekly sessions comprising lecture and seminar, supplemented by tutorials, and is assessed by a variety of written coursework.

    Victorians to Moderns aims to: develop students’ skills of critical analysis through the study of exemplary works from the period 1880-1940; enhance students’ competency in using academic criticism to develop their own critical practice; provide a critical account of social, political and cultural developments in the period as a framework for students’ understanding of the role of the imaginative writer in the period; engage students in complex critical and cultural debates that were central to the development of both literature and other art-forms during the period, in Britain and internationally.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module explores the writing and rewriting of fiction and creative nonfiction. Attention will be paid to both originating new work and the process of revision. The module will outline some fundamental principles of style, genre and editing. We will be looking at different kinds of narrative such as fiction, history, life writing, travel writing and literary journalism – their shared techniques as well as distinctive characteristics. Students will have the experience of writing in different formats such as short stories, memoirs, features and essays. They will develop an understanding of some of the principles of editing both their own and other people’s work (as well as the differences between them). They will also develop an enhanced sensitivity to the role and practice of editing at the level of the paragraph, the sentence and the word, in addition to the text as a whole. Emphasis will be laid on developing clarity, precision, and expressiveness in writing style, as well as the ability to explain their editing decisions. Through a variety of exercises students will be shown how to identify common problems in writing and how to remedy them. They will also develop an appreciation of how successive re-workings of the same text can alter and refine its meaning and effectiveness. The module will develop valuable and transferable skills for critical thinking and reading, effective editing techniques, and enhance employability.

    This module aims to develop students' knowledge of a range of narrative genres, such as fiction, history, life writing, travel writing and literary journalism, and the different means through which these can be communicated through books, essays and features; develop competence in the main creative and organisational processes of writing; and practise methods in which a piece of writing can be improved by editing and revision

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module builds on the earlier core historical modules Romantics to Victorians and Victorians to Moderns and examines the period from the 1940s to the 2010s. Through the study of poetry and prose, their critical discussion and creative production, and through reference to other media forms, the module addresses major themes in the cultural, social and political history of the period. The syllabus includes canonical works but also enlarges and transforms students’ understanding of literary production by considering works written in English within other national traditions and works in translation in order properly to represent the complex experience of literary and cultural engagement for readers today. The module takes a chronological approach and discusses, variously, war and reconstruction; the legacies of violence that inflect our understanding of gender, religion and race; post-war cultural politics and social change; the neo-liberal settlement of the 1980s and the culture of post-modernity; and emerging themes in recently published literary work. The module is taught in weekly sessions comprising a common lecture followed by an English Literature seminar or Creative Writing workshop. The module is supported by online material and tutorial hours, and assessed by critical essays and/or creative work.

    The aims of this module are to introduce students to modern and contemporary (c.1940-2010) literary and poetical works written in the UK and in other countries; to provide students with a wide literary, historical and socio-cultural context; to produce well-informed readers capable of thoughtful interpretation; to develop students’ critical and/or creative writing skills to an advanced level.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module allows students to explore in-depth a literary or creative writing topic of their own choice, subject to supervisor approval. It encourages students to pursue areas of personal, specialist interest, either based on topics they have previously encountered during their programme of modules or looking beyond the taught syllabus. Supervised independent learning and sustained research and writing will provide students with a focus for refining and drawing together a wide range of creative, scholarly and transferable skills which they have developed across their progamme.

    The main aims of this module are: to enable students to become aware of the way specific literary topics relate to the broader field of critical or creative practice; to foster students’ understanding of the methodological choices appropriate to a particular project topic, including (where relevant) the contextual and theoretical research required for a creative writing project; to develop students’ ability to conceive, plan and carry through a sustained piece of work involving self-motivated, independent research; and to enhance students’ profile of personal and professional attributes as critical and/or creative practitioners.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Why Literature Matters introduces and develops a series of related discussions about the personal, worldly and critical stakes involved in reading and writing literature. Students will follow a number of separate syllabuses, some related to staff specialisms and publications, that require them to engage with the value of reading, writing and creative/critical practice in relation to other spheres of experience and action. The module thus provides students with opportunities to draw together questions of value and purpose relating to their programme as a whole.

    Syllabus topics may include but are not limited to the following, which may change from year to year: Literature and pedagogy; Literature, activism and politics; Literature and the sacred; Literature, ecology and place; Literature and transnational identity.

    The module will be taught in weekly sessions comprising a lecture and seminar and is assessed by a variety of written coursework and a final presentation.

    This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the critical contexts in which literary production, distribution and reception take place; to allow students to contrast modern, contemporary and canonical theories of literary value; to develop students’ critical writing skills about literature together with their personal sense of commitment to literary values.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    Publishing and the Book: Then and Now is a year-long module which examines London’s literary and publishing culture through, firstly, a series of historical case studies of famous and significant writers, which charts the development of the publishing industry in London from the 17th century and the post-WWII period. Through the discussion of authors and their works, students will study and research transformations in literary and print culture, in conditions of authorship and copyright, developments in literacy, readership, criticism, marketing and the production of literary material and the book.

    The second part of the module emphasises employability and immerses students in London’s current publishing industry, and through a series of guest lectures and masterclasses students will learn about the process of author rights and representation, commissioning, editing, book production, design, marketing and sales, digital and audio publishing, and the post-production landscape of bookselling, literary festivals, prizes, podcasts and blogs.

    The module aims to give students a historical understanding of London’s publishing industry and the opportunity to respond critically and creatively in writing to this, and further to give students a current understanding of the process of taking a manuscript from author to publisher, bookseller and reader, and an opportunity to devise a research project, a group studio publishing project and/or a placement in the industry.

    The module is taught through a combination of lecture/seminar, guest speaker sessions and masterclasses, studio project group activities, and is assessed by critical essay, critical and/or creative portfolio, publishing studio project and/or professional placement/shadowing in situ.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    The Writer’s Craft is a year-long level 6 module which offers students the option of developing their work in one of a number of writing studios throughout the year.

    Studio I Craft and Performance develops students’ understanding of writing for performance through a series of projects that focus on the adaptation of literary material for screen and stage, on original writing for stage, and on performance poetry and the spoken word. Students will learn about (i) the process of reading for adaptation, script development and writing for a performance medium through the close examination of literary, film and televisual sources, and through critical discussion of representation, storytelling, visual narrative and genre; (ii) the creation and adaptation of original dramatic material for the stage and the writer’s critical relationship to acting, directing and production histories, and (iii) the history, culture and practice of performance poetry; performance skills and the adaptation of material to audience, medium and venue, and critical and theoretical perspectives on performance poetry and the spoken word.
    Studio II Craft and Ethics aims to equip students with a historical, critical and practical understanding of key forms of prose fiction, as both entertainment and literary texts. Students will develop an understanding of contemporary fiction in its various forms, as well as learning techniques and approaches necessary for creating their own. The prose studio also encourages students to locate their own creative practice in wider literary, historical, ethical and social contexts. The module will encourage students to develop their own creative practice in the context of contemporary literary as well as popular fiction.
    Additional studios may run within this module depending on staff specialism and availability.

    Read full details.

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.

What our students say

"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

After the course

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.

Additional costs

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.

Unistats - key information set

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How to apply

Apply to us for September 2018

It's not too late to start this course in September.

Applying for a full-time undergraduate degree starting this September is quick and easy - simply call our Clearing hotline on .

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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