English literature studies enables the students to develop comprehensive written and spoken communication skills. This challenging course in the UK focuses mainly on analysis, debates, critical theorising, creative writing and expression of historical classics, authors and genres.
As graduates become experts in arguing, framing the narration and explanation, analysis & interpretation, this field opens up abundant, vibrant and creative avenues to explore. You may work in civil services, journalism, management, tourism, films & media, administration, marketing, public relations, social media and the legal sector.
English literary studies can be immensely rewarding for those passionate about landmark classics, poetry and plays. Learn more about the best universities to study English Literature in the UK below (Guardian University Guide 2023) and arrange a meeting with SI-UK today to begin your UCAS application.
Top Five Universities for English Literature in the UK
The University of St. Andrews’ School of English is among the most reputed in the UK and offers a four-year MA (Hons). The programme reflects on various literary genres from the Middle Ages to today, equipping you with a variety of literary experiences and critical skills. Some popular subject areas include Old English literature, Renaissance bodies, Cold War writing, and Victorian culture.
Many advanced options are available including Contemporary Fiction, Reading Popular Music, and Postcolonial Literature and Theory. The School of English hosts regular events, such as workshops and seminars, where students can get involved in the school's literary magazine.
- Suggested course: MA (Hons) in English
- Entry requirements: Standard entry grades: AAAAB, including A in English; Minimum entry grades: AABB, including A in English.
- International fees: £28,190
The English Language and Literature programme at the historic University of Oxford is among the world’s most widely acclaimed. It allows you to study English writing from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England to the present. In addition to British literature, students can study literary works from other parts of the world.
Oxford offers a multilingual and global context to English literature by including works of literature originally written in other languages. The Department of English at Oxford is the largest in the UK and places the development of advanced reading skills at a higher priority. Over the years, it has produced several great authors and poets, including Hannah Sullivan, Vikram Seth, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
- Suggested course: BA English Language and Literature
- Entry requirements: A-levels: AAA; Advanced Highers: AA/AAB; Candidates are expected to have English Literature, or English Language and Literature to A-level, Advanced Higher, Higher Level in the IB or any other equivalent.
- International fees: £35,080
The BA English Literature degree programme at Durham University amalgamates traditional areas of literature with contemporary works. In the first year, students will be introduced to drama, novels, and poetry comprehensively. The second year of the degree course deals with the classic literature of the Shakespeare era and the theory and practice of literary criticism.
Over the three years, you will have the option to choose from a range of lecture modules that comprise literary works of some of the world’s greatest, including Jane Austin, John Keats, Geoffrey Chaucer, and W. B. Yeats. If you want to make a career in creative writing, this course is a perfect choice.
- Suggested course: BA English Literature
- Entry requirements: A level offer – A*AA including English Literature (or the combined English Literature and Language A level).
- International fees: £23,900
The second-oldest university in the anglosphere, the University of Cambridge is a dream centre of English education for millions of literature students around the world. From Edmund Spenser to John Milton and William Wordsworth to Sylvia Plath, Cambridge has been the alma mater of several greatest figures in English Literature.
In addition to exploring early medieval to modern literature and their contexts, you will study practical criticism and critical practice. The optional papers include Material Renaissance, Ethical Imagination, American Literature, and Contemporary Writing. The course allows you to explore other art forms, including music and film, through a literary perspective. You will also understand the historical connections of literature with philosophy, art history, and politics.
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) English
- Entry requirements: A Level: A*AA, IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level
- International fees: £24,507
Whether you love stories left behind by the witnesses of history or want to experience the ideas of the modern world, the BA English Literature degree programme by the University of Warwick is an ideal way to quench your thirst for literary knowledge and experience. The course begins with the works of Homer. Virgil, Mary Shelley, and Chris Kraus.
Modules of the programmes include Medieval and Early Modern Literature, Epic into Novel, Literature in Theory, and Modern World literature. You can choose one of the many options on global literature, where you explore different writing pieces by authors from different parts of the world. Located in England’s West Midlands region, the city of Warwick is known for its literary history, exploring which students learn a lot about the country’s contribution to the English language and literature.
- Suggested course: BA English Literature
- Entry requirements: A level typical offer: AAA or A*AB to include grade A in English Literature or English Language and Literature (combined)
- International fees: £23,390