BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to explore the richness of English literature from the medieval period to the present, with the chance to specialise in an array of fascinating topics from literature, language, and creative writing.

Course Description

This degree offers a comprehensive approach to English literature throughout its rich and diverse history, alongside the study of language. You will study English language and literature from its beginnings all the way to the present day. You will also discover how English literature has changed through the centuries and engage with the latest critical approaches.

You will explore English literature in every period, a feature that makes graduates from our course remarkable for the breadth of their knowledge of English. A variety of option modules will allow you to add a deeper understanding of those subjects that you find most fascinating. We do work in all areas of English, from the development of slang to the work of Salman Rushdie, and from Old English to post-colonialism. Particularly strong areas of expertise include the English language, Victorian literature, and creative writing. 

To add to your impressive knowledge of English, you will also complete two option modules from one of our partner departments, including American Studies, Film Studies, History, and Modern Languages. Taking an option subject will offer you new insights into a topic that interests you, as well as developing skills and techniques that will complement and enhance your abilities as a student of English.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
October 2016

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2214

English at Leicester website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

The breadth of our modules will take you in unexpected directions while allowing you to focus on your own areas of interest.

Our academics are constantly pursuing innovative approaches to literature - you will benefit from being taught by the very people who are leading their fields.

Our employability modules give you experience in areas such as teaching and publishing.

Literary Leicester, our annual festival of local and international talent, has attracted such notable authors as Sue Townsend, Carol Anne Duffy, Will Self, Amitav Ghosh, Jacqueline Wilson and Sarah Waters.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

The first year lays the foundations of your study in literature and language. You will be introduced to the core themes and developments in prose and poetry, and you will be encouraged to think in new ways about the English language.

You will also take two option modules (one in each semester) which are taught in a different department, for example History, Film Studies, or Modern Languages. These modules give you the opportunity to broaden your understanding of English by delving into aspects of a closely related subject.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules in a supplementary subject:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

In Year 2 you will study some of the most influential and widely read texts in the history of English, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Milton’s Paradise Lost to Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Pepys’s diary.

During the 'Concepts in Criticism' module you will explore theories that try to explain the fundamental relationships in reading English literature: readers and the author; readers and the text; language and meaning; and psychology and art, to name but a few.



Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation, or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

English at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you attend one of these, you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant if you comply with European Commission rules and regulations. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

Your core learning will conclude the chronological journey through literature and language, beginning with the Romantics and ending with the Postmodern. Your final year is also an opportunity to expand your knowledge in the areas of English that have captured your attention with a wide selection of optional modules.

An essential part of your final year is your dissertation. This is a chance for you to take charge of your degree and explore an area of English that fascinates you.

Core modules

Plus your dissertation

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor options allow you to create your own degree. You can concentrate on one subject as your Major (75% of your course) while broadening your knowledge with a Minor subject (25% of your course).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Find Out More

Teaching and Assessment


For each module you will typically have one or two lectures and a seminar each week, along with a number of additional events such as workshops on research and study skills, learning groups, and introduced film screenings. Lectures are designed to introduce you to important debates and contexts for understanding an author’s work. Weekly seminars, in which a tutor leads a small group of students in discussion, will allow you to explore a text or topic in depth.

When you study the ‘Renaissance Drama’ module in your first year, you will take part in a workshop with local theatre companies, including the opportunity to stage the climactic scenes of Shakespeare’s Richard III on the real Bosworth Battlefield, where the play is partially set.

For your third-year dissertation you receive one-to-one tuition across the term from a tutor with expertise in your chosen subject.


You will be assessed through a combination of essays, group work, oral presentations, review writing, portfolios, and exams. These assessments are designed to help you build confidence in a range of skills and to provide prospective employers with evidence that you can work effectively both as an independent researcher and as a team member. Your final degree result will be based on the work you do in the second and third years of your degree.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether academic, financial, housing, career, or social. Our pastoral care system is first-rate, and feedback and participation are encouraged through the Student-Staff Committee, where lecturers and student representatives from all years meet to discuss the issues that affect you.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB at A-level including English Language or English Literature or English Language and Literature. Two AS-levels may occasionally be considered in the place of one A2-level. General Studies is accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B. A level subjects to include English (Language or Literature or combined). Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points, including 6 in Higher Level English.
  • Access to HE Diploma: An overall pass (i.e. 60 credits), with at least 45 credits at level 3, including some at Distinction.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM and English A-level or equivalent. Please contact department regarding eligibility.

Other national and international qualifications considered.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the University.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2016

    • £9,000 per year
    • The fee for a year abroad is £1,250, rather than £9,000.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.
  • Starting in 2016

    • £14,630 per year
    • The fee for a year abroad is £3,657.50, rather than £14,630.
    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

All students take part in the Talent Academy, which provides an introduction to the resources provided by our Careers Development Service and opportunities to gain work experience with leading employers.

We offer a first-year optional module on 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language'. This will increase your own understanding of the English language and provide practical teaching experience. It leads to the highly respected Cambridge CELTA qualification, which will allow you to teach both in this country and abroad.

Our 'English and Education' final year module provides practical teaching experience with a placement in a local school.

You can gain experience in the publishing industry with the final year module on 'Transcultural Writing and the Publishing Industry'.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering, and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
English BA 3 years full-time Q300 Apply Now
English with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time Q300 Apply Now
3 years full-time
English with Year Abroad
4 years full-time