Major in English Literature

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you would like to combine the study of English with another subject.

Course Description

Choosing English Literature as a major will allow you to study an overview of English language and literature from its beginnings all the way to the present day, learning about some of the greatest works of English literature in their original context. You will discover how English language and literature has changed through the centuries, and engage with the latest critical approaches.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2017

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2214

English website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

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

Each year we organise Literary Leicester, a festival showcasing the best of local and internationally renowned talent. This is your opportunity to learn from, and ask questions of, some of the greatest writers of our time.

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

Our student drama society LUTheatre presents a programme of new and classic works every year. New writers can see their work performed at the popular Proteus nights.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

In your first year you will be introduced to some core themes and developments in prose, poetry, and drama, and you’ll be encouraged to think in new ways about the English language. You will study key techniques of analysis and criticism, and the ways that literature relates to culture and history.

Core modules

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 your second year you will study an exciting range of texts and critical approaches across history. These could include 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 Pepys’ diary and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. You may choose to study the development of medieval literature, language and culture, or the literature and culture of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, from Renaissance drama to bawdy Restoration comedy or the experimental novels of the early eighteenth century. Alongside this, you’ll explore new critical techniques and theories that try to explain some fundamental relationships and tensions in English literature – from class, race, and gender to language and meaning.


Choose four 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.

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:

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. There is no monthly grant when you attend one of these universities, however if you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. 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 final year is an opportunity to expand your knowledge in the areas of English that have captured your attention with the option to do an independently researched dissertation and a range of modules that conclude the chronological journey through literature and language, beginning with the Romantics and ending with Postwar to Postmodern literature.


Choose four option modules from:

  • Romanticism
  • Victorian Literature
  • Post-War to Postmodern: Literature 1945-Present Day
  • Modern Literature
  • Dissertation

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

On a Major/Minor degree, 75% of your course will be your Major (in this case English Literature) and 25% will be your Minor.


Please note that you cannot study a Major in English Literature with a Minor in English Literature.

Now choose your Minor

Teaching and Assessment

For each of your modules 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.

For your third year dissertation you receive one-to-one tuition across the term from a tutor with an interest 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.
  • 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. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

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 department.

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 will introduce you to the resources provided by our Careers Development Service and provide opportunities to gain work experience with leading employers.


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
Major in English Literature BA 3-4 years full-time Q301 Apply Now
Major in English Literature
3-4 years full-time