Why study this course

A vibrant course that embraces the full breadth of literary forms, genres, and periods.

A dedicated and encouraging teaching team ensures personalised support and tailored feedback.

No exams and a student-centred assessment strategy that facilitates your independent choice of focus and topics.

100% student satisfaction (NSS 2022).

Course summary

Studying English Literature at BGU provides an exciting and wide-ranging engagement with the power of human creativity and the rich heritage of literary expression. On this course you will study great works of literature from Ovid to Ali Smith and from Shakespeare to Bernardine Evaristo, Salman Rushdie, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, enriching your learning with explorations into creative and environmental writing, detective fiction, world literature, drama, children’s literature, film, Victorian, Romantic, and contemporary literature.

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



3 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


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English Literature at BGU is...



in the UK for student satisfaction (English)

(NSS 2022)



in the UK for graduate prospects (English)

(Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021)



in the UK for Teaching (English)

(NSS 2023*)

About this course

Studying English Literature at BGU provides an exciting and wide-ranging engagement with the power of human creativity and the rich heritage of literary expression. On this course you will study great works of literature from Ovid to Ali Smith and from Shakespeare to Bernardine Evaristo, Salman Rushdie, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, enriching your learning with explorations into creative and environmental writing, detective fiction, world literature, drama, children’s literature, film, Victorian, Romantic, and contemporary literature.

You will study an exciting range of writers, texts and topics. You will be able to study works in their historical and genre contexts, explore literary concepts and themes (identity, memory, gender and adolescence), make intertextual and creative connections (myth, adaptation, film, creative writing) and develop your critical independence and career prospects with extended research and work-based projects (English@Work, research project). During your studies you will follow your own interests through an assessment strategy that facilitate your choice of focal points and textual examples for assessment tasks.

You will acquire key academic and transferable skills such as critical thinking and evaluation, analysis, research and high-level communication skills through diverse methods of assessment, which blend established critical and communication skills with up-to-date digital literacies and platforms. You will develop expressive and creative skills fit for the 21st century; combining written essays and oral presentations with e-portfolios, multimodal video, posters, hypertext, digital publication, and independent research projects. You will benefit from an innovative and flexible approach to teaching and learning that promotes student participation and engagement. With the close academic support you will receive here at BGU, you will have the opportunities and guidance to fulfil your full potential.

As an English Literature student at BGU, your engagement with literature won’t stop at the seminar door. The English team are all research-active lecturers who are passionate about the study of literature and its positive impact on the individual and wider society. We actively support a range of organised events and visits to enable a wider participation with literary culture, including visiting speakers, a research seminar series, subsidised film and theatre trips, workshops and celebrations, poetry readings and literary awards.

Discover first-hand why we have such a strong reputation for student satisfaction and teaching excellence, and prepare for a plethora of future professional opportunities.

(Please note that depending on your choice of English course, you may have a choice of optional modules in your second and third years.)

What you will study

As a student on this course, you may study some or all of the modules listed below.

This module introduces you to the literary-critical skills and approaches that are fundamental to the study of English. It will equip you with specialist analytical terminology and techniques while reinforcing and developing your existing skills of analysis. You will consider the construction of a range of texts drawn from different genres and literary-historical periods. Particular attention will be paid in taught sessions to the subject-specific research, planning and writing skills that you will need throughout your degree. Teaching will also support the development of digital skills in advance of the final assessment.You will develop your knowledge and skills through in-class discussion, directed research tasks and independent study. Some sessions will be explicitly student-led: you will be encouraged to read beyond the texts specified and asked to contribute questions for class discussion. University-level research skills will be embedded in taught sessions, with support from the BGU Digital Learning Development and Library Services.

This module introduces you to the suspenseful world of Gothic literature. Covering texts from the eighteenth century to the present, the sessions will build your knowledge of the rise of the Gothic, its conventions, themes, and motifs. Because of this module’s focus on Gothic literature as evoking effects, it lends itself to psychological and sociological approaches: prepare to be scared! Relating to other courses on your degree, the module links to key concepts and ideas explored on subsequent genre and period modules. Teaching will pay special attention to the close reading of primary texts and the development of written skills in advance of the final assessment.

This module offers an introduction to some of the literary works, frameworks, and cultural developments in modern American literature. The primary texts will be drawn from a variety of genres and forms of writing, and will cover a period from the emergence of modern literature in the early twentieth-century through to the diversification of American cultural voices in the post-war period. Teaching will pay particular attention to the enhancement of close reading skills and the development of oral argument and presentation skills in advance of the final assessment. The module also establishes the conceptual foundations for subsequent ‘period’ modules though its dual exploration of aesthetic innovation and societal change, as you evaluate a body of works that represent, and critically respond to, the ideals, myths and values of the ‘American century’.

Have you ever stopped to wonder about the origins of your favourite texts? When did human beings first begin writing down, recording, and retelling stories from their lives and imaginations? This one-of-a-kind module introduces you to the most important foundational myths, legends, fables and stories to have ever informed Western literature and media. It traces how literary texts have drawn on and transformed potent myths, and the impact which changes in society have had upon English literature and Anglophone societies. Primary texts range from Classical works to fairy tales alongside examples of their contemporary adaptations. You will be offered a broad contextual view of these stories and their transformations, and provided with avenues through which to pursue individual research and develop your critical skills.

This module will equip you with the necessary skills to analyse and evaluate poetry. It empowers you to read, analyse, and discuss poems and lyrics by giving you the tools to express your responses to poetry by understanding technical features of poetic form and language. It will give you an idea of the breath and range of poetry in English by developing intertextual connections and recognising its relation to changing contexts. It engages in current debates about the nature and function of poetry, developing three main emphases: skills development, literary knowledge, and theoretical awareness. The module provides an introductory survey of poetry written in English that crosses centuries, poetic genres and forms, metre and rhythm. Its range embraces performance and political poetry, and musical lyrics, as well as written poetry, testing your knowledge through a practical form of assessment that connects visual, digital, and presentation skills.

This module studies Shakespeare’s timeless work and investigates the ways his texts are repeatedly rewritten and performed today. Over 400 years from his death the popularity of his work is not weakened; on the contrary his plays are read, studied, and performed all over the world both in English and in translation. His work is as relevant as ever and it is to be found in the richness of language expressions which still permeate the English language, and in intertextual connections found in multiple, diverse cultural, literary and artistic contexts all over the world. This module provides an introduction to Shakespeare’s range of work and its reception in his time, and a foundation in the use of plays as texts. You will engage in current debates about the nature and function of Shakespeare’s work by reading the work of the Elizabethan bard in relation to changing contexts through a range of production instances. This module emphases skills development, literary knowledge, and internationalisation. It assumes no prior knowledge or engagement with Shakespeare’s work. It provides an introductory survey of his oeuvre and a range of specific case studies by focusing on his plays, ranging from tragedy to comedy. You will reflect on the ways in which his humour, themes, and dramatic twists bridge the difference between age groups and cultures.

This module offers a broad examination of the longstanding and multifaceted relationship between literature and film. It begins with an introduction to the critical vocabulary of film analysis as a means of establishing the semiological differences between film art and traditional literary forms. It then proceeds, through a series of textual and cultural case-studies, to explore key elements of the complex interplay between these two art forms. It examines formal strategies and ideological implications of literary adaptation; the potential synergies and divergences of different literary forms and genres; the cultural translation of adapted texts over time; the parallel development of form in both mediums; and the cinematic framing of specific authors, characters or genres. Overall, the module seeks to foster a greater critical understanding and appreciation of ways both art forms express and embody cultural values and meaning.

Through this module you will embark on a journey to discover world literatures by exploring a range of texts written both by authors whose national languages include English and those whose work has been translated into English. The module studies how literary texts are transformed by cultural transmission, the significance of major technological advances in publishing, as well as the reasons for publishing in English and the variety and diversity of the literature produced in the world. By examining a range of texts by different authors, the module reflects on readership and publishing. It engages with current debates on the nature and function of literature and it helps you to develop critical and analytical skills in recognizing the multifarious nature of world literatures in English by exploring a variety of cultural and literary contexts. This module emphasises literary knowledge and ethical and theoretical awareness. Its range embraces novelists, poets and dramatists from around the world and encourages you to appreciate today’s intertwined global cultures by looking at, for example, the Booker Prize List. You will acquire lifelong skills in interpreting and evaluating texts and learn how to develop and communicate an informed personal response to literature attentive to different cultural contexts and traditions.

In this module you will consider the role of memory as topic and method in the production of literary texts from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. You will explore current issues in memory studies including, for example, trauma theory, the ethics of memorialisation, collective memory, lieux de mémoire and the role of memory in cultural heritage. Lectures will introduce key critical concepts which will be applied and developed during seminar discussion. This module considers the intersection between literature and cultural memory by interrogating the relationship between event and retrospective presentation. It investigates the use of memory as testimony and its role in constructing narratives of social and cultural history. The range of texts chosen allows you to consider the ways in which memory differently informs both literary style and constructions of individual and communal identity. You will encounter a wide range of genres and issues including, for instance, the Romantic lyric, gothic novel, Modernist novel, Holocaust testimony and twenty-first century theatre.

This module examines the emerging ‘super-genre’ of speculative fiction: a classification that encompasses a range of sub-genres that employ speculative non-realist devices to explore and express contemporary fears and cultural anxieties. It explores the inherently metaphoric nature of the works, foregrounding their capacity to promote political critique and ethical reflection through the imaginative construction of alternative pasts, presents and futures. The illustrative reading will embrace the fluidity and hybridity of the genre by drawing examples from a diverse range of short stories and novels tat display the characteristics of sub-genres such as utopian fiction, dystopian fiction, science-fiction, post-apocalytic projection, the fantastic and alternative history fiction. Individual writers may include, for example, H.G.Wells, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick, Marge Piercy, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood and Emily St. John Mandel. Through a comparative examination of common characteristics and conceptual frames, you will be encouraged to move beyond the limitations of traditional classification and recognise the increasing sophistication of non-mimetic genres as a literary form.

This module provides you with knowledge and understanding of detective fiction by tracing its emergence as a distinct literary genre. It examines the historical, cultural and commercial contexts underlying the rise of the detective stories and considers how the genre adapted as these changed. The module addresses the narrative structure of detective fiction and traces the interplay between the detective, sidekick, supporting characters and reader in advancing the plot and solving the crime. As well as gaining a command of the authors and texts most central to detective fiction, you will critically engage with broader debates in the active field of genre studies. In group discussion and assessment you will develop a working knowledge of a literary genre’s development and evolution in the hands of a variety of authors writing in a range of historical periods.

This module provides you with opportunities to apply your subject-specific and skills and knowledge, being developed throughout the programme, in a transferable manner. To facilitate this, you will develop an enhanced awareness of the transferability of those skills through project-based learning. Suggested projects could take the form of a publication project (print or web), targeted writing project (such as brochure, newsletter or resource pack), or a project relating to a particular industry (such as arts, heritage, education, journalism, etc.), although this is not proscriptive. Guidance will be provided on identifying a suitable project, research methodology, writing to a specific brief, and writing reflectively. You could choose to develop a project in partnership with a local organisation: the English department has a track record of working with community partners, recent examples of which Lincoln Book Festival, a local HR company, and The Lincoln Teenage Market. You would also be further supported by the University’s Careers Service, BG Futures. The module is project-based, in that you will identify and develop your own project in which to apply your skills, and you may use this to explore a specific professional area. It encourages you to explore and reflect the relationship between your academic skills and employability. While the project-based nature of the module invites a wide interpretation of the learning project, equity will be ensured by the emphasis of the assessment on reflective writing, information literacies and tailored forms of communication.

This module examines the impact of women in literature through a variety of literary forms and transnational parallels and contrasts. It highlights identity politics and the ways in which women have fought to change discriminations based on race, gender, class, age, and sexuality. By bringing together several themes other modules have introduced, this module will strengthen your confidence in undertaking independent research. It will equip you with increased research skills and resourcefulness in choosing your area of specialist literary knowledge by exploring women’s writing by weaving a thread of critical enquiry determined by the significance of women’s contributions to literature. In doing so, it follows a chronologic trajectory, which acknowledges the origins of feminism, and an international perspective that encompasses a variety of diverse authors. It will test your knowledge through coursework that facilitates your choice and independent research skills.

This module offers a survey of the development of western drama from the late 19th century to the present day. You will be introduced to dramatists such as Ibsen, Brecht, Williams and Beckett, alongside key developments and debates in dramaturgical theory and practice. You will be required to think comparatively about theatrical style and ideological expression, relating approaches such as realism, expressionism and absurdism to thematic structures of cultural dissidence, moral subversion and political engagement. Individual plays will be considered as theatrical events as well as written texts so attention will also be paid to the specific theatrical and institutional contexts of individual works, and you will be examine visual and video materials relating to staged performances. Specialist workshop sessions will be scheduled to introduce and enhance the digital literacies required for the practical assessment.

This module will introduce you to the generic and thematic diversity of the Victorian period (1837-1901). It considers a range of texts from across the period, from poetic forms to late-Victorian drama. The selection of texts combines some of the most familiar works of Victorian literature with lesser-known and recently neglected writings. It also studies Victorian social, cultural and scientific debates and considers the emergence and significance of a variety of genres, including (but not limited to) the social problem novel, serial fiction, sensation fiction, and comedy. This module emphasises the specific historical, socio-cultural contexts of the Victorian era to reflect on the ways in which Victorian writers negotiated ground-breaking ideas, discoveries, and significant events. It will encourage you to question current preconceptions about the nature of 'Victorianism' and what it represents, and engage with contemporary key Victorian scholarly debates. Teaching will focus on further developing the analytic skills acquired on the degree so far, and applying them in relation to illustrative examples of historicist analysis, debating skills, and nuanced interpretation. In the assessment you will deploy a historically informed approach to issues in context and test sustained research and analytic skills in the form of a written assignment.

Dispelling any notion that this notable branch of literature is simply 'books for kids', 'Literature & Childhood: Grimm Neverlands' examines texts from the eighteenth century right to the present day. During the module we explore a whole range of sub-genres, such as fairy tales, picture books, fantasy and animal stories, as well as poetry for and about children. Literature and Childhood will provide you with knowledge and understanding of cultural contexts, origins of literary form, and constructions and appropriations of 'the child'. Teaching will pay attention to a range of different theoretical approaches that can be used in the study of literature written for children and/or about childhood. The range of issues considered will be supported by directed research and discussion tasks, some of which will be carried out independently. The module develops the conceptual and theoretical foundations laid at level 4.

This module allows you to develop writing skills in a number of genres, and understand and apply a range of techniques required for the craft of writing. It begins by exploring examples of a number of fictional genres and styles, including letters and diurnal fiction, retrospective/memoir, reportage, and dialogue. You will develop your own voice through sessions that emphasise sharing work and constructive peer critique. Teaching will consider planning and execution, considerations such as audience, and the opportunities literature presents for creative intervention in contemporary or historical issues or debates. The module will encourage you to consider the wider social, cultural and ethical implications of literary praxis, and to assume agency through your creative contributions to important cultural conversations. Teaching will be interactive and workshop-focussed: while some significant generic examples may be introduced, the sessions will be practice-based and student-led. The assessment requires you to produce a body of original writing and reflect critically on your own creative practice.

This module is organised around key frameworks for the understanding of human and cultural identity; likely to include gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, subculture and social class. The exploration of such frameworks is supported by theoretical materials designed to introduce you to key literary and cultural concepts (such as ideology, patriarchy, heteronormativity, performativity, otherness, diaspora, and hybridity). Literary texts will be drawn from a variety of genres, periods, and cultures, and you will be required to identify, and reflect upon, the correlations between identity and its literary and/or aesthetic expression. Through both seminar discussion and the assignment tasks, you will be encouraged to adopt a pluralistic and comparative approach to the topic, crossing textual and discipline boundaries in your exploration of the interlaced operations of cultural classification and individual self-definition.

At a time of climate emergency, this module asks how literature reimagines the environment and our relationship to it. You will begin by studying literatures produced in the early stages of the industrial revolution in order to understand some of the causes of our current environmental crisis, including fossil fuel production, major transport networks and other infrastructures, urbanisation, and global food supply chains. Literature not only represents these developments, but also imaginatively responds to the environmental changes that result from them. Poetry and fiction, in particular, call attention to alternative ways of conceiving of and responding to our surroundings, from evoking nostalgia for pastoral lands unaffected by industry to presenting utopian visions of environments for the future. This module will develop your understanding of the range of literary forms that imaginatively respond to environmental change. You will examine elegies that express despair at environmental change, creative essay prose that fosters environmentalist action, and speculative fiction that promotes ecological utopias. Teaching will focus on enhancing knowledge and understanding of key literary texts and environmental debates and issues from the eighteenth century until today. The assignment will ask you to develop critical arguments that bring your understanding of environmental literatures to bear on pressing ecological and environmental questions in the environmental humanities today.

This module has a dual focus: literature written for young adults and the presentation of young adults in literature. By introducing and discussing texts from different time periods, the concept of adolescence is framed within historic and academic frameworks. The teaching will give you the opportunity to hone discussion skills (e.g. in workshops or seminar session scenarios) as well as to refine presentation skills in advance of the final assessment. The module develops ideas introduced at levels 4 and 5, such as gender and sexuality, while building upon your knowledge of literature and childhood.

This module offers a final opportunity for you to extend your critical engagement with modern writing through an examination of some of the most significant writers, movements, and innovations in literature since the end of the second world war. Through a variety of genres and literary forms, the module will examine divergent representations and responses to this unsettling period, from disillusioned expressions of national or political decline to progressive visions of renewal through cultural hybridity and reinvention. Central strands of investigation will likely include: challenges to realism and aesthetic experimentation; the rise of apocalyptic imaginaries and the arrival of the Anthropocene; multiculturalism and globalisation; and the deconstruction of self and subjectivity. Lectures and seminars will test and enhance the literary-critical skills acquired at levels 4 & 5 through an engagement with relatively complex literary works, contexts and theoretical frameworks, paying particular attention to the development of independent critical argument in advance of the final assessment. The inclusion of different national literatures within the module acknowledges the significant impact of international exchanges during the period as well as providing a means of investigating the increasingly global contexts and concerns of late 20thand 21stcentury literature.

This module promotes detailed knowledge of the major developments in English Literature occurring during the Romantic period. With its emphasis on the cultural contexts of literary, poetic and dramatic language this module enables you to discuss critically changing modes of expression in relation to political, philosophical, aesthetic and social contexts. It includes some consideration of visual art and print culture, building upon your exposure to other instances of this on other period or genre modules. The teaching pays particular attention to primary resources in terms of social, cultural and literary contexts, by examining texts written in response to idea championed by revolutionaries, reformers and Enlightenment thinkers. In view of the final assessment the module facilitates the building of research context and skills.

This module explores a range of literary and other texts associated with the cultural and artistic developments of Modernism during the early decades of the twentieth-century. It will introduce you to the diverse strands of Modernism, as exemplified by writers such as Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Ernst Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats, Katherine Mansfield, Jean Rhys, and William Faulkner. In addition, it will contextualise these literary achievements amidst the cultural and historical contexts of modernity, examining areas such as colonialism, the artistic avant-garde, modern alienation & the metropolis, gender and sexuality, and the impact of the First World War. Workshops and seminars will pay particular attention to the relationship between cultural transition and aesthetic innovation, further enhancing your close reading skills and historicist methodologies. There will be specific sessions dedicated to the introduction and enhancement of digital literacies to help you prepare for the hypertext assessment.

This module requires you to devise and undertake a dissertation on a subject of interest and to prepare, in written form, a substantial literary critical essay, including a proposal and reference list. It draws on research skills imparted on earlier, research-led modules, but requires you to impart these in a more independent and critically advanced manner. This module will deepen and refine your knowledge of your chosen specialist area and offers insights into the construction of longer pieces of analytical written work and the ways in which arguments are honed across them. The teaching pays particular attention to supporting you in your research and writing processes. This support includes taught whole-group sessions at the beginning, midpoint and end of the module, feedback sessions, and tutorial provision delivered by individual tutors.

Entry requirements

You will normally need 96-112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.

However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.

Find out more about the international application process including English Language requirements.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.


Assessment in English Literature is designed to give you the oral, written, and digital skills to be confident and successful. Through a staged process of development, you will learn how to express yourself persuasively and reflectively across a range of media. You will write short essays and a long dissertation, deliver oral arguments and create presentations, build portfolios and develop personal projects. There are no exams. You will experience instead a diversity of coursework assignments and acquire a broad range of transferable skills that will prepare you for your future life.

Careers & Further study

Studying English Literature at BGU equips you to succeed in a diverse range of professions, including creative and professional writing, publishing, editing, human resources, public policy, journalism, social media, and public relations fields, marketing, technology, librarianship, teaching, and a wide range of creative and media industries.

The highly transferable skills embedded in the English Literature course focus on the creative thinking, flexibility, communication skills and problem-solving abilities that are consistently sought after by graduate employers. English staff work closely with BGU’s Careers and Employability department and a range of community partners to find opportunities for you to engage with projects, and putting those transferable skills to use in a way that builds your CV. As an approachable, supportive team we get to know our students well, so we can help you identify and develop your individual strengths and build your confidence in areas where you want to improve.

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Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

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Fees & Funding

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2024 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices.

For the 2025 cycle, UCAS is removing the undergraduate application fee for any student who is/or has received free school meals (FSM) during the last six years, up until the end of their final year at school or college. More information on the UCAS fee waiver can be found here.

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Part-time Tuition Fee per 20 credit module

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For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate. Full details of all tuition fees can be found here.