BA (Hons) English

100% overall satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).

Clearing vacancies available

Course details

UCAS Course code Q300

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English Literature shouldn't just be about reading books. We'll help you develop your studies into a huge range of skills, including critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, research, presenting your ideas in public, and much more. While there will be the usual essays and dissertation, we understand the need for employment after graduation and so will help develop skills to stand out from the crowd when launching your career.

For centuries the Lake District has inspired great literary works from some of our country's finest writers, including Wordsworth, Ruskin and Coleridge. You'll have the chance to discover what gave the Romantics such great ideas, immersing yourself in Lancaster's thriving literary scene. We'll give you plenty of opportunities to develop your own writing-contribute to Drift, our student creative writing magazine, or submit for the newsletter of Keswick's Words by the Water literary festival.

What other course offers the chance to record a radio programme, design webpages and even submit a 'job application', as well as study and analyse a fantastic selection of literary works? You'll work in small classes to get the attention you deserve from highly knowledgeable tutors, helping you get the most out of your degree. Join a course that has recently scored 100% overall satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) and improve your personal development whilst discussing a wide range of literature.

Follow us on Twitter and join our Creative Writing Facebook group to find out more about what we offer.

This isn't an ordinary English degree. We offer innovative and contemporary modules to develop your academic skills, as well as plenty of extras to help prepare you for gaining a career after graduation.

Your first year will build a solid foundation for studying English Literature, developing a range of critical and cultural analysis skills. You'll be able to study a wide variety of texts drawn from different cultures and socio-historical contexts, exploring the treatment of literature and literary topics within the contemporary media industry. This will lead into further development in the second year. In your final year you will plan and execute two major items of work: an independent dissertation on a literary topic of your choice, and an 'employability' project designed to focus your mind on life after university.

As well as studying books, you will also visit and study a regional cultural heritage site in order to gain insights into the cultural heritage industry. We'll also teach you new skills such as basic webpage design to enhance your opportunities for future employment.


Year one

Compulsory Modules

  • Texts and Contexts
  • Texts in Dialogue
  • Texts and Readers
  • Travels in Poetry
  • Literature in the Media
  • Study Skills in English

Year two

Compulsory Modules

  • Renaissance Genres
  • Texts in the World
  • Research Skills in English

Optional Modules (Subject to availability and demand)

  • British Romanticism: Literature in an Age of Revolution
  • Literature in the Victorian Period
  • Nineteenth-century American Literature
  • Postmodernism
  • Literature and Film
  • Drama and Realism: From Ibsen to Miller
  • Shakespeare

Year three

Compulsory Modules

  • English in the World
  • Dissertation


Optional Modules (Subject to availability and demand)

  • British Romanticism and the Lake District
  • The Twenty-First Century British Novel
  • Contemporary Cumbrian Literature
  • Comedy
  • British Children's Fiction
  • Victorian Literature and the Social Context
  • Shakespeare and Performance
  • Twentieth-Century Popular Fiction
  • Contemporary Women's Writing: Challenging the Canon
  • Single Author Study

Programme specification

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2016 entry (and deferred entry to 2017)

240 UCAS tariff points - to preferably include GCSE in English Literature at grade C or above. 

Find out more about qualification options from the UCAS tariff table.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

2017 entry

The UCAS Tariff is changing for 2017, you can find out more about the new tariff and qualification options from the new UCAS tariff table

96 UCAS tariff points - to preferably include GCSE in English Literature at grade C or above.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

Apart from looking at predicted grades, we read the UCAS form carefully, paying particular attention to personal statements.
While we normally look for an A level including an at least an element of English Literature or a related subject, we are always ready to consider whatever qualifications or experience a potential student has to offer, and particularly value enthusiasm and commitment to the subject.
We value applicants with non-traditional entry profiles and welcome informal approaches to discuss how other qualifications and experience may be relevant to an application for a place.

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

The skills you learn from this course will serve you well in any number of jobs. We ensure to focus our degree on helping you into a career after graduation, giving you valuable transferable skills as well as the confidence to succeed in the workplace. Your high-level analytical, interpretative, written and oral communication skills will help you stand apart from your peers at interviews. A 2009 survey found that three-and-a-half years after leaving university, just as many English graduates were in jobs as business studies graduates.

You will also be fully prepared to progress into further education at a postgraduate level, taking what you've learnt to the next level and improving your personal development.

We take full advantage of our closeness to the Lake District, which comes with a rich literary heritage that will help inspire your studies. We offer compulsory and optional field trips to sites connected with the region's writers, including a visit to Brantwood, the Lakeland home of writer and critic John Ruskin. Curator Howard Hull gives our students a special guided tour where he offers an insight into the thought-processes behind managing a historically and culturally-significant building.

"I loved the entire course - I felt mentally stimulated, the lecturers were fantastic and my cohort were amazing. Best experience of my life.

"My cohort was very lively and I remember laughing in nearly every seminar and lecture - that's not to say we didn't get any work done though, it's just that the work occurred alongside the laughter.

"University has changed my life in the sense that it allowed me to study a subject I have always loved in depth, gaining a First Class Honours degree in the process and enabling me to make a career change halfway through my life which stimulates me at the same time as providing a secure and stable upbringing for my four children."

- Rachel Graham, BA (Hons) English, Class of 2014