BA (Hons) English Literature


Course code Q302

Course overview
  • Course overview
  • Course details
  • Finance
  • Resources and Facilities
  • Meet the staff
Apply Now Book An Open Day Book An Open Day

Course code Q302

Key course details

Duration Full-time, 3 Years
Start date September 2022
Entry Requirements Programme specification (PDF)
Need more information about this course?

Speak to an advisor

At the University of Cumbria’s beautiful Ambleside campus you will study English Literature surrounded by the iconic scenery which inspired some of Britain’s greatest writers – including Wordsworth, Ransome, Potter and Ruskin.

You’ll explore the development of English Literature from the Renaissance to the present in global and regional contexts, in a landscape which has been a source of inspiration to generations of poets and writers, and which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

English Literature students visiting the Jerwood Centre at the Wordsworth Trust,

Students visiting the Reading Room of the Jerwood Centre at the Wordsworth Trust.

This is not your average English Literature course – it’s much more. You will consider how literature helps us reflect on key contemporary concerns, including the current environmental crisis.

You’ll write essays and a dissertation, just as you would on any other English Literature degree, but in addition, you’ll also develop the skills required for the contemporary workplace by scripting and recording a mock radio programme, designing a webpage, and even submitting a ‘job application’ assessed by academic and careers staff.

Wondering what it's like to study English Literature? Watch our on-demand taster session where our lecturer Dr. Penny Bradshaw discusses the classic that is Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

Watch Wuthering Heights Taster Session

You can also stay up to date with what is happening in our English Literature course by following us on Twitter:

Follow us on Twitter   

Partners & Memberships

The programme team have links with a number of key literary organisations in the region. We use these connections to enhance and enrich your studies in a variety of way, not only through field trips but also by giving you the opportunity to develop projects in your final year which relate to the cultural heritage and creative industry sector. 


National Trust Logo,     Wordsworth Trust Logo,       Brantwood logo, Brantwood museum logo


Your Career with an English Literature Degree

A degree in English Literature suits a range of careers demanding high-level analytical, interpretative, written and oral communication skills. Recent graduates have gone into teaching, lecturing, the cultural heritage sector, and work with major national organisations and companies. 

English Literature student Connor Skivington at The Wordsworth Trust,

Many English Literature graduates use their degree as the basis for further study and training in order to pursue high level ‘graduate’ work in a wide variety of fields.

English (group) scored 100% for Teaching on My Course
- Data derived from NSS 2020

But don't take our word for it, here is Chandni Asher's graduate story on how her degree helped her find the perfect job.

"After leaving, I went straight onto a Graduate Scheme with Network Rail entitled MSc Project and Programme Management. It is specially designed by Network Rail to prepare their candidates for entering the business after a year-long Master's Course in a Project Management capacity. The Scheme is open to any graduate in any discipline from any UK university – they don’t usually take English graduates!

When looking at the job specification, I first identified the core skills from my time at university: time management, research, analysis and application. But it wasn’t just the skills I gained from the degree that helped me. The opportunities you have being a part of the department and the university are invaluable. Whilst at Cumbria, I took on extra responsibilities to gain experience. Being a cohort student rep, for example, can present you with unusual communication tasks that you may have never come across before since your role is to act as a go-between/buffer for students and tutors and, sometimes, university staff.

What’s important about this English degree is that it doesn’t just develop essential skills for your work life. The tutors make the effort to push you (gently) out of your comfort zone to show you exactly how much you can do. That is why when doing modules such as Literature in Media and English in the World is so important: it will challenge you and help you understand your own personal skill set. It was through the English in the World module that I found myself being good at project management!"

Why choose University of Cumbria

  • Unique opportunity to study a rich body of literary and non-literary texts within the geographical landscape which inspired them
  • Excellent working relationships with literary and cultural organisations such as Brantwood and the Wordsworth Trust
  • Your studies are enriched by field trips to places which inspired some of Britain's greatest writers
  • Opportunities to design and implement real-world projects to boost your CV
  • Taught by tutors who all research and publish in their specialist areas
  • Small class sizes enable us to guide and work closely with you throughout your studies
  • Opportunities to get involved with local literary festivals and Cumbria’s rich cultural scene
  • Boost your job prospects by developing contemporary communication skills

Lake District Panoramic,

You’ll study at the University of Cumbria's Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Here you will explore critical ideas about the relationship between the creative imagination and place, and about literature and the environment. You’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the specific locations which have inspired and which continue to inspire writers, as well as to engage with cultural heritage organisations and work with unique literary resources.

On our course, your passion for literature will be embraced and empowered while you develop strong and relevant employment skills that will bolster your CV and help you stand out from the crowd to future employers. 

Course Study Options

We also offer this course as a DipHE (Diploma of Higher Education), which works as a step into the full BA (Hons) degree if you don't have enough credits or experience. Find out more by clicking the link below.

DipHE Course

News and Events

Carlisle Culture framework launch

Posted: 26 Oct 2020

A cultural framework for Carlisle, that aims to give new life and vision to the city’s rich culture and heritage, is set to be launched at a virtual event early next month. The event will provide progress on Carlisle Culture - a partnership working to harness the rich arts, heritage and culture of the city for our future sustainability and growth. The four lead partners are University of Cumbria, Carlisle City Council, Prism Arts and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

Carlisle Culture – Experts say ‘be brave’ and bold in vision for future

Posted: 13 Mar 2019

Two leading experts have told civic, business, community and cultural figures from across Carlisle to ‘be brave’ and bold as work continues to develop a cultural vision for the city. Wayne Hemingway MBE and Nicky Chance-Thompson, chief executive of The Piece Hall Trust in Halifax, have been discussing the issue of Creative and Cultural Economy during the latest Carlisle Culture event.

Creative Writing in the Lake District: An evocative literary landscape

Posted: 30 Jan 2019

When William Wordsworth wrote ‘O Nature! Thou hast fed/ My lofty speculations!’ he was referring to the beauty, mystery and wonder of the Lake District National Park, now a World Heritage Site.

Campus Tour

Thu 12 Aug 2021

Take a tour around campus with one of our current students. Taking place mostly outdoors and following social distancing guidelines, this is the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the campus and our facilities.

Campus Tour

Thu 12 Aug 2021

Take a tour around campus with one of our current students. Taking place mostly outdoors and following social distancing guidelines, this is the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the campus and our facilities.

Chat to a student on The Access Platform