School of English and Drama

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BA (Hons) in English

Programme Overview

The English degree at Queen Mary asks you to consider a series of challenging questions about what literature is (and why people write it), about how the processes of reading are shaped by factors within and beyond our individual control, and about how texts written in the past have meaning for us today. 

The programme’s combination of structure and flexibility is designed to provide a solid grounding in reading, researching, and writing about English, while offering the freedom to develop individual interests. Modules are taught by an experienced body of academic staff, who have an international reputation for their teaching and research.

Key Links

Year One

In the first year of study you are provided with a linguistic, historical, and critical framework for the study of English. You will take three 30 credit modules which run for both semesters:

Reading, Theory and Interpretation: Approaches to the Study of English Literature (ESH102) [Show/hide module description]

Shakespeare (ESH101) [Show/hide module description]

Literatures in Time (ESH110) [Show/hide module description]

In addition, you will take two 15 credit modules, which each run for one semester:

Poetry (ESH124) [Show/hide module description]

Narrative (ESH123) [Show/hide module description]

You will also take the compulsory, but unassessed, module English in Practice.

These modules will introduce you to a variety of theoretical approaches to literary writing, as well as bringing you into contact with a broad spectrum of literature in English from different periods. You will investigate the historical origins of literary production in Britain, learn tools and techniques to help you analyse and enjoy poetry, undertake a detailed exploration of the works of William Shakespeare, and be introduced to the key elements of narrative technique.

Years Two and Three

In you second and third year you will have the opportunity to explore the aspects of literature that intrigue you most. 

Year Two:

In your second year, you will select one module from each of Lists 1-3 (these lists reflect the broad range of periods covered at Queen Mary: List 1 offers Medieval and Early Modern options; List 2 offers Eighteenth-Century, Romantic, and Nineteenth-Century options; and List 3 offers Modern, Contemporary, and Postcolonial options). You will also take an additional 30 credits, either from List 4 modules or by selecting an additional module from Lists 1-3.

List 1

Arthurian Literature: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones (ESH283) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

Renaissance Literary Culture (ESH267) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

Renaissance Drama (ESH280) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

List 2

Representing London: Writing the Eighteenth Century City (ESH288) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

Romantics and Revolutionaries (ESH286) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

Victorian Fictions (ESH279) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

List 3

Architexts (ESH243) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

Modernism (ESH213) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

Postcolonial and Global Literatures (ESH285) [30 credits] [Show/hide module description]

List 4

List 4 comprises of a wide range of optional modules. You can get a sense of what might be on offer by viewing our English module directory.

Final Year:

In your final year you undertake the English Dissertation, in which you will study and produce an extended analysis of the literary topic of your choice. 

You will also, subject to approval, take the compulsory, but unassessed, Livelihoods in English.

Optional Modules:

After consultation with your advisor, you will design a programme of study by choosing from an extensive list of optional modules.

Key Information

Course Code:

Entry requirements:
We typically require 320-340 UCAS points, with an A in English Literature or English Language and Literature at A2 level or equivalent. For more information, see our section on Entry Requirements.

Length of course:
Three years

Opportunity to study abroad:
Queen Mary offers you the opportunity to apply to join the International Exchange Programme, enabling you to spend a year or a semester at a university abroad.

You will find extensive information on fees and finance on the main College website.

Contact email:

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