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English Literature

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

BA (Hons) English Literature
School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: Q300 or Q301
Campus Code: A, BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

Our English Literature degree turns your passion into a practical skill-set.

  • Combine professional skills and opportunities with your passion for literature in our innovative English degree course.
  • Develop practical and professional skills. Apply both to challenges, issues and debates of the present day.
  • Explore the next stage in your career. Our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers.

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#12 in the UK

for Satisfied with Course in English (Guardian University Guide, 2023)

Literature is diverse. Every text we pick up gives us a different perspective on the world. At Bath Spa, we have another take on the subject – one that we think makes us one of the best universities for English Literature.

Our innovative English Literature degree has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge while developing practical and professional skills that you can apply to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.

English Literature at Bath Spa University introduces you to an incredible range of literary worlds. From classic texts to new and unfamiliar writing, you'll be asked to think differently about what ‘literature’ can be and to explore original ways of reading and analysing it. We’ll ask you to place your reading in wider contexts, and to draw on other disciplines to deepen your understanding and sharpen your insights.

You'll be taught by experts in a wide range of periods, literary genres and approaches to the study of words and writing. Our staff share a commitment to excellent teaching and to offering you the best possible experience during your time with us.

Professional skills

Historical background, philosophical concepts and political debate will all contribute to your ability to read widely and well, and to approach your English Literature degree with confidence.

This approach will help you develop the vital skills of analysis, communication and collaboration that employers look for in English Literature graduates – skills that will open up a diverse range of possible careers. To maximise your potential, we’ll also support you in learning to manage projects, work with your peers and our external partners, evaluate options and respond to a brief.

What can you do with an English Literature degree?

Publishing, PR, teaching and journalism are popular paths, and our English graduates have gone on to work with leading employers including New Scientist, Oxford University Press, Marie Curie, Bristol Museums, Imperial War Museums London, and Barclays Bank.

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Get a taste of life at Bath Spa – come to one of our Open Days.

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What you'll learn


We combine the academic study of literature with skill-based modules to create a practical, applied English Literature degree. You’ll learn how to analyse a wide range of literary texts, but you'll also learn practical skills such as:

  • How to pitch an idea for a literary festival
  • How to compile digital teaching resources for schools
  • How to produce an online edition of a historical text.

You’ll apply your knowledge and your skills in practical, professional ways in preparation for the next stage in your career.

Course structure

Year one
Introductions and foundations: develop your skills in reading and analysing selected texts. A broad curriculum allows you to ask questions, challenge your own assumptions and interrogate evidence, data and opinions.

Year two
Practical, applied, relevant: in your second year, you’ll study your chosen topics while gaining professional skills. You'll apply your knowledge and understanding to a defined problem or idea.

Year three
Achievement, consolidation, creativity: your final project in the third year brings all this together. You’ll identify and develop your own proposal and put it into practice. This might be an extended piece of academic writing, an exhibition, a community project, or a digital resource.

How will I be assessed?

Most modules use essays with other forms of coursework such as journals, portfolios and short critical pieces, projects and dissertations, or special assignments such as seminar presentations, collaborative magazines, and web-based essays. Second and final year grades contribute towards your final degree award.

How will I be taught?

English modules are taught via seminars, lectures, individual tutorials, and IT workshops.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Parallel Texts
  • Romance and Revolution
  • Worlds of Ideas
  • Narratives of Belonging
  • Protest and Persuasion
  • Thinking Together: Humanities in the 21st Century
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Voices in Conversation
  • Reading Communities
  • Bodies
  • The Book
  • The Literature of Laughter
  • Who Do You Think You Are? Writing the Self, Written Lives
  • The Marvellous - Writing Beyond Realism
  • Transgressions
  • Digital Humanities
  • Working Together
  • Transformative Communities
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • English Project
  • Cosmopolitanisms - Writing Beyond Borders
  • Literature and Psychology
  • Nation and Race in the Early Modern Atlantic World
  • Novel Forms
  • Outsiders - Women and Writing
  • Shock of the New
  • Writing and Environmental Crisis
  • Writing Now - Prizes, Popularity and Politics
  • The Placement: Putting Your Subject into Practice


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


We're keen to bring literature to life, and the course features optional modules that include potential fieldwork opportunites in London, Oxford, Berlin, Krakow and Auschwitz, among others. Our students have also won places on summer schools in Beijing and Monterrey.


We believe strongly in employability, and have made it a core part of our curriculum. You’ll have access to our renowned digital facilities, as well as to our Bath Spa Careers team who'll help you forge a fulfilling future.

Many of our graduates pursue careers in publishing or teaching. Organisations including NewScientist, Trinity College Library, DigitalBox and Cengage Learning EMEA have employed our graduates. Graduate professions include:

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Publishing Outreach Executive
  • Content Writer
  • Campaigns Officer

Some graduates choose to progress to postgraduate study.

Competitions and awards

There are annual prizes for the best overall performance in both core modules in years one and two, and a very special prize for the best final year English Project.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The English Literature programme is based at Newton Park campus, Bath Spa University, UK.

You'll have access to excellent facilities such as:


We have a wide range of high-quality online resources to complement the books and journals you have access to in our Library, as well as digital publishing facilities, historical and modern printing presses, and industry-standard broadcast media facilities.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £15,750

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,150

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for students who share our passion for literature in all its forms. You should be inquisitive and willing to challenge yourself and to question shared assumptions. You'll want to collaborate with others in exploring the ideas and worlds opened up to us by the written word.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC including a Grade B in English or a related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in English at Higher Level.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher).

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

We recommend that you read as much literature as possible! It’s a good idea to read books from various historical periods and literary genres – and think about the differences you notice between them. You’ll find Studying English Literature (Continuum Press, 2010) by Ashley Chantler to be a good guide.

Three year course
With placement year

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