facebook BA (Hons) English Literature – Bath Spa University

English Literature

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) English Literature
School of Humanities (School of Study)
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
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. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC with a minimum of grade C in English or related subject.

View 'typical offers' for more information.

Explore. Question. Challenge. Change the way you see the world with our English Literature degree.

  • Explore the diverse and surprising ways that literature has shaped how we see the world.
  • Join a supportive community with a shared passion and curiosity for all things literary.
  • Develop a wealth of skills and experience that employers need and value – in research, analysis and communication.

Literature is diverse. Every text we pick up gives us a different perspective on the world. Bath Spa's English Literature degree introduces you to an incredible range of literary worlds – from Shakespeare’s tragedies to contemporary political drama, Romantic poetry to dystopian eco-fictions, and from the Brontës to the Queer Gothic. In amongst the familiar, you’ll find new and exciting writers whose work will challenge your expectations of what ‘literature’ can be, and you’ll also find original ways of reading and thinking about the classics.

You’ll belong to a close, supportive community of learners and researchers, driven by your own passion for reading and guided by your tutors’ innovative teaching and research expertise. We'll work with you as individuals – both in small groups and in one-to-one assessment tutorials – to enable you to dig deeper into the histories, theories and ideas of literature.

This close partnership 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. Publishing, PR, teaching and journalism are popular paths, and our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers including NewScientist, Oxford University Press, Marie Curie, Bristol Museums and Barclays. You can also choose to further your learning through postgraduate study.

Open Days

Don't miss out on exploring Bath Spa – come to one of our Open Days! 

Get a taste of university life and discover if this is the best place for you to study.

Book your place

Want to explore English Literature from a different angle? We offer English Literature as a combined course – meaning you can pair it with a range of subjects from Publishing to History and Creative Writing.

"The passion the lecturers have for the course shines through in the breadth of the modules and assessments available, making you feel supported and confident at every stage of your degree. Straight after graduating I began a career as an Event Manager, and have found the creativity and writing skills I developed while studying invaluable."

Tessa Kerslake, BA (Hons) English Literature
Tessa Kerslake

What you'll learn


We offer varied modules that allow you to study in greater depth writers that you already love, and discover writers that you have yet to fall in love with.

Our passionate knowledge informs an incredibly wide range of modules. Choose from the worlds of Shakespeare’s London, Romantic and Victorian visions of science, radical innovators of literary form, the new digital worlds of electronic text, the darker worlds of crime and gothic writing, and the continuing engagement of writers with questions of history and social justice.

You’ll graduate with transferable skills to engage critically and creatively with a full range of possible careers. Our English Literature graduates are very popular with employers.

In your second year you'll take part in our innovative and institutionally-recognised programme of personal development, including a range of workshops on careers, graduate skills and strategies delivered by visiting industry professionals, our Careers team and our own graduates.

In your final year you can choose to undertake an applied project that will connect your subject knowledge to real world collaborations, such as an idea for a literary event or festival, a package of digital teaching resources for schools, an online edition of a historical text, or an exhibition in partnership with a heritage organisation.

You'll have the opportunity to take English Literature with a Professional Placement Year. In addition, you can expand your knowledge and skills in marketing, international business and freelancing by choosing from an exciting range of Open Modules offered by our colleagues in Bath Business School.

Course structure

Each semester in year one and two has a core module, as well as a large selection of optional modules from which you can choose. These modules are organised around a number of key strands running through the programme – Transnational English Literature; Interdisciplinary; and Digital – but you can choose to study any of the available modules and develop your own literary interests.

In your third year you can undertake independent study on a dissertation or project, focusing on an area of your own specific interest.

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. Some modules include seen and unseen exams. 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.

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 (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Parallel Text
  • Romance and Revolution
  • Writing, Gender and Politics, 1500–1750
  • Scandal and Sobriety, 1750– 1890
  • Make It New: From Modernism to the 21st Century
  • Print, Book and Candle: making, selling, reading
  • How to Think Together: Humanities in the 21st Century

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Subject and Structure
  • Equivocal Matter
  • Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
  • Literature and Digital Culture
  • Nature, Science and Self 
  • Gender and Fiction in the Long Eighteenth Century 
  • The Victorian Spectacular: Producing the Modern
  • Modern and Contemporary Poetry
  • Crime Fiction
  • Literature, Ethnicity and Belonging
  • Gothic Origins and Innovations
  • Professional Placement Year
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • English Project
  • Modernist Networks
  • Literature and Digital Culture
  • Writing and the Environmental Crisis
  • Literature and Psychology
  • More than Muses: Literary Women, Work and the Arts
  • Literature and Evil
  • Nation and Race in Early Modernity
  • Staging Gender


Study abroad

All English students have the opportunity to apply for an Erasmus placement which allows them to study for one or more terms in their second or third year of study. We also have links with partner institutions in the USA and Australia.

Field trips

We're keen to bring literature to life, and the course features optional modules that include field trips to 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 onto 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.

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 taught at Newton Park campus, with most classes taking place in the state-of-the-art Commons building.

You'll have access to excellent facilities such as our:


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.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

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, to question shared assumptions, and want to collaborate with others in exploring the ideas and worlds that the written word opens up to us.

Typical offers

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

  • A-level – grades CCC accepted with a minimum of grade C in English or related subject
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject accepted
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum score of 26 points required with grade 5 or above 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, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted.

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.

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.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Dr. Richard Stamp
Email: r.stamp@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

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