English Literature BA (Hons)

Studying English Literature at York St John University is about more than the study of great books, you can also study modules in exciting areas such as children’s literature, creative writing, or in popular forms like horror fiction. We also offer modules in contemporary writing, gender and women’s writing and American literature as well as taking a fresh look at more traditional areas – Shakespeare, the Romantic poets, and nineteenth-century writing.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2018 - 2019: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,500 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2018
Study options
Available with integrated Foundation Year

Course overview

At York St John University you will be taught by enthusiastic and experienced staff, all of whom are active as scholars and researchers in their specialist areas. We have published work on topics ranging from Renaissance women dramatists and Caribbean poetry to contemporary British and American fiction. Our students get good results, too. If you want to be part of our success story, come and join us. Feel free to contact me if you need any help or advice.

Dr Anne-Marie Evans - Subject Director, English Literature

Course structure


Understanding how stories work – and how they appeal to us, persuade us and affect us – is part of understanding the world we live in.

The degree offers you the choice to focus on the contemporary, to follow a more traditional, historical route, or to simply choose the modules which most appeal. Creative options are available, and field trips are a highlight at every level.

You will study a range of texts of different kinds and from different periods. These might include not only novels, plays and poems, but also films, advertisements and adaptations.

Level 1

Level 1 provides you with the foundations for study at Levels 2 and 3 – it is designed to develop the analytical tools, skills of interpretation and approaches that you will need.

Modules may include:

  • Reading Texts 1
  • Forms of Narrative
  • Writing for Academic Success
  • Gender & Writing

Level 2

Level 2 gives you the opportunity to focus on particular periods, kinds of writing, or perspectives on literature, while including the chance to practise creative writing as well as writing of the more analytical kind.

Modules may include:

  • Gothic & Horror
  • Cultures of Childhood
  • Literary Theory
  • Imaginary Worlds, Science Fiction
  • Romantic Period Writing

Level 3

Level 3 offers the possibility of looking closely at literature from other parts of the world, such as America or the postcolonial world; at literature from the Renaissance, the eighteenth century or the Romantic period, or at popular culture. You will also write an undergraduate dissertation or research project on a subject of your choice.

Modules may include:

  • American Literature in the 20th Century
  • Gender & Sexualities
  • Dissertation
  • Shakespeare: Perspectives

Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Level 1 will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars and workshops. Academic tutoring will be built into the Reading Texts 1 module so that students can get to know and build a relationship with their academic tutor.

The assessment method is predominantly through the critical essay and portfolio for the Creative Writing modules. There are some opportunities for students to undertake a creative assessment (Forms of Narrative, Reading Texts 2). The creative assessments are options so that the Joint Honours and Single Honours students still have an opportunity to do a creative piece if they wish to, but can still undertake a critical piece of work.

The approach at level 2 is mainly a combination of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. Some modules such as the Creative Writing modules will be taught through workshops where students will have the opportunity to comment on each other’s drafts.

The assessment method is predominantly through the critical essay with a portfolio for the Creative Writing modules.

A key feature of Level 3 is the dissertation where students work independently with a tutor in an area that interests them. The workshop method continues to be the approach in the Level 3 Creative Writing module. Other modules are taught through workshops and the lecture/seminar approach.

The assessment method is predominantly through the critical essay with a portfolio for the Creative Writing module.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C / 4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points here.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, through previous study (including English language, theatre, film studies, media, history), wider reading and creative writing.

Valued criteria

  • Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this could include:
  • Demonstrating the ability to think critically by discussing a range of literature genres and/or your own writing
  • Attending lectures/readings/performances outside of your school/college
  • Being a member of appropriate societies (e.g. writer’s forum)
  • Subscribing/reading relevant journals and magazines
  • Demonstrating transferrable skills e.g. creativity, initiative, having an open mind, being pro-active
  • Taking further study e.g. in modern languages
  • Discussing future career plans

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2016 / 17

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2016 / 17

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,500 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

  • There are no compulsory trips on this programme
  • We have several optional trips, for which students are asked to pay a subsidised contribution. This is usually in the range of £5, but could be as much as £30 for an overnight trip.
  • Students are required to read texts for their modules but they are not required to buy these texts
  • There are multiple copies of all primary reading on our modules available in the Library, and this is kept up to date
  • Students are rarely required to purchase a specific edition of a text; this means that they are often able to buy second-hand books. Some students choose to invest in an e-reader, which means that much of their reading can be accessed freely or at a considerable reduction.

Study abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

Accommodation and living costs

View our for accommodation webpages detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.