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English Literature at St Mary’s offers students the chance to investigate all aspects of literature in depth, on our beautiful historic campus, in a friendly department where we value above all the ambitions and needs of the individual student. 

  • Emphasis on one-to-one tutoring and tailoring your degree to reflect your individual interests and needs.
  • Scope to explore literature from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Opportunity for an immersive learning experience enabling you to explore and celebrate the University's literary and theatrical heritage by studying authors, genres and actors with physical connections to our campus and its locality.

Why study English Literature?

When you study literature you are not just reading and thinking about great books, you are also asking questions about society’s past and future, and ultimately interrogating your own past and future.

Our English team at St Mary’s boasts strong expertise in the interconnections between literary texts and their social, historical, political and national contexts. This is reflected in the modules that we offer, which allow you to interrogate, alongside the texts themselves, the intricate and fascinating cultural backdrops that are informing what we read. Alongside canonical works, you will have the opportunity to engage with underrepresented authors and unconventional literary forms, enabling you to broaden your understanding of the far-reaching meanings attached to the term ‘Literature’.

We place a unique emphasis on the relationship between literature and place. This way of studying English is brilliantly complemented by the surroundings of our campus, which are steeped in literary history. Our campus is located within the grounds of Strawberry Hill House, a historically vibrant hub of literary, artistic and theatrical activity. Once home to renowned gothic author Horace Walpole, the house hosted extravagant literary gatherings and private theatricals, and was designed to inspire Walpole’s own gothic writing. Studying English within these hugely inspiring surroundings makes for a fully immersive and geographically distinct learning experience, which is entirely unique to English at St Mary’s.

Why St Mary's?

With small class sizes, you will quickly get to know your tutors and fellow students and will be fully embraced as a member of the team’s close-knit and academically stimulating community, right from the moment you step foot in the door.

The range of option modules offered on the BA will enable you to tailor your course to your individual interests and passions.

Examples of optional modules include:

  • Gothic Cultures 1750-1900
  • Curating London
  • Writing Conflict: the First World War
  • London Theatre
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Literature and the Unconscious
  • Writing Gender and Identity in the Nineteenth-Century Novel

 

There are also opportunities to pursue modules and course activities oriented towards developing career aspirations in the Humanities and culture industries, ensuring that you leave university fully prepared for the world of work.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Humanities Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the English Literature (with a Foundation Year) undergraduate degree.

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Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required

CDE - DD

A Levels

MMP - PPP

BTEC Extended
Diploma

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

80 UCAS points should include at least two B grades at A Level (or equivalent). One A-level should ideally be in English (either Language or Literature), but we may be able to consider applicants who are doing at least one other essay-writing subject and can demonstrate an interest in English.

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email apply@stmarys.ac.uk.

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

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Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Foundation year

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Core

Year one

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional

Year two

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional

Year three

  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

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Career opportunities

English graduates are among the most flexible, and find employment in diverse fields. The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) points out that English graduates are attractive for a number of reasons, including the ability to ‘adapt and transfer critical methods to a variety of working environments’ and the ability to ‘acquire substantial quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way’.

This degree offers opportunities for you to relate your studies directly to the world of work. The skills of critical thinking and communication you’ll be acquiring are some of the most valued by employers.

St Mary's English graduates have found employment in many fields including:

  • Media
  • Publishing
  • Personnel
  • Research
  • Management
  • Retail
  • Journalism
  • Administration

The Careers Service has more information on careers and study options available to English graduates. 

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

You will attend lectures, interactive seminars and one-to-one tutorials, the latter of which we place a great deal of importance on.

In your first year you can expect ten contact hours a week.

Throughout your studies you will have access to the department's 'open door policy' that allows you to come and discuss questions, and interests, with your tutors outside of formal teaching. 

The ‘Curating London’ option in the second year asks students to undertake an enterprising project to do with the culture and history of Twickenham and London. Students might plan a walking tour, curate an exhibition or a season of films, or create an educational website. Students can develop this project, if they wish, as part of their final-year independent project.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 20%
  • Guided study: 20%
  • Independent study: 60%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

Most of the modules are assessed with essays and other written forms, supplemented, where appropriate, with examinations, presentations, and contributions to digital content such as blogs, wikis and the like.

Feedback

We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

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Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £9,250*
  • International: £12,900

*Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Fees for EU applicants starting courses in 2021/22 academic year

Eligible EU applicants will pay the same tuition fees as UK students to support EU students during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

EU fees for 2022 entry are not yet confirmed.

View fees and funding information for EU students beginning their studies in 2021...

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact sarah.burdett@stmarys.ac.uk.

Scholarships

A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

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Facilities

View all facilities
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Academic spotlight

Richard Mills (Senior Lecturer)

Richard Mills

As English is a non-vocational course, it is important to develop skills outside your area of study. While at university I would advise English students to write for student newspapers and magazines, get involved with student radio or film societies, or volunteer in the community or local schools.

I love coming to work every day where my teaching skills are valued, but my personal outlook is as well. The best part of lecturing is engaging with students in lectures and finding out that they have learnt something new. I am constantly surprised by the imaginative, innovative and fresh perspectives that come out of group discussions. 

Read Richard's story

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Further information


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Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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