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.
- 98% teaching satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2021.
- 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.
- Rose 31 places in the 2023 Complete University Guide
- Degree includes a placement year of paid work experience
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.
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 Placement Year
A placement year enables students to undertake a year of experience in an organisation between their second and final year. It is a substantial piece of paid experience where you can make a real contribution to your employer and it can really make you stand out from the crowd!
It will also enable you to:
- Apply the knowledge and skills you gain from your course in a work setting
- Build your commercial awareness and insights into organisations and industries you might want to work in.
- Develop your professional skills through company training, networking skills and confidence in the workplace
- Get some great experience for future job applications or even land a graduate job!
Support from St Mary’s every step of the way.
Securing a placement can really help you develop your job search skills and the Employability Service placement and careers teams can support you to find and apply for available opportunities. You will need to attend some preparatory workshops which will explain all aspects of the placement year and give you the skills to find the placement of your choice. With access to our jobs board, careers events and employer contacts you will be able to approach companies confidently and find the right opportunity for you.
Please note: in the event that you cannot secure a placement you will be able to transfer onto the 3 year version of your degree programme.
Lecturer – Liberal Arts