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Single or Joint



UCAS code

3 Years



UCAS points required

Dr Peter Howell

Programme Director for English Programmes

Email | 020 8240 4124

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An exploration of literature, thought and language, and the varieties of ways they help us to understand the world.

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Why study English?

Studying English literature and language is a way of engaging with the world; with history, philosophy, culture and the mind.

Students will discover that the multiple contexts of literature expand as they read through an undergraduate degree.

The critical writing that is so much a part of an English programme trains students to evaluate diverse forms of argument and evidence, a difficult skill greatly valued in a wide range of career pathways.

Why St Mary's?

English at St Mary’s has a strong research profile that is matched by a strong and sympathetic commitment to our students. We have an 'open door' policy that encourages our community of students to come for one-to-one tutorials in addition to the usual lectures and seminars. All this is reflected year after year in the national student satisfaction survey.

Our students get grounding in the study of language and in diverse periods and genres of English literature. There is a focus on particular fields of interest that can be narrowed and sharpened as students progress.

St Mary’s has a range of International exchange programmes, and students in English frequently take up the option of spending a semester abroad in the United States or Germany, with no extra cost in tuition.

Teaching methods

We adopt a variety of teaching methods from module to module or within individual modules. Typically, a larger (core) module may be taught by a weekly lecture, and then other meetings in smaller seminar groups where students will make contributions.

Other modules may be taught in three-hour seminar meetings where any number of methods may be used, including lecturing, film, student presentations, and seminar discussion. Students are encouraged to meet their tutors for tutorial sessions, especially during the planning stages of essay writing.

We also organise a number of trips, included in the cost of tuition to London's theatres and its places of historical and literary interest.

Assessment methods

The department makes use of a range of methods of assessment, including, coursework essays, student presentations, poster presentations, designing of websites, and resource-based tasks. Essays are typically 1,500-2,500 words in length.

If you're planning to start university in September 2018, then please check out our new English courses for 2018 entry.

Key facts

  • After a foundation module in the first semester introducing the study of literature and linguistics, students can choose to specialise in literature, or combine the study of language with literature.
  • A wide range of optional modules is available, including the chance to do some creative writing modules, and some teaching-related options.
  • Being based at the 'Home of Gothic' - where Horace Walpole wrote the first Gothic novel - we have a particular interest in Gothic literature, a popular subject among our students.
  • You will be taught by some internationally-acknowledged scholars in their fields, but English at St Mary's is also an inclusive, friendly community, where your face and particular interests won't be lost in a crowd.

Joint honours

Course content

Year one

  • Children and Language 
  • Contemporary Fiction 
  • Foundations in Literature and Language 
  • Introduction to Critical Theory 
  • Poetry in the Modern World 
  • Tragedy 

Year two

  • Eighteenth-Century London: Writing the Metropolis 1700-1830 
  • Gender and Identity in the Victorian Novel 
  • Gothic Cultures 
  • Irish Literature 
  • Romanticism: English Literature and its Background 1776-1832 
  • Socio-linguistics 
View all modules

Year three

  • American Literature 
  • Contemporary Irish Literature 
  • Dissertation 
  • English Language Teaching 
  • History of the English Language 
  • Literature and the Unconscious 
View all modules
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the programme specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

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’. The opportunity to develop such transferable skills, gives you particular advantages in gaining future employment.

Our graduates have found employment in many fields including:

Media, publishing, personnel, research, management, retail, journalism, and administration. Teachers of English after further training (both at home and abroad, in schools, or as a foreign language).

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to English students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

Home/EU: £9,250
International: £11,220

Please note: the tuition fees listed on this page are for the 2017/18 academic year. For information on fees for other academic years - along with information about financing your studies - please check the Fees & Funding section

Additional costs

Your tuition fee 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

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline

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