Explore how literature has reflected and influenced different societies over the centuries and prepare for many careers – some you might not even have thought about yet – on our BA (Hons) English Literature degree in Cambridge.
Join a course ranked 11th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2024, and 7th in the UK for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2023.The Guardian University Guide 2024
Education provided by ARU is Gold standard
ARU is among the 20% of universities in the country who have been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.
You’ll study classic literary texts alongside genres including sci-fi and children’s literature, and find out how English literature has been affected by, and influenced, culture, language, technology and economics.
You’ll draw on a range of other subjects, including history, politics, philosophy, religion, psychology and the history of art to develop an all-round understanding of the written works that have shaped our world.
Our English Literature degree will also help you develop many transferable skills valued by employers from all industries, including literacy, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and working both independently as well as part of a team.
Our wide range of optional modules offer you the opportunity to learn about the publishing industry, develop your creative writing skills, and gain work experience. You could also improve your CV by studying abroad for a semester or learning a new language with our Anglia Language Programme.
We’ll also support you to find placements and work experience throughout the course – our students recently took part in a live brief with Metal Culture, producing critical responses and reviews for their publication In Other Words – and you can choose to take an optional placement year as well.
Your studies will be supported by our team of expert lecturers, including several published authors, such as Course Leader Cassie Gorman (The Atom in Seventeenth-Century Poetry); Dr Tory Young (Studying English Literature, a text used on many other university courses as well as our own); and Professor Eugene Giddens (Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: A Publishing History).
You can also get feedback and support for your writing projects from our Royal Literary Fund Fellowship Scheme mentors.
Our Language and Literature research was awarded 'world-leading' status in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
Course Leader: Dr Cassie Gorman
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Cassie is Course Leader for ARU's BA English Literature. Hear her talk about her project to unearth manuscripts by women writers of the long 17th Century, and how studying English literature helped her gain confidence to voice new ideas.Listen now
One famous line, two things you may not realise, from Professor Eugene Giddens.
A 60 second seminar from Dr Tory Young, Principal Lecturer in English Literature at ARU.
Dr Cassie Gorman, Course Leader at ARU, talks about what it will be like to study English Literature at university level.
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Dean of the Doctoral School
Our BA (Hons) English Literature graduates go on to work in a variety of fields, including teaching, journalism, television, radio, the music industry, arts administration, gallery work, fundraising, personnel work, publishing, librarianship, marketing, local authority work, publicity, social work, tourism and IT-related industries.
The problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, judgement, research, analysis and communication skills our English Literature students gain are highly valued by employers. You’ll also learn to work well independently and as part of a team.
You could also learn more, develop a specialism or start an exciting career in research with our Masters degrees in English Literature or Creative Writing. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.
Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.
To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.
Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.
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We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.
You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.Your guide to placements
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