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English Literature (BA)

  • Q306

3 years (full-time) / Options available, please contact the Admissions Tutor (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

English Literature at Cardiff has long enjoyed an international reputation for its teaching and research. But more than this: we pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for our students. We aim for the best and for success in all we do.

Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word: we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

Students studying together

There are no compulsory modules in English Literature at Cardiff after Year One. We give you choice – but we also give you the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions from a diverse range of options which includes Creative Writing.

You are free to follow a traditional programme covering multiple periods and genres or to build a more distinctive mix of modules combining literary study with analysis of other cultural forms.

As a student in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff you will be taught by leading researchers in English Literature in modules that reflect the cutting edge of the discipline.

There are lecture and seminar classes for each module and contact hours are supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, and supportive academic progress meetings with your Personal Tutor.

Cardiff is a splendid city in which to spend your undergraduate years. Our commitment is to make those years intellectually stimulating and academically rewarding.

Key Facts

UCAS Code Q306
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits c360 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received c1,500
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Admissions Tutors Dr Megan Leitch/Dr Carrie Smith
Tel Number 029 2087 6323
Email address
School website

Year One is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in Years Two and Three. Single Honours students will need to take four 20-credit modules selected from topics that currently include ‘An Introduction to the Novel and Poetry’, ‘Reading and Identity’, ‘Texts in Time’ and ‘Literature and Place’, and two topics in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.

In Year Two you can select from a range of period-and theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts. These might include modules such as ‘Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama’, ‘The Novel in the Romantic Age’, Welsh Fiction and Poetry’, as well as ‘Ways of Reading’, ‘American South in Literature and Film’ and Creative Writing.

By Year Three you will have gained an experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts. You will therefore be in an excellent position to choose between a range of more specialised modules in which you will be able to engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts both well-known and possibly less well-known to you. Current topics include ‘Norse Myth and Saga’, ‘Jacobean Shakespeare’, ‘Eighteenth-Century Women Writers’, ‘Nineteenth-Century Crime Fiction’, ‘The Illustrated Book’, ‘Early Twentieth-Century Poetry’, ‘The Post-1945 American Novel’, ‘French Theory’ and ‘Hitchcock’ – and there are more opportunities for developing your talents as a creative writer, if you wish.

Visit the Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy website for more information about modules and credits.

The Cardiff BA in English Literature will be taught using the following methods:

  • Weekly lectures
  • Weekly small group seminars
  • Contact via Virtual Learning Environments.

Most of the assessment in English Literature is by assessed essay. Some Year One modules and a very small number of modules in Years Two and Three are assessed partly by examination. Where appropriate, some modules in Years Two and Three also make use of other modes of assessment such as student presentations, journal entries, or portfolios of creative writing; in the final year students also have an opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their own choice.

It is possible to do formative written for all modules: this does not count towards the mark for the module but provides you with valuable practice in developing and expressing your ideas. Feedback is given on all formative and assessed work.

Typical A-level Offer


including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core plus AA at A Level. Must include grade A in English Literature or English Literature and Language.
Typical Int Bacc Offer 36 points, including 665 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature.
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy provides its students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

English Literature graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

As a graduate in English Literature at Cardiff you will have shown yourself to be able to:

  • Grasp complex issues with confidence
  • Ask the right questions of complex texts
  • Have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options
  • Analyse these critically and reflectively
  • Identify and apply relevant data
  • Propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence and critical analysis
  • Do so clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech.
  • Work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • Articulate well-researched ideas with the right degree of assertiveness
  • Learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights in revising your work and in future work on different topics
  • Demonstrate enterprise and initiative in researching your topics and developing your point of view
  • Work as part of a team, developing qualities of respect for the ideas and arguments of others and a collaborative approach to inquiry and problem-solving.
  • Develop a range of communicative skills, including the use of IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Mrs Anna Birt  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6323 



School Website:

More information

School of English, Communication and Philosophy