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Course summary

Overview If you want a future with fewer limits, this is the degree for you. When you study English Literature at Portsmouth, you'll also explore history and politics, society and culture, human relationships and identities, and how we choose to live. And you’re doing it in a city steeped in lively literature, from Charles Dickens to Neil Gaiman. You’ll explore complex, challenging issues – from masculinity to the Holocaust. You’ll learn the skills to critically analyse the purpose, truth and impact of any written text. You’ll also develop the skills to produce your own writing and presentations, so you can communicate original ideas in ways that engage and influence readers. The combination of creative thinking and rigorous analysis you develop will make you a compelling candidate for all kinds of jobs – from marketing to museums, and journalism to publishing. Course highlights

  • Discover our literary city with the constantly evolving Portsmouth Literary Map – your course begins with a tour of literary Portsea and the Dockyards area, introducing significant places in the lives of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, today's local writers, and plenty more
  • Enjoy the freedom to interpret assignments creatively, and develop employable skills in presentation and teamwork, on a course without exams
  • Learn directly from staff who produce world-leading research into areas as diverse as magical realism and representations of food
  • Build specialist knowledge by choosing the topics that match your interests – from global literature to dystopian and apocalyptic environments, from women’s writing to crime writing
  • Develop your own style and build up your portfolio by becoming a contributor to our Writing Literary Portsmouth blog
  • Curate your own literary prize or produce a prize pitch, to experience what happens when writing meets the commercial marketplace
  • Build a professional network with high-profile figures including authors, agents, publishers, booksellers, judges and critics through our contacts and partnerships
Optional pathways There are optional pathways through this degree that let you combine your literature studies with another interest, leading to the following exit awards:
  • BA (Hons) English Literature with History
  • BA (Hons) English Literature with Media Studies
Careers and opportunities Studying the written word at degree level draws on many diverse skills and ways of thinking critically. Which makes English Literature one of the most versatile subjects you can study, creating a wealth of career opportunities. This degree will set you up to pursue careers in fields where communication and critical thinking matter. Employers in many more industries recognise the value of the transferable skills you’ll gain during an English Literature degree. Your CV will demonstrate:
  • sophisticated analytical skills, enabling you to assess texts on any topic
  • the ability to think critically and reach your own conclusions
  • a flair for presenting and discussing ideas with diverse audiences
  • the confidence to say exactly what you mean to say, in writing and in person
  • a creative mindset that helps you see things differently
  • a well-developed sense of empathy and teamworking skills
What areas can you work in with an English literature degree? After the course, you could work in areas such as:
  • advertising
  • journalism
  • arts and media
  • public relations
  • copywriting
  • teaching
  • research
You could also study at postgraduate level. Graduate destinations Roles our previous graduates have gone onto include:
  • copywriter
  • journalist and editor
  • marketing executive
  • teacher
  • paralegal
  • sales executive
  • museum curator
Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job or course that puts your skills to work. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

Subject options

This course offers the following subject options:

  • English Literature with History
  • English Literature with Media Studies


Year 1 Core modules in this year currently include:

  • Body Politics
  • Global Identities
  • Popular Culture
  • The Short Story: Murder, Madness And Experimentation
  • Unpacking Texts: Introducing Critical Theory
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules in this year currently include:
  • Literary Prizes And Public Acclaim
  • Research In Practice
Optional modules in this year currently include:
  • Bloody Shakespeare: The Politics and Poetics of Violence
  • Crime Writing
  • Dystopian and Apocalyptic Environments: Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination
  • Empire and its Afterlives in Britain, Europe and Africa
  • Engaged Citizenship in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Global Security
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme)
  • Modernity and Globalisation
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday
  • News, Discourse and Media
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation
  • Professional Experience
  • Puritans to Postmodernists: American Literature
  • Space, Place and Being
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response
  • Women’s Writing in the Americas
Placement Year (optional) On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. Year 3 Core modules include:
  • Dissertation / Major Project
  • Specialist Option: Empires and Identities
  • Specialist Option: Societies in Revolution
Optional modules in this year currently include:
  • Consuming Fictions: Food And Appetite In Victorian Culture
  • Holocaust Literatures
  • Magical Realism
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Professional Experience
  • Time, Temporality, Contemporary Fiction
  • US Masculinities
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through: essays textual analysis presentations a dissertation real-world projects creative assignments You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future. The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows: Year 1 students: 100% by coursework Year 2 students: 100% by coursework Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Main Site
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

CLEARING INFORMATION – Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing, so please contact us on 023 9284 8000 to discuss your options

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £17200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 | EU – £925 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £1,900. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to

Provider information

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Our COVID-19 information

University of Portsmouth
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Winston Churchill Avenue

Clearing contact details

Contact us about Clearing
University Admissions Centre - Clearing

023 9284 8000

Course Clearing information

Additional information

Clearing Hotline opening hours: Thursday 17th August - 08:00 - 20:00 Friday 18th August - 08:00 - 19:00 Saturday 19th August - 10:00 - 15:00 Sunday 20th August - Closed Monday 21st onwards - 09:00 - 16:00

Course contact details

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University Admissions Centre

023 9284 5566

English Literature at University of Portsmouth - UCAS