Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Our English degree gives you the opportunity to develop the critical and verbal skills needed for confident, effective reading of literary texts and criticism. Bold, flexible, and richly diverse, the BA in English offers you a world of literature and language. You will be taken on a thrilling intellectual and imaginative journey from the Caribbean, New York, and Victorian London, to the American South via 1980s Northern Ireland, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Belarus, India, and Algeria. Along the way, we encourage you to ask big, complex, and often challenging questions about how to read literature in all its cultural, artistic, and political contexts ranging from the analysis of bear-baiting in Early Modern drama, the role of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th century novel to the impact of the #metoo and Black Lives Matter movements on 21st-century literature, film, and culture. You will travel across histories, cultures, and languages and be encouraged to engage in a huge variety of debates around, for example, gender and sexual identity, the Transatlantic slave trade, climate change, feminism, Caribbean writing, indigenous literature and philosophical ideas about what it means to be human across time. With a focus on both creative and analytical thinking as well as on rigorous communication and research skills, your degree in English is full of choice, offering you the opportunity to design your own curriculum. You could specialise in the study of language and communication, or in ‘world literature’, or in American literature and culture. You’ll also have a chance to take up one of our Work Placements, two of which are with Poetry London, and take a Creative Writing module specifically designed for BA English students. In your final year, you’ll research and write a dissertation on a subject of your own choosing. You will benefit from our portfolio system of assessment that gives you individual feedback to help you become a highly proficient researcher, writer, and communicator with a suite of transferable skills attractive to graduate-level employers looking for high-level analytical abilities. A dedicated Careers Service will help you make the most of these skills and to think about life beyond Goldsmiths. With its unparalleled literary history, London is one of the best places in the world to study English literature and access the city’s literary, cultural, and creative events. You'll gain free attendance to events run by our research centres in Comparative Literature, Decadence, and Caribbean and Diaspora Studies, the Centre for Political and Critical Theory as well as the chance to hear the most exciting contemporary writers and poets talk about their work in the Writers’ Centre and at Goldsmiths Prize readings. Why study the BA English at Goldsmiths

  • Diversity of texts – Read both traditional and non-traditional texts alongside other cultural works such as films, photography, museums, and visual arts.
  • Work placements – you’ll have the option to do a work placement as part of your course.
  • Transferable skills & Careers Support – our degree prepares you for a range of careers by developing your communication, analytical, and research skills.
  • Intensive pastoral care and academic support – we offer three years of support for your essay writing and research skills as well as a dedicated pastoral care system tailored to your individual needs.
  • Experience London – our location allows you access to the wealth of cultural institutions and opportunities that London offers right on your doorstep.


Year 1 In your first year, you will take the following compulsory modules. Explorations in Literature Approaches to Text Introduction to Poetry The Short Story You will also choose two of the following option modules: Introduction to US Literature and Culture Introduction to Comparative Literature Understanding Language in Use Year 2 In your second year, you will study the following compulsory module Literature and Power in the Victorian Period You will also choose three modules (totalling 90 credits) from a range characterised by wide literary, historical, and contextual scope, of which at least one must encompass pre-1800 literature. Modules may vary from year to year, but recent modules have included: Drama and Transgression: From Prometheus to Faust Inventing the Nation: American Literature in the mid-19th Century Literary London, 1800 to 1900 Literature of the Later Middle Ages: Society and the Individual Moderns Old English Post-Victorian English Literature 18th-Century Literature Sensibility and Romanticism: Revolutions in Writing and Society Shakespeare Sociolinguistics: Language use, Variation, and Identity Contemporary Arab Migrant Writing Aspects of the Novel Work Placement (English) Discourse and Society (Re)writing America: from the nineteenth century to the present day Language Learning Language Teaching Year 3 You choose modules to the value of 90 credits. You also complete a 6,000-8,000-word Dissertation (30 credits) on a topic of your choice. A pass in this module is compulsory for the award of the degree. Modules may vary from year to year, but recent examples have included: Caribbean Women Writers Creating the Text Decadence The Emergence of Modern America: American Literature 1890–1940 Approaches to Language and the Media Modern American Fiction Modern Poetry Modernism & Drama (1880-1930) The Art of the Novel Oedipus: Myths, Tragedies and Theories Postcolonial Literatures in English Studies in Literature and Film Renaissance Worlds Narratives of the Great War (1923-1933) Work Placement (English) Professional Communication Word Power: How words are born, live and die Language and Gender Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

How to apply

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

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

120 credits at Level 4 and a 2:1 average in a comparable programme, and meet the standard qualification requirements for entry to Year 1 of the programme.

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

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.5With a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0

Unistats information

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Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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

Additional fee information

To find out the latest information or more about fees and funding, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office
English at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS