English Literature BA (Hons) – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
In the School of Literature and Languages, we are interested in texts and languages in a global context. Our focus is on understanding how literature works across national boundaries and how different works of literature interact.
We have an excellent reputation for challenging, innovative, forward-thinking teaching and research in literature and creative writing.
Our English courses are ranked in the UK top 10 in the Guardian University Guide 2018, and we achieved 100 per cent student satisfaction for this course in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2017.
What you will study
On our BA English Literature course, you will study the most vital and influential works of literature from the medieval period to the present day.
It will provide you with a strong grounding in both canonical works and introduce you to new ones, as well as a range of thought-provoking critical and theoretical approaches to literature. You’ll discover historical, social and psychological perspectives which will enhance your understanding of literary works.
You’ll be able to tailor your degree with a number of specialist optional modules on specific periods and themes, from the medieval to the contemporary, and from children’s literature to American fiction.
Unusually for an English literature degree, we also offer you the opportunity to take a Professional Training placement, giving you real-world experience.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||Q320||View KIS data set|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||Q324||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
English Literature placements
Unusually for an English literature degree programme, we offer the opportunity for you to take a Professional Training placement. A Professional Training placement will give you the opportunity to develop valuable transferable skills in analysis, reflection, communication and organisation.
Subject to availability, a placement will help to enhance your employability by giving you experience in degree-related professions such as publishing, marketing, the media industries, teaching, creative writing, or arts administration.
Some organisations that have participated in this scheme include:
- NBC Universal
- Toyota (PR and Press Communications)
- Brighton and Hove Independent
- UBS Investment Bank
- GE Healthcare
- British Council.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our BA English Literature course will provide you with a range of valuable skills to prepare you for a variety of careers.
Recent English graduates have secured roles such as:
- Graduate Trainee, Dale Carnegie Training
- Editorial Assistant, The Handbook
- Junior Account Executive, Livewire Public Relations
- Teacher of English, Teach First
- Editor and Marketing Executive, Warner Group Publications
- Commercial Graduate, Coca Cola
- Copywriter, Tesco MPC.
If you’d like to pursue further study, our programmes will provide you with essential knowledge and skills, as well as offering informed support and guidance to assist you in your studies.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
You might be able to spend a semester or a full academic year abroad while earning credits which contribute to your degree. We operate Erasmus+ exchanges in Europe with the following universities:
- Bamberg University
- Freiburg University
- Aarhus University
- Lyon III University.
We also have exchanges with:
- Nanyang Technological University
- Seoul National University
- Cincinnati University
- North Carolina State University
- University of Central Florida
- Northern Arizona University
- Texas Tech University
- University of North Texas
- Monash University
- La Trobe University
- University of Sydney
- University of Wollongong
- University of Queensland
- Universidade de São Paulo
- University of Victoria, Wellington.
If you choose to study at one of the European partners you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.
In addition to the new experiences you will have, you’ll be exposed to new cultures, practices and approaches that should strengthen your academic performance for the successful continuation of your studies. This will also enhance your employment opportunities and add a distinct quality to your CV.
English Literature degree options
You can choose to study English Literature:
- As a single honours degree
- With a language (including French, German or Spanish)
- With creative writing.
Our creative writing pathway offers you the opportunity to gain confidence and expertise in writing in a variety of modes, including prose, poetry and screenplays. It will encourage you to apply the critical and theoretical tools you have developed in your English literature modules in order to improve as a creative writer. The creative writing modules will also encourage you to reflect upon the ways in which your own creative practice might help you to engage with the texts that you are studying in your other classes. Creative writing combines lectures, seminar discussions in which we reflect upon these issues, and workshop sessions in which we produce and discuss our own creative work.
If you choose to study English Literature with French, German or Spanish, you will gain high-quality language training alongside your literature modules. The two elements of this unique course complement one another, giving you unique insights into language, literature and culture.
Culture and arts at Surrey
As a BA English Literature student at Surrey, you’ll be introduced to an exciting and challenging environment that combines conventional teaching with a wide range of opportunities for you to engage with our vibrant research culture and arts activities. Our academics produce internationally excellent research and are skilled and dedicated teachers who convey ideas enthusiastically and accessibly.
Regular visiting guest speakers and research seminars provide specialised interest in the course, and encourage students to consider areas for further study.
We also enjoy connections with contemporary writers through our poets-in-residence scheme, the annual Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the Surrey Poetry Festival and the Surrey New Writers Festival. The School of Literature and Languages regularly hosts talks by prominent writers.
Guildford is home to a wide variety of arts activities, including the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which puts on new and canonical plays, the Guildford Book Festival, and a host of galleries, libraries and archives that will stimulate and support your independent studies.
We’re also only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres. Outside of your studies and in your own time, you’ll have the opportunity to see plays at the National Theatre, the Barbican and the Globe Theatre, and to watch new films in the major West End cinemas and classic films at the National Film Theatre.
This wide choice of activities will complement your studies at Surrey, and you’ll be encouraged to draw inspiration from them in your studies.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students choose 6 optional modules from the listed modules (3 in each or 2 in one and 4 in the other).
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students must choose to do either ELI3033 or ELI3034. They also choose 5 of the listed 15-credit optional modules (2 in one semester and 3 in another)
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
PALMER BL Dr (Lit & Langs)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Offers are normally made in terms of grades.
Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
"Doing a year on placement has given me so much perspective about the world of work, the different fields that exist and most importantly, my personal strengths and weaknesses."
"I think Surrey has something for everyone, there’s an ever-growing number of societies and sport clubs. There’s a lot of places to go to in town with friends, not just the night life but shopping and even ice skating at Guildford Spectrum."