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English Literature

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Why study English Literature at Warwick?

What inspires you? Is it the stories left behind by history’s witnesses, or the ideas that define our modern world? Is it the cultures that surround you every day, as well as those of far-away places? Do you want to understand more about how writing lies at the heart of everything we do, and everything we can be – its ability to change our minds and change the world?

A degree in English at Warwick will harness the passion for reading and writing you’ve had all your life and develop it into an expert knowledge of literary culture.

You can choose which areas of literary study interest you the most, and pursue them by choosing from one of the widest and most innovative range of modules anywhere in the country. Whether your interests are classical, contemporary, or somewhere in between, you’ll have the freedom to create a degree that reflects what motivates you.

How will my degree be structured?

You’ll begin by gaining a grounding in literature, from the ancient past to the present. You’ll develop your critical thinking and grasp of literary theory in Modes of Reading. In Medieval to Renaissance English Literature, you’ll take in the foundational writers of English literature, such as Chaucer, Sidney, Spenser and Shakespeare. Epic into Novel will give you an understanding of some of the great texts of classical and modern times. And you’ll tackle the literature and politics that define contemporary life in Modern World Literatures – though if you’d prefer to learn a language instead, that option is open to you too.

In your second year you'll study our core literary theory module, Literature in Theory; a module on pre-1900 literature of your choice; and two further modules. In your final year you will also choose two modules, alongside one of our unique Global literature modules, and our Research Project module (either a dissertation; or two research essays on an array of topics that change each year, like the emotions, crime fiction, environmentalism, visual culture, and so on). You can also choose one module from any department in the University: many of our students enjoy modules in History, Law, Philosophy, Sociology, and beyond.

Modules you might take at Warwick

How will I be taught?

Most core modules in your first year are taught by means of one lecture and one seminar per week in terms one and two. In your second and third years, optional modules are normally taught by means of one seminar per week (1.5 hours duration), and these could take many different forms, including group work, open discussion, field trips to the library or Arts Centre, mini lectures, debates, and so on.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is a combination of traditional essays and written examinations together with creative projects, portfolios and performance. For example, in our Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of his Time module, student creative work recently included film and radio adaptations, musical compositions, painting, sculpture and photography inspired by Shakespeare's texts.

Entry requirements

A level: AAA/A*AB to include grade A in English Literature/English Language and Literature (combined). We make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances.

IB: 38 to include 6 at Higher Level in English Literature or combined English Language and Literature.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to spend a year abroad at one of the University's partner institutions in Europe, America or Asia.

Student blogs

Find out what our students say about studying at Warwick. Our student blogs are written by current students, studying and often living on campus.