About English Literature

English literature materials'Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in the story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story, even if, on the surface, it's far removed from your situation. This is one great thing that literature can do - it can make us identify with situations and people far away.'
- Chinua Achebe.

This quote from the Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe encapsulates the benefit of studying literature in today's world -- it enables us to appreciate other people's points of view and opens windows on varied cultures, societies and times. There is no better way of learning to understand the complexities of who we are, where we came from and where we are going.

The University of Hertfordshire’s BA (Hons) English Literature programme combines a global perspective on the study of English, with the opportunity to further develop your skills and job prospects by taking organized work-placements in your second and third years.

At both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, we offer a curriculum that encompasses a diverse and exciting variety of literature in English. It ranges from Shakespeare's era to the twenty-first century; from Gothic and Romantic writing to contemporary African authors; from the early novel to modern young adult fiction.

Explore our English Literature degrees

Students rate the teaching they receive very highly. In the National Student Survey 2015, 90% of students agreed that staff explained things clearly, 95% found the staff enthusiastic about their subject, and 90% found the course intellectually stimulating.

Study with us


English Literature research studentPostgraduate taught courses

The MA Literature and Culture offers postgraduate students the chance to continue their development as literary critics on a structured, taught course that also gives considerable scope for independent research and inquiry. Many graduates of the MA move on to study for a PhD.

MA Literature and Culture

Our research

English achieved excellent results in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), with 53% of our research judged 4 star ('world-leading') or 3 star ('internationally excellent').

Explore the diverse and exciting research carried out by English Literature staff and students

  • Any questions?

    For more information, contact the Head of English Literature, Dr Andrew Maunder.

What our
students say

I have developed eloquence, confidence and analytical skills that will prove invaluable professionally.

Alice Hunt