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English Literature

Our philosophy

The English Literature degree at Kingston turns students into critical, creative, and analytical thinkers by enabling and encouraging you to think about the world differently. We will expose you to a diverse range of literatures from Indian writing in English to British Victorian novels, from Shakespearean drama and poetry to contemporary radical American fiction. And we will challenge ideas about identity, gender, sexuality, politics, race, and class.

Our inclusive curriculum informs what we teach and how we teach it. Interactive lecture-workshops, small-group seminars, and individual supervisions support all students' needs and abilities. We also have a variety of assessments that empower each individual to achieve their best work; these include traditional essays and dissertations, alongside blogs, critical definitions, and creative pieces.

You will be part of a vibrant and diverse student body that enjoys many extracurricular activities including visits to historic libraries and contemporary exhibitions, lectures by visiting academics, readings by published and aspiring writers, dramatic performances and film screenings. You also have the opportunity to write for the award-winning student newspaper The Ripple.

Undergraduate courses

As well as being able to study English Literature on its own, you can also choose to combine it with other subjects. The English Literature degree course focuses on writing in diverse forms and contexts, allowing you to study fiction and non-fiction produced over several centuries and in multiple countries. It also allows you to combine the pleasures of reading and analysing literature with the acquisition of valuable employability skills.

You will study fiction, drama and poetry, as well as considering what fiction is as a genre, you'll learn to interpret poetry from different historical periods and analyse a range of dramatic work. You will also examine literature within the social, cultural, critical and political contexts in which it was written, and explore contemporary developments in critical and theoretical approaches to text.

Postgraduate courses

As a postgraduate student of English, you will:

  • create your own pathway by choosing from a range of module options.
  • be part of a vibrant postgraduate community, hear from guest lecturers through journalism, creative writing and publishing masterclasses and attend exciting events organised by Writers' Centre Kingston.
  • have the chance to focus on an area of particular interest through option modules and your dissertation.
  • capitalise on our London location with field trips to enhance and support your learning experience complementing several modules.
  • benefit from contributions to the Centre for Life Narratives, the Iris Murdoch Archive and Writers' Centre Kingston.

English Literature events


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Contact us

Head of Department of Humanities: Dr Kate Scott.

Department of Humanities undergraduate course administrator: Maggie Hughes.

Department of Humanities postgraduate course administrator: Kathryn Davies.

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