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English Literature

Our philosophy

Studying English Literature at Kingston exposes you to a range of other subjects, ranging from linguistics to dance. As a result of a fertile cross-communication between these subjects, you can enjoy a number of extracurricular activities, including lectures by visiting academics, readings by published and aspiring writers, dramatic performances and film screenings. Visiting professors also provide input into the field. You can look forward to field trips to local venues that are relevant to your studies, like Strawberry Hill, which inspired Horace Walpole to write one of our set texts, The Castle of Otranto (1764), widely regarded as the first ever Gothic novel.

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

Contact us

Head of Department of Humanities: Dr Sara Upstone.

Department of Humanities undergraduate course administrator: Maggie Hughes.

Department of Humanities postgraduate course administrator: Kathryn Davies.

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