BA (Hons) English Literature

Are you passionate about literature? Are you always reading books, thinking about books and talking about books? Are you an imaginative and creative person, and do you want to work in a career that draws on these talents? If so, our English Literature degree might be the course just for you.

In your first year, you will be introduced to the key skills that have traditionally underpinned literary criticism (such as genre analysis, textual analysis, and writing for audiences), as well as those that are more akin to the publisher of today.

In your second year you will build on this knowledge base with a set of modules that draw on and challenge the literary canon. A wide range of texts are selected to broaden your knowledge of literary movements and encourage you to become creative, critical, free thinkers.

In your final year you will undertake a dissertation project that will let you explore a topic of your choice. Students have proposed a wide range of topics in the past, from the vegetarian utopia of Shelley, via mental health, femininity and the supernatural in gothic fiction; representations of ‘The Oriental’ in Tintin; the links between hip-hop and poetry, through to dragons and their symbolic resonance in the fantasy genre.

The degree runs an annual Literary Festival featuring established authors and poets. These popular events are free for students and members of the public to attend.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

If you are applying to start in September 2022, you must meet the following entry requirements:

88 UCAS points with qualifications in related subjects:

  • A-levels (English Language or English Literature) (CCD or AB)
  • BTEC (MMM)
  • Cambridge Technicals (MMM)
  • Access to HE (45 credits)

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 6.5 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • Writing Matters: Academic and Professional Skills (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Creative Writing (15 credits)
  • Dead Heroes Society: Tragedy (15 credits)
  • Contexts and Canons: Murakami to Blake (15 credits)
  • Approaching Criticism (15 credits)
  • Contexts and Canons: Equiano to Chaucer (15 credits)
  • Only Fools and Sources: Comedy (15 credits)
  • 20th Century Practitioners (15 credits)
Year two for full-time students (Level 5)
  • Renaissance to Romantics (15 credits)
  • Writing WW1: Memory and Forgetting (15 credits)
  • The Image: Exploring Visual Literacy in Media, Culture and Literature (15 credits)
  • Stranger on the Shore: Placing the Postcolonial (15 credits)
  • Preparing for Employment: Research and Employability (15 credits)
  • Shakespeare Unstuck (15 credits)
  • Writing for Newspapers and Magazines (15 credits)
  • Vampires, Virgins and Villains: Reading the Gothic (15 credits)
    Final year for full-time students (Level 6)
    • Undergraduate Major Project (30 credits)
    • Decade: The Literature of the 1950s (15 credits)
    • Modernism and the City (15 credits)
    • Adaptations: Crossing the Genre (15 credits)
    • Working in English, Film and Media (15 credits)
    • Neverland to Wonderland: Explorations in Children’s Literature (15 credits)
    • Reading the Now: Contemporary Literature (15 credits)

      A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

      When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

      We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

      Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

      Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
      • 20%     Lectures
      • 70%     Seminars
      • 10%     Workshops
      Year two for full-time students (Level 5)
      • 20%     Lectures
      • 80%     Seminars
      Final year for full-time students (Level 6)
      • 100%     Seminars

      There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

      If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

      The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

      Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

      The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

      Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

      Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
      • 80%     Coursework
      • 20%     Written Exams
      Year two for full-time students (Level 5)
      • 80%     Coursework
      • 20%     Written Exams
      Final year for full-time students (Level 6)
      • 70%     Coursework
      • 20%     Written Exams
      • 10%     Practical Exams

      We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

      Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

      Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of your highest 60 credits at Level 5 and all credits at Level 6.

      70%+         First
      60-69%     2:1
      50-59%     2:2
      40-49%     Third

      As part of the Working in English, Film and Media module in the final year, students on this course will undertake a 120 hour work placement with an arts or media organisation.

      As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience in addition to their work placement to aid their career development.

      Each year, there are many students who complete the BA (Hons) English Literature course who go on to either secure a teaching placement locally or study a variety of postgraduate courses.

      Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

      • Teaching
      • Copy Writing
      • Editing and Proofing
      • Librarianship
      • Academic and Professional Writing
      • Arts Administration
      • Journalism / Publishing
      • Web Content Manager

      I am the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) English Literature and BA (Hons) English Literature with Creating Writing degrees at University Centre Peterborough. I joined University Centre Peterborough in April 2016 and lecture in Modernism and Contemporary Fiction. I have been teaching since 2003, starting off in creative writing at University of East Anglia (UEA) before branching out into further education with Norfolk Adult Education.

      My first degree is in Cultural Studies with what was then Norwich School of Art & Design, before taking an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. I took a route into further and higher education as I wanted to give back my knowledge and skills to people who were returning to education.

      My subject specialism is 20th century poetry and prose with corresponding criticism and theory thrown in, as well as being a practitioner in creative writing, with poems and short stories published across journals and anthologies. I have a particular interest in walking as a creative act, how it can be a way of generating ideas and responses to external environments and internal thoughts.

      I run Gatehouse Press, home to Lighthouse Literary Journal as well providing leisure classes in arts and languages in Norwich.


      • MA Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
      • BA (Hons) Cultural Studies, Norwich School of Art & Design
      • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), Anglia Ruskin University

      When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

      All FULL-TIME APPLICATIONS must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

      All PART-TIME APPLICATIONS can be submitted directly to University Centre Peterborough. You can download and complete the following form then email to, or send it through the post, or visit us in person.

      Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.

      If you have any questions about making an application contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email

      If you are currently studying

      University Centre Peterborough are committed to supporting all of our applicants who are currently studying A-level, BTEC, Access to HE or other qualifications. We want everyone achieve the best possible outcomes and we will support applicants in the coming months so they are not disadvantaged in any way due to recent changes in exams and grading. All applicants should continue to work hard as this will help teachers assess your ability and help prepare you before starting your higher education or degree course.

      When to apply

      We advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have been successful and received an offer.

      The following timeline is for applications to start a course in September 2022.


      • Applications for the majority of courses will be made by 6pm on 26th January 2022 
      • If you have not made your application by this date you can still apply to University Centre Peterborough at any time afterwards.


      • If you missed the first UCAS deadline, you can still apply through UCAS Extra from Friday 25th February to Monday 4th July 2022.
      • This also gives you the opportunity to add University Centre Peterborough as an additional choice if you have used all five choices and are not holding any offers.


      • From Tuesday 5th July 2022 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing.
      • Clearing is for those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.
      • If you have applied and been accepted at another university, you still have the opportunity to change to study at University Centre Peterborough.
      • If you don’t get the grades you expected, don’t panic. Just contact us during Clearing and we can usually confirm your place very quickly. We are used to helping students at this time of year.

      Types of offer

      When you make an application, you will receive one of the following offers:

      • CONDITIONAL OFFER: You will have to meet certain conditions before the start of the course (such as achieving your exams with a certain grade). We will specify these conditions when making you an offer. When you achieve these grades your place will then be confirmed.
      • UNCONDITIONAL OFFER: You already meet the entry requirements for the course (i.e. you have achieved the grades already) and we are happy to offer you a place without conditions.
      • DECLINE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you a place at this time. We will advise you why you were unsuccessful on this occasion and we can give you advice on alternative courses for progression.

      Applicant days

      • We will be holding an Applicant Day for new students on Saturday 20th March 2021.
      • This invitation only event is available to students who are holding a Conditional Offer or Unconditional Offer. It will give you the opportunity to meet other students, academic staff and participate in subject sessions to help prepare you before starting in September 2021.
      • If you are still deciding on where to study then this day can be a great chance to see if studying with us is right for you.

      Advice Sessions and Open Days

      • If you would like help with your application, more information about student finances or have any questions, then you are welcome to book onto one of our regular Advice Sessions where you can speak to a member of staff for help and advice.
      • During our Open Days we run a series of talks on a variety of topics including applications and student finance.
      • For dates and times of the latest Advice Sessions and Open Days visit

      Please find our regulations and policies here.

      Key Facts

      UCAS Code
      Institution code
      Tariff points
      Validated by:
      The Open University

      Peterborough Campus

      Duration and Delivery

      Full-time 3 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

      Part-time 4 years (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

      Start Date
      September 2022

      Tuition fees

      The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 will be £8,000 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

      Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 90 credits per year will be 75% of the tuition fee).

      There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

      Additional Notes

      Click here for terms and conditions 2022/23 including our complaints policy.

      Course enquiry

      BA (Hons) English Literature

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