The Department of English has a long history in literary studies. Studying in the hub of the University campus, you will join a friendly department that specialises in research-led teaching.

Why study English at Bristol?

English at Bristol is distinguished by a strong commitment to literary studies as a serious yet enjoyable academic discipline and an awareness of the benefits of dialogue with other disciplines in the University and beyond.

Our courses are designed to support your development as an independent learner and give you the opportunity to develop your own special interests. You can study English literature from the medieval period to the present day, as well as key critical and theoretical approaches to literary study.

Year one supports your transition to undergraduate study and lays strong foundations, while subsequent years allow greater freedom of choice. You will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of your own choosing in your final year.

Optional special subject units, which are based on the research interests of our teaching staff, allow you to explore particular authors, topics or genres. Staff research interests currently include literature, poetry and drama from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period and draw on many perspectives and literary theories, such as reception theory, deconstruction, poststructuralism and comparative literary studies. Our creative writing tutors have specialisms in poetry, fiction for adults, children’s fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting and editing.

Download the English leaflet (PDF, 319kB)

What kind of student would this course suit?

This course suits intelligent, imaginative, hard-working students who love to read widely.

Many people take the activity of reading for granted, but it is one of the most difficult and exciting things we do. Reading literature allows us to question our world and to realise the limits of our understanding.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching is delivered through lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. You will be expected to participate in small-group teaching and may be asked to give introductory talks to initiate discussion.

Coursework essays of different lengths are the most common form of assessment; some units also require short examinations (unseen and take-home). Optional units may be partially assessed by a portfolio of short pieces of writing, a presentation or a poster.

What are my career prospects?

English graduates are versatile researchers, active learners and good communicators. An English degree will help you to develop advanced literacy and a broad range of communication skills and evaluative techniques that are considered very favourably by employers.

Recent Bristol English graduates have been successful in obtaining employment in the media, journalism, publishing, marketing, the theatre, arts administration and various kinds of teaching, as well as in industry, commerce, law, computing, accountancy, human resources and social work. Some of our graduates have become successful novelists, playwrights and poets.

We also have a lively postgraduate community and many of our students go on to study on our master’s programmes and research degrees.

Read more about what students from English go on to do after graduation.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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