Why study English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University?
- 96% of our students registered overall course satisfaction in the 2021 National Student Survey
- You'll be taught by leading scholars who have published books and articles on a wide-range of topics
- You'll study a broad range of literary texts and genres from the early modern period to the present day, including American and world literatures
- Work experience and travel opportunities are an integral part of the degree
- Get a flavour of our teaching by watching our short lectures on A Level texts
- See our top 5 reasons for studying English Literature at LJMU
About your course
The BA (Hons) English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University is a diverse and dynamic degree, informed by the latest thinking about literature and culture.
Our innovative degree programme encourages students to become part of our vibrant academic community, to develop their own interests, and to develop high-level transferable skills that are highly sought after by a wide range of employers.
Our definition of 'literature' is broad, and we offer a range of fascinating option modules which will allow you to tailor your studies to your own interests through your degree, whilst gaining a thorough knowledge of literary history, theory, and criticism. You will study fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, and theory, but you will also have opportunities to study less traditional texts such as (for example) film adaptations, popular music, working-class life-writing, travel writing, slave narratives and protest literature.
Crucially, all our modules are designed and taught by full-time lecturers who are both dedicated teachers and cutting-edge scholars who publish peer-reviewed work on these topics and lead ground-breaking research projects about them. Our Personal Tutoring scheme means that every student receives continuous support from a permanent member of staff throughout their degree, and we pride ourselves on our friendly and supportive relationship with our students.
Exciting work experience and travel opportunities are an integral part of our degree programme. If you choose our English Work Experience option module, you will have opportunities to gain valuable work-based experience and skills in (for example) teaching, charities, or the media and creative industries; we work with local cultural partners such as the Tate, the Everyman and Playhouse theatres, and FACT, as well as local businesses and schools. LJMU's Study Abroad Programme gives you the option of spending a semester or a whole year studying internationally for credit towards your degree. If you choose not to travel, however, the wide range of literature you will study in English and in translation will still broaden the horizons of your world.
- Ranked 12th best English degree in The Guardian's 2023 subject league tables
- In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) more than half of our research outputs, and two thirds of our impact case studies, received the highest possible rating of four stars. This means that the majority of our research has been deemed 'world-leading in originality, significance and rigour'. Our overall REF score was the third highest in LJMU, and our score for research impact was the highest in the University
"After completing my undergraduate degree at another Liverpool university in 2016 and a teacher training course at LJMU in 2017, I chose to undertake my MRes in English at LJMU in 2020-21. This was the best decision I made. The English team embrace new students with great passion and warmth, and there is a collaborative spirit that makes students feel valued. I felt that a real interest was taken in our progress and development this was evident in tutorials, presentations, and Q&A sessions. The course also allowed me to creatively apply my research into non-academic fields (via film, podcast, articles and community engagement). I valued this because I was able to think about how my research interests could bridge the gap between academia and the community. In addition, the links that LJMU English has with institutions in Liverpool are extremely valuable, making you feel central and active within the city. Ultimately, the MRes in English at LJMU allowed me to become well-rounded in various areas, whilst also providing a strong foundation in research and thesis development."
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
In the last three years, 75% of our students have graduated with a 2:1 or first class degree.
Our English Literature graduates' excellent analytic and communication skills have ensured them positions in a wide variety of careers including film-making, journalism, publishing, advertising, marketing, museums and arts administration. Others have found employment in careers as wide ranging as industrial, retail, leisure, charity management, educational administration, accountancy, the social and Civil Services.
Teaching is not the main occupation for English Literature graduates but some use their degree to secure a place on PGDE / PGCE teacher-training courses, while others continue on to postgraduate study or research.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
This module introduces you to a sample of American literature and key critical approaches that will be developed on your degree. You will develop the ability to articulate your response to works of literature, informed by a knowledge of historical contexts and perspectives. You will engage with debates about the role and status of reading in American culture and demonstrate a range of basic skills specific to the reading of literary texts.
Literary and Cultural Theory
The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the basic strands of literary and cultural theories, such as feminism, Marxism, postcolonial theory, and psychoanalysis. It will allow you to explore and evaluate these theoretical perspectives through practical application to literary texts as well as to other primary sources.
World, Time and Text
World, Time and Text introduces you to texts from different periods and of different styles and genres. A primary concern of the module is intertextuality, and you are encouraged to make connections between quite different texts, to trace themes and concerns across time and space, and to discover and express intertextual relationships through scholarly analysis. The module introduces some important fields within literary studies, such as postcolonial writing, children's fiction, and feminist literature, and particular areas of enquiry such as ethics and identity.
This module will introduce you to Liverpool as a global city with a rich literary heritage, tracing the creativity and multiculturalism which has shaped, and continues to shape, our world-famous city. You will read a range of works authored by or about Liverpudlians and consider the historical, social, and geographical contexts for writing in and of the city.
Environment, Culture and Technology
This module will introduce you to a range of texts from the late nineteenth century to the present which express vital ideas and concerns relating to the changing relationship between humanity, the natural world, and technology, including genre fiction (fantasy, speculative fiction, crime fiction, and children's fiction) as well as film and music. It will introduce you to key concepts in contemporary literary studies such as ecocriticism.
Critical Keywords for English
This module introduces you to the study of English literature at undergraduate level, through set texts drawn from different historical periods and covering fundamental literary categories (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama). It will give you a grounding in the key terms that you will need in critical writing, such as form, narrative, character, and irony, and in the skills needed for English studies, including close reading, reading quickly and efficiently, and researching and writing essays.
Body, Mind and Soul: seventeenth-century literature and culture
The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of seventeenth-century writings in their historical and cultural context to enable you to recognise different forms and genres used in the period. This module will also facilitate an understanding the concept of the Early Modern and issues of historical change and continuity.
This module enables you to develop a critical vocabulary to enhance your understanding of poetry. You will be introduced to a range of poetry from different periods, in different forms and from different cultural locations. Alongside this, you will learn to identify the aesthetic qualities of different poetic traditions.
Modernism and Modernity
This module focuses on the emergence of a modernist movement in Europe and America at the beginning of the 20th century and lasting until the decades after the close of the Second World War. You will be introduced to the literature, culture and politics of modernity through an engagement with a variety of modernist texts.
Postcolonial Writing: Power, Art and Protest
This module will introduce you to the field of postcolonial studies through a selection of literary and critical works. It will introduce the debates on the relationship between art, politics and culture at the heart of postcolonial literary criticism.
Romanticism: Revolution, Reaction and Representation
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the manifestations of Romanticism in nineteenth-century literature to assess the cultural afterlife and importance of Romanticism and its modes. You will explore the connections between politics, social history, and literary culture in Britain during a period of social instability and intense and rapid changes in many areas of life at home and abroad.
Short Cuts: Writing in Brief
The aim of this module is to analyse a wide variety of short writing from the post-Second World War era to develop skills of close reading and textual analysis. You will also explore the relationship between short writing and modernity/contemporary culture.
The Victorians: Realism and Sensation
Within this module, you will extend your familiarity with a range of Victorian texts including novels, poetry and essays. You will explore how the Victorian age was characterized by rapidly developing scientific discourses and popular interest in them and understand how contemporary understanding of genre and cultural prestige were inherited from the Victorian period.
English Work Experience
This module will enable you to develop a range of professional and transferable skills relevant to the world of work. You will be able to critically reflect on your self-development and acquisition of skills and attributes through experience of work in conjunction with their academic studies.
English Independent Study
This module promotes independent learning activities to give you an opportunity to pursue their own research-informed projects. This module promotes key skills relating to Level 5 work identifying a set of aims or key questions exploring a body of published literature relevant to the project, and effectively communicating information, arguments and analysis.
Study Semester Abroad - English
The aim is to provide student with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studies must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Study Year Abroad-English
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will compliment their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Life Stories: Telling Tales and Keeping Secrets in Auto/Biographical Writing
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the diversity of auto/biographical writing. It will equip you with the critical vocabulary and analytical tools to explore and analyse modern life-writing. You will understand key critical topics relating to life-writing, including the relations of subjectivity and form; the intersections of gender, race, class and embodiment; the role of memory and nostalgia; narrative strategies of confession and secrecy.
Forms of Slavery
This module examines slavery from a long historical interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. It will analyse a range of 'slave texts' such as autobiographies, novels about slavery, abolitionist poetry, and contemporary film, to interrogate the diverse ways in which slavery has been represented historically, and contemporary debates around that history.
This module will develop your understanding of the relationships between gender, sexuality, and literature. Building on the feminist theory you will encounter in your first year, you will explore literature’s role in the developments of the sexual politics and gender norms of Western society and culture since the nineteenth century and up to the present day.
Writing Race in Britain
This module focuses on post-1948 literature about ethnic diversity in Britain. You will explore a tradition of writing by and about post-colonial migrants and their British-born children, including works of prose, poetry, and drama, and read these texts in relation to contemporary debates about multiculturalism, race and (anti-)racism, and British identity and society.
Words and Music
This module helps to gain a deeper understanding of poetic form and how it relates to musical form. It also helps to understand how politics and poetics inform lyrics. You will also gain knowledge of how gender, race, intertextuality, and acculturation processes can influence musical production.
Working Class Writing
This module covers a range of working-class literary traditions and genres from the nineteenth century to the present. You will examine the relationship between literary form and social class, consider how working-class writers have appropriated and developed particular genres, and explore the intersections between class and other markers of identity.
Building on your encounters with key strands of critical theory in your first year, this module offers you the opportunity to further explore contemporary theoretical concepts and ideas, including postmodernism, posthumanism, gender and queer theory, and critical race theory.
This is a year-long module, at the end of which you will have produced a dissertation of 7- 8,000 words. As such, it offers you the opportunity to investigate a topic of personal interest within the field of English Studies: you might wish to revisit something studied on a previous module, with a fresh approach or in greater detail, or choose an area as yet unexplored. You will be given guidance by a supervisor through the different stages of researching and writing, but above all you will be expected to work independently in the formulation of ideas, selection of key texts, and production of the final piece.
English Independent Study
This module will give you an opportunity to pursue your own intellectual interests to undertake an independent academic study, working on your own initiative and building strong time management skills.
Our House: Representing Domestic Space
The aim of this module is to analyse domestic space as an important aspect of contemporary culture, to familiarize you with a range of disciplinary and philosophical traditions which have focused upon domestic space.
Post-Millennial British Fiction
This module will extend your knowledge of the diversity and range of British writing in the twenty-first century in order to explore key events that shape literary culture in Britain today.
This module will reinforce the ability to critically analyse texts in close detail to examine a range of Shakespeare's plays in the context of their original cultural production.
Vamps and Villains: Exploring Gothic Fiction
This module will examine the genre of Gothic fiction as it has developed over two centuries to explore the cultural, historical and intellectual contexts that shape the moment of its production.
World Literature: Writing from the Periphery
This module will introduce the concept of 'world literature' through a selection of texts from the twentieth to the twenty-first centuries in relation to the rise and expansion of a global modernity. You will examine on-going critical debates around key areas of research in the global humanities: a singular modernity, the politics of translation, the periphery and the world system.
Transitions: Identities in the Interwar Years
This module examines shifting identities and the intersections of class, sexuality, gender and regionality in British literature of the interwar years. It moves across popular, middlebrow and experimental fiction and looks at poetry, non-fiction and magazine publishing as a means of examining the changing cultural formations of the period.
This module explores how Victorian writers responded to environmental changes. It examines key historical and intellectual developments shaping debates about the natural world in the Victorian period; you consider links between the historical past and current modes of environmentalism.
Space and place: travel writing at home and abroad
Developments in Contemporary Writing and Publishing
Modern Fiction and Environment Crisis
This module focuses on modern fiction focused on the urgent environmental crises with which we are now obliged to reckon. Some of the issues you will engage with on this module include climate, the environment as a concept, the non-human, and the alternative approaches to nature represented in indigenous narrative systems.
Black Lives in American Literature
This module explores writing by and about African Americans from the mid-twentieth century to the present; you will consider how Black writers and artists have contested racial injustices, articulated new identities, and identified grounds for solidarity and alliance.
Migrants to the Screen
This module focuses on recent works of transnational fiction that have been adapted for the screen. Drawing on literary studies, film studies, adaptation studies, and postcolonial studies, you will examine novels about migrants alongside their film adaptations, considered as ‘migrants’ from page to screen.
The Literature of Extinction: American Writing and the Environment
This module explores how extinction on various scales, from the local and national to the planetary, is conceptualized and represented in American environmental and ecocritical texts, including fiction, nature writing, and ecocritical theory.
This module will deepen your understanding of the early modern world (or worlds) through attention to travel writing, early science fiction, early colonialism, and approaches to race and slavery, through topics such as the representation of piracy, and utopian writing.
Feminist Fictions: Contemporary Women’s Writing and the Politics of Feminism
This module will extend your understanding of contemporary women's fiction and its relationship to feminist theory, politics, and practice. You will be equipped with an advanced understanding of the complexity and diversity of the history of feminism and feminist theory from the 1960s to the present day.
Race in America
You will learn important critical and theoretical views relating to racial formations, racial identities, and racism in American history to develop cultural and historical understanding of the dynamics of race in post-war America.
Terrorism and Modern Literature
Terrorism and Modern Literature will establish terrorism as a significant and persistent literary, political and cultural preoccupation in modern literature (1880s to present), and examine key instances in which the language and concept of terror is at issue.
Violence in Nineteenth-Century Literature
This module will establish violence as a significant and persistent literary, political and cultural preoccupation in nineteenth-century literature (1800-1900), and examine key works in which the issues of class, empire and gender were explored by authors of this period in relation to conflict and crisis.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Teaching is delivered via lectures, seminars, online activities, workshops, audio-visual presentations and theatre and fieldwork trips (for example, visits to the Bront parsonage at Haworth and exhibitions in London). Online discussion boards allow you to further debate, with your tutors and peers, ideas that arise in the classroom. Outside the classroom you will have access to extensive electronic resources via the LJMU network and print resources via the nearby Aldham Robarts library.
English Literature at LJMU offers work experience opportunities that will hone your professional skills, enhance your CV, and equip you for a competitive job market. The (optional) second-year module English Work Experience has a number of strands: it can prepare you for a career in teaching, develop your social media skills, or help you arrange a placement in (for example) journalism and publishing or local community and cultural work.
The English programme has a long history of offering unique work experience opportunities, for example in the development of Shakespeare North, the project to build a replica Elizabethan theatre in Prescot. Led by Professor Elspeth Graham, this project concluded with the opening of the theatre in summer 2022. Our students have also taken up exciting opportunities abroad. For example, as part of a former version of our current Study Abroad scheme, we have placed students with the editor of Vogue, with an advertising agency in New York, at a National Park in the Appalachian Mountains, in an architect's office in California, and in theme parks in Florida.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
If you study English at LJMU, you will join a friendly and stimulating environment in which you will be encouraged to achieve your full potential in both your academic work and your future career. We pride ourselves on our informal and supportive relationship with our students.
You will be assigned a personal tutor who will be responsible for your academic and personal progress throughout the course. Along with this scheduled one-to-one support, you will receive regular feedback and guidance from your module tutors on your research, writing and study skills.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
We believe that all students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. These include essays, analytical exercises, portfolios of written work, an optional dissertation, peer presentations and formal exams. In some final year modules, you can choose whether you want to be assessed by exam or written essay.
Throughout your course you will be given regular constructive feedback, which is particularly useful in helping you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr James Whitehead
Dr James Whitehead
I am currently Programme Leader for English and am happy to field any questions about our degree programme from current or prospective students. My research and teaching interests include Romanticism and its legacies, psychiatry and other psy-sciences in relation to nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, and life-writing (autobiography and biography) about mental health and illness. My core undergraduate teaching includes 5111ENGL Romanticism and 5108ENGL Poetry Matters. I am also very happy to discuss postgraduate study and research plans in these areas.
The English Literature programmes at LJMU integrate the study of the authors, texts, and periods you'd expect in high-quality courses with dynamic new approaches including eco-criticism and the study of world literature. Our friendly team of expert teaching staff are research-active and are keen to help our students in their next steps.'
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
The School of Humanities and Social Science offers an ideal environment in which to expand your knowledge and horizons. Situated on Mount Pleasant in the new ‘Knowledge Quarter ' of Liverpool, the School is home to five subject areas: English, History, International Relations, Sociology, and Media, Culture & Communication. It has a lively programme of cross-disciplinary research seminars, conferences, visits from international scholars and public events. Research from the School is recognised nationally and worldwide.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Grades/points required from qualifications: BCC-BBB (104-120)
GCSEs and equivalents
Minimum Number of A Levels: 2
Maximum AS UCAS Points: 20
An English subject is preferred, e.g. English Language, English Literature, English Language/Literature or Creative Writing. Subjects such as Drama, Theatre Studies, Film Studies, Religious Education, History and Media Studies will also be considered
Extended Diploma: DMM
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications from a relevant subject
OCR Cambridge Technical
Extended Diploma: DMM
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications from a relevant subject
6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/international-entry-requirements
DBS, Occupational Health requirements
Is a DBS check required?
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
All applicants should possess a real enthusiasm for literature and for finding out about the societies and ideas that produce and infuse it.
We'll be looking for evidence that you've read widely outside your set-texts, and are interested in writing from a range of different eras and cultures. You'll have the ability to express your own ideas and opinions in a clear and lively way, as well as the desire to listen to and learn from other peoples' views, which may be very different from your own.
We'll also expect confident research and IT skills, so that your work is well-informed and well-presented.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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