Comparative Literature

English Literature - BA (Hons)

Literature at Kent is cutting edge: creative, interactive, and vibrant. Enjoy Canterbury’s rich literary heritage, explore how books empower you to tell your own story, and study how literature helps us understand and transform our world.

“Kent gave me a chance to change my mindset” - Sian, English Literature graduate

Overview

From Chaucer to the contemporary, English Literature at Kent is truly global. It covers American and Indigenous, British and Irish, Postcolonial and World literatures. You explore how literature helps us imagine other people’s lives and takes us on journeys of self-discovery.

Kent is home to published poets and novelists, world-renowned scholars and innovative digital practitioners. Whether you’re making a documentary film, writing a learning journal, publishing your own book, or conducting original archival research, they support you to develop outstanding presentation, language, and analytical skills. Whether your ambition is to write creatively or in a professional context, you graduate with the confidence and skill to say exactly what you mean.

An English Literature graduate’s creativity, passion, and ability to adapt are what employers look for. Join us at Kent and start your story.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you take core modules covering the major forms of literature (poetry, drama and fiction), core concepts in critical theory, and writing and research skills. A range of option modules allow you to explore how literature addresses crucial issues such as the environment, power and protest, the social impacts of technology or contemporary feminism.

Instead of exams, your first year concludes with a program of short courses, workshops and exhibitions during the summer term, where you can pick up essential job skills, intern on research projects, or taste areas of literature you missed in your main modules.

In second year, you select from a range of core modules covering all the major areas of literary history from the 1300s to the present. This year, you also decide what you would like to do as your project in your final year, which may take any form: from a dissertation or critical edition to an online exhibition, mobile application, performance, or a piece of creative writing - and more. You receive additional assistance to refine your proposal during the summer.

In third year, as well as completing your project, you take a number of specialist modules that take you deep into cutting-edge areas of literary research. Your degree culminates in an Arts Festival and Summer School, where you may have the opportunity to exhibit your work to the public and potential employers.

Placement year/year abroad

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you have the enthusiasm to succeed in a new environment. Previous destinations include the US, Canada, Europe and Hong Kong. For details, see English Literature with an Approved Year Abroad. It is also possible to undertake a placement year in industry.

See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details.

Student life

There are a variety of literary activities at Kent. Students in the School of English publish a magazine of their creative writing, poetry and prose. There are also a number of student-run societies with a literary theme. In previous years these have included the:

  • Creative Writing Society
  • T24 Drama Society
  • Poetry Society
  • Literature Society.

The student newspaper, InQuire, is run by the student union and gives you the opportunity to develop your writing skills and to gain valuable work experience in journalism.

The School of English runs research seminars, workshops and social events, as well as a successful creative writing series of readings, where well-known writers and publishers share their experiences and skills. Previous guests include:

  • Iain Sinclair
  • Patience Agbabi
  • Terry Eagleton.

All our students receive free membership to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in central London, giving you access to the ICA’s facilities and a small number of internships.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB including a Humanities-based essay writing subject such as English Literature, English Language, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Classical Civilisation.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be DMM plus A-level English Literature or English Language & Literature at B.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including HL English A1/A2/B at 5/6/6 OR English Literature A/English Language and Literature A (or Literature A/Language and Literature A of another country) at HL 5 or SL 6

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in the Literature module.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/in industry), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad/in industry)

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.   On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6300
  • International part-time £8400

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment can vary between modules. All modules are taught by weekly seminars. In addition to seminars, the majority of literature modules also include a weekly lecture.

Assessment across all Stages is by a varied and exciting range of coursework only. There are no exams in modules from the School of English. Some modules may include an optional practical element. Assessment at Stage 3 may also include an optional Dissertation or final project.

Attendance at seminars is required, and for the majority of modules, you are assessed on your seminar contribution/performance. 

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Independent rankings

English at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity and scored 92% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Of final-year English students who completed the National Student Survey 2021, 85% were satisfied with the teaching on their course.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in areas including:

  • journalism
  • broadcasting
  • publishing and writing
  • teaching
  • banking
  • marketing
  • project management.

Our graduates include:

  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • David Mitchell
  • Sarah Waters.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

School of English

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