Comparative Literature

English Literature - BA (Hons)

Discover how literature has transformed our world, stands at the forefront of socio-political change, and empowers you to create your own story, developing transferable skills for tomorrow's world.


Experience Canterbury’s rich literary heritage, while studying works from the medieval to the modern. Explore literature that provides a window into other people’s lives and takes you on journeys of self-discovery.

Reasons to study English Literature at Kent

  • Tailor your degree to your interests From Jane Austen and William Shakespeare to dystopian fiction and the gothic; from contemporary poetry and interactive storytelling, we specialise in the literatures you are passionate about.
  • Learn from experts Our staff are industry professionals and encourage you to engage with new and inspiring work. You'll discover how literature tackles challenges such as immigration, climate change, racial inequality, and women’s rights using the power of the written word.
  • Study literature your way Instead of exams, you might make a documentary film, script a video game, assemble a journal, compose a collection of poetry, or write a novella.
  • Unearth hidden treasures The Canterbury Cathedral Library and our Special Collections archive containing manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps and printed books dating back to the late 8th century.
  • Explore Canterbury Our city is steeped in literary traditions from Chaucer to Marlowe and Dickens. In the heart of Kent, you can travel to London in under an hour by train, and beautiful beaches and historic woodlands are within easy reach from campus.

Did you know?

Our graduates include Booker Prize-shortlisted authors David Mitchell - number9dream (2001), Cloud Atlas (2004) - and Sarah Waters - Fingersmith (2002) - and Booker Prize Winner and Nobel-Prize winner for Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro - Remains of the Day (1989)

What you'll study

Covering British, Irish, American, Indigenous, Postcolonial and World literatures, English Literature at Kent is truly global.

On this degree course you study the major forms of literature (poetry, drama and fiction), core concepts in critical theory, and writing and research skills.

Your first year will give you compulsory modules that give you a broad introduction to the subject as well as a variety of optional modules from Other Worlds to Romantic Ecologies and American Power and Protest.

In your second year, you will be able to tailor your degree further and choose from literary time periods from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century.

Your final year project can be a dissertation, critical edition, online exhibition, mobile application, performance or a piece of creative writing. You can also take a number of specialist modules where you further explore your personal literary interests in a range of fields from The Gothic to Black Writing in North America.

See the modules you'll study

Do you have a passion for Creative Writing?

BA English Literature and Creative Writing is also available.

Your future

Your English Literature course will provide you with skills and experiences that will equip you for a career in the industry. Our graduates go on to work in journalism, broadcasting, publishing and writing, teaching, banking, marketing and project management among other professions.

What our students say:

“I was really drawn to the innovative approach that Kent took when setting its English Literature syllabus, you could really study anything from Graphic Novels to Shakespeare, which differed from a lot of universities that offered very stoic, traditional English Literature courses. Kent gave me a chance to change my mindset.”

– Sian Pratley, graduate and Production Controller at Penguin Random House Publishing.

“I wanted to study at a campus uni and I just fell in love with Kent and the views from the hill on my first visit! As someone with disabilities, Kent also went above and beyond to make sure that I had everything I needed to complete my course… It is really all down to my time at Kent that I have been able to work in my dream job”.”

– Charlotte Faber, graduate and Senior Production Controller at Penguin Random House Publishing.

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Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level


  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant 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 in a relevant subject.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL.

  • 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.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. 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.


The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13500
  • International full-time £18000
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6750
  • International part-time £9000

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

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


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

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

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.

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 scored 87% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.

Of final-year English students who completed the National Student Survey 2022, 84% were satisfied with the teaching on their course.

Over 88% of final-year English students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2023.


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.

Apply for English Literature - BA (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

International applicants

Apply now for part-time study

English Literature - BA (Hons) - part-time at Canterbury

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254


School website

School of English

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