BA Single Honours English Literature

Bachelor's degree

In Aberystwyth

Price on request


  • Typology

    Bachelor's degree

  • Location

    Aberystwyth (Wales)

  • Duration

    3 Years




Aberystwyth (Cardiganshire/Ceredigion)
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Aberystwyth University, Hugh Owen Building, SY23 3DY


On request

To take into account

UCAS Tariff 280 points B in English Lit or English Lit & Lang (combined) or English Lang (provided B in GCSE English Lit also obtained) at A level International Baccalaureate 30 plus specific grade at higher level in English Literature European Baccalaureate 65% overall with 70% in specified subject

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Course programme

Your First Year (Part One)
Aberystwyth offers you the flexibility of a first year (called Part 1) in which you may, if you wish, take modules in a range of subjects outside your main degree scheme. This means that you may delay your specialisation for Honours until you are absolutely sure about what you want to do.

English Literature Modules

Encountering Texts
Acting as a bridge between A-Level study and advanced degree work, this unique module familiarises students with the expectations and opportunities of the study of literature at University level. It introduces you to the Higher Education learning environment, and develops research, writing and presentation skills that will help you to make the most of your degree scheme. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and seminars and is a compulsory, core module in all of the department's degree schemes.

Rewritings, Re-visioning Texts
This module will focus on literature as a process of rewriting, and one its main features will be the adaptation of literary texts into films and the interesting cultural and generic issues to which these 'transformations' give rise. It provides you with the skills you need to read and analyse texts from different genres, in different contexts and across different media. The module is a compulsory, core module for Q300 Single Honours English Literature and optional in other departmental schemes.

Aspects of Genre
This module gives close consideration to the three main literary genres - poetry, prose and drama. We have selected one aspect of each of these for special study: so for poetry, the module centres on longer poems or sequences of poems; for prose, we focus on ‘tales of the uncanny'; and for drama, we focus on comedy from Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde. This module also continues instructing students in specialist writing and research skills suitable for the remaining years of the degree. The module is a compulsory, core module for Q300 Single Honours English Literature and optional in other departmental schemes.

Contemporary Writing
This module introduces you to a lively range of current work, including short tales, postmodernist fiction, best-seller fiction, poetry, and film adaptations. The texts are chosen to represent facets of contemporary identity (including social, ethnic, class, gender, sexual, and generational aspects). These categories anticipate some of those that will become important in your study of literature on Part Two modules in your second and third years. All the texts studied on this module first appeared in the 1990s or 2000s.

Other Level One Modules

Many students studying English Literature will also take a range of some of the following modules in their first year, since these all provide further opportunities for students to concentrate their studies on literature, through additional literary analysis, studies of generic and historical contexts for English literature, and investigations into ancient literary forms that often exert great influence over post-medieval literatures.

American Literature and Culture
An introduction to the study of American literature and culture from 1800 to the present day. It focuses on the role of literature in dramatizing and debating the myths and realities of the American experience. This module is a compulsory core module for American Studies students and optional in other departmental schemes.

The following two modules have been tailored to provide students of English Literature with an introduction to the Classical forms, genres and ideas that often form a basis for works of English Literature.

Greek and Roman Epic and Drama
This module, which requires no previous knowledge of Classics, introduces students to the epics of Homer and Virgil. It also explores a range of Greek and Roman plays, focussing on issues of gender and society.

The Classical Tradition: A History of Greek and Roman Ideas
This module introduces students to Greek and Roman ideas and literary genres, paying particular attention to those aspects that became important to English Literature. It includes Attic Tragedy and Old Comedy, Senecan drama, the novel, satire, Greek and Roman poetry, and Classical mythology.

Part 2

The Single Honours English Literature programme consists of a ‘core' taken by all Single Honours students, comprising four modules (each lasting one semester) in your second year:

  • Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • Restoration and Eighteenth Century Writing
  • Romantic and Nineteenth Century Writing
  • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Writing

These modules do not try to teach you absolutely everything about the writing of the periods concerned, but they do allow you to engage with a range of texts that will help you to understand important developments in British literary history. These are historical survey modules, designed to open doors into various thematic, generic, political or socio-historical issues which might be pursued in other modules in more detail.

Feeding into this historical core, are two modules on literary theory, entitled ‘Reading theory/ Reading Text', carefully stepped over two years to allow you to develop the skills and methods necessary for literary analysis, and to engage with important issues in literary theory - what is it we're doing when we analyse texts? How has this process of interpretation and analysis changed over the centuries? How do our individual interests and prejudices affect our literary judgements? How does the analysis of literature interact with other disciplines, like history, film, art, or politics?

The final ‘core' module taken in the third year, is the dissertation module. This module allows you the opportunity to produce a substantial study of a subject that particularly interests you, that might have developed out of your studies in other modules. The module provides all students with advanced research and bibliographical skills, as well as workshops on planning, shaping and structuring a dissertation. Thereafter, you will work on a one-to-one basis with your dissertation supervisor writing and completing the dissertation. Seen as the culmination of your English studies, this dissertation will provide you with a space and opportunity for your most detailed and advanced study during your degree, and it will also equip you with the necessary skills for higher degree work, if that is your future inclination.

In addition to these core modules, each Single Honours student will choose (over the two years of Honours), three option modules from a very long list of possibilities. The option modules usually derive from the particular research specialisms and enthusiasms of the option tutor, and they are designed to complement and extend the work undertaken for the period survey core modules. Each option module lasts for one semester, and involves students in working together in seminar/workshop classes, and in undertaking individual research in a detailed study of a particular literary area or topic. Assessment is usually by essay, but also embraces an oral presentation undertaken as part of a team presentation.

BA Single Honours English Literature

Price on request