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Undergraduate English



Tradition, Innovation and Creativity: Beowulf to the Booker

Your journey as an English student will take you from Old English riddles, Middle English romances, and the rich poetry and theatre of the Renaissance to the wit and politics of the eighteenth century; from Romantic verse and Gothic adventure, the radical novels of the Victorians, and the complexities of Modernism to the historical reassessments of the Post-Colonial and contemporary, as well as the powerful tradition of American literature. We often teach film and other media alongside literature.

We are have the advantages of a vibrant department (well over 30 staff members), with the fuller range of courses and student choice that brings. This year there are more than 25 options available in year 2, and over 40 options in year 3, in genres from medieval poetry to contemporary children's literature.  For examples, see our course options running this year.  (The list of varies from year to year.)

Our Teaching

We offer small-group teaching and individual tuition to develop your writing, as well as help with research and presentation skills that contribute to your weekly seminars.

Creativity is central to what we do, and all students (as well as those taking our BA English & Creative Writing) can take creative writing modules in years 2 and 3 of their degree.

A Community of Learning

We are small enough to know our students well, and our closeness to London means we have many trips to theatre and galleries. English students are active in the English Society; drama and the arts; student journalism and radio; and volunteering, all supported by the department.


From Degree to Workplace

The skills you acquire here will help you enter the job market with confidence. We have an award-winning job placements scheme that sends students out into the workplace in summer; an employability 'Passport' scheme; and each year we take students to the South Bank to hear from and meet alumni in the creative industries, journalism, marketing and other areas of work.


Course Structure

The first year of undergraduate study for Single Honours English is a foundation year; in the second year you broaden your focus within key periods; and in the third year you explore specialized options.

The structure combines wide exploration with the opportunity to follow your passions. Students who choose to combine English with another discipline, for instance Creative Writing, American Literature, Drama, Film or History, enjoy the same progression from foundation to specialisation.

A Year Abroad

You can apply for an additional year abroad, normally between the second and third year.  We have links with institutions all over the world, from Boston to Melbourne.

Courses in other Departments

Students in years 2 and 3 of the degree also have the opportunity to take an option in another department (e.g. a film course in Media Arts, a History or Philosophy or Drama course).

You join a rich culture of Joint Honors students

Many students choose to combine English Literature with another discipline and at Royal Holloway we offer an exciting range of options including:

English and Creative Writing and English and American Literature are Joint Honours programmes housed exclusively within the English department. For all other combinations students belong to two departments and participate fully in the life of each.

All students take four units (or equivalent in whole and half-units) in each year of study. If you opt for a Joint Honours degree, you will normally take two  course units or equivalent in English and two units from the partner department.

Click on the list above, or see the menu breakdown on the left-hand side of the screen for a full listing of the Joint Honours courses we currently offer - some of which are taken over fours years, with the third year spent studying abroad.












Our graduates

Click for information on some of our graduates.



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