Skip to main content


  • UCAS code Q300
  • Option 3 years full time
  • Year of entry 2021

The course

BA English allows you to choose from a diverse and extensive range of modules, covering works across time, cultures, genres and geographies. Offering more than 40 modules from across a thousand years of English, American and global literature, English at Royal Holloway is a particularly wide-ranging subject which allows you to develop your passions, debate cutting-edge ideas, and to pursue, if you wish, your own creative writing.

The flexibility of this course encourages discovery. We have expertise in all the major literary periods and you will encounter many new literary worlds and new ways of understanding familiar ones, from the Knights of the Round Table to contemporary literature on global questions like migration or the environment. Most importantly, you will discover your own voice as a writer in an environment which places particular value on independence of mind and intellectual creativity. We are also proud of our educational expertise, offering small group teaching, a special programme of study that introduces you to university level study when you join us, and individual attention at all stages of your degree. We want to ensure that you are confident, happy and academically successful.

Studying at one of the UK's most dynamic English departments allows you to develop a strong understanding of key periods, genres, authors, and critical concepts. After a first year which gives you firm foundations, you can choose from a huge range of options both innovative and traditional: for example, Drama and Witchcraft, Sensation Fiction, World War I Poetry, Science Fiction, Children's Literature, African-American Literature, the Girl in the Book, Queer History as well as courses on the Medieval period, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, Eighteenth-century and Victorian literatures, Modernism and Postmodernism. In your third year, you can write a dissertation on a specialist subject of your own choice.

You will be taught by nationally and internationally known scholars who write prize-winning books, talk or write in the national media, or advise cultural bodies like Liberty or the Charles Dickens Museum. Outside the vibrant community of the English department, you can take courses in other departments, and even opt to study abroad for a year.

Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more.

We also have a number of generous scholarships available specifically for English students to recognise achievement.

  • Study literatures from across time and space.
  • Choose from innovative, interdisciplinary modules on the relationship between literature and the digital, film, music, the visual arts, and the creative industries.
  • Opportunity to gain work experience through our micro-placements scheme, at an organisation such as Penguin, the Press Association or the BBC.
  • Study abroad for a year at one of our international partner institutions.
  • Take options in creative writing and/or modules in another department.

in the UK for creative writing

Source: Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2020

Top 20

in the UK for English

Source: Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2020


overall student satisfaction

Source: National Student Survey, 2019

Explore Royal Holloway