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Find your perfect english literature programs abroad

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English Literature degrees abroad

English literature is the academic study of texts spanning a range of time periods and genres. You’ll be challenged to analyze the form and meaning of novels, poetry, plays, short stories, and various other texts.

It’ll be your job to examine how texts have been influenced by the historical and cultural contexts in which they were set or written. You’ll apply critical theory and research to offer insightful and original interpretations of texts.

Studying English literature abroad is a great way to understand more about the world we live in. You’ll see for yourself how literature is used to educate, entertain, and inspire people across the globe. Visiting the setting of your favorite novel, or the hometown of your go-to author, will enrich your understanding and spark your creativity, helping you to become a deeper and more critical thinker.

English Literature program structure

You can study English literature as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree. A BA usually takes three or four years of study and will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the academic field.

Unlike an undergraduate degree, postgraduate qualifications require you to narrow your focus to a specific genre, period, or author. An MA can be studied over one or two years, while a PhD can take between four and seven years to finish.

It’s popular to study English literature alongside another subject as part of a joint-honors course. Although subject combinations vary, the most common pairings include philosophy, history, politics, or a foreign language.

If you choose to study in the US, you’ll major in English literature. This means that you’ll dedicate a certain number of hours and credits to English-specific modules, alongside working on your wider liberal arts education.

English programs are famous for having a low number of dedicated teaching hours, so you’ll be expected to do lots of individual reading and study. You’ll attend lectures introducing you to key scholars, concepts, and theories. You’ll then use seminars and workshops to apply this knowledge to texts, as well as discussing and debating interpretations.

You’ll mainly be assessed through critical essays and written exams, but presentations and group projects may also feature.

Most English programs are highly flexible and students can choose from a wide range of elective modules. However, there are some core topics that you can expect to study, including:

  • Literature throughout history
  • Literature and theory
  • Creative writing
  • Introduction to poetry
  • Narrative forms
  • Contemporary literature
  • Literature and sociocultural contexts - gender, sexuality, and race
  • Literature and the nation
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Best countries to study english literature

English Literature study abroad programs

What are the top english literature undergraduate programs abroad?

  • Trent UniversityEnglish Literature: Racial & Social Justice - BA/BA (Hons)

    • 4 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep, Jan, May
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Justice Services, English Literature
    Location
    Peterborough, Canada
    Next start date
    January 2025 +2 more
    Annual tuition fee
    26,191CAD
  • University of GreenwichDrama and English Literature - BA (Hons)

    • 3 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    English Literature, Theatre
    Location
    London, UK
    Next start date
    September 2024 +1 more
    Annual tuition fee
    16,150GBP
  • John Cabot UniversityEnglish Literature - BA

    • 4 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan, May, Sep
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    English Literature
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    Next start date
    January 2025 +2 more
    Annual tuition fee
    27,000EUR
  • Bath Spa UniversityEnglish Literature and Philosophy and Ethics - BA (Hons)

    • 3 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Ethics, English Literature
    Location
    Bath, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    16,675GBP
  • University of the West of England BristolEnglish Literature - BA (Hons) (with foundation)

    • 3 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    English Literature
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    15,850GBP

See all undergraduate degrees in english literature

What are the top english literature postgraduate programs abroad?

  • Liverpool Hope UniversityEnglish Literature - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    English Literature
    Location
    Liverpool, UK
    Next start date
    January 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    13,000GBP
  • Cardiff Metropolitan UniversityEnglish Literature - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    English Literature
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    17,600GBP
  • Cardiff Metropolitan UniversityEnglish Literature and Creative Writing - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    Creative Writing, English Literature
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    17,600GBP

See all postgraduate degrees in english literature

Future english literature careers

Your English literature degree will act as a springboard for further study or employment. The communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills you’ve developed will be transferable to several sectors and roles. Here are some of the most common graduate destinations:

  • Copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Writer
  • Publisher
  • Teacher
  • Marketing and media assistant
  • Journalist
  • PR assistant

Future employers will often ask for extra evidence of your passion for English literature. It’s a good idea to join your University’s literature society, contribute to the student magazine, or arrange some work experience in the career you’d like to pursue. These activities will help to strengthen your CV and improve your employability.

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