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Study english literature abroad

An in-depth guide to studying english literature as an international student.

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

How to study english literature abroad

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English literature study abroad programs

English literature undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in english literature

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    Classical Literature & Civilisation and Philosophy - BA University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    26,021 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,700 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Classical Literature & Civilisation and Philosophy
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    Arabic Language and Literature - BA American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,590 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,590 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Arabic Language and Literature
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    English: Literature - BA California State University, San Bernardino, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,722 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,722 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about English: Literature
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    Biblical Literature - BA Indiana Wesleyan University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    28,184 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 28,184 USD

    Start date
    September, January, May
    Show program overview about Biblical Literature
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    Children's Literature - BA Stephen F. Austin State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,564 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,564 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Children's Literature
See all bachelor's degrees in english literature

Associate in english literature

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    English: Literature and Writing Studies (Direct Transfer) - AA North Seattle College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    9,687 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,687 USD

    Start date
    September, January, April, June
    Show program overview about English: Literature and Writing Studies (Direct Transfer)
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    Literature & Society - AA South Seattle College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    9,687 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,687 USD

    Start date
    September, January, April, June
    Show program overview about Literature & Society
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Diploma in english literature

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    English Literature - DipHE University of Cumbria, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,811 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,800 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about English Literature
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Pathway in english literature

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    English Literature (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,167 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,900 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about English Literature (Foundation)
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English literature graduate programs

Master's in english literature

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    English Literature - MA American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,902 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,902 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about English Literature
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    Victorian Gothic: History, Literature and Culture - MA University of Portsmouth, UK
    • Online
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    5,079 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 3,650 GBP

    Start date
    October, January
    Show program overview about Victorian Gothic: History, Literature and Culture
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    Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies - MA University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    14,847 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,510 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
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    English (Creative Writing and English Literature) - MA University of Hull, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    19,481 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,000 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about English (Creative Writing and English Literature)
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    English Language and Literature - MA Linnaeus University, Sweden

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    12,787 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 110,000 SEK

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about English Language and Literature
See all master's degrees in english literature

Doctorate in english literature

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    Arabic Language and Literature - PhD American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    19,710 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,710 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Arabic Language and Literature
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    Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,681 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,300 GBP

    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature
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    English Pedagogy: Teaching English Literature - DA Murray State University, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    13,200 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,200 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about English Pedagogy: Teaching English Literature
See all doctorates in english literature

Diploma in english literature

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    Childrens Literature - PGDip Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    20,619 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,374 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Childrens Literature
See all postgraduate diplomas 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.