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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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    English Literature and Creative Writing - BA (Hons) Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,146 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,300 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about English Literature and Creative Writing
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    Education and English Literature - Dual BA (Hons) Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    20,125 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 14,750 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Education and English Literature
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    Drama and English Literature - BA (Hons) Edge Hill University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,714 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 12,250 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Drama and English Literature
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    English – Literature - BA University of Central Florida, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,478 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,478 USD

    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about English – Literature
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    English - Literature - BA Long Island University Brooklyn, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    35,736 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 35,736 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about English - 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
See all associate degrees in english literature

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
    14,872 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 10,900 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about English Literature (Foundation)
See all undergraduate pathways in english literature

English literature graduate programs

Master's in english literature

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    Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies - MA University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    15,216 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 Language and Literature: Children's and Young Adult Literature - MA Central Michigan University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,300 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,300 USD

    Start date
    May, August
    Show program overview about English Language and Literature: Children's and Young Adult Literature
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    English - Literature and Writing - MA Duquesne University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,112 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,112 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about English - Literature and Writing
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    English: Contemporary Literature - MA University of Northampton, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    18,760 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,750 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about English: Contemporary Literature
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    English Literature - MA/MFA William Paterson University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    20,454 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 20,454 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about English 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
    27,900 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 27,900 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
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    6 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,120 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 8,150 GBP

    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature
See all doctorates 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.