Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

Q300

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time

Course overview

Please note, applications to start this programme in 2022 are still open.

Goldsmiths' operating principles for 2022-23 have not yet been finalised but should changes be required to teaching in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will publish these as early as possible for prospective students wishing to start their programme in September 2022.

Our BA English degree gives you the opportunity to develop the critical and verbal skills needed for confident, effective reading of literary texts and criticism.

Bold, flexible, and richly diverse, the BA in English offers you a world of literature and language. You will be taken on a thrilling intellectual and imaginative journey from the Caribbean, New York, and Victorian London, to the American South via 1980s Northern Ireland, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Belarus, India, and Algeria. Along the way, we encourage you to ask big, complex, and often challenging questions about how to read literature in all its cultural, artistic, and political contexts ranging from the analysis of bear-baiting in Early Modern drama, the role of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th century novel to the impact of the #metoo and Black Lives Matter movements on 21st-century literature, film, and culture.

You will travel across histories, cultures, and languages and be encouraged to engage in a huge variety of debates around, for example, gender and sexual identity, the Transatlantic slave trade, climate change, feminism, Caribbean writing, indigenous literature and philosophical ideas about what it means to be human across time.  

With a focus on both creative and analytical thinking as well as on rigorous communication and research skills, your degree in English is full of choice, offering you the opportunity to design your own curriculum. You could specialise in the study of language and communication, or in ‘world literature’, or in American literature and culture. You’ll also have a chance to take up one of our Work Placements, two of which are with Poetry London, and take a Creative Writing module specifically designed for BA English students.

In your final year, you’ll research and write a dissertation on a subject of your own choosing. You will benefit from our portfolio system of assessment that gives you individual feedback to help you become a highly proficient researcher, writer, and communicator with a suite of transferable skills attractive to graduate-level employers looking for high-level analytical abilities. A dedicated Careers Service will help you make the most of these skills and to think about life beyond Goldsmiths.

With its unparalleled literary history, London is one of the best places in the world to study English literature and access the city’s literary, cultural, and creative events. You'll gain free attendance to events run by our research centres in Comparative Literature, Decadence, and Caribbean and Diaspora Studies, the Centre for Political and Critical Theory as well as the chance to hear the most exciting contemporary writers and poets talk about their work in the Writers’ Centre and at Goldsmiths Prize readings.  

Why study the BA English at Goldsmiths

  • Diversity of texts – Read both traditional and non-traditional texts alongside other cultural works such as films, photography, museums, and visual arts.
  • Work placements – you’ll have the option to do a work placement as part of your course.
  • Transferable skills & Careers Support – our degree prepares you for a range of careers by developing your communication, analytical, and research skills.
  • Intensive pastoral care and academic support – we offer three years of support for your essay writing and research skills as well as a dedicated pastoral care system tailored to your individual needs.
  • Experience London – our location allows you access to the wealth of cultural institutions and opportunities that London offers right on your doorstep.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Carole Sweeney.

What you'll study

Year 1

In your first year, you will take the following compulsory modules.

Module title Credits
Explorations in Literature 30 credits
Approaches to Text 30 credits
Introduction to Poetry 15 credits
The Short Story 15 credits

You will also choose two of the following option modules:

Module title Credits
Introduction to US Literature and Culture: America and its Discontents 15 credits
Introduction to Comparative Literature 15 credits
Understanding Language in Use 15 credits

Year 2

In your second year, you will study the following compulsory module

Module title Credits
Literature and Power in the Victorian Period 30 credits

You will also choose three modules (totalling 90 credits) from a range characterised by wide literary, historical, and contextual scope, of which at least one must encompass pre-1800 literature.

Modules may vary from year to year, but recent modules have included the following.

Module title Credits
Drama and Transgression: From Prometheus to Faust 30 credits
Inventing the Nation: American Literature in the mid-19th Century 30 credits
Literary London, 1800 to 1900 30 credits
Literature of the Later Middle Ages: Society and the Individual 30 credits
Moderns 30 credits
Old English 30 credits
Post-Victorian English Literature 30 credits
18th-Century Literature 30 credits
Sensibility and Romanticism: Revolutions in Writing and Society 30 credits
Shakespeare 30 credits
Sociolinguistics: Language use, Variation, and Identity 15 credits
Contemporary Arab Migrant Writing 15 credits
Aspects of the Novel 15 credits
Work Placement (English) 15 credits
Discourse and Society 15 credits
(Re)writing America: from the nineteenth century to the present day 30 credits
Language Learning 15 credits
Language Teaching 15 credits

Year 3

You choose modules to the value of 90 credits.

Modules may vary from year to year, but recent examples have included:

Module title Credits
Caribbean Women Writers 30 credits
Creating the Text 30 credits
Decadence 30 credits
The Emergence of Modern America: American Literature 1890–1940 30 credits
Approaches to Language and the Media 15 credits
Modern American Fiction 30 credits
Modern Poetry 30 credits
Modernism & Drama (1880-1930) 30 credits
The Art of the Novel 30 credits
Oedipus: Myths, Tragedies and Theories 30 credits
Postcolonial Literatures in English 30 credits
Studies in Literature and Film 30 credits
Renaissance Worlds 30 credits
Narratives of the Great War (1923-1933) 15 credits
Work Placement (English) 15 credits
Professional Communication 30 credits
Word Power: How words are born, live, and die 15 credits
Language and Gender 15 credits

You also complete a 6,000-8,000-word Dissertation (30 credits) on a topic of your choice. A pass in this module is compulsory for the award of the degree.

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of scheduled learning - lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 12% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning, 2% placement
  • Year 3 - 12% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning, 1% placement

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 50% coursework, 50% written exam
  • Year 2 - 60% coursework, 40% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%, including a strong grade in English Literature
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

Additional requirements

Grade B in A-level English Literature/A-Level English Language and Literature/A-level English Language is required if you have studied A-Levels. Alternatively, an equivalent English subject will be accepted e.g. Grade 5 in IB Higher Level English.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • Home - part-time: £4625
  • International - full-time: £17560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Careers

The skills you'll develop

This degree opens up a wide range of careers by developing your critical and analytical skills, proficiency in assessing evidence, the clear expression of ideas, and the ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects – all of which are attractive to a variety of employers. You will learn to solve problems, to think critically and creatively, and to communicate with clarity.

You can also choose to take a work placement module as one of your option modules in your second or third year. This module allows you to undertake a work placement which will benefit your studies, your skillset and your CV.

Careers

Our graduates have a good employment record: professions include publishing, journalism, PR, teaching, advertising, civil service, business and industry, European Union private sector management and personnel work, and the media. You can find out more about the career options available to you after you graduate on our English careers page.

Poetry London work placements

Students within the Department of English and Creative Writing are also able to apply for a work placement opportunity with leading international poetry magazine Poetry London.
 
There are two work placements available each year (for students taking the second-year Work Placement optional module) and they're a fantastic way for you to develop practical and transferrable skills. Activities include editorial and review work, marketing, fundraising, and events support. The work placements are also an opportunity to build networks within London's literary sector.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

About the department

3rd year undergraduate student Tash takes us on a tour of the English and Comparative Literature department to meet some of her tutors and see what sort of events and activities you can get involved in at Goldsmiths.