Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code



1 year full-time (Foundation) followed by 3 years full-time (undergraduate degree)

Course overview

This is a four-year degree at Goldsmiths. If you successfully achieve the progression requirements of the foundation year, you can continue with the full-time three-year BA (Hons) English degree.

Why study the Integrated Degree in English at Goldsmiths

  • The programme is suited to both mature students looking to return to education, and to those who have left or completed formal exam courses more recently.
  • You'll attend a study skills module as part of the programme, to develop your academic writing and research skills 
  • You'll develop an understanding of literary history and criticism, and the confidence and skills necessary to progress to the degree
  • You'll have the opportunity to progress to our BA English degree
  • Our staff come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and, with their diverse research specialities, they’ll be able to help you develop your own interests
  • The Department is large enough to provide a wide range of modules but small enough to let you get to know other students and staff

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Phyllis Richardson.

What you'll study


The foundation year takes an overview approach to literary history and includes components in:

  • Renaissance studies
  • 18th-century literature
  • Victorian literature
  • Modernism and 20th-century literature

Novels, plays and poetry will be studied, and a variety of approaches to literary criticism are discussed and critically assessed.

You also learn study skills, and critically evaluate your own work in individual tutorials.

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of 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 the foundation year of this programme*:

  • Foundation year - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning

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 the foundation year of this programme*:

  • Foundation year - 54% coursework, 45% written exam, 1% study skills exercises

*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.

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.

What our students say

Elia Rully

I had assumed, as a mature student (twenty years older than some of the students!), I would feel somewhat isolated but, to my constant surprise, I felt very much part of the social aspect: friendships were formed quite quickly which also served as a study support network.

When I chose to take time out from music in order to follow and explore my late discovered passion for literature I was concerned to do so in an environment that encouraged me, especially as this was to be my first real experience of academia, to evolve in the most authentic and individual way. Goldsmiths seemed the obvious choice and I was not disappointed. I was supported and affirmed in following my interests while being guided and challenged to excel academically. In addition to the often exhilarating seminars and class discussions, I made the most of my access to the tutors and became a regular (sometimes expected) face during many of their office hours. My curiosity and eagerness was invariably encouraged and reciprocated and these interactions often sent me exploring even further.

The tangible artistic ethos of Goldsmiths made me feel comfortable and throughout my BA I was confident I was in the right place. I am now back at Goldsmiths studying for the MA in Creative and Life Writing.

Elia finished his BA in with a first-class degree in 2020 and is now studying MA Creative and Life Writing

Shaquille Kabba

Returning to education after so much time out seemed daunting, so I decided to do a Foundation year to rebuild my confidence and both introduce me to and prepare me for the standard of studying a degree.

When the final weeks of my A Level studies were approaching, I was excited about starting university, yet equally nervous, as many college students are. But wondering whether I had made the right choice in my studies, I decided to take a break from education. Working as a bartender enabled me to save enough money for travel in South East Asia, South America and multiple countries in Europe. The combination of my pre-existing interest in English Literature with my newfound curiosity in other languages and desire to travel made my future transparent for the first time in my life: I would teach English around the world!

Returning to education after so much time out seemed daunting, so I decided to do a Foundation year to rebuild my confidence and both introduce me to and prepare me for the standard of studying a degree. My decision was truly justified as my experience of the Foundation Year was incredibly helpful in not only restoring my confidence in writing but refining it with sophistication and style. I was always told that university studies require much more independence, which is true, so the support from my personal tutors and their readiness to help me throughout was a pleasant surprise! The fact I am still in contact with them as I enter my third year of study speaks for itself.

I was also introduced to Goldsmiths’ ‘Learn a Language’ programme where I met a foreign Goldsmiths’ student who tutors me in Japanese and I, in turn, tutor in English. This easily became the highlight of my Foundation Year and gave impetus to my decision to teach and live in Japan for several years after my graduation.

Starting my Foundation Year at 23 years old allowed me to start my studies with a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve from it, yet it also opened many unexpected avenues. I still enjoy work as a bartender and my developed writing skills have given me the confidence to secure several short-term copywriting internships. I am currently in the process of building a portfolio of my experience with hopes of creating my own freelance copywriting service as a side profession to teaching. The level of my results thus far and my experience of university life have encouraged me to consider my own future role within academia. I am beginning to think about studying for a Masters degree with hopes of specialising in a field of English Literature in order to end my career as a university lecturer.  

Kirsty Isamade

When I came across the Integrated Degree in English at Goldsmiths it was perfect for me.

At the age of 29, the idea of returning to my studies was a daunting one. I had always loved literature and I hope to teach and inspire English students myself one day. But having been out of education for so long, I had no idea where to begin. When I came across the Integrated Degree in English at Goldsmiths it was perfect for me. I had spent the last 10 years as a stay-at-home mum and now had four young children.  My decision to enrol was the one of the best I have made. Not only have I spent the last year learning about a subject I love, but during that year I felt both supported and confident, with the help of my tutors and fellow students. The texts we studied were both engaging and interesting, and really gave me a chance to reignite my love for literature whilst expanding my ability and understanding academically. I finished the foundation year full of pride at what I had achieved, and confident to start my English BA.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entrance requirements, but you need to demonstrate that you have an interest in the subject, that you are an active and engaged reader of literature, and that you have the ability to benefit from studying the programme.

Admission is by interview and a short piece of written work.

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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 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

To find out more about your fees, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

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.



If you successfully achieve the progression requirements of the foundation year, you can continue with a full degree, which will enable you to develop the following skills:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • proficiency in assessing evidence
  • the clear expression of ideas
  • the ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects
  • problem-solving skills
  • the ability to think critically and creatively
  • communication skills


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 career options after graduating on our English and Comparative Literature careers page.

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.