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English BA

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Study mode

3-year full-time; 4.5 - 6-year part-time

UCAS code

Q300, Q301 with Placement Year

Start date


Study location

Brunel University London campus

Entry criteria

BBB (A-level)

Placement Offered This course has a Placement Year option


English & Creative Writing at Brunel, ranked 8th in UK – Guardian University Guide 2018

We regularly host online webinars to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like. For a playback of our recent English webinar, click here. 

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

About the course

Storytelling is a fundamental human activity. Every day we exchange jokes and anecdotes, and the important events in our lives need to be told and retold many times over before they achieve the pattern and polish to become the ‘story of our lives’. We tell and read stories for pleasure and information, but we also read to gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

The BA in English spans everything from Shakespeare to Zadie Smith, Emily Bronte to Eminem. Traditional modules run alongside more innovative options covering areas such as fairytales, postmodernism, popular literature, south Asian writing, women’s writing, experimental literatures and digital technologies.

Our courses are designed to develop your ability to read texts in increasingly complex and diverse ways. We explore literature by looking at its structures and forms as well as the varying contexts in which it is produced and read. We examine the relations between writer, text and reader and interrogate the ways in which contexts shape and affect interpretation of varieties of texts.

You will have the opportunity to specialise by selecting from a wide range of options according to your own particular tastes and interests, be they in contemporary poetry, drama, fiction, literatures of the past or literatures from cultures remote from our own.


This course covers all the major periods of literature from the Renaissance to the most recent publications in poetry, fiction and drama.

We aim to introduce you right from the start to a variety of critical perspectives, approaches and contexts rather than simply providing a chronological or historical study of English literature. Our first priority is always to inform, stimulate and support you.


Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course content

At Level 1, you are introduced to the study of English through modules that cover various periods and genres, literary locations and approaches to university-level research and writing skills.

At Level 2, you will study some period-based modules such as Romanticism and Revolution, Shakespeare, the Nineteenth Century Novel, and Modernism. Critical theoretical perspectives are introduced in modules such as Postcolonial Writing and the Women’s Movement.

At Level 3, you can choose from a wide range of modules that are research-led by experts in the field, including: Writing India; Moving Modernisms, Writing Ireland, Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture; and Post-Millennial Fiction, 2000 to the Present. You will also complete a dissertation on a research topic of your choice.

The BA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Level 1


  • Texts, Contexts, Intertexts
  • Reading Resilience
  • Modern Literature
  • Early Modern Literature
  • Portfolio Critical Reading
  • World Literature, World Literacies

Level 2


  • Nineteenth-Century Novel
  • Postcolonial Writing
  • Romanticism and Revolution
  • Genre Fiction
  • Shakespeare: Text and Performance
  • Modernism
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • The Women's Movement: 20th Century and Contemporary Writing

Level 3


  • Project


  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Post-War and Late Twentieth-Century Literature
  • Modern and Contemporary Lesbian Literature
  • Psychogeography
  • Canon Reloaded
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • The Horror Film
  • American Independent Cinema
  • Writing Ireland
  • Creative Industries
  • Violence
  • Chaucer to Shakespeare
  • Reading for Writers / Writing for Readers
  • New Writing Page to Stage
  • Comedy

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


English is particularly good at developing the transferable personal skills that employers prize in graduates. The degree emphasises imagination, independence of thought and intellectual flexibility.

We focus both on acquisition of knowledge and analytical skills. You will improve your ability to manage your own learning and will develop personal and collaborative communication skills.

Many Brunel English graduates go into teaching; many into media-related jobs like publishing, marketing and journalism; and others into the business world as account executives, campaign organisers and consultants.

Careers and your future

After graduation, students may enter one of the professions associated with English, such as journalism, publishing, advertising, teaching, the civil service or the media, but our students fit just as easily into many other career environments. From the outset we help you to develop career options based on interests and skills. The College also offers an optional work experience module in the final year.

Our graduates have gone on to work in companies such as the BBC and Universal Studios.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry criteria 2019/20

  • GCE A-level BBB, including Grade B in English Literature or English Language plus Literature or Literature in English.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDM in Creative Media Production, plus Grade B in A-level English (Applicants without A-Level English will be required to submit a written sample of work on request).
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in any subject, with an A-Level in English at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in any subject, with A-Levels grades BB including English.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points including 5 in Higher Level English.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit in all units. Access students will be required to provide a sample of writing on request.

 A minimum of five GCSEs are required, including GCSE English Language grade C or grade 4. GCSE Mathematics grade C or grade 4 is also normally required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU entry requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

You will study a variety of traditional and non-traditional texts, covering various modes and genres of literature from the Early Modern Period to Contemporary Writing.

By the end of your degree you will have covered key texts in the history of English literature as well as learned about various critical frameworks, contexts and theoretical perspectives. You will have honed existing skills and developed new abilities, such as in the areas of research and writing, oral presentations, analysis and critical thinking, project management, collaboration and teamwork.

Our Staff

Our course is taught by highly qualified staff members who are actively engaged in research, scholarship or relevant professional practice.

Staff members are available by email as well as during office hours for individual consultation concerning coursework or any questions about the learning experience. Additionally, we frequently run optional workshops and hold research seminars to allow students to develop further skills and knowledge.

The Teaching and Learning Experience

Overall, we pride ourselves on excellence in teaching: our strengths in this area are reflected in positive course feedback as well as through our excellent results in university-wide student-led teaching awards and nominations.

The teaching and learning experience is varied and lively, enabling you to gain knowledge and skills through diverse methods and techniques. In a typical week or term, you will be taught through various methods, such as lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars.

Here are some specific examples of the teaching and learning experience:

  • Lectures convey new ideas, contexts, frameworks and information, offering you an expert view on a literary topic. They prepare you for a detailed discussion of a topic or issue that will be developed in seminar work.
  • Seminar work is especially important for almost all of our modules: as a member of a small seminar group, you will meet regularly to discuss a literary topic or text in some detail. These sessions allow you to voice your opinions and engage in conversations with the seminar leader as well as your fellow students. The seminar experience is highly interactive, allowing you to take an active role in the learning process.
  • Beyond the classroom, the Virtual Learning Environment provides additional learning resources and support for you (for more information, see below). These materials allow you to review what you have learnt already as well as to prepare for the weeks to come.
  • Independent study is also important. You will spend a substantial amount of time reading and researching independently to prepare for seminar discussions and coursework assignments.

Throughout your studies, you are encouraged to consult staff members for one-to-one guidance and feedback concerning coursework or topics covered in class.

The Special Project (Level 3)

Students find the final-year special project (dissertation) to be an especially rewarding experience. At Level 3, you will complete a substantial research project on an approved literary scholarly topic of your choice. To support you along the way, your assigned supervisor will provide individual consultation as well as feedback on your research proposal and work in progress. This is an excellent opportunity to pursue a literary topic that interests you as well as to develop the kinds of skills that are readily transferable, whether you choose to continue your studies or enter the workforce.


Your Personal Tutor: When you first come to Brunel, you will be assigned a personal tutor who remains with you throughout your degree course. They are available to discuss personal and academic problems. We pride ourselves on our commitment to the individual, and you will find both academic and administrative staff only too pleased to help.

Virtual Learning Environment: We use Blackboard - an innovative virtual learning environment - to extend the learning process beyond the classroom. Course materials, lectures, seminar materials and other educational resources are readily available to course participants to download via Blackboard.

ASK (Academic Skills Service): ASK provides additional support to students, especially in the areas of developing university-level research and writing skills.

Assessment and feedback

Each module or study block employs its own combination of assessment methods. These might include essays or other written coursework, individual and group projects, oral presentations, practical work and written examinations. You will find out more about the assessment methods for a given course of study at the beginning of the module or study block.

We have introduced continuous seminar assessment for many of the modules and study blocks. Students have been delighted with this change to assessment practices in recent years as it has contributed to a truly dynamic and engaging small-group learning experience.

Student Feedback

For each module or study block, we ask students to provide feedback on the teaching and learning experience. We meet with students each term to discuss the results and identify any areas for improvement. In this way, we maintain an open dialogue with students concerning every facet of teaching and assessment.

Special features

  • English & Creative Writing at Brunel, ranked 8th in UK – Guardian University Guide 2018
  • English has a growing international reputation focused around the Brunel Centre of Contemporary Writing (BCCW) and Entertext, an interdisciplinary eJournal.
  • Our English course is taught by world-class researchers, giving students the opportunity to get involved with research institute-led seminars and conferences.
  • The University is within reach of London and the West End theatres, the British Library, Shakespeare's Globe, museums and other research centres.

Facts and figures

The English department at Brunel University London is one of the best in the UK for teaching quality, research and student satisfaction. We were ranked 11th in the UK in the Guardian League Tables 2016.

Brunel has a growing reputation for its teaching and research in the fields of Contemporary Literature and Creative Writing, and for its work in the areas of Renaissance Studies, Nineteenth Century Literature, and Postcolonial Studies.

We offer innovative courses across a broad range of periods and genres covering a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional texts, all taught by enthusiastic staff who are specialists in their fields.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £6,935 part-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £15,400 full-time

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International fees will increase annually, by no more than 5% or RPI (Retail Price Index), whichever is the greater.

There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about undergraduate student funding options.