English Literary Studies


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 1 year, Part time 2 years


Top reasons to study with us

  • Enjoy literary events in Lancaster's Castle Quarter

  • Partners with Wordsworth Grasmere in the English Lake District

  • World Top 40 QS World Subject Rankings 2024 (English Language & Literature)

Why Lancaster?

  • Develop your own critical voice with support from widely published scholars and critics, including our Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry, Paul Muldoon
  • Get involved with our four student-run literary journals: Cake, Lux, Flash, and Errant
  • Be inspired by our rich programme of literary events on campus, online, and in the city’s historic Castle Quarter
  • Study close to the beautiful Lake District, home of the Romantic poets, and inspiration for many writers since
  • Develop a host of professional skills from within literary study such as researching, persuading and presenting

Literary study at Lancaster offers creative engagement with the very best of literature, from the medieval period to the present day. You can explore a range of texts from ancient myths and Renaissance sermons, through to nineteenth-century slave narratives, graphic novels, and video games.

Freedom to shape your study

Our flexible programme allows you to curate your study according to your interests. From William Shakespeare to Sally Rooney, you can carve your own pathway through the history of English Literature and create your own degree programme.

You can explore everything from poetry and novels to film and philosophy -- as well as produce your own works of critical-creative literature. Because of our commitment to innovative literary studies, you'll also have the option to explore important new debates in the field such as neoliberalism, decolonisation, and disability studies.

Supportive community
You’ll be taught in weekly small group seminars and have regular one-to-one sessions with your dissertation supervisor. We also encourage you to meet in person with all your tutors to discuss your work. You’ll have an academic advisor who you meet twice a term to review your progress.

Our academics are at the forefront of their fields, and you'll be among the first to hear about the latest research. You’ll be able to choose from a wide range of modules reflecting the department’s research strengths in topics that include science and medicine, Gothic and science fiction, and location and the environment.

You’ll also have the chance to take part in an academic conference here at Lancaster. Finally, every student will write their own dissertation on a literary subject of their choice, with the help of a supervisor.

You’ll have many opportunities to enhance your employability and create the connections you need to get a head start in your career.

You can get involved with our student-run magazines, and will also benefit from our rich programme of guest lectures and open seminars on campus and in the University Suite at Lancaster’s spectacular medieval Castle.

By the time you finish this course you will have an advanced understanding of literary and critical forms. From advertising to professional services, your skills will be sought after across many different sectors.

Graduates of this course go on to careers in areas such as :

  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Writing
  • Television and the media
  • Teaching
  • Librarianship

You may choose to continue your studies at PhD level to deepen your knowledge, and progress to an academic career. Graduates of this course have gone on to become academic researchers and teachers at universities throughout the world.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 degree in a related subject is normally required. We will also consider applications on an individual basis where you have a degree in other subjects, have a 2:2 or equivalent result or extensive relevant experience. You should clearly be able to demonstrate how your skills have prepared you for relevant discussions and assessments during postgraduate study.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Additional Requirements

As part of your application you also need to provide a sample of your academic writing about literature.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 7.0, and a minimum of 6.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email pgadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.


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Fees and funding

Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
Home £11,500 £5,750
International £23,875 £11,935

General fees and funding information

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Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.