Why study this course
English literature at Cardiff has long enjoyed an international reputation for its teaching and research, and Cardiff is a splendid city in which to spend your undergraduate years. Our commitment is to make those years intellectually stimulating and academically rewarding. We pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for our students.
Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. You will not be restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests. You will be encouraged to stretch yourself intellectually and imaginatively by exploring literature both as practitioners and critics.
There are no compulsory modules in English literature at Cardiff after year one. We give you choice, but we also give you the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions from a diverse range of options.
You will be taught by leading researchers in English literature in modules that reflect the cutting edge of the discipline. The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a careful, attentive, and informed reader and writer, sensitive to the nuances of language and style, and able to articulate responses to texts in writing which is precise, stylish, and effective.
The distinctive features of the course include:
- teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
- research-led teaching, enabling you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of the discipline
- flexibility - after year one there are no compulsory modules
- a reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment and digital technology
- a strong tradition in creative writing, taught by writers making their mark on today’s culture
Where you'll study
Powered by pioneering research, we celebrate curiosity, engage in informed debate and critical analysis, and encourage creative thinking - across and beyond our disciplines.
ABB-BBB including English Literature, English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. Please note, General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted.
Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
DD-DM in a BTEC Diploma in Humanities or Social Science subjects, plus Grade B at A-Level in English Literature, English Language and Literature (combined A-Level) or Creative Writing.
Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects including 6 at HL in English Literature, English Language and Literature, or English Literature and Performance.
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.
Trinity ISE II/III
II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.
Other accepted qualifications
Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.
GCSE English Language grade C/4.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
UK and EU students (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from outside the EU (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.
Many students wish to purchase their own copies of the primary literary texts for their modules. The cost of texts will vary depending on the module. However, a limited number of copies of set texts are also held in the University libraries. Alternatively, some modules offer ‘Readers’ (in paper or digital copies), which are free of charge.
Course specific equipment
You will not need any specific equipment.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
The programme is offered in full-time mode over three academic years. You will study a total of 360 credits (120 credits per year). You must pass each academic year before being allowed to proceed.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
You study 120 credits each year of your degree.
Year one is a foundation year, comprising core and optional modules, which are designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in years two and three.
You select six 20-credit modules from a range of categories that are based on period, genre or theme. There are no compulsory modules.
You will be reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts, while continuing to develop your critical methodologies and knowledge of the subject.
By your final year, you will have gained experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts.
You choose six 20-credit modules. The range of more specialised modules on offer engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts, both well-known and possibly less familiar to you. You have the option to undertake independent research on a subject of your choice through the Dissertation module.
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Learning and assessment
Teaching is by a combination of lectures and seminars, with all modules including seminar or small-group teaching. Each module presents a set of intellectual challenges which have in common a concern with the question of how to read the literary (or other cultural) text, and how to write about its significance and meanings. Teaching stresses the importance of the way texts interact with their contexts, and each module is designed to encourage you to focus on a number of specific texts and to prepare carefully a considered answer to specific topics dealt with in the module.
The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but may include interactive lectures, seminar discussions of prepared texts/topics, student individual or group presentations, small-group work within seminars, peer review in workshops, translation classes, formative writing exercises, journal entries, and film viewings. You are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable you to take a full part in these activities and are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate. In the final year of the degree, you have the option of researching and writing a 20-credit English Literature dissertation on a topic of particular interest to you.
How will I be supported?
You will be assigned a Personal Tutor and will meet with them for regular academic feedback meetings (one per semester). There is a form to fill in before each academic feedback meeting which is designed to help you reflect on the written feedback and the reasons for the marks you have received from the previous round of assessment. You will discuss this feedback and your reflections on it with your personal tutor, including your plans moving forward through the degree and beyond.
In addition, all staff have weekly office hours during teaching weeks, and you may make appointments to see your personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis about any issues. Staff may also be contacted by email. Details of the office hours and email addresses of staff are provided in the module guide for each module.
Key information for each module will be available on our virtual learning environment (Learning Central), together with appropriate additional learning resources, such as lecture notes and slides.
The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.
What skills will I practise and develop?
Knowledge & Understanding:
- Awareness of different literary periods, movements and genres and of the variety of English literature.
- Understanding of the importance of historical and cultural contexts.
- Ability to sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the workings of language and literary styles.
- Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating information.
- Knowledge of the critical issues and/or debates surrounding, or raised by, texts.
- Understanding of the shaping effects of historical and cultural circumstances on the production and meaning of texts.
- Knowledge of appropriate critical vocabulary and terminology.
- Ability to handle complex ideas with clarity.
- Ability to analyse and interpret material drawn from a diversity of literary periods.
- Ability to apply high level critical skills of close analysis to literary texts.
- Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.
Professional Practical Skills:
- Advanced communication skills (written and oral).
- Ability to give an efficient critical evaluation of documents in various styles.
- Ability to access, use and evaluate electronic data.
- Ability to interact effectively with others, in team or group work situations.
- Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.
- Ability to plan, organize, and deliver work to a deadline.
Careers and placements
Our graduates progress into a wide range of careers using the skills gained throughout their degrees. Some choose to pursue professions making direct use of their discipline expertise, while others enter the public or private sectors, from teaching to graduate-track management.
95% of the School’s 2016/17 graduates reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey).
Taking the Class of 2017 as our most recent example, graduates from the School have gone on to roles in education, HR, marketing, publishing, public relations, the civil service, the military, banking and insurance, and the charity sector, in first posts including Trainee Teacher, Marketing Assistant, Account Executive, Digital Editor and Editorial Assistant.
During your degree you can take full advantage of the wide-range of opportunities provided by the Careers Service.
- Crime Intelligence Analyst
We have an established portfolio of internships with Wales-based literary/cultural magazines for which students can apply. We offer an employability module which is available as an optional module in the second year of the programme.