Students Staff

Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

English and Comparative Literature

Wall of colourful books

Undergraduate courses

Our undergraduate courses focus on the study of English, comparative, and world literature across a broad range of genres and time periods. We teach you to develop a deeper understanding of texts through an emphasis on close reading combined with the exploration of a variety of theoretical approaches, as well as the historical and cultural contexts in which works are produced.

You can study literature as a single honours degree or in combination with other subjects as a joint honours degree. Courses are three years of full-time study and can also be taken as a four-year option including a year of study abroad.

  • BA English Literature

    Our BA English Literature encompasses the study of a wide variety of English and world literature, from Shakespeare to Romanticism and Modernism, as well as European, American, and Caribbean literature. The course is structured around core modules including Early Modern literature, literary theory, the Enlightenment, and modernity, which you can combine with a range of specialist optional modules that allow you to study the subjects and writers that particularly interest you.

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA English and United States Literature

    Our BA English and United States Literature combines the focused study of both English and United States literatures across genres and time periods and draws on our Department’s long-established research expertise in American literary studies. The course is structured around core literature and theory modules, including a number dedicated to examining US literature from the nineteenth century to the present, encompassing writers such as Frederick Douglas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway and William Faulkner. Additionally, you choose from a range of optional modules allowing you to direct your study according to the subjects and writers that interest you.

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA Literature and Creative Writing

    BA Literature and Creative Writing allows you to combine the study of English and world literature with creative writing and draws on our rich intedisciplinary expertise across these areas.

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA Drama and Literature

    Our BA Drama and Literature encompasses the study of a broad range of drama and English literature, allowing you to benefit from the combined expertise of our Department’s established theatre practitioners and leading literature specialists. Dedicated core modules in both drama and literature provide a comprehensive understanding of the development of European theatre within the context of literary history and theory, from Ancient Greece to the present. These are supplemented by optional modules, which you can choose according to your interests in each area, and you can also enhance your studies by becoming involved with our University’s Lakeside Theatre.

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA Film Studies and Literature

    Our BA Film Studies and Literature focuses on the comparative study of the historical and aesthetic relations between film and literature across genres and time periods. You will benefit from our Department’s uniquely interdisciplinary approach which draws on extensive expertise in film theory and practice alongside a wide range of literature specialisms including American, European and Caribbean literature, postcolonial writing, adaptation and translation, as well as Shakespeare and myth.

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

Courses with other departments

  • BA English Language and Literature

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA History and Literature

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA Philosophy and Literature

    Read the full course description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA Literature and Sociology

    Read the full description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

  • BA Literature and Art History

    Read the full description on our Course Finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take as part of your course.

Undergraduate pathways

If you don't meet our standard undergraduate entry requirements, our Essex Pathways Department offers undergraduate pathways that equip you with the necessary academic and English language skills to enable you to progress to an undergraduate literature course.

Languages for All

Our Languages for All scheme allows you to study a language alongside your course at no extra cost.

How to apply

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for a course in literature, creative writing, drama, film studies or journalism. We can provide help and advice, and guide you through the application process.

UG Open Days

Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.

Study abroad

Study abroad

Our courses give you a variety of options to study abroad, including spending a term or a whole year at one of our partner universities around the world.

Careers and skills

Careers and skills

We offer a variety of careers support to help with professional development during your time at Essex and with finding employment or further study after you graduate.