English Literature

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

Are you an enthusiastic reader and writer who wants to immerse yourself in literature ranging from Old English to new writing being published today? Do you want to explore the radical potential of novels, plays and poems to change lives? Would you like to analyse literary concepts and forms deeply, to creatively connect ideas across a wide range of cultures, periods, genres and media, and to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills to an advanced level? Would you like to study with world-class researchers and teachers, and develop your own unique research project? If so, the BA Humanities in English Literature is for you.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

You will study texts ranging from the Old English, medieval and early modern periods to the nineteenth and through to the twenty-first century – writing which extends across national boundaries and regions, from British to Irish to American to World Literature, and covering multiple genres. You will explore literary production, value and impact – how fiction, poetry and drama are inspired, shaped, released and received in particular historical and cultural contexts. You will learn how the meanings of literary texts change and renew across time and space.

First Year

Modules include:

  • Reading World Literature
  • Literature & Crisis
  • Contemporary Irish Writing
  • Literary Genre
  • How to Read Poetry
  • Writing the Body
  • Comics & Fantasy
  • Literature and the Marketplace.

Second Year

You will take an interdisciplinary core module based in UCD Special Collections archives and choose from other modules including:

  • Critical Theory
  • Reading Medieval Literature
  • Reading Old English
  • Spenser in Ireland
  • Irish Literature in English
  • Modern American Literature
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Romanticism
  • Victorian to Modern Literature
  • Twentieth-Century Drama.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

Third Year

You will choose from a range of options that will enable you to broaden your horizons and enrich your academic experience:

  • Apply for a competitive internship in an area that interests you and/or relates to your area of study.
  • Study abroad for a trimester/year to develop your language skills and immerse yourself in a new culture.
  • Deepen your knowledge by studying a dedicated range of English Literature modules in different literary fields, including: Literature & Science, Architecture & Narrative, Yeats & the Arts, Theatres of Change, Global Science Fiction, Masculinities & Manhood, Contemporary Irish Women’s Poetry, Global Eco-Literature, Making Shakespeare, and others.

Fourth Year

Modules include:

Modules include: Dissertation, World Literature in English, Advanced Medieval Literature, Plus specialised option modules on: Austen, Shakespeare, Joyce, McDonagh, Heaney, Chaucer, Synge, McPherson, Talking Animals, the Crime Novel, Post-War US Theatre, Canadian Fiction, and many others.

You may be interested in the following Blog posts: Here from a final year student studying English Literature. 

International Study Opportunities

We offer a number of Erasmus and Study Abroad opportunities, including at: Albert- Ludwigs-Universität, Frieburg, Germany; Université Sorbonne (Paris IV), France; University of Turin, Italy; University of Verona, Italy; University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; University of Coimbra, Portugal; and many more.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Our English graduates have found employment in: Journalism, Arts Management, Public Relations, Business and Finance, Publishing, Law, Politics, Policymaking, Teaching, Heritage, Management Consultancy, Tourism, Marketing, Humanities Research, and many other areas.

Graduates are prepared for the wide range of MA Programmes in the UCD School of English, Drama and Film, as well as opportunities for MPhil and PhD study.

See www.ucd.ie/englishdramafilm/study/postgraduate for more detail.

Other Entry Routes

“Studying English Literature at UCD has been an extremely rewarding experience. Getting to engage with classic literature in all of its forms has truly broadened my world view and improved my critical thinking and writing skills. It has also enabled me to learn about history, philosophy and culture through a literary lens. Studying English Literature is perfect for those students who wish to engage with passionate staff members in a great mixture of both small group learning and large lectures. This course also gives you the opportunity to apply for an internship. I thoroughly enjoyed a trimester working as a producer in an experimental theatre company in my third year. “

Peyton Tuomi, Student

Contact Information

UCD School of English, Drama & Film
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716 8323
Email: pauline.slattery@ucd.ie

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