English Literature

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

overlay image

Course Video

Curricular information is subject to change.

Open All
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
  • Comics & Fantasy

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
  • Modern Drama.

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.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

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

“Aside from the general fun to be had in college, and in UCD probably more so than others, the inherent value of literature is what drew me to this course. It forces you to use your own imagination, in conjunction with someone else’s to create real beauty and feelings out of thin air. New ideas and ways to think about literature have certainly been supplied to me here. Furthermore, literature is about life, and learning to think and write about human beings and the things they deal with. Humans are the only thing that really matters in this world and everyone irrespective of their future career will be enriched by doing this course. The skills I am acquiring make me not just a better worker but more importantly, a better person.”

Harry Melessanakis, Student

Contact Information

UCD School of English, Drama & Film
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716 8323
Email: nicholas.daly@ucd.ie

Skip to content