English Literature

Course Information

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN530
CAO Points Range 2019: 348
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 200

Leaving Certificate:

O6/H7 in English, Irish, a third language and three other recognised subjects.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

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 Degree in English is for you.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Our English graduates have found employment in:

  • Broadcasting and Journalism
  • Cultural Production and Arts Management
  • Public Relations
  • Business / Finance
  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Policymaking
  • Teaching
  • Heritage
  • Management Consultancy
  • Tourism
  • Humanities Research, and many other areas.

There are a wide range of MA Programmes available in the School of English, Drama and Film, as well as opportunities for MPhil and PhD study. MA programmes include:

  • Literature and Culture (with specialisms in American)
  • Gender, Sexuality and Culture
  • Medieval
  • Modern and Contemporary Renaissance
  • Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama
  • Creative Writing.

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

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 – learning how the meanings of literary texts change and renew across time and space.

First Year

  • Literature in Context 1 & 2
  • Contemporary Irish Writing
  • Literary Genre
  • How to Read Poetry
  • Writing the Body
  • Critical Reading / Creative Writing
  • Literature and the Marketplace.

Second Year

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

For detailed information on subject content click here.

Third Year

Choose from a wide range of specialist modules in different literary fields, including: Literature and Science, Architecture and Narrative, Yeats and the Arts, Theatres of Change, Global Science Fiction, Masculinities and Manhood, Contemporary Irish Women’s Poetry, Global Eco-Literature, Making Shakespeare, and many others. Students may choose to study abroad or apply for an Internship.

Fourth Year

  • 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.

International Study Opportunities

We offer a number of Erasmus and Study Aroad 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
  • University of Barcelona, Spain
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • University of Miami, USA
  • University of Otago, New Zealand.


“My undergraduate studies in the English Literature programme were highly rewarding. Our small course size meant that we all got to know each other well, and came to value the opportunity to share ideas in a supportive environment. It also allowed us to work closely with the exceptional faculty members, who were always available for individual guidance and encouraged us along any path we wished to follow. Overall, the programme enabled me to develop vital abilities for postgraduate study and further research. These skills will be of paramount importance to me in my upcoming MA studies and throughout my professional life. “

Asia Hart-Eason, Graduate

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