English literature is the study of literature written in the English language. It explores human experience and imagination as it has been expressed in written form over more than five centuries. It also affords insight into how rhetorical structures of narrative and metaphor shape everyone’s perception of the world.
In first and second years you will study three literary genres – poetry, drama and prose fiction – from Shakespeare to the present.
You will be introduced to literary genres (poetry, the novel and narratives, and drama) in terms of their history, the theories that literary criticism has developed to talk about them, and the technical features they deploy. At the same time you will be introduced to essential skills in the study of literature, including using theory and close reading, and will be encouraged to develop skills in writing and talking about literature.
The writers studied in recent years include Shakespeare, Defoe, Woolf, Twain, Walcott, Rich, Beckett, Austen, Donne, Shelley and Dickinson.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In second year you will build on your reading and analytical skills, applying these to more conceptually challenging texts. You will examine the relationship between literature and notions such as place, period/time, and genre and consider how a selection of novels, poems and plays engage with and complicate their historical, social, cultural and political contexts.
Writers studied in recent years include Milton, Swift, Conrad, Achebe, Spark, James and Bronte.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
The University is home to the highly regarded Edwin Morgan Centre for Creative Writing. Professional writers are in residence and can provide advice and encouragement.
Glasgow maintains agreements with a range of universities in North America as well as further afield. As well as sending students to the University of British Columbia (in Vancouver) and SUNY Albany (in the USA), in recent years we have also sent students to Hong Kong, Otago (in New Zealand) and Melbourne.
An Honours degree in English Literature opens up a wide range of career opportunities, such as administration, journalism and publishing, marketing, management, teaching (at home or overseas), public relations, accountancy and media research.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including English and a humanities subject or a language (including Gaelic) at grades A/B or B/A) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Please note that Advanced Highers in subjects where grades A or B have already been attained at Higher will not be double-counted. English and a humanities subject/language at grades A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AABB or ABBB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.