Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them

- Approaching Fantasy Literature, from Fairy Tales to Harry Potter

Note that this is now an online course
Apply now (applications close 15 May 2021)

When completing the application form, please note the month of entry will be Sept 2020 as the summer programmes take place within the Sept 2020 - August 2021 Academic year

This online course will introduce you to fantasy and the fantastic, often defined as the "literature of the impossible".

We will survey key texts across different media (e.g. by J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin, as well as cinematic and TV fantasy), while exploring critical approaches and recent theoretical debates. You will also have an opportunity to try your hand at writing fantasy in a Creative Writing workshop.

Indicative Texts

  • J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
  • Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters
  • J.K. Rowling et al, The Harry Potter franchise (books, films, web texts, etc.)
  • Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, Monstress: Awakening (graphic novel)
  • A selection of short stories by contemporary diverse authors (e.g. N.K. Jemisin, Amal El Mohtar, etc.) 


  • Historicizing fantasy (long vs. short history, the fairy-tale tradition, fantasy’s futures)
  • Theorizing fantasy (key theorists introduced: Tolkien, Attebery, Mendlesohn)
  • Maps and worldbuilding in fantasy
  • Fantasy across media
  • Beyond Anglocentric Fantasy.

Fantastic texts and where to find them - find out why our international summer programme is a perfect introduction to the 'literature of the impossible'.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have some background in University-level English Literature study, ideally successful completion of an introductory literature course.

You must have

  • GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent)
  • you should be currently enrolled at an international higher education institution.

If your first language is not English, you must meet our minimum proficiency level:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training) overall score of 6.0, with no sub test less than 5.5
  • we also accept equivalent scores in other recognised qualifications such as ibTOEFL, CAE, CPE and more
  • visit eligibility

This is a guide, for further information email

What will you learn?

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Analyse (in writing and orally) main themes, structures and expectations of fantasy literature and the fantastic
  • Evaluate critically (in writing and orally) theoretical models and current critical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic
  • Analyse the ways works of fantasy are produced and received within their cultural and socio-historical contexts.

Fees and what's included

International summer school tuition fees are inclusive of 

  • Tuition will be taking place each day at either 12pm or 4pm BST
  • Academic transcript 
  • Virtual Classroom Teaching
  • Orientation.