English Literature here is taught to small groups by energetic and enthusiastic staff, led by Oxford-trained academics with international research profiles in 19th and 20th-century studies. Ideas developed in core seminars are taken forward in weekly small-group tutorials, where half a dozen students are encouraged to discuss and interpret specific passages of writing, under the watchful guidance of their tutor.
Our students are expected to read widely, and to develop strong lines of argument and personal responses to what they find, anchored in an informed understanding of the discipline and with reference to the critical debates that animate it.
The degree is structured around a combination of period study, thematic study, and modules inculcating theoretical and practical skills. Victorian literature modules cover prose from Dickens to Gaskell, and poetry from Browning to Hardy; twentieth-century literature topics range from Rhys, Hurston, Woolf, and Plath to Hemingway, Forster, Larkin, and Beckett. Shakespeare is one central focus. Other earlier writers who are studied include Marlowe, Donne, Webster, Herbert, Milton, Dryden, Centlivre, Swift, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Austen, Keats, and Shelley. You can explore some of the modules on this website. Thematic study encourages students to analyse contextually based on sociological variations, gender, contemporary politics, and psychological influences. We encourage the understanding of contemporary literary and cultural theory while never losing sight of the values of liberal/aesthetic education.
There are a wide variety of options in Psychology, including theoretical modules on personality, cognition, perception, social and developmental psychology and applied modules such as clinical psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, the psychology of crime and psychology of language. The range of psychology modules on offer allows the student to select the modules that best fit their needs and interests. The degree develops a portfolio of transferrable skills of great value to employers including lateral thinking, professional-level writing, rhetoric, presentation and knowledge of psychological theory and research.
Graduates have gone on to pursue careers in a variety of fields. Some have taken further their studies in one or other of the subject-fields.
Modules available on this course
The A-level (or equivalent) requirements for this course are shown in the silver box (above). Applicants must also have GCSE English and Maths at Grade C / Grade 4, or above (or equivalent).
Applicants with no previous knowledge of the chosen language must begin in September for a fast-track induction programme. To commence studies in January, applicants must have at least grade ‘C’ GCSE in their chosen language.
All of our undergraduate programmes operate a flexible entry process, and the Admissions Tutor is happy to consider entrants from all backgrounds with slightly lower qualifications, if they are able to demonstrate an alternative eligibility for the course. This may be in the form of relevant work experience, keen aptitude and a passion for the subject, or unlocked potential that you feel can be discovered through your studies at Buckingham. If you are uncertain whether you will be eligible to apply for this course, please contact the Admissions Team.
You may apply either through the national UCAS university admissions system, or at any time directly to the University using our own online application form. Our UCAS code is B90.
Because of our two-year degree we find that the age range of our student body varies between those who have recently completed A-levels (or equivalent) to more mature students. Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.
We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.
The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.
If English is not your first language, please check our undergraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.
Wherever possible, you will be invited to the University to meet the Admissions Tutor for an informal interview and to have a tour of our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so if the Admissions Tutor has any queries about your application you may be conducted by skype, email or phone.
The Admissions Assistant for English would be happy to answer any questions you may have:
Terms and conditions for prospective students
When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >
We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.
High calibre staff
Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.
Teaching is carried out through a combination of lectures supported by seminars, workshops, tutorials and informal one-to-one discussion.. A key feature of the Buckingham teaching method is the use of small tutorial groups which provide the most effective means of ensuring that the students benefit from the academic expertise at their disposal. It is also the philosophy of Buckingham’s faculty to be available to students outside the scheduled tutorial times and to encourage good working relationships between staff and students.
We believe in the surpassing value of the reading, discussing and understanding of great works of literature, not simply as processes that lead to higher levels of employability and the development of valuable critical skills (which they undoubtedly do) but as ends in themselves which are enriching and, ultimately, liberating.
The assessment of individual modules within each course varies according to the subject. Assessment is usually by examination, assessed coursework, or a combination of the two. Please check module information for more details.
Preparation for work
All our degree courses combine academic challenge with the transferable skills that will stand you in good stead for future employment. Many of our more vocationally-focused degrees offer the opportunity of work placements and experience in industry.
Our graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.
What our students and alumni say
“I started studying English Literature in October 2007 and immediately realised that the Department has a warm and friendly feel, where enthusiastic lecturers are always on hand to help. Owing to the small student population, the Department is able to offer small, informal tutorials that can lend a hand in putting you on the path to success. These are the reasons why I will be staying on at Buckingham to study for a postgraduate degree in English Literature by research.”
English Literature, 2009
“Having experienced the anonymity of the state university system, coming to Buckingham and immediately receiving attention from academic staff was a shock – as was their level of enthusiasm. It’s a real pleasure not simply to be lectured at, but to be positively encouraged to debate literature with world-class specialists.”
English Literature, 2010
“I wanted to study English Literature in England – where it all began! I doubted my capacity to survive financially or emotionally in any of the bigger centres. Buckingham’s snug rural setting seemed irresistible, as did the accelerated degree programme. In the event, my expectations were more than realised. My Oxford-trained lecturers are experts and published authors within their fields. But – more importantly – they are enthusiasts and educators of the first rank, showing an unfeigned interest in the personal advancement of every student. They taught me to weigh words in wholly new ways.”
English Literature, 2004
“Buckingham is a university with an intimate, supportive atmosphere that is hard to beat. Here you are not just another ‘number’ but an individual whose needs matter to all the staff – whether academic or domestic. If you have a problem there is always someone to talk it over with. My A-level tutor warmly advised me to attend this literature course, as she had been both student and lecturer here. Teaching staff here are passionate about their chosen fields and it shows! Being taught with enthusiasm is inspiring and it is primarily that which makes this university so special. Add an English riverside campus, fast track degrees, and access to scholarships, and you have an unbeatable package.”
English Literature, 2002
“The degree has been a wonderful experience. I’ve learnt about all aspects of writing in the English language as well as having the opportunity to research an area of special interest to me for my Dissertation. I’ve also studied with an enthusiastic, friendly and diverse group of students from all over the world. The best thing has been the people, staff and students. As far as I can gather, at nowhere else – except maybe Oxford and Cambridge – would you get the chance to have this much real, one-to-one interaction with lecturers.”
English Literature, 2008
“University can be a daunting prospect when you are not long out of school but the Buckingham English Department nurtures you and allows your personal talents to shine. I edited the university magazine and chaired the theatre group and I am now using the media component of my degree course as a springboard into desktop publishing which I adore.”
English Literature with Multimedia Journalism, 2004
“The tuition is fantastic, groups are tiny, very much a one-to-one situation – you couldn’t get better at Oxbridge. My passion for English combined with the international atmosphere at Buckingham has led me to a satisfying career teaching Business English at an international school in Bournemouth.”
English Literature, 2003
The following fee illustrations provide an insight into the cost savings which can be made by studying at the University of Buckingham.
You may also find it useful to visit the following fee related information on our site:
Students who graduate from the University and plan to continue their studies with a postgraduate degree at Buckingham can benefit from a very generous automatic discount on their fees:
- 33%, those with a first class honours degree from Buckingham
- 25%, those with a Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) degree from Buckingham
The following automatic awards are available to undergraduate Home students:
- High Achiever Scholarship
We offer a reduction of £2,000 on your tuition fees if you achieve AAB or above in your A levels (or equivalent) excluding General Studies. This scholarship is dependent on your making Buckingham your firm choice. It will be reviewed after your preliminary and subsequent examinations and will continue if your average mark is in the upper second or first class.
- Five Counties Scholarship
If you live in Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes), Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire or Oxfordshire, you will be entitled to a local scholarship of £2,000 per annum providing you meet the conditions of your offer. This scholarship is dependent on your making Buckingham your firm choice. You are not eligible for this award if you hold another scholarship from the University.
- Buckingham Bursaries
If, when you join the University, you are in receipt of a Maintenance Loan of £5,000 or more from Student Finance, you will receive a further bursary of £1,100 towards your tuition fees. This bursary may not be held with any other scholarship from the University (please note that because of the significant increase in the Five Counties Scholarship, this bursary is no longer awarded in addition).
An International Law Scholarship, worth up to 25% of the LLB international fees is available through our Law School.
Details of other scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page.
We guarantee on-campus accommodation to all new students for their first four terms of study, as long as it is booked and paid for in good time, so you’re assured of a safe and secure home from home when you arrive at the University. Most new students choose this option.
Living on campus enables you to become involved in University activities, make friends, and integrate with the University community. For some of you this will be your first time in the UK; for others it will be the first time living away from home – and independence brings its challenges as well as its excitements. Whatever your circumstances, we know how important it is for you to feel comfortable in your accommodation.
All our study bedrooms are fully furnished, centrally heated, and connected to the internet. With few exceptions they have a wash basin and small refrigerator. We have a large number of ensuite rooms, and are upgrading more rooms each year. There are shared kitchens for when you wish to cook for yourself.
Find out more
We recommend that all prospective students visit our campus if they are able to, and campus tours include a typical student room. Arrange a tour via your Admissions Officer.