5 reasons to study English Literature

Bronte museum
English Literature students visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Studying for an English Literature degree allows you to develop a thorough knowledge of literary history, theory, and criticism, and enhances your understanding of a wide range of cultures and intellectual traditions. However, it also helps you to develop transferable skills that are highly sought by a wide range of employers.

LJMU’s English Literature degree is designed and taught by scholars who are committed to developing your subject-specific knowledge as well as your wider skills and job prospects.

Roger Williamson came to LJMU as a mature student:

“I chose to study English Literature at LJMU for the variety of texts offered on the course. When I compared similar courses offered by other universities, LJMU’s English Literature degree promised a healthy number of non-canonical texts to supplement the accepted classics. Personally, I have found the lectures and seminars intellectually stimulating and my tutors, broad-minded.”

Here are five big reasons why you should choose to study English Literature at university and for choosing LJMU in particular:

1. It teaches you to think critically about complex topics from different perspectives

This is a skill that we pay particular attention to at LJMU. For example, in your first year you’ll learn how to consider literary texts from a number of different theoretical perspectives.

2. It broadens your horizons

At LJMU our definition of ‘literature’ is particularly broad. Texts that we teach include literary classics such as Paradise Lost and Shakespeare’s plays, but they also include, for example, working-class writing, slave narratives, protest literature and prison testimonies. As well as teaching modules that focus on particular periods and genres, we also teach modules that focus on, for example, madness, masculinity, adolescence, place and belonging, terrorism, race in America and the crisis of contemporary capitalism.

3. It enables you to develop transferable skills

Our teaching and assessment methods help you to develop the skills that employers are looking for. Of course, writing essays allows you to develop skills such as carrying out research, developing persuasive arguments and writing in a coherent, articulate way, all of which are important to employers. However, on an English Literature degree at LJMU you’ll do a lot more than write essays. For example, in your first year you’ll help to lead part of a seminar – in a small group, you’ll plan and lead discussions and activities, which is another crucial skill for employers. Other assessments include annotated bibliographies (which help you to develop skills such as report-writing and summarising complex information in a concise way), group presentations (which help you to develop your presentation skills and your ability to work in a team), and close readings of short passages (which help you to develop your ability to analyse details). Some modules also develop your digital skills by giving you the opportunity to engage in collaborative blogging and make contributions to online archives.

4. It provides exciting placement and travel opportunities

Students who take our English Work Experience module take up placements in, for example, teaching, international development, charities, tourism, the media, creative industries and heritage. Our students also have opportunities to study and work abroad through, for example, our Working in the USA module and the Erasmus+ scheme.

5. You'll be learning with the best

Our course is ranked as one of the top English Literature degrees in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS) – with an average 92% student satisfaction over the last five years.


Literature students take a field trip to St Michael and All Angels' Church in Haworth, the final resting place of the Brontë sisters.

Beti Thomas chose to study English Literature at LJMU:

“Language, and how we use it, has always been something that has fascinated me. This was obvious in school as this is something I excelled in (maths was definitely not my forte). With this in mind, I knew I wanted to proceed in doing an undergraduate degree in English, but why did I choose LJMU? I had plans to visit other universities, but as soon as I came to an LJMU Open Day, I stopped looking. This was the university for me. I loved the fact that LJMU is a city-based campus, which enabled someone like me, who is relatively independent to get a taste of student life as well as feeling integrated in the Liverpool community. The English Literature degree at LJMU is different from any other I had looked at. The creativity and freedom within the modules is refreshing, as they have enabled me to play to my strengths and interests in other areas also, such as history and politics.”

Learn more about the BA English Literature degree and the range of option modules available.

Find out what lecturers from the English department had to say about the books that LJMU students voted as their favourite.


LJMU backdrop to author Aimée's big break


LJMU strongly backs English at degree level


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