Study some of the world's greatest literature, ranging from the classics to the contemporary. You'll have the freedom to explore your own interests while developing your critical thinking and analytical skills in this flexible degree, taught by world-leading experts at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Learn from leading experts
Our English degrees are developed and taught by the Department of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, one of the UK's top creative universities. Their academics' approach to learning will encourage you to explore ideas, challenge boundaries, investigate fresh ways of thinking and stretch your mind intellectually and creatively.
Explore your interests; discover new ones
This cutting-edge degree spans centuries, genres and geographies to introduce you to a wide variety of writers and texts, from Chaucer to Toni Morrison. Tailor your degree to your interests through a range of optional modules, including options in creative writing.
Unparalleled learning resources at your fingertips
Enrich your learning experience with a wealth of online resources. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) gives you access to all the study materials you need, including audio lectures, revision guides and forums to connect with other students, while the Online Library contains millions of academic publications for you to explore.
Study online anywhere in the world
Online learning means you can fit your studies around your existing commitments and gain a University of London degree from anywhere in the world. Study at your own pace, in your own time, and take your exams when you're ready.
Support every step of the way
Learn fully online or enrol at a Recognised Teaching Centre near you for face-to-face academic support. Either way, our specialist tutors are always on hand: all modules have a subject convenor to help you with module-specific queries, and a dedicated Learning Support Co-ordinator provides additional support through the VLE.
General entry requirements
The degree covers a broad chronology, and offers interdisciplinary options with fields including linguistics, media, and gender studies. Popular courses such as 'Postcolonial Literatures in English' and 'American Literature' reflect exciting new approaches to English studies.
The programme is available to be studied as a full bachelor’s degree, a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE).
You complete 12 courses for the BA:
Four courses from Level 4, four courses from Level 5 and four courses from Level 6.
You complete eight courses for the DipHE:
Four courses from Level 4 and four courses from Level 5.
You complete four courses for the CertHE:
Four courses from Level 4.
View programme structure below
Most courses can be studied individually on a stand-alone basis, subject to availability.
The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what courses you can choose and the order in which they must be studied.
Level 4 - Compulsory courses
Level 4 - Two courses from (BA, DipHE & CertHE)
Level 5 - Two courses from
Level 5 - Two courses from
Level 6 (BA only)
Distance learning offers you the flexibility to balance your studies with your existing commitments. For the BA English, we supply learning materials which are specially designed for independent study. You will also have access to a significant range of online resources, including a fully supported Virtual Learning Environment and online library.
We provide the core study materials you need to complete the degree. These include a Programme Handbook of practical information (such as how to enter exams), subject guides for each course you choose, and past exam papers and commentaries, which give you valuable tips for performing well in exams. Sample study materials are available on Level 4 course pages.
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
- The Online Library. As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the Online Library. You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.
Senate House Library
- If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit Senate House Library. Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources.
When you begin your studies, you will be assigned a tutor group for each Level 4 course. The tutor provides monthly online discussion forums, which run over the course of five months.
For Levels 5/6, you receive a more flexible pattern of support to suit your interests. You’ll be able to participate in subject-specific e-seminars and submit up to four practice essays per year for feedback.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.
You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
All courses are assessed by an unseen written exam (except ‘Introduction to Creative Writing’, which is assessed by coursework). You also submit a formative piece of work for all Level 4 English courses.
Exams are held in May each year. You can sit these when you are ready at one of our 400 examination centres. A fee is payable to your local centre for hosting the exams.
Goldsmiths brings creative and unconventional approaches to its teaching. Graduates of the University include Damien Hirst, and four other Turner Prize winners.
The Department of English and Comparative Literature draws on the energies and high standards of its academic team, who combine a core of modern specialisms with coverage of literature down the centuries.
Dr Sarah Barnsley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths. Her teaching and research interests lie in American literature, modernism, poetry and creative writing. Dr Barnsley’s current projects include an edition of Mary Barnard’s Complete Poems, a literary biography of May Swenson, and a collection of her own poems.
|Programme starts||November 2023|
What qualifications do you need?
For access to the BA English and DipHE English, you will usually meet the following criteria:
- Age 17+ by 30 November in the year of registration
- Satisfy our General Entrance Requirements.
- A Level English (pass) or equivalent.
For access to the CertHE English:
- Age 18+ by 01 September in the year of registration.
- Three GCSEs (at Grade A*-C / 9-4) or equivalent.
For access to individual courses:
- As CertHE except minimum age requirement (17+ by 30 November in year of registration).
Even if you do not meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits. Our Admissions Panel will consider whether any alternative/incomplete qualifications or work experience you have are suitable for entry to the programme. If we are unable to issue you an offer for either the BD, DipHE or CertHE routes then if available we will advise on further alternatives such as our International Foundation Programme or on additional qualifications you need to take in order to meet our minimum entrance criteria.
English language requirements
You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content, level and standard to our English modules, you might be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This process is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award.
To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying online. Alternatively, this can be done through an online enquiry once you have submitted your application.
You may apply for RPL for up to four Level 4 courses on the BA English or you may apply for RPL for up to three Level 4 courses on the DipHE English. You cannot apply for RPL via the CertHE English route.
We will not consider any application for RPL if you have already entered the exam for the course concerned.
More about Recognition of Prior Learning and the application process
Your qualifications will need to be assessed by specialist academics on a case by case basis, before we can approve recognition and accreditation of Prior Learning. This is called discretionary RPL and involves a non-refundable application fee.
You will need to be eligible to study the programme and will need to provide the following for your RPL application to be considered: a completed RPL request form, the supporting documentary evidence (normally a transcript and syllabus of your previous studies) and the fee payable.
Note: The application/request for Discretionary RPL and all required supporting evidence must be received before the deadlines stated, in the year that you apply, to be processed.
|November 2023 intake|
|Submit RPL request by||21 September 2023|
|Submit supporting evidence by||16 October 2023|
Further information on rules regarding RPL is covered in the Recognition of Prior Learning section of the appropriate Programme Regulations and Section 3 of the General Regulations.
Fees, funding and payment
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page.
|BA / DipHE / CertHE|
|Application fee (non-refundable)||£107|
|Continuing registration fee||£1162|
|Examination fee per course||£550|
|Online examination fee*||£10|
|Recognition of Prior Learning application (per course)||£119|
|Indicative total: BA English||£9440|
|Indicative total: DipHE English||£6435|
|Indicative total: CertHE English||£3570|
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.
|Individual courses (stand-alone)||2023-2024|
|Application fee (non-refundable)||£107|
|Composite fee (registration plus one exam entry)||£815|
The indicative totals reflect average fee increases and assume that you complete your qualification within the minimum time (without resits).
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions. This fee will be charged at the point of exam entry and is in addition to the exam entry fee listed above.
See the Course Regulations for more details.
You may also need to budget for:
- Textbooks (could extend to around £400 per year)
- Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.
Studying English equips you with transferable skills that can be used in a wide range of contexts. You will be able to understand and analyse complex ideas and to present your ideas clearly and logically.
This will give you a sound basis for a career in areas such as teaching, research, advertising and marketing, media and journalism (including radio and television).
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.
Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.
“My personal highlight was developing active inquiry skills on multiple subjects, which honed my critical thinking and communication skills dramatically.”
“The experience of studying authors from different periods and taking the course modules, particularly creative writing, inspired me.”
Maria Carmen Olle Tarrant
“It has given me a lot more confidence in many aspects of my work, and made me consider different avenues. ”