Studying English at York

The study of English brings both the pleasures of reading and the challenges of understanding human culture: it offers access to a vibrant array of literature and ideas, and asks students to embrace new ways of thinking about the world and new possibilities of expression. 

No discipline equips its students better to understand and interpret a wide range of texts, whether literary, historical, political, or social, or to formulate articulate and persuasive responses to a range of challenges and questions. 

Why English at York?

Why English at York?

Flexible undergraduate degrees

I wanted to spend three years being taught by academics who were excited about literature and the buzz surrounding the department was tangible.

Gemma-Jane, English

Here at York, we offer a flexible and wide-ranging course that will encourage you to engage analytically both with the texts you read and with your own practice as a critic and reader.  Students can choose from a breathtaking range of modules to match and develop their interests.  We cover an astonishing array of literature from the classical and medieval periods up to the twenty-first century, with opportunities to study literature from around the world. Both drama and film modules are also featured within our degree. 

Our programme of study culminates in the opportunity to explore your interests in depth in an extended dissertation, supervised by an expert in the field.

Focused, supportive teaching

Our teaching takes many forms, but the majority of students’ contact hours are in small group seminars that are driven by discussion.  These are supported by larger lectures and workshops, as well as ample opportunities for one-to-one consultation with staff in open office hours.  We employ a variety of assessment methods throughout our undergraduate degree, with an emphasis on essays written in the student’s own time rather than closed examinations.  

Every student at York is assigned a personal supervisor who is available for advice and support on any aspect of university life.

Cosmopolitan outlook

The York undergraduate degree stands out in offering a wide historical range alongside a broad array of specialised, research-driven modules. We are distinctive in inviting students to get to grips with literatures from across the globe, including literatures in English from around the world as well as opportunities to study foreign literatures both in translation and in their original language. 

Our students are cosmopolitan in their intellectual interests, and feel thoroughly supported to navigate previously unfamiliar literatures, and to recognise the importance of understanding the international as well as the historical heritage of the English literary tradition.


Both our research and our teaching bridge the traditional divide between English and its neighbouring academic subjects. We’re a major partner in six interdisciplinary centres at York, and at undergraduate level participate in five combined degrees.

A vibrant research culture with an international reputation

The Department of English and Related Literature is an exceptionally lively and creative department.  We’re the UK’s No. 1 English Department for world-leading research, meaning that our students learn in the most stimulating and exciting academic environment possible.

Course information

Course information

We offer a stimulating range of courses: single-subject English, and combined courses with the Departments of History, History of Art, Language and Linguistic Science, Philosophy, and Politics. 

Whichever course you study, you’ll choose your English modules from a range that covers literature from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century.

Our courses

Course titleDurationUCAS Code
BA English 3 years Q300
Combined degrees
BA English/History 3 years QV31
BA English/History of Art 3 years QV33
BA English/Linguistics 3 years QQ31
BA English/Philosophy 3 years QV35
BA English/Politics 3 years QL32


Studying at York

Studying at York

Studying at York is a unique experience. Our academic quality, campus community, supportive staff and beautiful city make us an increasingly popular choice among students from a variety of backgrounds.

Students can participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and will be offered the chance to develop interests in creative writingmusic and dramajournalism, and a host of other activities.

Life at the University

It’s a lot of fun studying at York, and there are so many societies to join and things to do that there really is something here for everyone.

Caius, English

The University’s main campus is in Heslington, on the edge of the city. Here, colleges and departments are grouped around a large lake in 200 acres of landscaped parkland, creating a welcoming community feel. The Department of English and Related Literature is based in Derwent College.

The college system breaks the university into smaller units, making it easy to meet people and make friends. York thus combines the advantages of a university large enough to provide a vibrant social and cultural environment with those of a smaller community able to be welcoming and friendly to its students.

The City of York

York has been an important political, cultural, religious and trading centre since Roman times, but it is more than just an historic city. With a population of approximately 180,000, York is a university town that’s big enough to feel cosmopolitan but small enough not to be overwhelming.

York is centrally located in the UK, midway between the major capitals of London and Edinburgh, with excellent transport links. We’re just two hours from London by train, and well served by international airports at nearby Leeds and Manchester.

English students enjoying books in the city centre

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