Reading English Literature

This course aims to be an enjoyable introduction to the study of classic and modern literature. Share your ideas, explore poetry and gain a greater understanding of Shakespeare.


15 Wednesday evenings 6 pm to 8:45pm, starting 26 January 2022 with breaks for half-term and Easter.

26 January to 1 June 2022


26 January to 30 March 2022 at the Arts Complex, University of Bristol main campus.

27 April to 1 June 2022 at the Barton Hill micro-campus in East Bristol. 


Reading English Literature is a short 40 credit course designed to help mature students progress to a part-time degree in the English department or to explore other opportunities for further study. It enables students to develop skills in literary study, critical thinking and essay-writing.

Students will have full access to the University library, student study centres and student support services.

Course outline 

Week 1:
'Head of English' by Carol Ann Duffy
'Do not go gentle into that good night' by Benjamin Zephaniah
Week 2:
'Charles' by Shirley Jackson
'Who is Like God' by Akwaeke Emezi
Week 3:
'Goblin Market' by Christina Rossetti
'Body's Beauty' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Week 4: Reading Skills
Week 5: excerpts from Letters Written in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft 
Weeks 6 - 8: Shakespeare's Macbeth 
Week 9: Writing Skills
Week 10:
excerpts from Exile and Pride by Eli Clare
excerpts from Zami, a new spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
Week 11: Poetry in Time - medieval lyric to Nineteenth Century
Week 12: Poetry in Time - early Nineteenth Century to the modern period
Week 13: 
Girl by Jamaica Kinkaid
The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Machado
Week 14:
'Colonisation in Reverse' by Louise Bennet-Coverly
'London is the place for me' by Lord Kitchener
Week 15:
The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson

Course fee

Course Fee £360. Payment can be made in instalments. 

Students from low income backgrounds are welcome to apply for funding support. Click here to download the funding guidance document: Funding Guidance - REL & WIH 2021-22 (PDF, 71kB)


Application deadline: 15 January 2022

Previous qualifications/experience No qualifications needed. Open to the public.

Applications for the 2021-22 intake have now closed

To register your interest in this course, please click here


Please address any enquiries about the courses to:

Department of English Part-time Courses
School of Humanities
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB

Tel: 0117 928 8924

The REL course has been illuminating and enabled me to think about texts in much more depth. I have been introduced to literature that has really interested me and has contributed to many more ideas, whether it be from the writing of Mary Wollstonecraft or intensely focussing on the language in poetry. I have found the expertise of each tutor to be equally valuable and have benefitted from every session. The tutors have been patient and have taken much trouble to ensure that I feel confident to make comments and have responded encouragingly.

Reading English Literature student, 2021
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