Part-time degree in English Literature and Community Engagement

Welcome to our flagship part-time programme, the BA in English Literature and Community Engagement (ELCE). This degree is aimed at those who may need to balance full-time work or other commitments alongside their studies. No prior qualifications are needed for entry.

Flexible, inclusive access and learning

The BA in English Literature and Community Engagement (ELCE) offers students the opportunity to gain a University of Bristol undergraduate degree by studying one night per week. The course is inclusive to all age ranges and encourages applications from those aged 21 and over at the time of enrolment. Applications from those with no prior educational experience or those wanting to return to education are also encouraged. The BA in ELCE is designed to give students the flexible opportunity they need to pursue undergraduate study as a mature learner.

What you will study

On the BA in English Literature and Community Engagement, students have the opportunity to study literatures from throughout history and across the globe, as well as exploring the role of literature in society through a community-engaged project.

Through period modules, students are introduced to literature from the Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration, Romantic, Victorian, Modern and Contemporary eras, while thematic units explore subjects, such as American Literature or the Politics of Gender, and genres, like Poetry and the Short Story.

The community engagement aspect of the degree supports students to learn how literature can benefit society. The modules taught think through how the arts, and specifically literature, can make a contribution to the wider community, as well as a student’s own local community. Students also receive practical support and guidance for their community-engaged project.


The course benefits from a unique lower tuition fee and meets the criteria for funding from Student Finance England. Prospective students can apply for both a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan.


Please direct any enquiries to:
Craig Savage
Programme Director (Acting)
t: 0117 428 3747

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A classroom full of mature students Start with something shorter

Before embarking on the full BA course, you may be interested in our short preparatory course Reading English Literature. Please see our page on short courses.  

My university life has been a rollercoaster ride. My eyes have been opened to things I thought were not for someone like me.

Judith Davis

Applying for the course

Applications to the BA in English Literature and Community Engagement (ELCE) are suspended for entry in 2024-25 while the programme goes through a review cycle. Please check back here for further updates about student recruitment to the ELCE programme in 2025-26.

Jen's story

“I always wanted to go to university but the right time and the right opportunities did not present themselves when I was younger. That all changed when I came across an ELCE flyer at my local Sainsbury's. The programme ticked all the boxes: no previous qualifications, part time and evening study and, most importantly, the prospect of studying the books taught on the course.

“ELCE radically transformed my life. I discovered I had an undiagnosed learning difficulty: dyspraxia. Disability Services were a tremendous support. ELCE helped me realise that was capable of academic work and that I could learn in a way that suits me. The course amplified my love of literature and reading, gave me confidence and developed so many of the skills I use in my working life. I’d recommend ELCE to anyone!”

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