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 6pm to 8.45pm, starting 10th March 2021 with a break for Easter.

10th March - 7th July 2021


Online until Easter, with the possibility to progress into blended learning (in-person sessions alongside an online-only option) during the summer months.


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: Introduction: What is ‘English Literature'?
Week 2: Ways of Writing and Reading
Week 3: ‘The art of thinking’ I
Week 4: Reading Skills
Week 5: 'The art of thinking' II
Week 6: Art in the Marketplace
Weeks 7 & 8: Shakespeare
Week 9: Writing Skills
Week 10: Shakespeare
Weeks 11 & 12: Poetry in Time
Week 13: The Empire Writes Back
Week 14: Feminist Fictions

Reading examples:

  • Dylan Thomas, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’  
  • Salman Rushdie, ‘Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies’
  • Mary Shelley, excerpts from Rambles in Germany and Italy
  • Shakespeare, Macbeth 
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ‘Body’s Beauty’
  • Lord Kitchener, ‘London is the place for me’
  • Angela Carter, ‘The Company of Wolves’
Course fee Course Fee £350. Payment can be made in instalments. Students from low income backgrounds are welcome to apply for funding support.

Application deadline: 28th February 2021

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

Applications are now closed

Please email to receive information about Reading English Literature starting in academic year 2021/22. 


Please address any enquiries about the courses to:

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

Tel: 0117 928 8924

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