Study with us
Our undergraduate courses cover a full range of English and world literature, from Milton and Shakespeare to romanticism, modernism and myth, and include opportunities to explore the literature of the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.
We offer a distinctively comparative and interdisciplinary approach to
the study of English and world literature. Our teaching draws on our
internationally recognised expertise across a range of research specialisms,
from Early Modern literature, including Shakespeare, to Romanticism and
Modernism, as well as European, American, and Caribbean literature.
Our undergraduate courses explore a full range of
literature - novels, poetry, and plays - as well as critical approaches to them.
We offer joint degrees including English with a particular focus on US literature, as well as the chance
to combine literature with creative writing, drama and film studies, among many other subjects.
At postgraduate level, our Masters courses
offer an intensive and in-depth focus on literature through a range of
specialist modules, including the history of the novel, African American
literature, myth and the unconscious, as well as environmental writing and
psychogeography. We have a large and active community of doctoral
researchers and welcome applications for PhD study.
Why literature at Essex?
Learn from leading names in literature
You will be taught by leading academic literature specialists with a wide range of expertise:
Literature research expertise
- Professor Sanja Bahun - Modernism, comparative and world literature, psychoanalysis,
women’s and gender studies, the arts and transitional justice
- Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli - Caribbean literatures, art and cinema,
border studies, contemporary poetry, Derek Walcott, postcolonial studies
- Professor John Gillies - Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, the
cultural poetics of space and place
- Dr Patricia Gillies - theoretical approaches to early modern literature
- Annecy Lax
- Professor Karin Littau - film adaptation, intermediality, comparative literature,
translation studies, silent cinema, history of reading
- Dr Roger Moss - self-reflexive fiction, rhetoric, Modernism, turn-of-the-century
and modernist representations of the “homosexual”
- Dr Susan Oliver - Romantic period, Scottish literature, transatlantic literature,
nature writing and ecocriticism
- Dr Jak Peake - Caribbean literature, African American literature, black British
writing, postcolonial and colonial writing, ecocriticism
- Dr Owen Robinson - literature and culture of the American south, contemporary
US literature, cultural geography
- Dr Jordan Savage - US literature, particularly modern and contemporary poetry
- Dr Deirdre Serjeantson - Early Modern literature, Petrarchism, Irish and Scottish
writing in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, manuscript studies
We also offer a range of interdisciplinary research expertise across drama and theatre studies,
film studies, journalism and creative writing.
Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott was Essex
Professor of Poetry from 2010 to 2013, and made annual visits to the department
to give special masterclasses and direct performances of his plays at the
University's Lakeside Theatre.
Your study environment
Throughout the year we hold weekly research
seminars and film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre, as well as hosting
conferences and symposia, allowing you to expand your horizons beyond what
you study on your course.
We regularly invite writers to give talks as part of our Writers at Essex
series and our University’s
Lakeside Theatre runs an exciting programme of plays as well as providing
opportunities for students to get involved through our Student Company and
Life after graduation
We have an excellent student support system to offer advice and guidance
during your studies, and to prepare you for success after graduation.
Our University's Employability and Careers
can also provide support to make sure you have the skills employers are
Our masters courses offer in-depth study of a range of literature specialisms including modernism, the novel, myth and fairytale, as well as United States and Caribbean literature, and are an excellent preparation for PhD study.
By undertaking PhD study in literature at Essex, you will become part of an active research community and benefit from the expert supervision of our internationally recognised staff.
Three-quarters of our research is rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014). We do both creative
and critical work across genres and media forms using a distinctly comparative approach.
Apply for a PhD studentship for your doctoral study funded by the
Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).