Are you looking to study English literature but don’t know where to even begin looking? Trying to narrow down your list of universities is difficult, especially when there is so much to consider before applying. If you’re a high achiever and are used to some fierce competition, then here are the best universities for English literature in the UK according to the Complete University Guide!

1. University of Oxford

oxford university is the best for english literature

It probably won’t come as a surprise that Oxford is at the top of the list. The grade boundaries are AAA, and you will also need to complete an admission exam as well. It’s definitely one of the hardest universities to get into for English literature, but Oxford is also one of the best ones out there. According to their website, you may have to write up to 12 pieces of written work per term on a variety of subjects, so obviously it’s a lot of work to keep up with whilst you’re at university! Although if you like to work hard and want to aim high, this is the university for you.

2. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

Next on the list is the University of Cambridge, one of the best universities in the UK, not just for English literature. The grade boundaries for this course are actually higher, as you need A*AA in your A Levels on top of an entrance exam! The course goes into Shakespeare and medieval literature for the first 2 years, and then branching off into more subjects during the final year. Their library also has around 80,000 books, and famous people in the world of literature such as Sylvia Plath and William Wordsworth studied at Cambridge! It’s definitely one of the best universities for English literature in the UK!

3. Durham University

Here are the best universities for English Literature in the UK
Source: Durham University

Durham University has the same grade boundaries as Cambridge, being A*AA. However, you don’t have to do an entrance exam for this university, which is always a bonus! The course at Durham is different from both Cambridge and Oxford, as there is more choice in the modules you study. These modules include Jane Austen, American poetry, and even Nonsense Literature!

4. University of St Andrews

Here are the best universities for English Literature in the UK
Source: University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is a small university, accommodating between 5,000-10,000 students. With their undergraduate degree, you will have the opportunity to go America! The minimum entry requirements are AABB, and you must have an A in English. This university scored 86% for research quality, so it’s obviously a university to think about as one of the best for English literature!

5. University College London

Here are the best universities for English Literature in the UK
Source: UCL

University College London is one of the biggest universities in the UK, and also one of the best universities for English literature. The grade boundaries for this course is AAA, but they also offer a contextual offer of ABB. A lot of the modules they teach at this university are quite traditional, such as Shakespeare and the Victorian period. You can see all of the modules they teach on their website!

6. University of York

Here are the best universities for English Literature in the UK
Source: University of York

To get into the University of York, you either need AAA or A*AB. The course is taught through lectures, seminars, workshops, and even film screenings! They scored a 90% on research quality, and also 81% for student satisfaction, both really good figures. York has always been a prestigious university in the UK, and so it’s not a surprise that it made the list for the best universities for English literature!

7. University of Surrey

University of Surrey

My favourite thing about the University of Surrey is how pretty their campus looks. Their English literature course also looks amazing, as there is such a huge range of modules you can study! This includes science fiction, writing gaming, romantic literature, and even the option to do some creative writing! It definitely has the most choice on this list. Their grade boundaries are also lower at BBB, so if you want to go to a good university but can’t quite get the highest grades, Surrey would be a great option.

8. University of Warwick

Here are the best universities for English Literature in the UK
Source: University of Warwick

The University of Warwick’s grade boundaries are the same as York’s, which is AAA or A*AB. Some of their modules include American horror story, Ecopoetics, and Alternative Lifeworlds fiction! They definitely have a wide variety, and it’s always nice to be able to pick what you’d like to study rather than having a bunch of compulsory modules. If you’re looking for a more varied and different approach to studying English literature, this is one of the best universities to choose in the UK.

9. University of Leeds

university of leeds

The grade boundaries for the University of Leeds are lower at BBB. With this course, there is also the opportunity to study abroad, which is always something you should go for if you can! The University of Leeds scored 90% for research quality and 74% for student satisfaction, so it’s obviously a good university that you should consider applying to!

10. University of Southampton

Here are the best universities for English Literature in the UK
Source: University of Southampton

Last on the list is the University of Southampton, which is in a really pretty part of the country. The grade boundaries for this course are ABB, so a bit more accessible compared to other universities on this list. According to their website, assessment can come in the forms of portfolios, blogs, essays, creative projects, and even module journals! It’s good to have a variety, as constantly writing essays can get pretty dull after a while!

But honestly, the best way to get a feel for the university is going to an open day, so you should always go to a few before making any decisions! So these are the best universities for English literature, but what are the best universities overall? If you want to know how they scored, read our article on the UK universities with the best reputation!