Online courses in literature

Study literature from anywhere in the world

Our short online courses take place in a virtual learning environment. Most courses are 10 weeks in duration and they all run asynchronously – they have no live-time meetings - so you do not have to be online at any specific time to take the course. You can access the course whenever it is convenient for you, from anywhere in the world.

Class sizes are kept small to maximise interaction between you and your classmates and tutor in the online forums. Students are able to take part in in-depth discussions and receive personalised tutor guidance and feedback.

Browse below to find the literature course for you.

Ancestral Voices: The Earliest English Literature (Online)

This course introduces you to Old English literature: from tales of heroism, courage and fellowship, to poignant elegies of love and loss.

Middle English Literature (Online)

Middle English literature is not all prayer and piety and men in armour. Find a rich cultural heritage in Middle English poems, plays and prose.

Shakespeare (Online)

This course focuses on five Shakespeare plays, covering a range of genres and periods of his writing.

Jane Austen (Online)

Many readers enjoy Austen's novels, but what makes them so special and enduring?

Brontës (Online)

How did three sisters living apparently secluded, eventless lives write such original, passionate and dramatic literature?

Fiction by Victorian Women: George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell (Online)

Some of the great writers of the Victorian period were women. Find out how they portrayed women's issues and lives in such compelling fiction.

Trollope, Eliot, Dickens and Hardy: Reading Victorian Fiction (Online)

Madness, hilarity, doubt and devotion are just some of the many aspects of life explored in the huge wealth of Victorian fiction.

English Poetry of the First World War (Online)

Some of the most powerful and moving English poetry of the modern period was written during or about the First World War.

The Modern American Novel: An Introduction (Online)

In this course we shall study five key novels of the twentieth century - by Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Silko, Morrison and Roth.

Contemporary British Fiction (Online)

If you have ever been daunted by terms such as 'modernism', 'magic realism' or 'postmodern', this is the course for you.

Critical Reading (Online)

This course is for anyone who would like to learn to read beneath the surface, pay attention to language and form, and become a critical reader.

Literary Theory: An Introduction (Online)

Although literary theory might sometimes seem intimidating, it can be very accessible and exciting. This course aims to demystify literary...