English Literature and Philosophy 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

English Literature and Philosophy interact and complement each other in many ways. Many literary texts, from Thomas More’s Utopia in the 16th century, to 20th-century and 21st-century science fiction, raise deep philosophical issues.


Combined Honours
Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: QV35

View entry requirements

Course Overview

Many philosophers – Ludwig Wittgenstein and Stanley Cavell, for example – have taken language or literature as the subject of their reflections.

Both subjects require students to consider the biggest questions for humankind, and to develop an alert awareness of the use of language, form and narrative in exploring these questions. Ethical and epistemological issues are central to great works of poetry and prose. This programme encourages complementary skills and sensitivities in language use and interpretation. It also offers you options in both Film Studies and Creative Writing. For these reasons, it is a classic and very popular Keele combination; the first student ever to graduate from Keele did so in Philosophy and English.

What will this mean for my future?

Studying English Literature and Philosophy will equip you with a wide range of skills, critical thinking and a superb grounding in understanding the way people think and approach problems, all of which are prized by employers and adaptable to a wide range of careers. You might go into education, the law, finance, government, publishing, the media or the arts, or information management for example.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Ten Problems of Philosophy
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Becoming a Critic
  • Telling Tales
  • Playing Parts

Second year

  • The Pursuit of the Good
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Victorian Performances
  • Post-War British Fiction
  • Age of Shakespeare and Donne
  • Revolution and Restoration
  • Aspects of the Novel

Third year

  • Epistemology and Metaphysics
  • Rorty and the Mirror of Nature
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Lyric Poetry
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Shakespeare on Film
  • Contemporary American Fiction

You can also research and write a dissertation in English Literature and/or Philosophy.