Gain reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills that you will find invaluable throughout your life. 

Reading closely, thinking deeply, and writing well: a degree in English literature can offer you unmatched intellectual challenges and rewards while providing an excellent base for future studies and professional development. Our Department is proud to offer courses in all the major historical periods and national traditions of literature in English, as well as on topics like science fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, digital publishing, and environmental literature. Learn to use the great stories of the past and present – whether in novels, poetry, movies, or graphic novels – to engage with today’s most pressing issues, be they social, environmental, technological, or aesthetic.

The uOttawa Advantage

At the University of Ottawa, since 1974, the Department of English annually sponsors a Writer-in-Residence, both to offer support to Canadian writers and to give students direct access to the writer's advice and experience. The Writer-in-Residence will give readings, lectures, hold office hours, and teach a creative writing seminar.

The University of Ottawa is one of Canada’s top 10 research universities, with research spending totalling close to $350 million annually.

We rank seventh among Canadian universities in graduate employability, which is bolstered by Canada’s fifth largest co-op program, featuring a 95% job placement rate.

A degree in English will allow you to: 

  • Think critically and develop skills in persuasive, argumentative writing 
  • Hone your research, analysis, and information management skills 
  • Explore and assess the uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of knowledge 
  • Present information in creative, innovative, and professional ways   
  • Study in a collegial and collaborative learning environment with dedicated, friendly faculty members 
  • Access one of the very few English literature co-op programs in Canada, allowing you to acquire valuable career experience and get paid while studying what you love.

Choose your program

4 years120 units
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Honours BA in English

The Honours Program allows more extensive and focused study than is possible in the Majors Program, offering a particular concentration of courses in the core periods and problems (3000-level). Yet, it can be combined with a Minor in another area of study. This academic focus and breadth makes this program an excellent preparation for students who are seeking admission to professional or graduate programs, or who intend to pursue careers in senior secondary education.

Program structure

Course sequence

42 units
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Major in English

The Major Program allows students to have the same range of course experiences as the Specialization Program– including the same number of Seminars and Special Topics courses at the 4000-level– but offers a greater number of electives, so that students might pursue a broader range of interests. Majors can combine their degree with either a Minor or a second Major. It is an excellent preparation for students wishing to pursue careers in such fields as education, communications, public policy, consultancy, advocacy, or marketing.

Program structure

Course sequence

30 units
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Minor in English

The Minor Program allows students who are following Major or Specialization programs in other disciplines the opportunity to pursue and sustain their interests in literary studies. It offers both a solid background in the major literary traditions and, through a combined 21 elective credits, the opportunity to explore those areas that interest students the most. These courses provide exactly the same skills and experiences that make an English program valuable to Majors and Specialists.

Program structure

Course sequence

More information

Scholarships and Bursaries

Our scholarship program is one of the most generous in the country. It rewards not only your pre-university academic achievements, but also your achievements every term of full-time study at University. A scholarship is awarded for academic achievements while a bursary is awarded based on financial need.
Discover our Schorlarships and Bursaries and learn how to apply.
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The Department of English

Learn from nationally and internationally respected scholars and historians in a wide variety of fields; have access to the best of municipal, provincial and national cultural organizations; combine studies in various historical periods, cultural areas, and specializations; get top-quality, personalized education and becoming part of an academic community.
Learn more about the department.
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