English Literature Degree

English Literature Courses in Canada

Introduction to studying an English literature degree in Canada

An undergraduate English literature degree in Canada provides international students with a comprehensive understanding of literary traditions, critical analysis, and effective communication skills. The course covers a broad range of modules, including classic and contemporary literature, poetry, drama, and various literary genres, as students explore the works of Canadian, British, American, and global authors.

The interdisciplinary nature of an English literature degree equips graduates with valuable skills applicable in various professional fields, such as journalism, publishing, education, and cultural management. Canada's literary scene and commitment to cultural diversity make an English literature degree appealing to international students seeking a global perspective on literature and language.

Graduates from English literature courses in Canada enjoy favourable employment prospects, with opportunities in fields such as writing, editing, teaching, and research. The critical thinking and communication skills honed during the program contribute to the versatility of English literature graduates, positioning them for success in an ever-evolving job market.

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Types of Degree

Bachelor’s in English Literature 

If a student wants to study English literature in Canada at the undergraduate level, the bachelor’s degree is a foundational level of education. This program immerses students in various literary genres, periods, and authors. Canadian universities are known to provide a well-rounded curriculum encompassing both canonical works and contemporary voices, fostering a deep understanding of the evolution of literature over time.

Students undertaking a bachelor's in English literature get to engage in critical discussions, which eventually hone their analytical skills through essays, seminars, and projects. The program often allows for specialization in areas like Shakespearean studies, postcolonial literature, or modernist literature, and students can tailor their educational experience to suit their interests. Many programs also integrate opportunities for internships, creative writing workshops, or collaborative projects, which help students gain practical experiences. 

Master’s in English Literature

By pursuing a master's degree in English literature, students get to have an advanced educational experience in this exciting field of study. The graduate program builds upon the foundational knowledge acquired at the undergraduate level, allowing students to delve deeper into their areas of interest and specialization. They can engage in an immersive exploration of literary theory, critical analysis, and research methodologies. 

The English literature courses in Canada at the master’s level include advanced seminars, independent research projects, and comprehensive examinations that contribute to the scholarly discourse within the field. The curriculum often includes a combination of core courses, elective seminars, and a major research project. Many Canadian universities encourage interdisciplinary approaches in their English literature programs, which allows students to integrate insights from other disciplines into their literary analyses. They even have the opportunity to explore a range of literary traditions, including indigenous and multicultural perspectives, during their study years, which helps enrich their understanding of global narratives.

PhD in English Literature

A PhD in English literature represents the pinnacle of scholarly achievement within the field. This level of education offers a transformative journey of advanced research, critical inquiry, and intellectual exploration. Students are given the opportunity to make significant contributions to the understanding of literature as these programs involve a research-intensive experience. The doctoral candidates engage in a deep exploration of literary theories, critical methodologies, and historical contexts. The curriculum often includes advanced seminars, examinations, and the development of an original doctoral dissertation.


Taking up the specialized educational pathways in Canada can prove to be a financial burden. In such cases, scholarships can be availed by international students wanting to study in Canada. Universities, government agencies, and private organizations with different eligibility criteria often offer funding options. Students must carefully check the requirements and deadlines to ensure they can get the desired financial aid. Following are some of the major scholarships available:

Jobs and Careers

After completing a degree in English literature from Canada, students are open to pursuing diverse career paths. Graduates can find various employment opportunities in multiple fields by showcasing critical thinking, analytical skills, and a deep understanding of written expression. The following are potential career options:


Studying English literature leads to career options in multiple fields, meaning the salaries vary. However, on average, entry-level positions can allow graduates to earn almost CAD 52,000 annually. These roles often serve as foundational experiences for graduates, allowing them to professionally apply their literary and communication skills. As individuals gain experience and career progress, salaries can also increase significantly. Mid-career positions in fields like marketing, public relations, or human resources may offer salaries of around CAD 63,000 per year.

Senior-level roles, particularly in managerial or directorial positions, can command salaries surpassing CAD 1200,000, depending on the industry and organizational context.

Top Universities for English Literature

To learn more about the best English literature courses in Canada, find details on the top ten ranking English Language and Literature universities in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 below:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. McGill University
  4. York University
  5. University of Alberta
  6. McMaster University
  7. Queen's University at Kingston
  8. Simon Fraser University
  9. University of Calgary
  10. University of Montreal

Study English Literature in Canada

If you want to learn more about studying for an English literature degree at a Canadian university or college, arrange a free consultation with SI-Canada today.

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English Literature FAQ

What types of English literature courses are available in Canada?

In Canada, English literature can be pursued at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including master's and PhD. 

What are the admission requirements for English literature courses in Canada?

The admission requirements generally depend on the level of education. At the bachelor's level, a high school diploma is needed to gain admission, while for a master's, a bachelor's degree is necessary. For PhD, a master's degree is required. English language proficiency is needed by international students at all levels. 

Can I work while studying English literature in Canada as an international student?

Yes, as an international student, you can work up to 20 hours per week while studying English literature. 

What career opportunities are available for English literature graduates in Canada?

English literature graduates can take up several career pathways, including editorial roles, teaching, content creation and writing, journalism and media, and marketing and advertising.

Increase your chances of success when applying

SI-Canada specialises in selecting the right Canadian university for international students by reviewing your academic background, discussing your career goals and helping you apply. Our application services can help you achieve your dream of studying in Canada.

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