English Literature Courses in New Zealand

Introduction to studying an English literature degree

English literature refers to written or literary works produced in English, including fiction and non-fiction. It encompasses a vast and rich tradition of literary creations that spans centuries and reflects the English-speaking world's cultural, social, and historical developments.

English literature degrees in New Zealand offer a unique and enriching academic experience supported by the country's vibrant literary culture and world-class education system. Students will understand different cultures, history, and society through the lens of literature. Analyzing literary works enhances critical thinking, allowing them to evaluate ideas effectively and express their thoughts clearly in writing and speaking and the degree also improves language proficiency and provides a global perspective by including works from various cultures.

Studying English literature in the country allows international students to immerse themselves in diverse literary traditions and perspectives. Beyond career opportunities in writing, teaching, and research, an English literature degree equips students with transferable skills applicable to publishing, journalism, marketing, and law.

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Types of Degrees

In New Zealand, students can pursue English literature degrees at various levels, offering a different depth of study and specialization.

Bachelor's Degree in English Literature

A Bachelor's Degree in English Literature gives students a basic understanding of literary works across various periods, genres, and authors. The foundational education cultivates critical thinking, effective communication, and cultural awareness. Graduates are equipped with versatile skills applicable in diverse professional fields such as writing, journalism, education, and more. The undergraduate degree offers a deep appreciation for literature and a solid foundation for various rewarding career paths.

Master's Degree in English Literature

A Master's Degree in English Literature offers a more specialized and advanced exploration of literary studies. Students delve into specific literary periods, genres, or themes, honing their analytical and research skills. The degree opens doors to leadership roles in education, publishing, research, and cultural institutions. It allows individuals to become experts in their chosen field of study, enhancing their career prospects and providing a stepping stone for those aspiring to pursue a PhD or engage in advanced literary research.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English Literature

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English Literature provides a more profound knowledge of academic achievement. PhD degree offers international students a unique opportunity for in-depth research and specialisation in a specific field. It also provides a platform for original contributions to knowledge, fostering intellectual growth and critical thinking. International students benefit from exposure to diverse perspectives, global academic networks, and the chance to collaborate with leading scholars. Moreover, a PhD allows international students to make significant contributions to their home countries' academic and professional landscapes, serving as catalysts for positive change and innovation.


Scholarship opportunities for English literature students in New Zealand can vary by institution, program, and eligibility criteria. 

Scholarship Name Provided By Awarded value
University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship University of Auckland Up to NZD 10,000
Victoria University of Wellington - Master's by Thesis Scholarship Victoria University of Wellington Up to NZD 15,000
New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS) Education New Zealand and New Zealand universities Full tuition fees, a living stipend, and health insurance

Jobs and Careers

A degree in English literature opens up diverse and rewarding career paths across various industries. Graduates often find opportunities in writing and editing, working as authors, journalists, or content creators. Teaching at various educational levels, from primary to tertiary, is a common career choice. Additionally, English literature graduates can excel in marketing, public relations, and communications roles, leveraging their strong communication skills. Some also pursue careers in the business world, excelling in corporate communications, human resources, or even entrepreneurship. The versatility of an English literature degree allows students to adapt to a broad spectrum of professions, making it a valuable asset in today's dynamic job market.


Salaries for individuals with a degree in English literature can depend on the chosen career path. For writing, journalism, or content creation professions, entry-level salaries start from $40,000 to $50,000 annually, with the potential for higher earnings as experience and expertise grow. Teaching positions, especially in secondary or post-secondary education, offer competitive salaries, ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 or more, depending on qualifications and experience.

Those pursuing careers in marketing, public relations, or corporate communications may see starting salaries in the range of $50,000 to $60,000, with opportunities for advancement.

Top Universities for English Literature in New Zealand

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

Ranking University Acceptance rate
1. University of Auckland 45%
2. Victoria University of Wellington 64%
3. University of Otago 58%
4. University of Canterbury 50%
5. Waikato University 70%

Study English Literature in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for an English Lit degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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What types of English literature courses are there in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, English literature courses include Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD programs. These cover diverse periods and genres, allowing students to explore literature comprehensively, with options for specialization.

What are the career prospects for English literature graduates in New Zealand?

English literature graduates in New Zealand can pursue careers in writing, teaching, journalism, marketing, and research. Opportunities also exist in corporate communications, cultural institutions, and various roles requiring strong communication and analytical skills.

What is the typical duration of an English literature course in New Zealand?

Bachelor's degrees usually take three years, Master's one to two years, and a PhD three to five years. Course duration may differ based on program structure and individual academic progress.

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