English Literature Courses Offered Free by Top Schools and Universities

About this article
Studying English literature gives you a taste of history, psychology, sociology, and develops writing, comprehension and critical thinking skills - all neatly bound in one package. Try these free online courses from top universities to study literature and learn to engage with literary texts.
View available schools

Free English Literature Courses

You can broaden your mind or prepare for your academic future with this list of free English literature courses.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT's OCW has several interesting English courses. Literature and Ethical Values introduces readers to classical works, while Major English Novels spotlights the best of the best in English literature.

The Open University

The Open University's library of literature courses is quite expansive. To get your nose in a book, try Reading English Literature, while there is also an Start Writing Fiction course for students who have had enough of reading books and want to write them instead.

University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

UC Berkeley has posted audio lectures online from their popular Shakespeare course. Grab a copy of Shakespeare's works and read along, with plenty of background information and critical analysis.

Utah State University (USU)

USU's Introduction to Writing prepares students to create academic prose.

Free Online English Literature Courses at a Glance

Course & SchoolProgram LevelFormatAssignmentsQuizzes & ExamsDownloadable
Literary Studies: The Legacy of England course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Introduction to Literary Theory course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Literature and Ethical Values course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Major English Novels course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Major English Novels: Reading Romantic Fiction course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Writing About Literature course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Writing and Reading Short Stories course from MITUndergraduateText LessonsYesNoYes
Exploring the English Language course from Open UniversityIntermediateText Lessons/VideoYesNoYes
English Grammar in Context course from Open UniversityAdvancedText Lessons/VideoYesNoYes
Reading course from Open UniversityBeginnerText LessonsYesNoYes
Approaching Poetry course from Open UniversityIntermediateText LessonsYesNoYes
Approaching Prose Fiction course from Open UniversityIntermediateText LessonsYesNoYes
Approaching Plays course from Open UniversityIntermediateText LessonsYesNoYes
Writing What You Know course from Open UniversityBeginnerAudio/Text LessonsYesNoYes
Start Writing Fiction course from Open UniversityBeginnerAudio/Text LessonsYesNoYes
Shakespeare course from UC BerkeleyUndergraduateAudio LecturesNoNoYes
Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose course from USUUndergraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoNo

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Communication
      • Master of Science in Communication
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management
      • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
    Certificate
      • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Literacy
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Special Education
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Saint Joseph's University

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Wilson Reading System Certification
  • Campus and Online Programs
    7. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Creative Writing for Entertainment
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Penn Foster Career School

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Certificate - English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading & Writing
      • Career Diploma: Freelance Writer
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS Human Communications
      • B.S. General Studies - Communication
      • B.S. Communications
    Associate's
      • A.S. General Studies - Communications
    Certificate
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Communications
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Communication

Featured Schools

The schools and programs listed below are popular educational options, and tuition varies based on program and location

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Communication
  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication Management

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication

What is your highest level of education?

Saint John's University

  • Ph.D. in Literacy
  • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Literacy: Special Education

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Joseph's University

  • Wilson Reading System Certification

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
  • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Creative Writing for Entertainment

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster Career School

  • Certificate - English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading & Writing
  • Career Diploma: Freelance Writer

What is your highest level of education?