English Literature Courses Offered Free by Top Schools and Universities

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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.
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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. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MA in English
      • MA in Communication
      • MA in Communication: New Media & Marketing
    Bachelor's
      • BA in English Language & Literature
      • BA Communications w/conc in New Media
      • BA in Communication
  • Online Programs Available
    2. 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
    3. Ashford University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. - Education: English Language Learner
    Bachelor's
      • BA/English
      • B.A. - English Language Learner Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS Human Communications
      • B.S. General Studies - Communication
      • B.S. Human Communications
    Associate's
      • A.S. General Studies - Communications
    Certificate
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Communications
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in English
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Secondary English Education
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Advertising and Public Relations
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
  • Campus and Online Programs
    6. 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
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MEd - Reading Education
  • 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. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
  • 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

Southern New Hampshire University

  • MA in English
  • MA in Communication
  • BA in English Language & Literature
  • BA Communications w/conc in New Media

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?

Ashford University

  • M.A. - Education: English Language Learner
  • BA/English
  • B.A. - English Language Learner Studies

What is your highest level of education?

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • BS Human Communications
  • A.S. General Studies - Communications
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Communications

What is your highest level of education?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Secondary English Education

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?

Northcentral University

  • MEd - Reading Education

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?