Warning! This is a restricted degree. Subject enrolment is only available to students admitted into this degree.

Degree structure

Degree details

Graduates of a Graduate Certificate in Literary Studies will;


  • have an advanced knowledge of four major areas in literary studies: Shakespeare’s plays, nineteenth-century Russian fiction, American fiction and Australian fiction and the abilities to recognise and use theories and practices of literary interpretation and analysis. They will have a developing understanding of the principles and practices of writing and research in literary and cultural studies, and their application in a range of scholarly and professional contexts and the capacity to engage with key questions about culture and society, and how values and ideas are communicated and reproduced through literary texts. The graduates will have a strongly developing engagement in historical, cultural and social concerns with a sense of social justice, able to utilise knowledge for ethical reflection directed towards further learning and civic engagement.


  • be equipped with well-developed cognitive and conceptual abilities to thoughtfully engage with complex questions about texts, cultures and ideas.
  • cognitive and analytical skills to interrogate texts and apply appropriate methods of literary inquiry, drawing upon a broad foundation of relevant knowledge and experience.
  • have a strongly developing interest in the study of Western literature, culture and society, past and present.


  • understand the relationship between literary works and the cultures in which they were produced and be able to adapt and apply their knowledge productively with reference to relevant literary, social and cultural contexts.
  • communicate professionally and creatively through oral, textual, visual, digital and/or interpersonal modes, able to contribute to the production of ideas, social and cultural development.

This course provides career development opportunities for established professionals such as English teachers and librarians. Graduates may find general career enhancement whatever their existing career.

Career objectives

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Literary Classics will be able to:

  • Appreciate and critically analyse complex literary works
  • Write clear and cogent literary criticism
  • Understand and think through complex ethical questions
  • Understand the relationship between literary works and the cultures in which they were produced

Higher education

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree or equivalent tertiary institution.

Applicants who have not completed an undergraduate degree but who demonstrate evidence of advanced reading ability and an existing knowledge base in relevant areas of history and literature will be considered.

Applicants who have completed prior tertiary studies that satisfy part of the academic requirements of this degree may apply for credit and are encouraged to contact the Degree Convenor.

The Graduate Certificate in Literary Classics focuses on great books and great authors; their importance and critical standing. It offers a course for teachers and librarians wishing to upgrade their qualifications in literature as well as for keen readers in the general community.

Each subject covers a small number of complete classic works of literature. The works are studied intensively and in detail, giving primary attention to the language, structure and themes of the works themselves, but with some attention also being given to the traditions of critical interpretation surrounding them.

The degree consists of four areas of study: Shakespeare’s plays, nineteenth century Russian fiction, classic American fiction and classic Australian novels. The four subjects are not designed to form a strongly cumulative sequence, and students will be able to start with any one subject and continue on through the remaining three subjects. There will, however, be some developing themes across the degree, and students are encouraged to start at either HUM701 or HUM705 in order to take full advantage of these continuities.

Recommended Study Pattern

You can complete the four subjects in any order.

Award Requirements

To qualify for the award of Graduate Certificate in Literary Classics students must complete four core subjects.

The maximum period for completing this program is 2 years.

When you have completed your final session of study, OUA students should notify Griffith University of their intention to graduate with the award of Graduate Certificate in Literary Classics. Please contact Griffith (OUA) Services on oua-services@griffith.edu.au.