Online Course : Studying English Literature with Simon – ‘Austen’ Group : Term 4

Please note, this course is exclusively for students who have already participated in Term 1, 2, & 3 - The Austen Group

Whether you are a lover of Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy and the Romantic poets; or you are someone who dreaded English classes at school...the Learning Hub has an exciting new course for you!  “Studying English Literature” is a six-term course led by established Learning Hub tutor Dr Simon Gregor. 

The course outline is very loosely based on a GCSE English Literature course, but adapted and extended for an adult audience.  The entirety of the course will be broken up into six terms, each term comprising of ten weekly 90-minute long classes, spread over two years. You will not only study in detail the works of some of the greatest writers in English Literature, but just as importantly you will learn skills of literary interpretation and understanding which can be applied to any text, old or modern.


Modules & Terms

The subjects of study are many and varied, with approximately one term spent on each of the following:

  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare 
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Poetry of time and place
  • Journey’s End by R C Sherriff
  • The Go-Between by L P Hartley
  • The Romantic Poets

We will work through the reading material in manageable chunks from week-to-week, guided by Simon and working as a small class to discuss, reflect on, and understand the literature together.  The group size will be limited to around 20 people, to enable plenty of time for discussion, and the opportunity to work in smaller break-out groups.  Simon is passionate about making literature come alive, and be accessible to all, so expect plenty of fun and engaging debate along the way!

Future Term dates will be confirmed with exact dates nearer the time, however they will be broken up into the following Terms over the 2 year duration:

  • Term 4: Autumn Term : 23rd September - 25th November 2024
  • Term 5: New Year Term : Mid January – Mid March 2025 - Exact dates TBA
  • Term 6 : Spring/Summer Term : Late April/Early May – July 2025 - Exact dates TBA


Course price

The cost of each term will be £120, for ten 90-minute classes.

The terms will be available to book one at a time to break up the cost over the two year time period. We will do everything we can to keep days and times the same for your tuition group for the full two years.


Tuition groups

Although all the groups will study the same material, we will inevitably end up moving at a slightly different pace in each, not least as Simon wants to be able to respond to the interests and learning needs of each group.  So once you have signed up to a group, you’ll need to stick with that group right through the course.  We will do everything we can to keep days and times the same for each group for the full two years. To easily differentiate these, we will name our groups after female literary legends!

This group will be the 'Austen Group' and these sessions will take place on Mondays at 5pm – 6:30pm (approx. 90 minutes in duration) Term 4 will take place over 10 weeks; starting on Monday 23rd September 2024 and will conclude on Monday 25th November 2024.


Exclusive Facebook Groups

In addition to the course experience, you will be invited to join an exclusive and private Facebook group which will be created for each tuition group. This group will enable you to connect with your fellow students and to provide a forum for discussion between classes. This will also offer an opportunity for Denman and Simon to keep you up to date with course related items, however anything essential will always be sent out via email.

Please note, there is no obligation for you to join the Facebook group. All essential information for the course will be sent via email.


Course texts

Please note that in addition to the course cost, you will need to buy a few of the key texts – but never more than one book per term, and Simon will always recommend editions at competitive price points. Simon will sometimes recommend optional further reading or study between classes for those who want to delve deeper. 


Meet your tutor – Dr Simon Gregor

Simon Gregor has been a lover of literature for as long as he can remember!  He was fortunate in being really well-taught at secondary school, and took his first degree in English Literature at the University of Cambridge, later completing his PhD in History at the University of Wolverhampton.  He has extensive experience teaching and lecturing both in-person and online, including at Denman College and more recently for Denman at Home.  Simon combines his passion for literature with that for history, allowing students to study both the writings themselves in all their intricacy and beauty, alongside an understanding of the historical context which shaped them.  He had the good fortune to study at Cambridge under one of the world’s experts on Samuel Richardson, so he had the pleasure of reading Clarissa, the longest novel in the English language…but he promises not to include that in this course!


Consent to share information

  • By signing up to the course, you agree to be recorded as part of each session; but recordings will only be made available to students on the course for a limited time, to catch up if you miss a session, or to re-watch the class should you wish to.
  • By signing up to this course, you will consent to your name and email address being shared with Simon so that he can send out any relevant handouts and information to you if and when applicable. Please note that none of your other personal details will be shared.



All sessions will take place via Zoom. Each 10-part term will have its own unique Zoom code created for that period. Please keep the Zoom code safe and do not share it to any external sources.



Don’t worry if you miss a live session or wish to watch anything back for clarification at a later time. Each session will be recorded to allow you to play back a recording in your own time. Denman will aim to send recording links out via email within 24 hours after each live session. All sessions will be viewable for at least 14 days afterwards.


Information documents including Zoom log in details and links to join your exclusive Facebook Group will be included at the bottom of your confirmation email after you have registered. 

(If you do not receive a confirmation email please check your spam/junk email boxes or sign into  the 'Your Account' section of the Denman website to retrieve all of your booking and course information)