english

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

English

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: Q300

What you'll study

First year

* Modules are subject to availability

In the transitional Year 1 we help prepare you for advanced literary studies by offering modules that will allow you to develop a broad range of reading, writing and analytical skills necessary to achieve a good degree in English. You will take the following core modules.

Core modules

  • Literature Lab

    In this practical module, you'll acquire essential skills for the study of literature, as well as academic skills. In a relaxed workshop environment, you'll practise close reading (poetry, fiction, drama), while also developing your skills in essay writing, presenting, academic research and referencing.

  • Reading Fiction

    This module explores the techniques, conventions and developments of the novel from the 18th century to the contemporary. You'll engage with relevant social, historical and political contexts and focus particularly on authors ranging from Austen to Ondaatje.

  • Travels in Text and Time

    Time-travelling across three centuries of English literature, this modules introduces you to key English writers and works, from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, and the late medieval play, Everyman, to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Breaking down barriers between medieval and Renaissance literature, it groups texts according to theme and explores how these themes develop in plays and poems written centuries apart.

  • Literature in a Digital Age

    You will explore the literature (from cyberpunk through fantasy to science fiction) which engages with the modern world of technology and the internet, including the impact of digital design, audio visual media and gaming on modern writers and their techniques. We'll pay attention to how these techniques work in practical terms, too.

You'll also choose one from:

  • Classics of British Children’s Literature

    This module introduces you to the academic study of children's literature based on texts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Harry Potter.

  • Transformative Texts of American Literature

    You'll study a selection of American novels, plays and poems that changed not only American literature but how we think about crucial social issues. You'll look at texts in their cultural contexts, examining their themes alongside song lyrics, interviews and social media.

And choose one from:

  • Approaches to Poetry

    This module introduces you to different forms of poetry from the Renaissance to the present day, via a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars.

  • Drama and Performance

    You'll be introduced to a range of plays, ancient and modern, each of which is a theatrical and cultural landmark, often a provocative one. The selected plays helped shape not only theatrical practice but also our understanding of what it is to be human, both now and in the past.

Second year

* Modules are subject to availability

In Year 2 you will be encouraged to expand and deepen your knowledge of literature chronologically and thematically. You choose SIX modules, including at least one from each of four specified strands.

Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture

  • The Age of Chivalry and Romance

    You'll learn about, and evaluate, the courtly medieval culture of chivalry and courtly love, then see how it was received in the 'real' world of later medieval England. Our guides for this are Sir Thomas Malory's Arthurian epic Morte Darthur and Geoffrey Chaucer's less respectful The Canterbury Tales.

  • Love and Desire in Renaissance Literature, c. 1530 - 1633​

    You'll study the development of the most passionate and erotic representations of love and desire in English poetry and drama over a century, from the 1530s to the 1630s, learning how English writers, such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Sidney, Spenser and Donne, responded to and developed formal and thematic conventions from earlier European poetic traditions.

  • Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama

    This module returns Shakespeare to the vibrant theatrical milieu of late 16th- and early 17th-century London, where we encounter him as one among a number of inventive and influential playwrights of the time. It introduces groundbreaking plays of exceptional emotional reach and imaginative daring, written in a range of popular genres, during a golden age of English theatre.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Sentiment and Scandal: Literature of the Long 18th Century

    Explore sentiment and satire, sensibility and scandal in a module which focuses upon the diversity, innovations and influence of 18th-century poetry, drama and fiction.

  • Visionaries and Rebels: Romantic Poets from Blake to Tennyson

    You will study Romanticism, a movement which gave birth to some of the greatest poetry in the English language. You'll be introduced to the different genres of Romantic poetry, while at the same time learning about the political and philosophical background from which the poetry emerged.

  • Brief Encounters with the Victorians

    This module examines shorter narratives of the Victorian period written by some of the most influential authors of the 19th century, and addresses key issues of the period relating to industrialisation, class, gender and imperialism.

Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature and Culture

  • British and American Modernism

    'Make it new' (Ezra Pound): explore a diverse, fascinating and radical period in English and American Literature, considering authors on both sides of the Atlantic who were committed to revolutionary change. Featured writers include T S Eliot, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, D H Lawrence, F Scott Fitzgerald, Katherine Mansfield and Hilda Doolittle.

  • Voyage Out: Travel, Empire and Cultural Encounters

    You'll examine cultural encounters between travellers and the cultures they visit through a study of the literature of travel, including fictional accounts and visual representation, including art and film.

Themes in Literature

  • The Child in British and American Literature and Culture

    Develop insights into the ways in which the contradictory image of the child has been represented in literary texts in Britain and America from the 19th century through to the present day.

  • Written on the Body: Rethinking Gender and Sexuality

    This module takes a fresh look at contemporary human relations with a focus on sexuality, gender and the body. You'll study novels, poetry and films dealing with abuse and enslavement (Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale), new masculinities (High Fidelity, Locke), lesbian and gay writing (Fun Home, Thom Gunn’s poetry), religion and the effect on the body (Minaret), as well as trans and intersex identities (Middlesex, The Passion of New Eve).

Final year

* Modules are subject to availability

Our Year 3 modules are designed to allow you to explore particular topics and genres in greater depth. These modules often develop from the research interests of individual members of staff. You will write a Dissertation, on a topic of your choosing, with the support and guidance of an appropriate supervisor.

You also choose FOUR option modules, including at least one from List A and one from List B.

LIST A

  • Playing God: Late Medieval Drama, from Page to Stage

    This module explores the vibrant drama of late medieval England, focusing on the street plays performed in cities like York and Chester, on morality plays performed indoors before paying audiences, and on political plays performed in the households of royalty and nobility. Alongside study in seminars of the text of each play, you'll have the opportunity to reimagine these plays in performance, using theatre workshops, field trips and play archives, to bring late medieval drama to life.

  • Unruly Subjects and Renaissance Texts

    Our subject is unruliness: how it was defined, represented, attacked and, on occasion, defiantly celebrated in later 16th- and early 17th-century English literature. The focus is on writing which was regarded with suspicion by the authorities, treats controversial issues of the day (such as rebellion, sexual misconduct, cross-dressing and witchcraft) and incorporates socially marginal figures whose irreducible and unruly humanity challenges us to reflect on their marginalisation and on those who are similarly marginalised in our times.

  • Authorship and Identity in Renaissance Literature

    You will study how English writers from the Renaissance period (1579 to 1645), both male and female, canonical and more obscure, deliberately fashion themselves as ‘authors’, in relation to previous writers and works from both Classical and Early Modern European literary traditions. The module will introduce you to important techniques such as imitation and translation, and will provide an overview of significant European writers and sources, before focusing on the following English authors: Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, Lady Mary Sidney Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, Lady Mary Wroth, Elizabeth Carey, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and John Milton.

  • Shakespearean Transformations

    You will explore how Shakespeare borrowed and adapted plays - now anonymous - which had entered the dramatic tradition. You will consider Shakespeare's plays, from all genres, in the light of theories of adaptation, imitation, conversion and originality.

  • Writing the Revolution: Sex, Religion and Politics in the Literature of 17th-century England

    You will explore the literature of the mid-17th century in the context of the century's revolutionary turns and counter-turns: civil war, regicide, the establishment of a republic, favouring puritanism, and the Restoration of the monarchy. Amongst the writers studied will be John Milton, Andrew Marvell and the Restoration playwrights, George Etherege and Aphra Behn.

LIST B

  • Gothic

    You will analyse the Gothic from the conception of the genre in the 18th century to its manifestation in contemporary literature and film, focusing on the genre's convergence with contemporaneous social and cultural preoccupations.

  • Contemporary Fiction

    You will discover and analyse an exciting range of recently-published novels, considering their relationship with culture, society, history and politics. You'll discuss issues such as the challenge to realism; narrative invention and innovation; internationalism and globalisation; and the connection between literatures of the past and present.

  • Crime Fiction: Reading the Body, Reading the Signs

    To explore this wide-ranging and unique genre, you will first investigate the two main crime fiction traditions, classical (Poe, Doyle and Christie) and hardboiled (Ellroy). Next, your seminar group will analyse four novels chosen from among the many subgenres that have developed more recently, such as the forensic detective novel, black hardboiled crime, true crime and many others.

  • Speaking Pictures: Literature and the Visual Arts

    You will explore the relationship between literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to the present. You'll examine a wide range of literary texts alongside paintings, works of art criticism, and recent critical and theoretical writings.

  • Post-9/11 Literature of the US

    Explore how literature responded to and made sense of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11 2001. You will look at how writers experiment with literary form and represent marginalised voices to raise questions about who gets to tell the story of 9/11 and its aftermath.

  • Secrets and Lies: Victorian Decadence and Degeneration 1860-1901

    Explore the development of new forms of writing which focus on the ‘darker’ alternative or hidden aspects of Victorian society, such as the ‘New Woman’; the Homosexual Man, the Foreigner, and the Poor, in the context of Degeneration theory.

  • Childhood Trauma and its Aftermath in Contemporary Fiction

    Explore ways in which contemporary novels and 'misery memoirs' present childhood trauma that impacts on adolescence and adulthood. You'll discuss a range of characters with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of early bereavement or mistreatment in the domestic sphere, in conjunction with psychological and medical studies of child development.

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More about this course

Literature affects how we think about and communicate with the world around us, and informs our understanding of ourselves and other cultures, past and present. Our BA English programme will allow you to experience this literature more deeply, and also to develop important transferable skills essential in the competitive world of employment. Our vibrant portfolio of modules offers considerable flexibility and choice: a range of period-based and thematic strands means that you can pursue a coherent programme of study which is tailored to your own interests, via a guided choice of option modules in the second and third years.

Internationally excellent research informs all of our teaching. Our staff have expertise in a broad spectrum of literatures, from canonical to cutting-edge, from medieval to literature in a digital age, and the programme is designed to provide chronological coverage and freedom of choice, on thematic strands such as ‘The Child in Literature and Culture’, ‘Gothic and the Monstrous’, and ‘Rebellious Subjects’. If you don’t have the qualifications to enter the programme directly, we offer a foundation year to prepare you for degree-level study.

Teaching and Learning
Scheduled
Placement
Independent

First year

17%

83%

Second year

17%

83%

Final year

12%

88%

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

5%

95%

Second year

16%

8%

76%

Final year

13%

5%

82%

Our teaching staff

Study English in the city described as the most poetic in England, where Philip Larkin wrote most of his best work.

Become part of the thriving literary and creative scene at the University and beyond.

Superb facilities include the Brynmor Jones Library which is open 24/7 and boasts cutting edge technology and more than a million books.

Gain a first-class grounding in literature, from the medieval era to the 21st century, under the guidance of world-leading experts.

Entry requirements

At a glance

For this course, you'll need...

120 UCAS points

Points can be made up of a variety of qualifications. Calculate your points here.

We welcome a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not be listed.

Many of our courses offer a Foundation Year for applicants without the qualifications for direct entry on to the degree.

If you have any questions about our entry requirements or the tariff, please contact admissions or call 01482 466100.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation.

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

 

Future Prospects

The career opportunities opened up by our degrees are as diverse and exciting as the topics of study. The skills that these develop give you the ability to analyse, research and communicate at a very high level. According to Unistats figures, 96% of our English graduates go on to work or further study within six months of graduating.

By studying with us you can be confident that you will have the opportunity to develop a wide array of skills which are highly valued in many professions. Our English graduates are equipped with prized analytical and communication skills that enable them to flourish in the variety of employment opportunities open to them, including careers in: teaching, media, journalism, marketing, advertising, heritage and tourism, librarianship, publishing (author, publisher, literary agent), museum curating, broadcasting, the financial sector, universities (lecturing or administration), professional writing, the public sector (including the NHS and city councils), business, management and the law.

Others choose to continue their studies as postgraduates – so you may be interested in what we offer at MA, MPhil and PhD levels.