english

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

English and American Literature and Culture

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: QT37

What you'll study

Between Hull and Hollywood stretch two nations' worth of literary excellence which has defined much of the modern world. Explore them both on this course.

First year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Literature Lab

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

  • 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.

  • Travels in Text and Time

    Time-travelling across three centuries of English literature, this module 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.

  • America in Theory

    ‘America in Theory’ provides an overview of critical theories that can enhance American Studies students’ understanding of culture, history, and society, and offers the means to apply these ideas through discussion of case studies. For example, we explore Feminist readings of American television programmes, and use critical race theories to examine Gangsta Rap.

  • Reading Fiction

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

  • American History – Birth of a Nation

    Discover the triumphs and tragedies of American history before 1900: The struggle for independence. The rise and fall of slavery. The winners and losers of westward expansion. And the growth of American industrial and political power on the world stage.

Second year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • 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.

  • 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. It also addresses key issues of the period relating to industrialisation, class, gender and imperialism.

  • British and American Modernism

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 learning about the political and philosophical background from which the poetry emerged.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 representations, including such as art and film.

  • 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, and The Handmaid’s Tale), new masculinities (High Fidelity and Locke), lesbian and gay writing (Fun Home and Thom Gunn’s poetry), religion and the effect on the body (Minaret), as well as trans and intersex identities (Middlesex and The Passion of New Eve).

  • New York City in Culture

    New York is the perhaps most visually recognisable of all American cities, but is also arguably the cultural capital of the nation, and has been home and inspiration to countless great artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers. This module takes an interdisciplinary look at New York as the setting and subject of many works of different media and genres.

  • Musical-Made America

    One of the most distinctively ‘American’ genres, the musical is often dismissed as pure escapism.  Rehabilitating the genre by interrogating how ‘escapist entertainment’ actually works, this module explores how celebrated Hollywood and Broadway productions from The Jazz Singer to Hamilton have created performative spaces for representing and re-imagining America’s sexual, racial and political identities.

  • Reagan’s Polarised America; a Cultural Study of the USA in the 1980s

    This module takes a Cultural Studies theoretical approachto look at the tumultuous events of the 80s as a means to understanding America today. You will engage with popular cultural texts to develop an understanding of American identities, politics and representations, such as music by artists like Madonna, photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, movies such asDie Hard, comics such as Watchmen, and “Televangelical” shows. 

  • The Fire Next Time: From Slavery to Civil Rights

    Explore African-American history and culture from the arrival of the first kidnapped Africans to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. You'll think about freedom, citizenship, justice, protest and resistance while studying the work of Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, W E B Du Bois and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Final year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Dissertation and Dissertation Preparation

    Make your original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up your own project on a topic that you choose, supported by your dissertation supervisor.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 of the text of each play, you'll have the opportunity to reimagine the plays in performance, using theatre workshops, field trips and play archives to bring the era's 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 how 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.

  • The Globalisation of American Culture: International Perspectives on America as a Cultural Superpower

    Is the world simply becoming ever more 'Americanised'? Or can countries and peoples resist the USA’s 'cultural imperialism'? This module explores the impact of Americanisation, examining how cultures have appropriated, transformed, rejected, embraced and imagined America. You'll also consider the influence it has had on your own identity.

  • 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.

  • Crossing the Line: Frontiers in the Literature of America

    Explore literary representations of border regions in the Americas. You'll examine how cultural exchange, interaction and migration have shaped the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by reading texts that cross lines between cultures and produce new ways of thinking about national identities.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Special Author: Shakespeare

    You will study plays from the whole range of Shakespeare's dramatic career, from the early 1590s to around 1610, with a selection of comedies, histories, tragedies and tragicomedies chosen for study each year.

  • American History by Hollywood

    From D W Griffith’s 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation onwards, Hollywood filmmakers have drawn upon the history of the United States as a bountiful source of stories, characters and adventures. Exploring cinematic representations of events such as the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement, and figures from Abraham Lincoln to Jesse James, this module compares Hollywood’s version of history with what historical courses say ‘really’ happened in the past.

  • Disney Studies

    An in-depth exploration of the history and impact of Disney's global entertainment empire.

  • Doin’ Time: American Prison Culture of the 20th and 21st Centuries

    This module explores one of the world's largest prison systems and the cultural responses it has spawned. You'll get an overview of the key debates and concepts in American prison studies, and you'll study new cultural and pop-cultural formats that you might not have encountered before. We'll discuss incarcerated gangster rappers, poetry from Guantanamo Bay and The Shawshank Redemption, as well as visiting a local prison.

  • The Civil War in American History and Culture

    This module explores the seismic impact of the American Civil War on US politics, society and culture. Besides learning about the conflict and its outcomes, you'll consider its continuing and contested legacy, from the representation of Abraham Lincoln in film to the debate over Confederate monuments.

  • Telling the Truth: American Documentary Culture from the Muckrakers to Fake News

    Explore how photographers and filmmakers have documented American society from the early 20th century to the present day. It's an interdisciplinary module with a visual culture focus that looks at documentary texts in many formats, including newspapers, magazines, films, photography, books, websites and social media.

“The library was definitely the most impressive feature on campus and by far the best University library I have seen.”

Maya Tyrrell Watch Video

"I also wanted to travel to America for a year, and this course offered me both the British University experience and the American College experience."

Connie Fredrickson Watch Video

"I am thriving in Hull. I find the course amazing, I find the University amazing".

Ellie Williams Watch Video

More about this course

From Hull to Hollywood, deepen your understanding of British and American culture, past and present. Our staff are experts in their field, and their research underpins the range of modules we offer. You’ll study topics including literary studies, cultural studies, film and television studies, visual studies and history.

  • American Studies at Hull was fourth in the UK with 97% overall student satisfaction (2018 National Student Survey, HEIs).
  • Tailor your degree to suit your own interests and career aspirations with a wide range of modules
  • Our expert academics have been pioneering American studies teaching for more than 50 years
  • Our Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing attracts internationally renowned visiting authors, as well as new talent
  • 96% of our English students are in work or further study six months after graduating (Destinations of Leavers Survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by HESA 2018).

Writing and writers are central to the legacy of Hull’s status as UK City of Culture in 2017. You'll have the opportunity to be part of the literary and creative scene at the University – and beyond.

Teaching and learning

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions. The types of scheduled lessons you’ll have depend on the course you study.

Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently. This typically involves coursework, assignments, reading, preparing presentations and exam revision.

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

5%

95%

Second year

16%

8%

76%

Final year

13%

5%

82%


Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click map to view directions on Google Maps

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.

Hull pioneered American Studies in the UK and boasts one of the finest collections of resources.

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 120 points. Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from 

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 45 credits at merit

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

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

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

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.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Future prospects

We maintain close links with graduate employers and we find that our graduates are extremely adaptable to the many career opportunities open to them. Some take the traditional employment routes of arts students – journalism, teacher training and the public services, for example – but many begin careers in commerce and industry. Recent graduates have found employment with the following public and private sector organisations: East Riding of Yorkshire Council, J.Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer and the Ministry of Justice.

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