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Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

History and English

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: QV31

What you'll study

First year

* Modules are subject to availability

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.

  • 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.

You'll also choose one from

  • Exploring the Past

    The discipline of history encompasses an almost limitless variety of subjects and approaches. This module introduces you to some of the key areas, moving at a fast pace through seven historical themes.

  • Representing the Past in Film

    What can we learn about the past by studying films that represent it? We examine the aims and nature of history (both 'academic' and 'popular') by using Hollywood, European and British independent films to analyse key historical issues and to investigate the differences between history and biography. This is not a film studies module: film is a prism that we use to help you develop a sophisticated, self-aware approach to history.

Optional modules

  • Classical Civilisation

    This module explores key cities in the Graeco-Roman world that shape our understanding of 'Classical Civilisation'. From Minoan Knossos and Troy to Athens, Sparta, Rome, Pompeii and Istanbul, we use visual and material culture to examine what we actually know about living, believing and fighting in the ancient world.

  • Heritage and Modern War

    This innovative module explores the different methods used by public historians and heritage bodies to present the history of warfare during the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • The Medieval World

    Between the 11th and 13th centuries, Europe experienced a transformation so revolutionary and profound that historians now refer to it as 'the making of Europe'. This module introduces the period which was so central to European history and culture.

  • Early Modern People and Their Worlds

    This module introduces the different ways that historians have sought to explain historical change in Europe – and Europe’s changing place in the world – from the late Middle Ages to the dawn of the modern era. It investigates a distinctive, exciting period of history which has done much to shape the world of today.

  • The Modern World

    The French Revolution of 1789 was arguably the political ‘big bang’ which created the modern world. You'll explore its legacy, as well as that of the Russian Revolution of 1917: an event which defined the 20th century in much the same way as the French Revolution shaped the 19th. 

  • Global Histories: the Non-Western World, 1500–Present

    Our histories are Euro-centric: they interpret events from a western perspective. But even though Europe became the world's primary arbiter between the 18th and 20th centuries, history is poly-centric – with many hubs of civilization, culture, trade and influence. This module presents a more balanced view of the world after 1492, when it's possible for the first time to speak of a true global history.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Second year

* Modules are subject to availability

In History, you'll study two core modules

  • Thinking About the Past

    This module focuses on historiography: the history of history. It deals with how the subject of history and historical writing have evolved from ancient times to the present day.

  • Communicating the Past: The Virtual Historian

    This module trains you as an apprentice ‘virtual’ historian, giving you the skills to undertake your own original research. But ‘virtual’ has a dual meaning here: you'll explore the availability of sources online and present a source in a context suited for the public by designing an illustrated blog post.

In English, you'll study one of three core modules

  • 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.

  • 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.

Optional modules

  • Emperors, Vikings and Scholars: the Transformation of 'Barbarian' Europe, 750–1000

    The fall of the Roman Empire changed the cultural and political landscape of the West forever. In a region that was once only part of a civilisation straddling three continents arose a new political and cultural phenomenon: Europe. This module begins with the Carolingian empire and moves to the dramatic events of the Viking Age, which engulfed the continent between the eighth and tenth centuries.

  • British Identity

    'Britishness' is in crisis. Who are we? The answer has changed radically in the last 150 years. A great imperial nation? A union of Anglo-Saxons and Celts? A country of immigrants? Or the wartime saviour of Europe? Brexit has brought these issues into sharp focus. This module might provide some answers.

  • Venice

    Venice is probably the most beautiful and romantic place on Earth. We'll look at how it became that – and its visual culture in the Renaissance, when it was a major power and the crucial link between East and West. We place the art and architecture in its widest context – encompassing costume, glass, shopping, food, wine, music and carnival. Funding is available to support visits to Venice.

  • Into the Wild: US Environmental History from the 19th Century to the Present

    An up-to-the-minute exploration of American environmental history and current approaches to the global climate change crisis. Named 'Best Module' in the 2017 students' union Teaching Awards, which are voted for by our students.

  • Cities of Culture

    Rome, Amsterdam, St Petersburg, London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and New York. Not a list of holiday destinations, but cities at their key cultural moments from the 17th to the 20th centuries. We'll examine the visual culture of these cities in relation to their social, economic and political life.

  • Landscapes: Archaeological and Historical Approaches

    Whether for survival, power and domination or a more spiritual connection, people in the past engaged with the world around them in different ways. This module investigates the ways that historians and archaeologists explore how and why people used to interact with their landscape in the manner that they did.

  • The History of Emotions

  • A Millennium of Persecution: Jews and Antisemitism in Europe, c.1000-1945

    This module offers a history of the persecution of European Jewry from the medieval to the modern eras. You'll explore an array of local sources – from the medieval archaeology of York and Lincoln to the archives of first-hand Holocaust testimonies held in our Wilberforce Institute here in Hull.

  • Power and Dominion: Expanding Rule in the Atlantic World, 1066-1865

  • “Ninety Per Cent of Everything”: Shipping and Society since 1650

    In noting that "ninety per cent of everything" transported in the world travels by sea, Rose George contends that "freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the internet, yet it is all but invisible". This module illuminates significant interactions between humanity and the world's oceans. It explores themes such as material and human cargoes, people and places, and control over sea space.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • War, Writing and Remembrance

  • American Rebels: Reading 20th-Century US Counterculture

    You'll study the literature of US counterculture, centred around the social upheavals of the late 20th century. You'll read authors who cast off expectations of class, race, gender and literary form. And you'll explore the ways that they rebelled against their society through writing.

  • American Gothic

    You will immerse yourself in the darker side of American literature, examining the presence of a Gothic sensibility from the fiery preaching of the early Puritans to contemporary horror novels. You'll study a wide range of both popular and literary fiction, exploring the terrors of haunted houses, alien monstrosities and insane protagonists in the specific American contexts in which they were produced.

  • Creative Enterprises

  • 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).

  • Enlightenment, Reform and Revolution

    The 18th century as the period of the Enlightenment and the "age of revolutions" has often been considered the beginning of the "modern world". This module explores key concepts of the political, social and intellectual history of Europe between the "Glorious Revolution" and the fall of Napoleon.

  • America's Wars in Asia

    The USA fought four major wars in Eastern Asia during the twentieth century: the Philippine-American War 1899-1902, the Pacific War 1941-45, the Korean War 1950-53 and the Vietnam War 1965-72. More recently, it has become involved in military ventures in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. This module looks back over the troubled relationship between Asia and the USA from the perspective of the key concepts that have influenced US foreign policy in the 20th century.

  • Game of History

    Millions of people play games, in all of their forms, and many of them are played out in historical settings. Study this module to explore how games shape our understanding of the past, and how history shapes games.

  • Imperialism, Nationalism, and Decolonization: Britain in SE Asia, c. 1850-1950

    This module examines the development of British intellectual, economic, and political interests in South-East Asia from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. The themes and topics will be grouped under two principal heads: 'imperial expansion and colonial rule' and 'Asian nationalism and imperial contraction'.

  • The Normans in Europe: War, Power, Identity and Culture

    This module traces the Normans’ evolution from a band of Viking raiders, through their consolidation of lordship in northern France, to their conquests in Britain, Southern Italy and the Holy Land. Along the way, we will explore the Normans’ origin myths and constructed identity, their methods of conquest and rule, their dealings with the church at home and on crusade, and the art, literature and social structures created amidst the interplay of cultures along the Norman frontiers of Europe.

  • East and West Germany from 'Zero Hour' to Reunification

    Study the diverging yet interlinked political histories of the two parts of Germany between 1945 and 1990. The reasons for the division of the country into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1949 will be examined, and special emphasis will be placed on key turning points and how reunification came about in 1990.

  • The British Empire

    The Victorian and Edwardian period is often described as an 'Age of Imperialism'. Yet what, exactly, does this description imply? Was British imperial expansion a symptom of aggressive self-confidence or of defensive uncertainty? Was the British Empire a 'cost' or a 'benefit' to Britain, and to Britain's dependencies? Did the First World War strengthen or weaken the British Empire?

Final year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Family, Law and Society in Early Modern England

    This module is rich with stories of people’s emotional lives in England between 1550 and 1750. We'll use diaries, correspondence and court records to delve into conflicts (between single people, married couples and within families) over everything from slander to money and property.

  • A Racial History of Modern Britain, 1793-1999

    From the Napoleonic Wars to Brexit, a constant flow of migrants to our shores has shaped Britain. Through seminars, lectures and a field trip to Hull's historic docklands, this module reveals the documentary legacy of successive patterns of prejudice.

  • The Third Reich, 1933-1945

    This module explores the domestic and foreign policies of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. It seeks to explain how and why one of the most cultured nations on Earth – this ‘land of poets and thinkers’ – descended to such depths of barbarity within a few short years.

  • First World War

  • Hazards and History: Disasters, Wars and Societies

    Disasters and wars are usually only seen as events that cause death and destruction and there is little attempt at theorising them in an historical context as significant causal factors in the shaping of human societies. In this module you'll study how disasters are never really “natural” but are the outcome of interplay between physical hazards and vulnerable human populations.

  • Field, Village, Castle: Medieval Landscapes

    The castle was the medieval powerhouse – it displayed military and political might, subdued populations and represented the attainment of power and status. At the other extreme, the majority of the population occupied a landscape dominated by the field and village. You'll examine the changing fortunes of people across the British Isles from 1000-1500.

  • Visual Culture in France in the 19th Century: Revolution and Representations of Power, Places and People

    You will use visual images to understand key historical shifts in power, politics and culture in France in this most revolutionary of centuries and analyse how images can support and contest the political and social status quo. From images of revolution and regime change, to propaganda campaigns and subversive counter-cultural attacks on French emperors and monarchs, you'll track personality politics, the growth of the middle classes and concurrent challenges to academic notions of art.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Medieval Popular Culture Then and Now

    Discover the lives of medieval people and medieval popular culture in England in the period c. 1350-1500. You'll gain an understanding of the conditions that culminated in the revolts and rebellions of the late 14th century. Along the way, we will look at modern popular representations of the late medieval era (e.g. Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Terry Jones’s Medieval Lives) to examine the emphases given to representations of the medieval intended for popular consumption.

  • Britain and the Slave Trade

    The African slave trade has shaped fundamentally the modern Atlantic world. Explore the history of British involvement in it, and the process by which the trade was abolished in 1807.

  • A Continent of Kings and Queens: Courtly Politics in Early Modern Europe

    You will be introduced to important themes in the history of monarchy, courts and ceremonial, which will reflect the variety and breadth of court studies. In particular, it highlights the role of courts as prime sites of patronage and “policy-making”, and the role of ceremonial as a key feature of early modern politics.

"There's a lot of history surrounding Hull, and this influences the modules you study. Once I realised that, I knew that I'd be in the ideal place for my course."

Holly Cockerham Watch Video

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

Ellie Williams Watch Video

More about this course

History and English are complementary subjects, providing a broad understanding of the human past. Literature is a window onto the society that created it, and knowledge of history enables a better appreciation of its products. Both History and English have a strong presence at Hull. Inspiration is everywhere, on and off campus. Our students are fortunate in being able to explore the rich heritage and landscape of Hull and its region through the free field trips that support many history modules. Philip Larkin, Andrew Marvell and Winifred Holtby are among the notable figures who have left their literary mark on the city. Your studies are enhanced by a wealth of resources – both online and in the newly refurbished University Library. Specialist resources are available at Hull History Centre, the Maritime Historical Studies Centre, the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), and the University Art Collection.

Staff in History and English are active researchers and their expertise underpins the wide range of modules available. In History, modules range from the Iron Age to the present day, covering key moments in the histories of Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. In English, you can study the full literary spectrum of prose, poetry, drama and creative writing from the medieval era to the age of Shakespeare to the twentieth century and beyond.

Teaching and Learning
Scheduled
Placement
Independent

First year

16%

84%

Second year

11%

89%

Final year

13%

87%

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

12%

88%

Second year

19%

4%

77%

Final year

4%

12%

84%

Our teaching staff

Follow your interests in the social, cultural, art, indigenous, military, maritime and economic history of Britain, Europe and the wider world.

Resources include one of the UK's best university libraries, plus the Hull History Centre, Maritime Historical Studies Centre and the Wilberforce Institute.

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

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

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.

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

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

*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

We maintain very close links with graduate employers, both on a local, regional, national and international level.

A number of our graduates have gone onto the traditional kinds of employment associated with arts students, such as journalism, teacher training and the public services. However, this joint degree enables students to enter careers within the film and television industry, law, museums and archives, management, marketing and public relations. Our graduates take a wide range of positions including public relations officer, secondary school teacher, retail store manager, employment agency consultant, quality assurance technician, pension adviser, and fundraising and appeals organiser.

Hull has long featured among the UK’s top universities for the employability of its graduates, with an excellent Careers Service available to all students during their time here and after graduation. There’s also the option of continuing your studies as a postgraduate – so you may be interested in what we offer at MA, MPhil and PhD levels.