Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BA English

Explore language and literature through teaching that's been developed from internationally excellent research.

Key information

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Course length

3 years

Typical offer


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Start date

Course overview

Hull has a remarkable literary legacy that has seen it called the country's "most poetic city". Poets Andrew Marvell and Philip Larkin lived here, while the University counts the likes of Douglas Dunn and Roger McGough among our alumni.

Literature affects how we think about and communicate with the world around us. It informs our understanding of ourselves and other cultures, past and present.

Explore literature from the medieval era to the 21st century. Our modules cover (among many other things) English and American poetry, children's literature, dystopian fiction, the literature of modernism and experimentation, drama from ancient Greek to contemporary British, Gothic, crime and transgression.

You'll gain the skills to analyse, research and communicate at a very high level - giving you the skills that are prized in many professions.

And you'll find plenty of opportunities to make your own mark - with an active, student-led English Society and the Hull Scribbler, a student-run annual anthology of writing. You'll also get the chance to participate in our termly Writing Showcases, which are organised by students and celebrate our students' work.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session



Six reasons to study English at Hull

  1. Top 15 for 'student satisfaction' for English*
  2. 100% graduate employability rating# 
  3. Top 25 for English in the Good University Guide 2021†
  4. Study topics that the world is talking about
  5. Work with internationally-renowned scholars
  6. Get involved in Hull's thriving local and global literary scene

What you'll study

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.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    Exploring English

    In this introductory module you will focus on the key skills needed to help you transition from your pre-university studies to the work that you will do at university. You'll learn how to collaborate with your peers in practical skills workshops and start building up an academic support network. Your tutors will monitor your individual progress by means of an e-portfolio.

    Young Worlds: Literature of Childhood

    An introduction to the ways in which authors, artists and film-makers have represented childhood in diverse cultures from the mid-nineteenth to the twenty-first century. You will consider how the assumed innocence of childhood has been both idealized and challenged over time, and what the child’s perspective on adult life has contributed to our understanding of social attitudes to childhood.

    Poetry, Past and Present

    Discover English-language poetry from across the globe – poetry that crosses continents and cultural perspectives and gives voice to the complexities of gender and sexuality. Learn about the key poetic concepts of metre and rhyme and about different verse forms, including sonnets, songs, and ballads.

    The Power of the Word: Stylistics

    Analyse the language techniques used by inspirational writers and public figures in their fights against racism and sexism. The module will focus on how we can analyse fiction and non-fiction to uncover the distinctive styles of inspired wordsmiths, of different genres of writing and speaking, and how powerful effects give meaning to the texts that inspire us.

    Drama, Conflict and Identity

    Study landmark plays which highlight enduring issues of identity and human conflict. You will develop the critical skills, technical vocabulary, and knowledge of staging practices needed to analyse plays as text and performance, while discovering that drama is a malleable form where direction, performance and changing audiences can open up very different interpretations.

    Reading the World: Intercultural Encounters

    This module introduces you to writing which crosses borders and boundaries. Focussing principally upon novels and short stories published in English between 1818 and 2018, you will examine a series of intertextual encounters between writers variously engaged in the exploration of fundamental and enduring questions relating to individual and cultural identity.

Second year modules

In Year 2 you will be encouraged to expand and deepen your knowledge of literature chronologically and thematically. You take a total of six modules.

  • Compulsory Modules

    Crime and Transgression

    Societies, cultures and communities often construct themselves around what they define as ‘criminal’ or ‘transgressive’. Question how societies and cultures enforce discipline upon ‘transgressive’ individuals and groups: what is a ‘crime’ and who effectively gets punished? Explore how societies respond to those who transgress against heteronormative relationships or those whose gender identities put them beyond their societies’ very narrow definitions.

    All the World’s a Stage

    Rather than studying Shakespeare in isolation, this module places him among the many inventive and influential playwrights of the time. You will be introduced to ground-breaking plays in key genres (tragedies and comedies) and sub-genres (such as revenge drama and city comedy) which flourished in the purpose-built commercial playhouses. This module explores the drama’s extraordinary legacy: a rich trove of plays of exceptional emotional reach, eloquence, invention, and imaginative daring. Provocative, moving and evocative—these plays form part of a golden age of English theatre.

    Secrets, Scandals and Rebellions

    Explore the nature of secrecy, scandals and rebellions in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, and how aspects of these controversies are still live issues reflected in real-world scenarios. Consider a literary text of your own choice in the style of investigative journalism, and then collaborate with other students on a project linking a fictitious scandal of the past with something you identify as a continuing controversy today.

    Writing the Environment

    This module showcases the power of language, literature, and the creative word to shape and shift attitudes towards our planet and its future survival. It will encourage you to explore eco-writing and environmentalist discourse responding to three of today’s urgent environmental challenges: pollution, the climate crisis, and sustainability.

  • Optional Modules

    Travel, Cultural Encounters and Conflict

    Take the notion of travel in its broadest sense to explore the experience of individuals and groups who come into contact with each other. Starting in the eighteenth century with an exploration of Turkish painting alongside French and British Orientalist art, you will consider representations of countries such as Ireland in the Famine years, accounts of the Rwandan genocide, and Afghanistan at the turn of the twenty-first century.

    Dystopian Fiction

    Study exciting dystopian fiction from the past and right up to the present day. As well as reading and responding to a range of texts, you will have creative opportunities to build and explore new worlds, implementing your own survival strategies. The assessments include academic and creative options, giving you a range of opportunities to excel.

    Love, Desire, Death

    Trace the development of representations of love, desire and death in English poetry and drama over the course of almost three hundred and fifty years. Following on from ‘All the World’s a Stage’ in trimester one, this module will encourage you to deepen your engagement with familiar writers like Shakespeare and Marlowe, but will also introduce you to important Medieval writers and key Renaissance poets through the specific lens of their treatment of love, desire and death.

    Making It New

    Explore experimentation, radicalism and innovation in literature. Many writers of the 20th century rebelled against previous ways of writing, thinking these methods were no longer relevant to a rapidly changing world. You will have the chance to study a range of exciting, ground-breaking texts from the early 1900s to the 1990s.

Final year modules

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 Research Project, on a topic chosen by you, with the support and guidance of your supervisor. On top of the Research Project, you choose a further 4 modules.

  • Compulsory Module

    Research Project (40 Credits)

    This module supports you in the design and completion of a final-year independent or collaborative research project. Develop your intellectual autonomy and produce a distinctive and dynamic project which reflects your growing expertise as a researcher in any field of English Studies.

  • Optional Modules

    Unruly Subjects: Voices from the Margins

    Study writing which was regarded with suspicion by the authorities and incorporates marginal figures, such as prostitutes, the poor, same-sex lovers and female adventurers. Our subject is unruliness: how it was defined, represented, attacked and, on occasion, celebrated in writing from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.

    Crime Scenes

    Engaging with a key genre within popular culture, you will analyse contemporary society via a number of prismatic themes, or re-framings of the ‘crime scene’: crime and its (social) environment; the status of the murdered body; the mind of the psychopath; crime fiction’s early engagement with LGBTQ+ issues, and with racial discrimination and oppression.

    Voyage Out: Navigating the Language and Literature of the Sea

    This module introduces you to sea narratives from the eighteenth century to the present day. You will engage with a range of fictional and non-fictional representations of seafaring and maritime adventure, and diverse perspectives on the individual’s negotiation of the threshold between land and sea.

    Writing Britain Now

    Read and respond to texts written during the 21st century, novels, short stories and plays that focus on topical issues such as Brexit, immigration, racial inequality, climate change, and terrorism. You will also have an opportunity to reflect on the different perspectives diverse contemporary writers bring to the concerns of our time.

    Intercultural Shakespeares

    Examine four Shakespearean texts that dramatise or examine an intercultural encounter, and consider how these plays have been appropriated by and adapted in other cultures and by those intent on challenging dominant cultural norms. The module will be of interest to students who want to gain more understanding of Shakespeare’s plays, particularly in relation to debates regarding race, colonialism, gender and sexuality, and cultural appropriation.

    Gothic Imagination

    Explore the Gothic as a literary genre and cultural mode from its origins to its contemporary international manifestations. Gothic responds to the dominant culture of its time and represents an important mode of articulation for socially, politically, sexually marginalized groups. It responds to and negotiates racial, religious, gender and political issues and demonstrates an ongoing capacity to register the tensions that lie behind the surface of culture and identity.

    Written on the Body

    Feminist and gender criticism and theory are going through major developments in contemporary culture. At the same time, new and traditional gender identities, sexual orientation and intersectional, blended identities are raised and analysed in literary texts. This module will allow you to take account of the newest developments in its critical engagement with feminism and gender in relation to a range of contemporary texts.

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

How you'll study

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.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Ellie Williams English

Why I chose English at Hull

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Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades N/A

  • BTEC grades N/A

  • Points required N/A

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Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

At Hull, you’re a name not a number. During Clearing, we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades. We may be able to offer you a place whatever your situation.

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 466100 or complete our online form to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

If you require a 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. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

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.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Our English students enjoy 24/7 access to the recently restored Brynmor Jones Library which boasts more than a million books.

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

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

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,706 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

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

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. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Librarian
  • Publisher
  • Writer
  • Civil servant

This programme trains you to analyse, research and communicate at a very high level - giving you skills that are prized in many professions.

With this kind of grounding, you will have acquired the adaptability to flourish in many arenas.

These may include more obvious paths, such as teaching or library and archive work. They will also prove useful in any field requiring research skills and the ability to translate concepts into written or spoken forms, such as those needed by managers in any industry.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

Clearing is open. This is your opportunity to get a place at uni if you don’t have one already – for whatever reason. It’s your chance to get the degree you need and the future you want.

Not ready to apply?

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

* Complete University Guide 2022

# Percentage of students from this subject area in work or further study within 15 months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2018/19, published by HESA July 2021.

† Ranked joint 24th of 101 institutions in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021