BA English Language and Literature

Uncover the power of words – engage with the texts, discourses and language that are crucial to addressing today’s critical issues.

Key information

Study mode


Course length

3 years

Typical offer

112 points

A Level grades: BBC

UCAS code


Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Your study of English Language and Literature at Hull - the country’s “most poetic city” - will see you developing strong personal and professional skills; you will engage with the power of the word in communicating ideas about society, the environment, crime, race and gender, as well as explore literature from the medieval era to the twenty-first century.

This programme is designed to deliver excellent employability skills, including helping to develop your writing and communication. In many future careers, including journalism, marketing and of course teaching, there is an ever-increasing need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both language and literature.

You’ll learn the art of effective communication and analyse how language influences everything from business to political discourse and social media.

Throughout the programme, you’ll explore prose, poetry and drama with expert teachers and critics, and engage with literature which speaks to urgent issues of the day.

At Hull, you'll benefit from additional opportunities such as an active English Society, and a student-run annual anthology of writing - the Hull Scribbler. We also hold termly Writing Showcases, organised by students, to celebrate our students' work.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session

English Language and Literature


Six reasons to study English Language and Literature at Hull

  1. English is ranked 5th for Student Experience ‡
  2. Study eco-linguistics at a time of climate crisis
  3. Investigate crime through forensic linguistics
  4. Acquire the tools for cutting-edge digital language analysis
  5. Learn how to detect and challenge 'fake news'
  6. Get skills to give the gift of literacy to others

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 credits.

First year modules

  • Compulsory Modules

    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.

    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.

    Analysing Texts, Discourse, and Language

    Learn how to describe, analyse and understand how language works. In this module you will learn key concepts in language analysis and how to apply them to real life texts. You will learn how to recognise patterns in how language is used by people in different activities, organisations and cultures.

    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.

    Digital Language Analysis: How to Code Text

    Learn how to use extensive digital news archives and organise and analyse the texts you find using computer software. You will analyse the way that news media have reported on the environmental crisis and learn the latest techniques in digital text analysis.

Second year 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.

    Learning Language: Acquisition and Literacy

    This module examines how language is acquired. It addresses different models of child language acquisition and development. You will learn about the development of literacy in adults and children and the importance of effective literacy skills.

    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.

    Media Texts

    Discover how media texts work. In this module you will learn how different types of media texts are typically structured, how they express certain identities and values and how they frame the events and people that they report on. This module gives you an understanding of how to create media texts and how to critically engage with them.

  • Take one English Literature module per trimester – choose from:

    All the World’s a Stage: Shakespeare and Early Modern Theatre

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

  • Compulsory Modules

    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.

    Critical Discourse Analysis: People, Power, Perspective

    Learn how leaders use the power of words to their advantage and how to spot and challenge ‘fake news’, and discrimination. In this module you will engage with issues of power, democracy, and social change and see how your analysis can uncover hidden patterns, assumptions, and prejudices. You gain essential critical analytical skills for your future career and for an active political life.

    Forensic Linguistics: Investigating Crime and Criminal Justice

    Learn how linguistic evidence can be used to crack crime and about the importance of linguistic evidence in criminal justice systems. Working in teams and on your own you will get to grips with theories, methods and techniques of forensic linguistics. Get a taste of what a career in criminal investigation and criminal justice could be like for you.

  • Take one English Literature module per trimester – choose from:

    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.

Ellie Williams English

Why I chose English at Hull

Watch video

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades BBC

  • BTEC grades DMM

  • Points required 112

Work out your estimated points

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

Points can be from any qualifications 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

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 28 points
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma overall with a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points

Worried you don’t quite meet our entry requirements?

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it’s not just about the grades – we’ll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

If you have any questions, our admissions team will be happy to help.

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

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.

Click and drag

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).

The fees shown are for 2023 entry. The fees for 2024 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,978 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

  • school teacher
  • teacher of English as a foreign language
  • marketing or communications professional
  • copywriter or speechwriter
  • journalist
  • commercial or academic research

The knowledge you will gain on literacy will give an invaluable grounding for teaching children and adults reading and writing.

You will build employability skills in problem solving, time management, and strategic thinking as well as critical, reflective and communication skills.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our Open Day

Book a place

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 2023

‡ The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023