English and History
Explore historical and literary phenomena
Why take this course?
You will explore a range of historical and literary phenomena, developing and applying a range of theoretical perspectives to evaluate and analyse evidence and texts. You will be able to focus on areas that particularly interest you in contemporary theory and practice.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Engage with and evaluate current critical debates
- Undertake work or research placements, volunteer roles and internships alongside your study
- Have the option of some foreign language study
What opportunities might it lead to?
You will be well positioned to find employment in a variety of fields including teaching, publishing, journalism and media. While studying English literature is a great foundation for a career in the arts, the sophisticated analytical and presentational skills you will gain are also highly valued by a range of non degree-specific graduate employers.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- television script writing
- public relations
- web design
- further academic study
Both sides of the course complement each other: English supports my writing technique and enhances my argument, while history strengthens the context in my English work.
Sam Leader, BA (Hons) English and History student 2013
Apply for September 2016
If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
- 240-300 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 80 points from A level English and 100 points from A level History. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
- Historical Methods
- Society and Culture in Twentieth Century Europe
- Literary Powers: Renaissance to Romanticism
- Critical Thinking
- History Skills Foundation
- Poetry and Poetics
- Masses and Modernity, 1750-1914
- Styles And Subversions: Nineteenth Century To The Present Day
- Literary Prizes And Public Acclaim
Options may include:
- Revolutions! Literature And Change, 1700-1830
- Paragons And Profligates: Early Modern Drama
- Puritans To Postmodernists: American Literature
- Nation and Travel
- Victorian Literature and Visual Culture
- Empires and Identities 1750 - 1914
- Introduction to Historical Research
- Crime, Sin and Punishment in Britain, 1500-1850
- Europe’s Maritime Empire 1600-1800
- In Darkest England: Culture And Conflict In The City 1790 - 1860
- Race, Slavery And Emancipation In The Americas
- Learning From Experience
- Languages (University Wide Option)
- Learning from Experience (Faculty Wide Option)
- Dissertation: an independent research project, in either English or History
- History Special Subjects I and II:
These units allow you to conduct in-depth study on specific topics, using both primary and secondary sources.
Options may include:
- Mortals And Immortals: Man, God And The Devil In Early Modern Literature
- Enlightenment: Literature, Culture & Modernity
- Magical Realism
- Margaret Atwood
- Postmodern Historical Fiction
- Tracing Borders: Women & Writing 1890-1940
- Twentieth Century Avant-Garde Fiction
- Love, War and Friendship in Renaissance Poetry: John Donne to Katherine Philips
- Charles Dickens
- European Literary Decadence
- Consuming Fictions: Food & Appetite in Victorian Culture
- Holocaust Literatures
- Renaissance Poetry: Ben Jonson to Katherine Phillips
- US Masculinities
- (Re) writing Revenge on the Early Modern Stage
- Learning from Experience
- Ecocritical Perspectives: Environment And Literature, 1820-1939
- Dwelling: Memory, Being, Place and the Modern
Teaching and Assessment
Our teaching approach involves lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. A personal tutor will guide you through study skills, research management and dissertation work during your studies, and you will participate in group discussions and projects.
How are you assessed?
We use a range of assessment methods including essays, close textual analysis, presentations and a dissertation. There is a clear emphasis on working with your peers to discuss ideas, and to work collaboratively to produce group presentations.
The final classification of your degree award is determined by your overall performance in the second and third year.
Facilities & Features
The Study Centre
A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, alongside access to the University 3rd Space.
You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring your learning keeps you abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for Literary Studies (CSL) and the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR).
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There is so much to do here and the atmosphere has been inviting and welcoming from the start. The facilities are modern, easily accessible and extremely useful.
Jennifer Ley, English and History student
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. This will be in the region of £500.
Careers & Opportunities
The analytical and communicative skills gained by graduates in history and English are valued by a wide range of employers. You will leave with the ability to manage large quantities of information, communicate effectively, research in groups or independently and write in a concise and informative fashion. All highly employable assets.
You’ll also possess a firm foundation to study at Master’s or PhD level should you want to continue with your research. Portsmouth offers MAs in Literature, Culture and Identity, and in the History of War, Culture and Society.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- recruitment consultant
- museum curator
- public relations officer
- information analyst
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you’re involved in alongside your study.
The School of Social Historical and Literary Studies can offer you a number of work experience opportunities in a range of local organizations during your degree course. Currently these include projects at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the New Theatre Royal, with local government departments and political groups, and a number of our students have worked on small research projects for the local community.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.