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BA (Hons)

English Language and Literature

Combining the literary and linguistic study of English

Q300UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Are you interested in the way language is used to act on listeners or readers? That issue is central to both aspects of English, whether you are studying linguistic features directly through language units or on literature's approach to the rhetorical use of language in different historical periods.

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
  • Take up the option of some foreign language study, or of spending a term or year abroad.

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
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • web design
  • editing
  • further academic study
Oliver Meredew, BA (Hons) English Language and Literature student 2013

I've particularly enjoyed the intellectually challenging and rewarding environment of my course, as I have been allowed to really think outside the box when it comes to in-depth literary analysis.

Oliver Meredew, BA (Hons) English Language and Literature student 2013

Want to start this course in 2017?

Apply through UCAS Clearing

Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing

Come to our next Open Day

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 32 points from A level English. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 32 points from A level English. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
Programme specification


English and Journalism

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Getting the chance to develop practical skills alongside learning the theory
  • The high-quality teaching and flexibility of options that enables you to tailor your course to your own interests
  • The passion and knowledge of the lecturers that makes studying so enjoyable

Browse all courses in English and Journalism

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

  • Unpacking Texts: Introducing Critical Theory
  • Literary Powers: Renaissance to Romanticism
  • Language, Society and Mind
  • How Language Works
  • The Short Story: Murder, Madness and Experimentation
  • Starting Language Research

Year two

Core units include:

  • Styles And Subversions: Nineteenth Century To The Present Day
  • English Forms and Functions
  • The Language of Literature

Options include:

  • Revolutions! Literature And Change, 1700-1830 
  • Paragons And Profligates: Early Modern Drama
  • Puritans to Postmodernists: American Literature
  • Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim
  • Analysing Media Discourse
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Victorian Literature and Visual Culture
  • Languages (University Wide Option)
  • Learning from Experience

Year three

Core unit includes:

  • Dissertation (English Language or English Literature)

Options include:

  • Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Fiction
  • Dwelling: Memory, Being, Place and the Modern
  • Workplace Discourse
  • Researching English Vocabulary
  • English in an Historical Perspective
  • Postmodern Historical Fiction
  • Ecocritical Perspectives: Environment and Literature, 1820-1939
  • Magical Realism
  • Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
  • Writing to Persuade
  • Mass Communications
  • English in the World
  • US Masculinities
  • Dangerous Desires: Renaissance Revenge Drama
  • Charles Dickens
  • Holocaust Literatures
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning from Experience

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. You will also work with your peers to discuss ideas and produce group presentations.

The final classification of your degree award is determined by your overall performance in the second and third year.

Dr Elodie Rousselot

Tutor's view

Dr Elodie Rousselot
English Language and Literature

By combining literary study with an examination of the linguistic structure of English, this course offers a fascinating way into two exciting disciplines.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Research-Active Staff

You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring you are kept 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).

Work and study abroad opportunities

As part of your English degree you have the option to develop your life skills and enhance your future employability by studying or working abroad. We currently have exchange agreements with academic institutions in Belgium, Germany, Poland and Spain.

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.

University Library

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.

Abby Gorman, BA (Hons) English Language and Literature student 2013

I have found that the library’s wide range of books and journals have been particularly helpful to me as an English student. Not only does the library vastly reduce potential costs, but it also provides a place of mutual solace.

Abby Gorman, BA (Hons) English Language and Literature student 2013

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
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.

General costs:
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.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

This degree is a great preparation for a career in publishing, the media, teaching or research. As well as being a great foundation for a career in the arts, it will help you develop sophisticated analytical and presentational skills, which are also highly valued by a range of non degree-specific graduate pathways including human resource management and information services work. You’ll also possess a firm foundation to continue your studies at Masters or PhD level

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • archivist
  • recruitment consultant
  • museum curator
  • public relations officer
  • information analyst

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

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.

We can offer you a number of work experience opportunities in a range of local organisations 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.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

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.

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 7 October 2017

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Application, Fees and Funding — find out more

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