BA (Hons)

English with Psychology

Understanding the psychology behind great literature

Q3C8UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Psychology provides a theoretical framework to approach literature's ability to represent complex human minds and behaviour. In this rewarding degree you can focus on literary topics relevant to psychology alongside studying psychology itself.

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.

Please note that this is not a British Psychological Society (BPS) conferred degree award.

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
Harriet Johnstone, BA (Hons) English with Psychology student 2013

I have really loved the way that English literature and psychology can be studied so well together. Although two clear established academic subjects, I am constantly finding links between the two; studying them together is a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Harriet Johnstone, BA (Hons) English with Psychology student 2013

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Key Facts

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. 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
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**
2018/18 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 8299
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

  • Literary Powers: Renaissance to Romanticism
  • Critical Thinking
  • Introduction to Psychological Science
  • Psychology of Everyday Life
  • Narrative Forms
  • Poetry and Poetics

Year two

Core units include:

  • Styles and Subversions: Nineteenth Century to the Present Day
  • Literary Prizes And Public Acclaim
  • Contemporary Issues In Psychology

Options include:

  • Crime Writing
  • Shakespearean History
  • Social & Developmental Psychology
  • Biological & Cognitive Psychology
  • Individual Differences & Psychometrics
  • Styles And Subversions: Nineteenth Century To The Present
  • Revolutions! Literature And Change, 1700-1830
  • Puritans To Postmodernists: American Literature
  • Paragons And Profligates: Early Modern Drama
  • Nation And Travel
  • Victorian Literature And Visual Culture
  • Languages (University Wide Option)
  • Learning from Experience

Year three

Core units include:

  • Dissertation (English Literature)

Options include:

  • Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Fiction
  • Dwelling: Memory, Being, Place and the Modern
  • Mortals And Immortals: Man, God and the Devil in Early Modern Literature
  • Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity
  • Postmodern Historical Fiction
  • Tracing Borders: Women and Writing 1890-1940
  • Ecocritical Perspectives: Environment and Literature, 1820-1939
  • Magical Realism
  • Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
  • US Masculinities
  • (Re)Writing Revenge on the Early Modern Stage
  • Charles Dickens
  • European Literary Decadence
  • Holocaust Literatures
  • Love, War and Friendship in Renaissance Poetry: John Donne to Katherine Philips
  • Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Languages and Communication
  • 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 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 with Psychology

This is the course for you if you are passionate about studying English literature and want to learn about psychology: this course offers you an opportunity to study two disciplines which complement and challenge each other in fascinating ways.

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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.

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 good foundation for a career in the arts, the course 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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