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
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £8,750 p/a*
International full-time students: £10,500 p/a*
*Please note that all fees are 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 History 1
- Literary Theory
- History Skills Foundation
- Introduction to Poetry
- Masses and Modernity, 1750-1914
- Literary History 2
- Eighteenth Century and Romantic Literature
- Early Modern Drama
- American Literature
- Nation and Travel
- Victorian Literature and Visual Culture
- Empires and Identities 1750 - 1914
- Introduction to Historical Research
- Europe’s Maritime Empire 1600-1800
- In Darkest England: Culture And Conflict In The City 1790 - 1860
- Colonialism And End Of Empire In French Africa
- Race, Slavery And Emancipation In The Americas
- Learning From Experience
- Literary Prizes And Public Acclaim
- 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.
- Early Modern Literature and the Bible
- Enlightenment: Literature, Culture & Modernity
- Magical Realism
- Margaret Atwood
- Postmodern Historical Fiction
- Tracing Borders: Women & Writing 1890-1940
- Twentieth Century Avant-Garde Fiction
- Friendship, Community & Identity in 17th Century Poetry
- 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
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
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.
Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 89 per cent of our 2011graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.
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.
Our next open day is Wed 10 July
VISIT US! Have a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to live and study here. We’ll be on hand to talk to you about your course interests and show you all of our amazing facilities. You’ll also get to meet tutors and other students…
Application, Fees and Funding — find out more