A group of people in a library reading a book
UCAS Code
Q301
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022, September 2023

Overview

If you want a future with fewer limits, this is the degree for you. When you study English Literature at Portsmouth, you'll also explore history and politics, society and culture, human relationships and identities, and how we choose to live. And you’re doing it in a city steeped in lively literature, from Charles Dickens to Neil Gaiman.

You’ll explore complex, challenging issues – from masculinity to the Holocaust. You’ll learn the skills to critically analyse the purpose, truth and impact of any written text. You’ll also develop the skills to produce your own writing and presentations, so you can communicate original ideas in ways that engage and influence readers.

The combination of creative thinking and rigorous analysis you develop will make you a compelling candidate for all kinds of jobs – from marketing to museums, and journalism to publishing.

 

Course highlights

  • Discover our literary city with the constantly evolving Portsmouth Literary Map – your course begins with a tour of literary Portsea and the Dockyards area, introducing significant places in the lives of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, today's local writers, and plenty more
  • Enjoy the freedom to interpret assignments creatively, and develop employable skills in presentation and teamwork, on a course without exams
  • Learn directly from staff who produce world-leading research into areas as diverse as magical realism and representations of food
  • Build specialist knowledge by choosing the topics that match your interests – from global literature to dystopian and apocalyptic environments, from women’s writing to crime writing
  • Develop your own style and build up your writer’s portfolio by becoming a contributor to our Writing Literary Portsmouth blog
  • Curate your own literary prize or produce a prize pitch, to experience what happens when writing meets the commercial marketplace
  • Build a professional network with high-profile figures including authors, agents, publishers, booksellers, prize judges and critics through our contacts and partnerships
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

95% of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BCC
  • UCAS points – 104–120 points, to include A level English, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points, to include A level English, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Optional pathways

After you start this course, you can choose to modify the qualification you graduate with. If you combine your literature studies with an interest in history or the media, you could graduate with a customised degree:

Amy Thomson, English Literature student

I chose to study English Literature at the University of Portsmouth because it offered modules I’d never seen before like Crime Writing and courses on contemporary novels."

Amy Thomson, BA (Hons) English Literature student

Careers and opportunities

Studying the written word at degree level draws on many diverse skills and ways of thinking critically. Which makes English Literature one of the most versatile subjects you can study, creating a wealth of career opportunities. 

This degree will set you up to pursue careers in fields where communication and critical thinking matter. We outline some of these below, but employers in many more industries recognise the value of the transferable skills you’ll gain during an English Literature degree. Your CV will demonstrate:

  • sophisticated analytical skills, enabling you to assess texts on any topic
  • the ability to think critically and reach your own independent conclusions
  • a flair for presenting and discussing ideas with diverse audiences
  • the confidence to say exactly what you mean to say, in writing and in person
  • a creative mindset that helps you see things differently and solve problems
  • a well-developed sense of empathy and teamworking skills

What areas can you work in with an English literature degree?

After the course, you could work in areas such as:

  • advertising
  • journalism
  • arts and media
  • public relations
  • copywriting
  • teaching
  • research

You could also study at postgraduate level.

Graduate destinations

Roles our previous graduates have gone onto include:

  • copywriter
  • journalist and editor
  • marketing executive
  • teacher
  • paralegal
  • sales executive
  • museum curator
Our Careers and Employability Service can help you find a job or course that puts your skills to work. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

Placement year (optional)

After your second year of study, you can choose to do a paid work placement year in the UK or overseas. This lets you put your new skills to work while developing valuable links with employers.

It’s fantastic for your CV and will really help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. Mentoring and support throughout your placement will help you to get the most from the experience.

Previous students have secured placement positions at organisations such as:

  • British Council
  • Kings Theatre Portsmouth
  • Ghent City Council, Belgium
  • Centerprise International – an IT solutions provider
  • Hays Recruitment
  • local schools

Studying abroad

You can choose take part in a study abroad experience with one of our partner universities:

  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Kiel University, Germany
  • University of Luxembourg
  • University of Malaga, Spain

You could also secure funding from the Turing Scheme to study abroad at one of our partner universities.

 

    I chose Portsmouth because of the English Literature course it offered, it was varied and sounded interesting. Some of my work is currently being used in a Holocaust Memorial exhibition in The D-Day Story in Southsea.

    Chloe Bolton, BA Hons English Literature

    Course-related projects and blogs

    What you'll study

    Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

    In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

    Modules

    Year 1
    Year 2
    Optional Sandwich Year
    Year 3

    Core modules

    What you'll do

    You’ll explore and analyse representations of 'the body' in literature from the early modern to contemporary periods, as the site of conformity and resistance, identification and otherness. The module will give you an introduction to some theoretical approaches to reading 'the body' in literature (such as gender theory and posthumanism) and to key terms and concepts (such as, queer, abject, grotesque and the body politic).

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify and discuss some of the ways literary and theoretical texts underpin, help negotiate and/or challenge social and cultural understandings of ‘the body’, and vice-versa
    • Describe key concepts such as the body politic, embodiment/disembodiment, the posthuman, queer, abject and grotesque
    • Recognise the effect of historical context on the construction of the body in literature
    • Understand issues around the social inclusion/exclusion of differently constructed bodies
    • Analyse literary, critical and contextual sources
    • Organise and communicate ideas effectively in line with the principles of undergraduate writing
    Teaching activities
    • 35 hours of seminars
    • 11 hours of practical classes and workshops
    • 23 hours of lectures
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 331 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 6,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark) - this consists of 4 x individual short pieces of coursework compiled into a portfolio

    What you'll do

    The AEP provides you with a broad, deep understanding of your discipline and latest research, enabling you to engage with the English Literature community in debates and develop your employability skills. You can come to as many events as you'd like and we're sure that the AEP will further enhance your University experience.

    Teaching activities
    • 2 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops

    What you'll do

    It challenges the focus on national literature (and a national canon) by introducing you to literature written in English from across the globe and to globally influential non-English language texts. You’ll explore the idea of world literature and writing from diverse cultures with shared concerns regarding environment, identity, power, ethnicity, gender, and class.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Describe key concepts such as ‘world literature’, ‘global literature’, ‘diasporic literature’, and ‘transnational literature’
    • Recognise the challenges involved in the analysis of literature from different cultures and periods
    • Demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues relating to power, class, gender, and ethnicity in literatures and cultures and reflect on these in relation to personal beliefs and values
    • Recognise the effects of reading literature in translation
    • Identify and discuss how literary and cultural traditions are formed, and how non-English language texts or literatures in English have shaped other national, regional, or linguistic traditions
    • Analyse literary, critical and contextual sources, and organise and communicate ideas effectively in accordance with the principles of undergraduate writing
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 23 x 1-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • 2 x 1,500-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

    What you'll do

    You’ll explore core critical thinkers in the field (these could include Barthes, Lyotard, Radway, Adorno, Benjamin, Bakhtin) and popular genres such as spy fiction, fantasy writing, science fiction and crime writing. You’ll also study texts from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century to outline cultural developments such as ‘mass culture’ which will engage you with critical and theoretically-grounded debates about literary and, by extension, cultural values, and who assigns these.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Describe key concepts such as mass culture and popular writing
    • Understand the problems surrounding cultural value
    • Demonstrate critical reading skills
    • Recognise the effect of cultural functions of formulaic popular genres
    • Analyse literary, critical and contextual sources, and organise and communicate ideas effectively in accordance with the principles of undergraduate writing
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 23 x 1-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • 2 x 1,500-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

    What you'll do

    You’ll be introduced to theories of narrative structure (narratology) and develop your critical thinking of literary and theoretical texts.

    What you’ll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Research, plan, and write an essay suitable to the degree context in approach, style, presentation and level of engagement with primary and secondary sources
    • Interpret a short work of prose using critically informed close-reading skills
    • Identify and compare narrative forms such as the 'first person narrative', 'third person narrative' and 'unreliable narrator'
    • Identify suitable scholarly sources for essay writing, and create correctly-formatted in-text references and bibliography entries
    • Engage in relevant social, historical, and cultural contexts
    Teaching activities
    • 23 x 1-hour seminars
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 200-word coursework project (20% of final mark)
    • a 1,500-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You’ll study these alongside literary texts to deliver a productive dialogue between literature and theory, and to produce critical and complex readings of literary texts.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Define core terms and identify critical approaches for literary study
    • Incorporate critical theory into textual analysis as appropriate at this level
    • Summarise, compare and evaluate different critical readings
    • Orally present complex material in an effective manner
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures
    • 24 x 1-hour seminars
    • 1 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
    • 1 x 2-hour tutorials
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
    • a 5-minute oral assessment and presentation (50% of final mark)

    Core modules

    What you'll do

    The AEP provides you with a broad, deep understanding of your discipline and latest research, enabling you to engage with the English Literature community in debates and develop your employability skills. You can come to as many events as you'd like and we're sure that the AEP will further enhance your University experience.

    Teaching activities
    • 2 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify opinions related to the judgement of literary value and questions of canonicity
    • Make critically informed judgements of value based upon textual analysis and related approaches
    • Reflect on the role played by literary prizes in the reception of texts
    • Understand the relationship between degree-related skills and work-related environments and activities
    • Identify and implement appropriate techniques for solving work-based problems
    • Take further responsibility for your own learning activities
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 11 x 1-hour seminars
    • 11 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)
    • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You’ll explore how research develops from seeds of ideas to the ""finished"" product and you’ll review and develop how you use resources and construct arguments. You’ll critically evaluate your academic skills and progress in relation to transferable skills and career pathways.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify relevant sources for an undergraduate research project
    • Recognise different approaches that can be taken in literary research
    • Employ research methods and frameworks
    • Compare and contrast critical approaches to a theme and/or topic
    • Formulate a dissertation proposal
    • Evaluate your research progress and identify areas for development
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
    • 4 x 1-hour lectures
    • 5 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 5-minute oral presentation (30% of final mark)
    • a 2,500-word portfolio (70% of final mark)

    Optional modules

    What you'll do

    You'll investigate how the conflict between loyalties of family, friends and state often produces bloodshed and examine the symbolic significance of blood. You'll also explore how history and different concepts of power, gender and social order are represented within the plays through their use of language, imagery, dramatic devices and form.

    What you'll learn

    When you successfully complete this module, you'll be able to:

    • Identify the central features of Shakespeare's History plays as a genre
    • Analyse the plays in terms of language, imagery, structure and form, stage spectacle, genre and thematic content
    • Recognise and analyse the relationship between the plays and the cultural and historical context in which they were produced
    • Identify and evaluate a variety of critical approaches to Shakespeare's History plays
    • Communicate and work, individually and as part of a team, to contribute to group presentations and seminar discussions
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures (featuring interactive activities, where appropriate)
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars 

    You'll also have scheduled tutorials, continuous online access to supporting material and get regular feedback from teaching staff on your coursework.

    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    At the end of this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a choice between a 1,500-word close reading exercise, or a creative piece with a short reflective essay (1,500-words in total) (40% of final mark) – due around weeks 5/6
    • a 2,000-word discursive essay (60% of final mark) – due at the end of the module

    What you'll do

    You'll read them in historical and theoretical contexts and raise questions about the formation and definition of popular genres, the interaction of text and reader, and the politics of popular writings. You’ll scrutinise the ways in which popular fiction constructs identity, law and the deviant, combined with its fostering of intellectual curiosity, and independent and critical thought.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify key concerns addressed in crime and detective literatures
    • Analyse literary texts within the crime genre
    • Apply different theoretical approaches to a defined problem within crime and detective literatures
    • Conduct targeted independent research that results in a critical literary analysis of crime and detective literatures, demonstrating awareness of relevant theoretical approaches
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 11 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (40% of final mark)
    • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll look at the roots of environmental anxieties in late-nineteenth century science and culture, examine how representations of environmental crisis and disaster are used to reflect human anxieties, aspirations, and fears, and study the relationship between environmental concerns and specific genres (such as science fiction). You’ll explore methods and motivations behind ecocritical approaches such as dystopian and apocalyptic writing in relation to the dominant field of pastoral studies and explore how ecocriticism, animal studies, and posthumanism looks at issues of materiality, identity, alterity, consciousness, being, sovereignty, and power.

    What you’ll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Define and critically assess core terms and concepts for theoretically-informed literary analysis
    • Demonstrate advanced and critically-informed close reading skills
    • Systematically conduct independent targeted research for a specific project that results in a critically informed and contextualised literary analysis
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the potential or actual interplay of different theoretical approaches to a given issue on the module
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 11 x 2-hour seminars
    • 3 x 1-hour tutorials
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
    • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll enter at the appropriate level for your existing language knowledge. If you combine this module with language study in your first or third year, you can turn this module into a certificated course that is aligned with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module:

    • You'll have improved your linguistic skills in Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, French, German or Spanish
    • You'll be prepared for Erasmus study abroad
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

    • coursework (100% of final mark) 

    What you'll do

    You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
    • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
    • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
    • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
    Teaching activities
    • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
    • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
    • 80-hours of work-based learning
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll examine the intellectual, social, cultural and political factors influencing writers in this period. Texts you read will explore the American identity, as well as changing attitudes towards religion, race, gender, sexuality and class.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify key concerns, aesthetics or genres that allow for a sub-categorisation of post-1800 US writing
    • Critically evaluate different theoretical approaches to a defined concept within US writing
    • Produce critically informed close readings of US literary texts
    • Conduct independent research about an identified concept and offer a literary analysis of US writing in context
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 7-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
    • a 40-minute exam (70% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You’ll examine how place and architecture in literature actively construct subjectivity, identity, gendered perceptions of the world, and being and you'll look at the rhetoric of space and place in relation to interior and exterior space, town and country, rooms and landscape. The module establishes the importance of place and relates this to gender from which you’ll develop critical and cultural implications of these readings in relation to psychoanalysis, phenomenology, poststructuralism, gender theory and ecocriticism.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Discuss conceptual and thematic aspects of the literature
    • Reflect on the ways that subjectivity is formulated at specific periods and is related to place and/or gender
    • Recognise the materiality and historicity of philosophical and theoretical concepts
    • Comprehend the significance of perception for the subject and in narrative voice
    • Define and critically assess key terms and concepts for theoretically-informed literary analysis
    • Demonstrate critically-informed close reading skills and contextualised literary analysis
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
    • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    This module includes writing from Latin America, the Caribbean, the US and Canada.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify key concerns, aesthetics or genres used in texts by women in the Americas
    • Critically evaluate theoretical approaches to a defined problem
    • Produce critically informed close readings of literary texts
    • Conduct independent research about an identified problem and offer a literary analysis in context
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 11 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (70% of final mark)
    • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)

    Optional modules

    What you'll do

    Your placement year will be assessed after a period of no less than 30 weeks, on a pass/fail basis.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Critically reflect on the skills needed in a placement environment
    • Identify and evaluate your learning experience and the relevance of this to future careers and professional development
    • Identify areas for improvement or further training in your professional development
    • Evaluate your success in meeting the objectives identified in your learning agreement
    Teaching activities
    • 10 x 1-hour seminars
    • 1,125 hours on placement
    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

    Core modules

    What you'll do

    The AEP provides you with a broad, deep understanding of your discipline and latest research, enabling you to engage with the English Literature community in debates and develop your employability skills. You can come to as many events as you'd like and we're sure that the AEP will further enhance your University experience.

    Teaching activities
    • 2 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Complete a dissertation proposal
    • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and awareness of existing research and literature in a relevant literary field of study, and consolidate it in a written form
    • Employ relevant methods of social research and analysis in an ethical framework, to develop a rigorous research methodology
    • Identify, analyse and evaluate research findings
    • Plan and manage an independent research project
    • Present your research in a clearly structured and coherently argued dissertation
    • Communicate in writing to a literary audience
    Teaching activities
    • 10 hours of project supervision
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 390 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

    • a 1,000-word essay (10% of final mark)
    • a 9,000-word dissertation (90% of final mark)

    Optional modules

    What you'll do

    You’ll focus on how material and metaphorical representations of food and consumption reflect and construct Victorian attitudes to issues such as gender, race, class, nation and sexuality. You’ll also examine typical themes such as hunger and self-starvation, gluttony and excess, and disorderly forms of consumption such as vampirism and cannibalism.  

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Define, deploy and critically assess core terms and concepts for theoretically informed literary analysis
    • Apply critically-informed close reading skills to the analysis of text
    • Analyse and evaluate the cultural meanings and ideological assumptions present in Victorian representations of food and consumption
    • Synthesise different critical perspectives on food in literature to produce a critically informed and contextualised literary analysis
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark) – a close-reading exercise, where you'll demonstrate your skills in analysing a short passage of text 
    • a 2,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark) – a discursive essay, where you'll compare two of the texts studied on the module

    What you'll do

    You'll look at first-person perspectives and contemporary ‘post-memory’ point of views. You'll also evaluate how the Holocaust is represented, and study the ethics of writing and memorialisation.

    What you’ll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify and critically define key concepts that influence Holocaust writing
    • Critically assess the ways in which trauma and memory influence Holocaust writing
    • Analyse the importance of Holocaust writing in the formation of cultural memory
    • Conduct critical readings of Holocaust writing that are informed by a broad selection of critical and theoretical approaches, and reflective of wide-ranging independent research
    • Creatively author a portfolio of innovative reflections on selected Holocaust writing
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word group portfolio (40% of final mark)
    • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (60% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll then evaluate and apply your findings through close textual analysis of notable magical realist texts. The module considers issues of postcolonialism, the limits of realism, postmodern narratorial techniques, historiography and transculturation.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Define and critically assess key terms and concepts in relation to primary texts
    • Demonstrate advanced close reading skills
    • Apply appropriate strategies for the literary study of complex ideas
    • Conduct targeted research that results in a critically informed and contextualised literary analysis
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 11 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 40-minute exam (20% of final mark)
    • a 40-minute exam (20% of final mark)
    • a 1,500-word coursework project (60% of final mark) - including research poster

    What you'll do

    You'll explore different works by a selection of British and non-British writers to assess the formal developments and stylistic innovations brought to the genre by authors writing from a variety of cultural perspectives. The concept of historiographic metafiction will come under scrutiny, as will the recent trend of the neo-Victorian novel, in order to examine some of the major concerns of contemporary neo-historical fiction, including its probing into the mechanics of historical writing and historical representation, and its challenging of accepted versions of 'historical truth'. The examination of the selected texts will be informed by recent theoretical thought in postcolonial, gender, and queer studies.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Identify and explain core terms and concepts linked to neo-historical fiction, and apply them to selected primary texts
    • Undertake close readings of neo-historical fiction, demonstrating awareness of relevant theoretical approaches
    • Identify and apply appropriate strategies for focused literary study of complex ideas linked to neo-historical fiction
    • Conduct targeted independent research that results in critical literary analysis of neo-historical fiction, showing awareness of relevant theoretical approaches
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 3-hour lectures
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 90-minute open in-class test (50% of final mark)
    • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll get an introduction to the role and representation of time in contemporary fiction, and to philosophies of time and temporality. This module focuses on the study of narrative theory, with an emphasis on time.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of how time and temporality inform, underpin and affect narratives
    • Discuss theoretical aspects of narrative fiction, with a focus on time and temporality
    • Define, critically assess and apply key terms and concepts (e.g. narratological concepts) to primary texts
    • Demonstrate theoretically informed approaches to, and close readings of, literary texts
    • Evaluate and apply appropriate strategies for the focused literary study of complex ideas
    • Conduct independent research that results in a critically and theoretically informed literary analysis
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 1-hour lectures
    • 12 x 2-hour seminars
    • Essay tutorials
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
    • a 2,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll critically analyse stereotypes of US masculinity from a cultural and historical perspective. You'll explore how constructions of US masculinity relate to, and are affected by, constructs such as gender, nationality, race, class and sexuality.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Compare and contrast key theories and concepts in the study of masculinity
    • Evaluate theoretical models and use them for the critical analysis of representations of masculinity
    • Demonstrate critical awareness by identifying contextual research and analysing textual representations of masculinity
    • Communicate knowledge of masculinity studies and use it to analyse a range of texts
    • Identify and use key concepts in masculinity studies to produce a theoretically-informed analysis of the literature
    • Demonstrate a wide range of independent research
    Teaching activities
    • 11 x 1-hour lectures
    • 11 x 2-hour seminars
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
    • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (70% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
    • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
    • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
    • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
    Teaching activities
    • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
    • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
    • 80-hours of work-based learning
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

    What you'll do

    You'll analyse employer expectations and apply your findings to refine your professional profile. You'll also prepare a job application pack, and take part in a mock interview as both a candidate and a recruiter and/or assessor.

    What you'll learn

    When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

    • Critically evaluate your personal professional profile and relate it to the development of effective job application strategies
    • Research and critically evaluate employers' expectations of a candidates' skills, attributes and competences in different sector
    • Evaluate your scores from various Psychometric tests to prepare for an employment assessment
    • Professionally communicate the outcomes of your experience to potential employers by producing a CV, statement, video pitch and a mock and formal job interview
    Teaching activities
    • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
    Independent study time

    We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

    Assessment

    On this module, you'll be assessed through:

    • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (10% of final mark)
    • a 1,000-word coursework report (25% of final mark)
    • a 2,000-word practical skills assessment (65% of final mark)

    We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

    Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

    Teaching

    Teaching methods on this course include:

    • lectures
    • seminars
    • tutorials
    • workshops

    You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

    For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

    Teaching staff profiles

    These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this degree course.

    Christine's main research emphasis is on national identity and its construction in literature, as well as Holocaust literatures and commemoration. Holocaust Literatures, Christine's final-year option, examines survivor accounts, second-generation narratives and perpetrator fiction, and discusses issues around Holocaust commemoration and film. Every year, she exhibits students’ creative work at Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

    Read Christine's profile

    Páraic's passions are poetry, drama and American literature and culture. He's spent many years doing research on the American nineteenth-century poet Emily Dickinson, focusing on her reading of British writers such as Shakespeare, George Eliot and the Brontës. Páraic is also very interested in how genders and sexualities are represented in literary texts.

    Read Páraic's profile

    Charlotte is particularly interested in the ways that food and related themes, such as eating, starving and dieting, were represented in the Victorian and neo-Victorian periods. She's also fascinated by Victorian celebrity culture. We tend to think of ‘celebrity’ as something very modern but, as her research shows, it has a much longer history.

    Read Charlotte's profile

    Ben is especially interested in the relationship between time, novels and reading: How much time does a narrative take? How does the time and place of reading affect the way we understand a novel? He is currently part of an international research project on what and how people have been reading during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Read Ben's profile

    Mark's main research passions are literature and environment. He is currently putting together a four-volume anthology on environments and ecology in the long-nineteenth century, which has a global focus. Mark is also working on a book on the ways environments are represented in early Victorian fiction during a period of massive social, environmental and cultural upheaval.

    Read Mark's profile

    Christopher is particularly interested in how popular Victorian texts engage with scientific, social and political debates of the period. He's also interested in the multi-mediality of Victorian literature and popular culture – from the use of illustrations in Sherlock Holmes stories, to crossovers between performance magic and literature in the works of Charles Dickens.

    Read Chris' profile

    Maggie's specialism is the field of multi-ethnic, cross-cultural and transnational writing of North America and Britain with a particular focus on narrative strategies. Maggie has published on magical realism, Indian women's writing in English, African American women's writing, Asian American writing, and Native American writing. She has a particular interest in the intersections of narrative form, ritualistic and political aspects of literature.

    Read Maggie's profile

    Elodie's main area of research is contemporary historical fiction, including the history of science and literature, contemporary neo-historical fiction, the neo-Victorian novel and postcolonial writing (Canadian literature especially). Her current research project examines the representation of Victorian scientific discourses in contemporary literature and culture.

    Read Elodie's profile

    How you're assessed

    You’ll be assessed through:

    • essays
    • textual analysis
    • presentations
    • a dissertation
    • real-world projects
    • creative assignments

    You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

    You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

    How you'll spend your time

    One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

    We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

    We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your English Literature degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

    Term dates

    The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

    See term dates

    Supporting your learning

    The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

    Types of support

    Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

    As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

    You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

    They can help with:

    • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
    • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
    • Understanding and using assignment feedback
    • Managing your time and workload
    • Revision and exam techniques

    As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

    ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

    • Academic writing
    • Note taking
    • Time management
    • Critical thinking
    • Presentation skills
    • Referencing
    • Working in groups
    • Revision, memory and exam techniques

    If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.


    Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

    You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1-2-1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

    If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

    They'll help you to:

    • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
    • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
    • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
    • liaise with external services

    Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

    The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

    If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

    ​Course costs and funding

    Tuition fees (2022 start)

    • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £16,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

    You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

    Funding your studies

    Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

    Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Additional costs

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

    We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

    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.

    If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

    • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)

    Apply

    How to apply

    To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

    • the UCAS course code – Q301
    • our institution code – P80

    If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

    You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

    • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
    • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
    • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

    If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

    • the UCAS course code – Q301
    • our institution code – P80

    If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

    You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

    • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
    • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
    • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

    If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.