English Literature BA (Hons)

English Literature student between library shelves
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 2019

Overview

Portsmouth is the perfect place to study literature. Charles Dickens was born here, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called these streets home, and Rudyard Kipling’s work was inspired by his early years in the city.

On this BA (Hons) English Literature degree course, you’ll examine literature from classics to the contemporary, and become an expert in reading, analysing and discussing the written works that inspire you.

You’ll emerge with a skill set that’s sought after for careers in the arts, publishing and media. The critical thinking, reading and analytical abilities you'll develop will also set you up for postgraduate study or roles in areas like teaching and politics.

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Build your knowledge of literature, from Shakespeare to the present day, and across genres from crime writing to magical realism
  • Learn from staff who are undertaking research in this field, ensuring you keep abreast of the latest developments
  • Tailor your studies to the areas of literature that excite you the most, choosing units that match your interests
  • Develop analytical reading, presentation and team-work skills that’ll serve you in your future career
  • Get plenty of one-on-one sessions with your personal tutor

You can also:

  • Meet high-profile figures in the literary world and attend a reception at our annual Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim event
  • Develop personal and professional contacts locally and further afield through our work-related units

Optional pathways

There are optional pathways through this degree that let you combine your literature studies with another interest. These pathways lead to the following exit awards when you finish the course:

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have completed work placements with organisations such as the British Council, Hays Recruitment and local schools.

You could also study abroad at one of our partner universities, such as Ghent University, University of Gdańsk, Kiel University, University of Luxembourg and the University of Malaga

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

A degree in English literature is a great foundation for a career in the arts. Graduate employers also value the sophisticated analytical and presentational skills you'll develop on this course.

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.

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.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

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 units a year. You will have to read several set texts for each unit.

You're expected to have your own copies of the set texts so you can make notes in them. If you buy these, you should expect to spend around £30-£40 per unit. 

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.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50 to £1000.

​What you'll study

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

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

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Unpacking Texts: Introducing Critical Theory
  • Global Identities
  • Body Politics
  • The Short Story: Murder, Madness, and Experimentation
  • Popular Culture: Spies, Dragons, Time Machines

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim
  • Current Approaches to Literature

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Bloody Shakespeare
  • Crime Writing
  • Dystopian and Apocalyptic Environments: Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination
  • Learning from Experience
  • Literary Heritage
  • Mortals and Immortals: Man, God and the Devil in Early Modern Literature
  • Neo-Historical Fiction
  • Puritans to Postmodernists: American Literature
  • Space, Place and Being
  • Women's Writing in the Americas

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
  • Dangerous Desires: Renaissance Revenge Drama
  • Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity
  • Holocaust Literatures
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning from Experience
  • Magical Realism
  • Time, Temporality and Contemporary Fiction
  • US Masculinities

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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching 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 mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

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.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

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

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

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

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can 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. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

Contact information
Programme specification
Subject area
English and creative writing
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