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English Literature with History BA (Hons)

Explore literature from classics to the contemporary, and discover how history has shaped – and been shaped – by written works on this degree course. You'll become an expert in reading, analysing and discussing literature, and explore British and global history.

Key information

UCAS code:

Q301

Typical offer:

104-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview

Overview

Portsmouth is the perfect place to study literature and history. Charles Dickens was born here, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called these streets home, and Rudyard Kipling’s work was inspired by his early years here. Plus, it's a city that's played a major role in British and world history – you'll find influences of the past throughout, from Portsea Castle to the Historic Dockyard.

On this BA (Hons) English Literature with History degree, you’ll examine literature from classics to the contemporary, and discover how history has shaped – and been shaped – by written works. You'll become an expert in reading, analysing and discussing literature, and explore British and global history.

You’ll emerge with a skill set that’s sought after for careers in the arts, publishing, media and as a historian. 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. 

Course highlights

  • Build your knowledge of English literature, from Shakespeare to the present day, and across genres from crime writing to magical realism
  • Learn from staff undertaking historical and literary research, ensuring you keep up-to-date of the latest theories and findings
  • Have access to primary and secondary historical sources through local organisations and archive subscriptions
  • Grapple with current issues in English literature and engage in lively critical debates
  • Tailor your studies to the areas of literature and history that excite you the most, choosing modules that match your interests
  • Enhance your studies by taking advantage of our close links with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Records Service and the D-Day Museum
  • Develop analytical reading, presentation and teamwork skills that’ll serve you in your future career

You can also:

  • Undertake work or research placements, volunteer roles and internships while you study
  • Develop personal and professional contacts locally and further afield through our work-related modules
  • 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
  • Meet high-profile figures in the literary world and attend a reception at our annual Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim event
  • Choose to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, from a selection of Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

Why study English Literature?

From canonical literature to popular culture, students studying English Literature with us can choose from a wide range of modules, and will open themselves up to a wide range of career opportunities.

Hear from staff and students about why they love English Literature at Portsmouth.

Josh: For me, English literature has always been escapism.

Rebecca: It's nice to take a book and place it within the society it was written in, and how that then applies to the society we're in now. It challenges you to think about the world as it is currently.

Dr Christopher Pittard: The English Literature course at the University of Portsmouth is a three year course, or four year course with a placement.

It's a course which is based on ideas of both canonical literature, some people like Wordsworth, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare, but also sort of more popular forms of culture; the spy novel, science fiction, fantasy fiction.

I think our students want to come and study English Literature at Portsmouth because of the range of modules.

Rebecca: In first year we did Global Identities, which covers a lot of translated texts from different places. Some were from India, some from Africa, and I've actually now based my dissertation off what I learned in that module.

Josh: We studied a graphic novel called Fun Home by Alison Bechdel as part of our American Literature module. We got to partner up with some musical theatre students that were actually putting on this production of Fun Home. So we were doing the literary analysis side of it. They were doing the musical version of it, so it was great to kind of look at how our texts are interdisciplinary.

Dr Christopher Pittard: We have a wide range of assessment methods, which looks at the scope of literary history from the early modern period right up to contempt through fiction. We don't have the closed book fixed time exam.

Josh: I grew a love of contemporary literature, which the lecturers were really good at fostering, especially representation of gender and sexuality within more modern day film and literature.

Dr Christopher Pittard: All of the lecturers here at Portsmouth are published authors, published researchers. It's very much a course where students can follow their own literary passions and develop their own expertise.

A degree in English literature leads students into a wide range of careers.

Many of our students go into; journalism, into print media, into television, radio publishing, teaching and public relations. It really is a very versatile degree.

It's one of those ones that employers are really interested in. They want the transferable skills that an English literature degree creates.

Josh: You are gaining abilities such as communication, time management. You can synthesise a 500 page word novel and be able to argue for your point of view. I think this comes in handy going into the future.

Rebecca: For those wanting to study English at the University of Portsmouth, I'd say just go for it. I love the city.

Dr Christopher Pittard: It's the birthplace of Charles Dickens. It's been home to people like Jane Austen. Simon Armitage was a student at the University of Portsmouth. Our students get a lot out of reading these literary figures who've lived on these streets and walked these same streets.

Rebecca: It's been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. It's a second home to me.

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements​

To do this degree, you need to apply for the BA (Hons) English Literature course. This is because it's a 'pathway' degree.

You’ll study English Literature in depth and add History as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll graduate with a BA (Hons) English Literature with History degree when you finish the course.

These are the entry requirements for the BA (Hons) English Literature course.

BA (Hons) English Literature entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find 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 - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs - 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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Take a literary history tour of Portsmouth with us

From Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes to Neil Gaiman, Portsmouth is steeped in lively literature. Join two of our students for a tour around our literary city.

Chibuzor and Holly: Welcome to Portsmouth.

Chibuzor: Our island city has a really rich history of literature and culture.

Holly: Come and join us for a tour.

Chibuzor: One of our most famous literary residents is Charles Dickens, who was born here on Old Commercial Road. It is now home to the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum.

Holly: Portsmouth is also the birthplace of another famous figure. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his first Sherlock Holmes story while practising as a doctor here in Southsea. Now you can walk in his footsteps while doing a spot of shopping on Elm Grove.

Chibuzor: Thinking of shopping, our popular Gunwharf Quays features in Graham Hurley's DI Faraday crime novel, The Take. Graham Hurley is a friend of the English Literature programme. If you study with us here at the University of Portsmouth, you may get a chance to work with him in class.

Holly: There is literally an ocean at the end of this lane. It was renamed in honour of the famous novel by Neil Gaiman, who lived just outside of Portsmouth and spent many holidays here with relatives in the city.

Chibuzor: As an island city, Portsmouth has had a huge influence on authors both from home and abroad. Jane Austen often visited here to see her brothers, who were stationed here with the Royal Navy. She was inspired to include Portsmouth in her novel, Mansfield Park.

Holly: Stephanie Norgate's poem, Ferries at Southsea, was inspired by the view of ferries here on Clarence Parade Pier. Her poem is strongly rooted in the local area, but also tackles global issues of immigration.

Chibuzor: Portsmouth’s naval history means we can't shy away from the topics of race and slavery. The first slave narrator, Ukawsawa Gronniosaw, visited our city, while John Jea, another former slave, was a prominent preacher near the docks. Their memoirs movingly reveal the city's black history.

Holly: As we move into modern day, we have authors and poets tackling issues both big and small. Poet laureate Simon Armitage studied at the University of Portsmouth. Local poet Denise Bennett has written on Portsmouth Jewish history, and Fatima Bhutto featured Portsmouth in her contemporary novel on Islamic culture. As well as its fabulous literary history, Portsmouth also has a really vibrant, creative writing community, and you can be a part of it if you decide to study here.

Chibuzor: Our final stop is Milldam building. Originally a mill pond, it was featured in a long forgotten novel by Walter Besant, who was a contemporary of Charles Dickens. The Navy drained the pond and built officer quarters here. Then it changed hands and became home to the English Literature team at the University of Portsmouth.

Holly: Which means Portsmouth is home to the next generation of writers, thinkers and world shapers.

Chibuzor: We hope you join us.

Careers and opportunities

An English literature and history degree is a great foundation for a career in the arts.

Employers also value the sophisticated analytical and presentational skills you'll develop as a graduate of an English and history course.

What can you do with an English Literature and History degree?

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

  • advertising
  • journalism
  • arts and media
  • public relations
  • copywriting
  • teaching
  • research
  • museum curation
  • the heritage sector
  • archiving

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.

What jobs can you get with an English literature degree?

English literature graduates can be found in numerous sectors, filling a variety of roles – from journalist to teacher, marketing manager to legal advisor. Find out more about how versatile this degree really is.
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Placement year

After your second year of this English and history degree, 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 museums and local schools.

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

What's it like to take a placement year?

Hear from some of our placement year students - Finlay, who took a placement at NBC Universal, Anastasia, who found a place at St Vincent College, and Charley, who took a role at Castle View Academy.

Find out about their experiences and hear what advice they have to give other students.

Finlay: I've loved every moment of my placement. It's probably one of the most fantastic years I've ever done in my life, probably one of the best things I've ever done.

Emily Parry: The school covers area studies, sociology, history, politics and literature. There are a number of different placement opportunities that are based locally or nationally around the UK, covering lots of different sectors and areas. So there's something there for everybody.

Finlay: Before university, I was always somebody that really didn't want to rush university. I wanted to try a placement year out, which was something that I'd love to do, and here we are today at NBC Universal. I got very, very lucky with it, but it's great.

Emily Parry: One of the misconceptions about placements and work experience for humanities students is that it would be very restricted on the kind of things that they can do.

Finlay: As a politics student, obviously I do love politics, but it's the other interests you have outside of politics. I love my films, I love my TV series, so I work in an environment selling content that I love.

Anastasia: Since about year ten, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. The work placement has definitely put it in perspective that it’s still what I want to do and it means that I don't have to go into a PGCE placement completely unaware of what I have to do. It gives me the experience of what a teacher actually needs to do and what their role is in a college.

Charley: Teaching is something I find quite natural to do. It wasn't really to do with my degree, but I found it was quite easy to interlink the two. So I was able to run a politics club here and it was really quite inspiring to see how enlightened the students were and how knowledgeable they were about current day events, and went from there, really.

Emily Parry: What I love about placements is seeing the students when they come back and you can see the development in them of the confidence that they've built and their ability to communicate and work as part of a team.

Charley: Before, I really struggled with public speaking. So standing in front of an audience is not something I would initially choose to do, and for some people, standing in front of 30 children is even more scary than standing in front of adults.

Finlay: University of Portsmouth really helped me with confidence and the ability to speak, which I've then brought into NBCU where I present in front of my managers once a month.

Charley: Having that sort of exposure was really, really important to me. For students who want to do a placement, I would just say go for it.

Anastasia: It’s a brilliant opportunity to put yourself in a workplace environment with loads and loads of support.

Finlay: Just put everything into it because it really is a year that's really helped me feel a lot more confident going into my final year of university.

Emily Parry: It's the best feeling when a student gets that placement because you know the opportunities that's going to open up for them with their future career.

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.

Modules

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.

What you'll study

Core modules

You’ll investigate ideas of the body as ‘natural’ by examining its role in culturally constructed ideas of gender, race and sexuality.

You’ll explore how the body can be seen as the site of both conformity and resistance, identification and otherness.

Get an introduction to theoretical approaches to reading the body in literature, such as gender theory and posthumanism, as well as key terms and concepts, including queer, abject and grotesque.

You’ll complete the module viewing the body as a lightning rod for questions of belonging, power and social change.

Immerse yourself in world literature classics and modern texts written in English or translated from other languages. Analyse stories that address shared human concerns like environment, power, ethnicity and gender.

You’ll discover how reading diverse voices fosters a spirit of intellectual curiosity, and discuss and debate literature’s role in an increasingly connected world.

In this module, you'll dive into theories and debates challenging assumptions about artistic quality.

Through key texts spanning from the 19th century to the present day, you'll uncover the contextual forces and power structures influencing critics.

You’ll shed new light on popular fictions' literary functions and cultural impacts, and sharpen critical thinking skills to form educated opinions on what compelling storytelling means to different communities.

Through diverse works, you’ll develop your ideas and apply new concepts, including narrative theory that helps you understand how stories are constructed, and can spark your own literary creativity.

You’ll take part in lectures and group discussions to debate genres and conventions. You’ll nurture your critical awareness, research skills, and essay management, preparing you to examine life’s mysteries through storytelling.

This module will also set you up with all of the referencing skills you'll need to navigate the rest of your degree.

You'll explore fundamental assumptions about what it is to read, write and interpret texts, using select literary texts to examine the links between literature and theory, and to produce increasingly critical and complex readings.

This module will help you get to grips with concepts and ideas that will be crucial to your study of literature throughout your degree.

Core modules

You’ll analyse diverse literary prizes – from the Booker to the Women’s Prize and beyond – and debate the complex criteria applied in judging literary value.

This module gives you access to the commercial world of literary publishing and prizes, offering you the chance to develop professional skills and plenty of opportunity for literary analysis

You’ll use case studies and exercises to see how research develops from initial ideas to finished works.

You’ll review resources and arguments to improve your research skills, and work with other students to refine your dissertation proposal through feedback and peer review.

This module will also help enhance your employability skills through bespoke activities and assessment.

Optional modules

You'll analyse key crime writing texts from detective fiction to philosophical writings on crime and punishment, considering the way they represent criminals, the police, the ethics of the death penalty, as well as historical contexts and theoretical approaches.

This module invites you on an investigative journey through the ethics, identities and politics underpinning tales of crime.

You’ll discover how literature draws on our modern anxieties around climate change, as well as our conflicted relationship with nature, and helps us address these issues.

By investigating the methods and motivations behind ecocritical approaches in literature, you’ll consider the ways in which ecocriticism, ecofeminism, and postcolonial ecocriticism can be used to focus on issues of ecocrisis, environmental justice, sovereignty and power.

There’s also a strong focus on gender, identity, the body, and the relationship between humans and environmental others.

You’ll look at diverse genres that shed light on historical moments such as slavery, post-colonialism, suffrage, second wave feminism and post-feminism.

You’ll analyse how transnational and gender identities are constructed and expressed in a global context, honing skills for contextual literary analysis alongside independent research.

On this module, you’ll explore the evolving power of media to represent reality, sway opinion and shape identity from the age of empire through swelling post-war pop culture.

Examining sources like newspapers, propaganda films, early TV and more, you'll investigate questions like: What “truths” did the British public consume during wars and upheavals? How did entertainment and advertising convey visions of leisure, lifestyle and “the good life”? And who was included or excluded from depictions of Britishness across eras?

Discover how the media we ingest informs how we envision ourselves, our communities and aspirations - both past and present.

You'll explore early modern Europe's complex world through everyday objects, analysing diverse artefacts - shoes, monuments, religious objects, food - and how they offer new perspectives for our understanding of the past and the present.

You'll consider how the study of objects can lead to new interpretations of historical narratives such as 'the consumer revolution', the development of a global economy, the emergence of new forms of inequality, and changing understandings of public and private.

You'll unearth the multiple lives and 'afterlives' of objects, engaging with debates about their significance and importance in heritage contexts in the 21st century, with access to some of the rich material culture available within the city, including the Mary Rose Museum.

You’ll evaluate sources such as legal records, cheap print, newspapers and novels, to discover what was considered a crime during this period and explore changing approaches towards ‘deviant’ behaviour.

You’ll see how behaviours we now consider private were publicly policed, and how this involved religion and the community. You’ll analyse changes from corporal punishment and torture towards modern ideas of policing.

You’ll also consider debates about the impact of urbanisation on patterns of crime, and the use of criminal prosecution as a means of social control, for example in relation to enforcing gender roles and controlling the poor.

You’ll dig into the cultural context of violence in Shakespeare's age, analysing how poetry and performance play on complex dynamics of authority, resistance and ideology.

Through Shakespeare’s works, you’ll develop your own perspectives on the role of war and peace in sixteenth-century English culture.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You’ll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You’ll analyse American texts against the backdrop of intellectual, social and political change, evaluating how writers grappled with emerging ideas around national identity, race, gender and more.

By honing skills for contextual analysis and independent thought, you’ll form your own interpretations of iconic works that reflect the American experience.

On this module, you’ll explore philosophical ideas around spaces and places in texts from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century.

You’ll learn how to interpret spatial narratives through your evaluation of interior and exterior spaces, town and country, rooms and landscape.

You’ll analyse how creative works draw on wider cultural anxieties around industrialisation, race, class, and evolving gender roles.

In this module, you’ll explore European colonisation of Africa, asking questions like - how did they justify colonial rule, and how did African peoples respond to these colonisers?

You’ll learn how, after World War II, colonial rule was increasingly challenged from both within the empire, by growing African demands for political rights, and in the international arena, with the global trend towards trusteeship, development and self-determination.

You’ll also explore European relations with Africa in the post-colonial era, looking at themes which may include ideas about civilisation, universalism and race, modern attempts to 'rehabilitate' empire in the media, and the legacies of colonialism in Britain, Europe and Africa.

On this module, you’ll explore key areas of the history of slavery in the Atlantic World, and highlight significant themes and debates.

Themes you’ll think about include the intersection of ideas of race, gender, and slavery, the inherent violence of the institutions of slavery, the persistent forms of resistance by the enslaved, and the development of anti-slavery thought and practices, including revolutionary action and mass campaigning.

Optional modules

Work Placement Year or Study Year Abroad

Boost your employability by taking an industry-based work placement year or immerse yourself in another culture by studying for a year at one of our partner universities worldwide.

This is an amazing opportunity to either put everything you’ve learned so far into action in a real workplace in the UK or overseas, or to expand your horizons and set yourself up for your future career by studying abroad.

If you choose a work placement year, we’ll help you find and secure an exciting placement opportunity within an appropriate company or organisation. You’ll have the chance to try out skills and gain experience that’ll help you clarify your next career steps, while building capabilities employers seek. 

If you choose to study abroad, you’ll expand your global perspective and develop additional skills to boost your future career, as well as making memories, new friends and career contacts.

Core modules

Led by a subject specialist, you'll study how the practice and ideas related to empires and/or identities shaped the lives of people in a specific time period, and how they themselves resisted or negotiated the impositions of forms of inequality.

Example topics include:

The Opium War, 1839-1842

Explore how two empires – Great Britain and China – came into direct confrontation for the first time in the nineteenth century and how the military campaign has been remembered by successive regimes in generations afterward.

Reformers, Rebels and Refugees: Religious Identities in Elizabethan England

Investigate how a range of people supported, resisted or conformed to a period of profound religious and political change, and how identities and communities were formed and reformed in late 16th century England. 

Racism and Anti-Racism in Post-war Britain

Discover how questions of migration, race, identity, and belonging were being understood and negotiated as Britain transitioned away from its role as an imperial power. Examine the various ways in which people experienced racism, and as well as the myriad means by which this discrimination was challenged. 

The Making of the German Nation: Germany during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century

Examine the fluid concept of German national identity across a turbulent history spanning war, empire, division and crisis. You’ll discover how Germans defined themselves and their nation from the early 19th century through Nazism's ascent and the difficult rebuilding of broken post-war societies. 

These cultures reflected perspectives on the world and changing values, revealing important insights into the hopes, fears, and identities of people and society.

Many forms of popular culture have substantial historical roots - including literature and music - whilst others are very modern - such as film and television.

You'll start by studying two topics, before deciding to specialise in one of these for your final assessment.

Example topics may include:

Cinema-Going in Wartime Britain

Explore how cinema functioned as both a form of propaganda and escapism in wartime Britain, and examine the ways that class, gender and national identities were challenged, negotiated and reinforced on and off the screen. 

Accidents and Safety in Britain, c.1850-1970

Examine how accidents and risks tell us about the ways modern British society was structured, including people’s day-to-day concerns, how they lived their lives and how aspects such as class and gender had an impact on people’s safety.

Magic and Modernity: Supernatural Britain, 1800-1920

Investigate the changing nature of magic, the occult and supernatural beliefs in the nineteenth century. This history of the modern supernatural causes us to rethink how we view Victorian and Edwardian society and culture.   

Optional modules

It's up to you what your dissertation or project is about – this will be your chance to showcase your passion for English literature by choosing a subject area or topic that most interests you.

You'll draw on everything you’ve learned so far to investigate, analyse, craft and refine your dissertation or project, using existing texts, sources and artefacts to support your arguments and give them context. You'll have the support of a dedicated dissertation tutor to guide you throughout this module.

This real-world, project-based module lets you address an identified need or gap by designing an innovative product, service or resource.

With support from university staff and external partners, you'll demonstrate critical thinking, ethical awareness and project management abilities.

Your final project and presentation will showcase your employability and capacity for high-impact solutions.

You'll explore diverse literary perspectives on the Holocaust, from first-hand accounts to contemporary post-memory texts.

Through critical reading and innovative creative projects both in groups and on your own, you'll grapple with the ethics of memorialisation and the role of cultural memory.

You'll learn about the job application process from the perspective of both candidates and recruiters, thinking about what employers look for in graduates and how you can optimise your own professional profile.

Through mock interviews and assessments, you'll hone your skills and learn how to communicate your achievements and career goals, ready to take the next step after you graduate.

You'll trace the social anxieties and ideological structures conveyed in literary depictions of vampires, monsters and more as you explore every dark corner of this remarkable genre.

You'll develop and apply critical theories unveiling Gothic representation of identities, revolutions, environments and more, and express your ideas creatively through an essay or podcast.

On this module, you’ll analyse constructions of masculinity across US culture, interrogating literary and cinematic stereotypes.

You’ll work in groups to compare key theories and concepts, and consider how ideas of masculinity relate to other cultural and social constructs such as gender, nationality, race, class and sexuality.

You'll critically examine representations of appetite, consumption and the body across literary and historical texts from the era.

Debate themes like hunger and self-starvation, gluttony and excess, even vampirism and cannibalism.

Through close reading and contextual analysis, you'll uncover what writings on food can tell us about how the Victorians viewed issues such as gender, race, class, nation and sexuality.

You'll investigate diverse definitions and famous examples of the genre from across the globe, honing advanced textual analysis skills.

Through lively debates, you'll explore magical realism's relationship with history, culture and narrative form, focusing on issues including postcoloniality, the limits of realism, postmodern narratorial techniques, historiography and transculturation.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you'll apply what you've learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You'll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You’ll get an introduction to the role and representation of time in contemporary fiction, as well as to philosophies of time and temporality.

You’ll also consider the role of time in narrative - what time is and how it underpins and affects narrative structures.

Topics you'll cover may include the present; temporal direction, time, gender and sexuality, reading and readers, contemporary times, and endings and end times.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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. 

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.

Teaching staff profiles

Christopher Allan Pittard Portrait

Dr Christopher Pittard

Senior Lecturer

Christopher.Pittard@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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 use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

Term dates

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

See term dates

Supporting you

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 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

  • 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 – £17,200 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.

  • 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 – £17,200 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.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

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–£1000.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.

Apply

You need to choose BA (Hons) English Literature when you apply for this course, because this is a ‘pathway’ course. This is where you study English Literature in depth and add History as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) English Literature with History degree when you complete the course.

If you change your mind after you apply, you can choose not to study History in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) English Literature degree when you complete the course.

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, 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 2025, 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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.