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About the course

Literature is a dynamic force of change: it shapes people and events and creates vivid, enduring and deeply moving art. Writing and writers are central to Hull’s status as City of Culture in 2017 and the English programmes at Hull will provide students with exciting opportunities to be part of the literary and creative scene at the University and beyond.

With Philip Larkin, Winifred Holtby and Andrew Marvell among the notable figures who have left their literary mark on the city, you don’t have to look far for inspiration to fire your imagination.

We are passionate, friendly and dedicated teachers and, together with our students, we have a strong sense of community. If you need advice or support with your studies, or an issue is worrying you, your academic support tutor will be there to help you throughout your time with us. In fact, 96% of our students said they received sufficient advice and support with their studies in the National Student Survey 2015.

Our staff are experts in their field who are actively involved in producing published materials, and many modules have been developed from their research interests giving you flexibility in structuring your studies to suit your particular interests. Employers value the skills gained through studying a degree in English and you will graduate with the ability to present ideas clearly and compellingly in writing, presentations and discussions.

We also offer English with a foundation year. This course is ideal if you have taken time away from education or need to enhance your language and writing skills, helping you to prepare for study at degree level.


Foundation Year

You study a total of six modules including at least two from the English department. These modules are designed to complement each other and address the specific learning competencies that you will need at degree level such as independent study techniques, communication and language skills, and information technology capabilities, in addition to a general introduction to study in the humanities.

Year 1

In Year 1 we prepare you for advanced literary and creative studies by providing modules that develop the broad range of writing, reading and analytical skills you need to achieve a good degree. You will take the following core modules:

  • Literature Lab
  • Reading Fiction
  • Travels in Text and Time
  • Writing, Identity and Place in a Digital Age

You will also choose two of the following optional modules:

  • Classics of British Children’s Literature
  • Transformative Texts in American Literature
  • Approaches to Poetry
  • Drama and Performance

Year 2

In Year 2 you will broaden and deepen your knowledge of literature. You will take two of the following year-long period modules:

  • Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama
  • Sentiment and Scandal: Literature and Culture in the Long 18th Century
  • British and American Modernism

You also choose four of the following semester-long optional modules:

  • The Age of Chivalry and Romance
  • Love and Desire in Renaissance Literature, c.1530-1633
  • Romantic Poets from Blake to Tennyson
  • Brief Encounters with the Victorians
  • Voyage Out: Travel, Empire, and Cultural Encounters
  • The Child in British and American Literature and Culture
  • Reinventing Literature, 1950 to Now
  • The Child in British and American Literature and Culture
  • War, Writing and Remembrance
  • American Rebels: Reading 20th Century US Counterculture
  • American Gothic
  • Creative Enterprises
  • Written on the Body: Rethinking Gender and Sexuality
  • Beowulf and Old English Poetry

Year 3

Our Year 3 modules are designed to explore a particular topic, genre or author in greater depth. These modules often grow out of the research interests of an individual member of staff. You will also write a dissertation, on a topic of your choice, with support and guidance from a supervisor.

You will take two of the following year-long modules:

  • The Courtly: English Literature, Dynasty and Society, 1410-1500
  • Playing God
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Gothic

You also choose two of the following semester-long optional modules:

  • Unruly Subjects and Renaissance Texts
  • Authorship and Identity in Renaissance Literature
  • Writing the Revolution
  • Shakespearean Transformations
  • Literary Heritage: The 19th Century Today
  • Secrets and Lies: Victorian Decadence and Degeneration, 1850-1901
  • Speaking Pictures: Literature and the Visual Arts
  • Childhood Trauma in Contemporary Fiction
  • Crime Fiction
  • Cyborgs, Clones and Other Animals
  • Post 9/11 Literature of the US
  • Crossing the Line: Frontiers, Coasts, and Borders in the Literature of the Americas
  • American Slavery in Literature and Film
  • Special Author (e.g. William Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence)
  • Myths, Legends and Language of the Vikings

All modules are subject to availability.

Entry Requirements

  • Tariff points: 280 points, can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 200 points from two or more A levels, or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications.
  • IB Diploma: 28 points
  • BTEC L3 Extended Diploma: DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 45 credits at merit

Foundation Year entry requirements

  • Appropriate for those returning to study after a minimum three-year break, or those with non-UK qualifications unsuitable for UK level 4 entry
  • We expect applicants to demonstrate an experience of, or interest in, a related subject and an aptitude for academic work which may be determined by an essay and/or interview alongside the application
  • Candidates with A-level qualifications in subjects other than those key to the degree will usually require a minimum of 200 points

International students (language requirements)
If your first language is not English, you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency.

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Future prospects

The career opportunities opened up by our degrees are as diverse and exciting as the topics of study. The skills that these develop give you the ability to analyse, research and communicate at a very high level. According to Unistats figures, 96% of our English graduates go on to work or further study within six months of graduating.

By studying with us you can be confident that you will have the opportunity to develop a wide array of skills which are highly valued in many professions. Our English graduates are equipped with prized analytical and communication skills that enable them to flourish in the variety of employment opportunities open to them, including careers in: teaching, media, journalism, marketing, advertising, heritage and tourism, librarianship, publishing (author, publisher, literary agent), museum curating, broadcasting, the financial sector, universities (lecturing or administration), professional writing, the public sector (including the NHS and city councils), business, management and the law.

Others choose to continue their studies as postgraduates – so you may be interested in what we offer at MA, MPhil and PhD levels.