English Literature and Geography

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Change the way you see the world by exploring new experiences and ideas.

  • Study a wide range of historical periods from Early Modern drama to Postmodern poetry.
  • Exciting and challenging modules that explore the ways writers experiment with philosophical and political ideas.
  • Explore new ways of reading and thinking about this strange thing called literature.

"I chose Bath Spa University because it felt like the perfect university. Everyone is friendly, helpful, and loves what they do. It's a great atmosphere to grow academically and as a person."
– Santino Prinzi, English Literature and Creative Writing graduate

Why study English Literature?

Our English Literature programme is large and varied, offering you plenty of choice. We balance the study of canonical writers – Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Bronte – with texts and writers who may be less familiar to you.
Options range from modules on specific authors (such as Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf), to topic-based subjects (Writing and the Environment, Post-Colonial Literatures), period-based study (Gender and Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Romanticism) and popular genres (Gothic Origins and Innovations, Crime Fiction). We’ll encourage you to explore diverse areas of literature and to investigate issues that matter to you in your final year project.

Course structure

You’ll study a broad and diverse range of intellectually stimulating modules. You’ll benefit from the fact that English modules reflect our tutors’ areas of research specialism.

Each year has a core module, as well as a large selection of optional modules from which you can choose. These modules are organised around a number of key strands running through the programme – Transnational English Literature; Medical Humanities; and Digital Humanities – but you can choose to study any of the available modules and develop your own literary interests.


Year 1

All students take Critical Reading I in the first year. This core module introduces a variety of texts and critical debates, and provides a foundation for English Literature in Years 2 and 3. All other first-year modules are optional.

Year 2

Current Year 2 modules:

  • Critical Reading II (core);
  • Theatre, Sex and Power in Early Modern England;
  • Nineteenth-Century European Literature;
  • Gothic Origins and Innovations, 1780-1890;
  • Poetry;
  • Historical Fiction;
  • Three Women Writers;
  • Gender & Eighteenth-Century Literature;
  • Canadian Literature and Culture;
  • Post-Colonial Literatures;
  • Practical Criticism and Close Reading;
  • Reading Animals;
  • Writing America: Identity, Ethnicity, Nationhood;
  • Manifesto!;
  • Crime Fiction;
  • Twentieth-Century Irish Writing;
  • Renaissance Worlds: sixteenth and seventeenth-century poetry;
  • Adventures in Periodical Culture: beyond the book, 1700-1960.

Year 3

Current Year 3 modules:

  • Research Project (compulsory for Single and Major Hons. English);
  • Shakespeare;
  • Aspects of Modernism;
  • Writing and the Environmental Crisis;
  • Twentieth-Century European Literature;
  • Virginia Woolf;
  • Sylvia Plath;
  • Bronte and Dickens;
  • Gothic Revivals;
  • Authors, Books and Readers in Early Modern England;
  • Literary London;
  • Margaret Atwood;
  • In Search of America;
  • Publishing: the Literary Journal;
  • Empire and Identity in the 18th Century;
  • Caribbean Writings, 1950 - the present;
  • Women's Writing 1960-2000;
  • Irish Women's Writing;
  • European Drama from Ibsen to Ionesco;
  • Ian McEwan;
  • Gender, Race & Nation in Early Modern Britain;
  • Literature & Evil;
  • Love & Desire in Contemporary Culture;
  • Meanings of Friendship in Literature and Philosophy;
  • Literary Women, Work and Art: Romantic to Modern;
  • Contemporary Crime Fiction;
  • Digital Literary Studies;
  • Literature and Psychology.

Course assessment

Most modules use essays with other forms of coursework such as journals, portfolios and short critical pieces, projects and dissertations, or special assignments such as seminar presentations, collaborative magazines, and web-based essays. Some modules include seen and unseen exams. Second and final year grades contribute towards your final degree award.

Study abroad

All English students have the opportunity to apply for an Erasmus placement which allows them to study for one or more terms in their second or third year of study. We also have links with partner institutions in the USA and Australia.

Field trips

We are keen to bring literature to life, and the course features optional modules that include field trips to London, Oxford, Krakow and Auschwitz, and Berlin, among others. Our students have also won places on summer schools in Beijing and Monterrey.

Career preparation

In your second year you’ll benefit from our innovative and institutionally recognised programme of personal development. Employability skills are built into the curriculum and you’ll also have access to our distinctive digital facilities in publishing and broadcast media.
You’ll graduate with transferable skills to engage critically and creatively with a full range of possible careers. Our English Literature graduates are very popular with employers.


There are annual prizes for the best overall performance in both core modules in Years 1 and 2, and a very special prize for the best final year English Project.

Teaching methods

English modules are taught via seminars, lectures, individual tutorials, and IT workshops.

In addition, there are opportunities for field trips to enrich the course: places we visit include the City of London, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Krakow and Auschwitz, and Berlin.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries


Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grade BCC accepted with a minimum of Grade B in English or related subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction. Merit, Merit (DMM) in a related subject accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points are required with evidence of study in Higher level English.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Career opportunities

Our students go on to higher degrees, to teaching, journalism and PR/marketing, librarianship, and to other careers where excellent communication skills and analytical abilities are valued, such as arts management and the civil service.

Through Artswork, our Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, you’ll have access to cutting-edge resources in the areas of publishing and broadcast media to prepare you for careers or for self-employment in the media and creative industries. We have a wealth of contacts in the media and creative industries and our students are well-placed to gain internships and placements.

List of current alumni careers

Many of our graduates pursue careers in publishing or teaching. Organisations including New Scientist, Trinity College Library, DigitalBox and Cengage Learning EMEA have employed our graduates. Graduate professions include:

  • Editorial Assistant;
  • Publishing Outreach Executive;
  • Content Writer; and
  • Campaigns Officer.
  • Some graduates choose to progress onto postgraduate study.

What students say...

Chris Simmonds, English Literature, Year 3

“The staff here are very approachable and easy to talk to and there are plenty of services to help with anything from finance to careers. The tutors have office hours at convenient times so if you need any advice on an assessment they are more than able and ready to help. The general feel of the campus, and the knowledge that you as a student are being represented in the decision making process of how the university is run, really makes you feel at home. You couldn’t find a better place to study.

I am currently applying for a job with the Civil Service. The way that the course encourages you to think critically and objectively as well as to plan ahead will definitely assist me in this process and any future jobs I may have.”

Recent graduate:

"It is, perhaps, only after graduating that students have the time to reflect on how well the course was designed, administered and delivered… without exception, the English Literature tutors all possessed great enthusiasm… Their choice of set texts and teaching style provoked engagement and involvement and I always looked forward to their classes… Studying English Literature at Bath Spa University was an enlightening, enriching, and a very rewarding experience. I will miss it greatly and remember it fondly."

Nathan Jones, English Literature, Year 3:

“I have always had an intense love for literature which I gained from studying both English and Greek literature and plays at A level. English is all about your opinion and how you respond to a particular text which I find hugely appealing as I love to vocalise and write down my opinions. English is not just reading books though; it is about comprehending the historical, political, social and ideological movements both inside and outside the text’s context. 

The first thing that struck me about Bath Spa University was the sheer sense of serenity I got while visiting. I come from East London, a place of buildings and business, which is all very hectic; I really enjoy being surrounded by greenery and foliage. I strongly believe being surrounded by such things is conducive to a healthy working environment. If I have a stressful day, a walk around the campus, past the ponds or in the gardens always eases my mind and lets me unwind.”

Expand your understanding of the relationship between people and places.

  • Friendly, supportive team of lecturers, who are excellent teachers and active researchers
  • Specialisms include river and coastal processes, poverty and development, environmental hazards, sustainability and climate change, culture and identities, geotechnologies and more
  • Field trips currently include residential trips to Barcelona, the Lake District and Northern India

Our students consistently rate the course very highly, with over 90% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year for the past three years.


Why study Geography?

Geography is about places and people. It is about understanding why 'here' differs from 'there', how people's lives vary in these different places, and how our own lives are dependent on people and places, near and far.

An ability to link environmental processes and social and spatial behaviours is a defining feature of geographical practice. As a result, Geography is clearly important in understanding today’s pressing global and local issues from climate change to sustainable development.

Studying Geography at Bath Spa University, you’ll learn geographical concepts, theories and knowledge, while gaining skills that can improve your career prospects. Geography graduates are valued by employers for this unique combination.

Course structure

We take an integrated approach to Geography; you’ll gain an understanding of both the human and physical aspects of the subject. However, a key feature of our course is that you can specialise more in the physical or human side as your interests, abilities and career plans evolve.

You’ll graduate with a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. These include scientific techniques and computer skills, as well as people skills like communication, team-work and critical thinking.


  • Year 1
    Develop your skills and knowledge. The first year is centred on a core module, Environment, People and Place. This module offers an integrated approach to the study of the geo-social and earth sciences. You’ll learn how to use the technologies, methods, techniques and equipment that geographers need to use. The practical application of subject knowledge is the underlying philosophy of this module.

    In addition to the core module we usually offer these options (all 20 credits) from which you can choose one or two:
    • Investigating Earth Environments;
    • Global Development;
    • Visualising Society;

The remainder of level 4 is made up with at least 40 credits from a complementary module of your choice, such as Biology, Sociology, Criminology, or an interdisciplinary module focusing on Sustainability in Life and Work.

  • Year 2
    Extend your abilities as a team player and as a professional. You’ll acquire specialist knowledge and skills in geographical topics and research methods.
    The core module provides historical context and highlights the relevance of geographical knowledge to many different professional sectors. Your research skills are developed through two extended research projects where you’ll apply your growing mastery of your subject to real-world problems and issues. We also give you the chance to engage with the Royal Geographical Society and other professional bodies as we begin to help you map out potential career paths. The rest of your studies are optional, and the usual module choices are (you can choose four):
    • River and Coastal Systems;
    • Climate Change and Sustainability;
    • Environmental Hazards;
    • Geographical Fieldwork (includes a residential fieldtrip to Northern India);
    • Global Cities;
    • Criminology and Criminal Justice;
    • Work Placement;

    All optional modules are 20 credits each.

    • Year 3
      Explore your specialisms. You’ll use the skills and knowledge perfected throughout the degree to complete a geography dissertation. Alternatively, you can undertake an extended work placement with a relevant research report. There’s a huge variety in choice in what you do for a dissertation and throughout the study you’ll benefit from one-to-one tuition and expert guidance. . The rest of the third year is made up from 20 credit optional modules such as these (you can choose four):
      • Climatology;
      • Coastal and River Management;
      • Advanced Geographical Fieldwork (includes a residential fieldtrip);
      • Development and Disasters;
      • Globalisation and Work;
      • Global Mobility, Risks and Environmental Justice;
      • Identities and Inequalities;
      • Community Engagement (includes a local volunteering placement).

    Course assessment

    You’ll experience a variety of different assessment methods throughout your degree. These include essays, project reports, presentations, posters, video clips, fieldcraft assessments, reflective items, time-constrained tests and examinations. These will give you a rich and diverse skills learning experience, be of real benefit in the search for a good career, and be useful in your professional activities.

    Study abroad

    You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Australia, Finland and the USA.

    Field trips

    'Field trip opportunities have been brilliant and a really valuable experience' – Geography graduate, 2015

    We’re committed to giving you a relevant, interesting and useful degree; fieldwork is integral to this. There are various field days during modules, as well as residential fieldwork options in the UK and overseas in Years 2 and 3.

    You’ll visit places and landscapes such as Avebury, Mendip, the Somerset Levels, the Welsh National History Museum, the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Residential trips currently go to Spain, the Lake District and Northern India. Please note that you’ll have to make a financial contribution towards some of these residential study visits.

    Work placements, industry links and internships

    There are opportunities to undertake work placements in your second and third year – this is an excellent way to gain experience in the workplace.

    Guest speakers from industry contribute to the learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will help you make those all-important career decisions when you graduate.


    There are prizes awarded each year in recognition of excellence in the core modules. This culminates with the Geography Project of the Year Award, for the best dissertation.

    Teaching methods

    Good teaching is important to us; our graduates highly rate the quality of teaching on the course. In our friendly department you’ll benefit from small classes, specialist expertise, and up-to-date technologies, including ArcGIS, GPS survey instruments, campus river gauging and digital ‘met’ stations.

    Our rural site is a superb natural laboratory where you’ll learn a range of scientific techniques including field sampling and the use of laboratory instruments for sediment and water analysis. You’ll experience lectures and workshop or seminar-based teaching, with small groups to enable discussion about specific topics.

    Teaching quality excellence

    We are proud of the quality of our teaching in Geography at Bath Spa. During your degree you will taught by experienced, specialist staff, who undertake research in their specific areas of expertise, as well as into the learning and teaching of different aspects of geography.

    Subject tutors regularly attend Professional Development Workshops that inform curriculum development and we regularly attend academic and commercial conferences. We subscribe to industry societies and their journals, such as the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Development Studies Association (DSA), Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the British Cartographic Society (BCS), GIS Professional, GIM International.

    Application method

    All full time applications are through UCAS

    Course enquiries

    Want to know more about studying Geography at Bath Spa? We have Open Days and Visit Days throughout the year. If you can't make any of those, we are also happy to arrange individual visits for you to have a look around at the facilities and ask any questions you may have. You can get in touch using the contact details adjacent. We hope to see you here soon!

    Please contact Dr Rebecca Schaaf, Subject Leader for Geography: r.schaaf@bathspa.ac.uk 

    Have a look at our related courses:

    BSc Global Development and Sustainability

    BA Geography (Human)

    BSc Geography (Physical)

    Entry requirements

    We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

    • A Level - Grades BCC - CCC preferred with Grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science
    • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
    • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required.
    • Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

    English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

    IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

    Career opportunities

    Our graduates possess a diverse range of skills, knowledge and expertise, suitable for many careers and occupations. This is due to the great appeal of your geographical skill-set to employers. Environmental bodies, utilities, planning, police and armed forces, retail and financial services, heritage management, local government and school teaching are typical destinations. Many geography graduates are hooked on the subject and undertake further study, including doctoral research here in the department.

    The opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree is an excellent way of gaining some experience in the workplace, while guest speakers from industry contribute to your learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will stand you in good stead for making those all-important career decisions when you move into the world of work.

    Since 2010, employers such as Geomatics Group, At-Bristol, Discover Battle, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and The Ministry of Defence have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including  Assistant Geomatics Surveyor, Renewables Developer, Business Analyst, Oceaneer and Press Officer.

    What students say...

     We take the views of our students very seriously, and evaluations of each module are undertaken each year, incorporating feedback from all students. You will also have the opportunity to represent your peers at committee and board meetings that meet regularly to discuss the shape and evolution of your course.

    Tim Johns, Geography, graduated July 2012:

    “I thoroughly enjoyed my course at Bath Spa University and would recommend it to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the environmental industry. Academically, the course was fantastic and offered the opportunity to learn a diverse range of skills that would equip anyone with the necessary attributes to enter the world of work, or pursue postgraduate studies. At Bath Spa my learning was not just restricted to the classroom; I had the opportunity to undertake a live Dissertation project working in conjunction with the Environment Agency. This was an invaluable experience giving me the opportunity to work with industry professionals. My advice to those starting their studies would be to take full advantage of the facilities Bath Spa has to offer, including the excellent support from staff and tutors. Just remember from the offset… you have to work hard to play hard and all things are achievable no matter what!”

    Please look at the video clips to see what our students have said about studying Geography at Bath Spa University.

    Read about the activities and achievements of our students and staff in our annual Geography Newsletter: