English Literature and Study of Religions

Find out more

Send me updates

Simply enter your email address and we'll send you updates about this course!

How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

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.

Modules

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.

Competitions/awards

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

admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

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.”

Explore different religious traditions across continents, through time.

  • Global and local – study the major religious traditions and newer religious communities
  • Contemporary – explore religious traditions in the contemporary world
  • Applied – learn through experience; use your learning to address current issues

“The teaching staff and tutors at Bath Spa University are absolutely brilliant. They are extremely helpful, offering help whenever they can and making the lectures and seminars not only interesting, but also fun and entertaining.”
–Alicia Penny, English Literature and Study of Religions student

Why study Study of Religions?

This Study of Religions course is about understanding; you’ll explore and analyse religious traditions and beliefs including the major faiths and more recent as well as contemporary religious movements. We welcome students who belong to a religious tradition and those who don’t.

The course is distinctive in giving you the opportunity to engage with practitioners across traditions, through visits to and placements with religious communities, mosques, temples and churches.

You must study another subject with the Study of Religions; it’s offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined Honours award. You can choose from a wide range of disciplines including Geography, History and Creative Writing.

If you would like to take this course with Philosophy and Ethics, you should apply for Religions, Philosophy and Ethics.

Course structure

You’ll study a diverse range of religious traditions. Our teaching focuses on both the major religious traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, and on less well known or more recent movements and communities.

You’ll develop an open and exploratory approach, gaining first hand experience and embarking on community placements. You can find more about our placements with religious communities, the British Humanist Association or the Salvation Army on our Living Religion website.

Modules

  • Year one
    You’ll explore the meaning of religion and spirituality, examine a variety of methods for studying religions, and apply these to a number of contemporary traditions. An optional module in global religion and philosophy considers major traditions and movements and key thinking in and about those traditions
  • Year two
    The focus in Year Two is on the philosophies, religious and non-religious world views in the Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include the in-depth study of the major world religions, and the exploration of environmental politics through religious and philosophical ideas
  • Year three
    You’ll consider religion in the contemporary world. This includes a fieldwork placement with – for example – a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas or the Salvation Army. We offer a range of optional modules which develop or introduce different themes and debates, from a range of perspectives. You can study Buddhism; religion, culture and society in Japan; or issues around religion, identity and gender.

Course assessment

Assessment is mainly through coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, and online discussion.

Study abroad

Our students make good use of the opportunities to study abroad through Erasmus and other programmes, usually in the second year, with one of our many partner universities. You’ll be able to find out more about this during your first year, including meeting up with students who have already benefited from the experience.

If you opt to join one of the study abroad programmes, you might find yourself in Denmark, Spain, Australia or North America. We have developing partnerships with universities in China and the Far East.

Field trips

Fieldwork and visits are an integral part of the course. We visit religious communities, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and churches.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We have excellent links with third sector organisations, working with environmental and educational charities, as well as others. These links support your study, as we’ll explore how religious, philosophical and ethical perspectives can be applied to current issues.

Teaching methods

We offer lectures, seminars and workshops, and support you throughout your degree through individuals tutorials. Visits, fieldwork and encounters with people from different religious backgrounds and traditions of belief form an important part of our teaching.

Teaching quality excellence

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 in a related subject
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required
  • 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).

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.

Application method

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 - Grades BCC - CCC preferred in a related subject
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required
  • 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).

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

List of current alumni careers

Our graduates have careers in:

  • the police service;
  • health administration;
  • education;
  • social work; and
  • journalism.

The ability to combine this course with another subject, makes this it ideal for individuals considering a career in teaching. Many graduates go on to train as teachers – the course is widely respected as a foundation for a career in education.

What students say...

Student Profile: Alex Hyde, Year 3 Study of Religions

I chose my course because I have always been interested in the world and in people.  I am fascinated by the thoughts, needs, beliefs and knowledge of others who have been brought up outside of Christianity.

I really like the structure of the course because the first year enables you to study in breadth and then in the second year focus more deeply on some of the religions studied in the first year. I was enthralled by the prospect of going on a placement for a week in a religious community as part of the course in second year.  I am soon to find out whether I will be going to live with The Community of the Many Names of God or the Hare Krishnas.

The Department has a friendly ethos, with lecturers who are genuinely willing their students to do well and continually supporting them along the way. It is with thanks to this course that my understanding of people in the world is ever expanding and even when the pressure is on with assignments due, I continue to brim with enthusiasm for the knowledge I gain.