facebook BA (Hons) English Literature and History – Bath Spa University

English Literature and History

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) English Literature and History
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: QV31 or S114
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC with a minimum of grade C in English, a grade C in History, or a related subject preferred.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Explore. Question. Challenge. Change the way you see the world with our English Literature degree.

  • Explore the diverse and surprising ways that literature has shaped how we see the world.
  • Join a supportive community with a shared passion and curiosity for all things literary.
  • Develop a wealth of skills and experience that employers need and value – in research, analysis and communication.

Literature is diverse. Every text we pick up gives us a different perspective on the world. Bath Spa's English Literature degree introduces you to an incredible range of literary worlds – from Shakespeare’s tragedies to contemporary political drama, Romantic poetry to dystopian eco-fictions, and from the Brontës to the Queer Gothic. In amongst the familiar, you’ll find new and exciting writers whose work will challenge your expectations of what ‘literature’ can be, and you’ll also find original ways of reading and thinking about the classics.

You’ll belong to a close, supportive community of learners and researchers, driven by your own passion for reading and guided by your tutors’ innovative teaching and research expertise. We'll work with you as individuals – both in small groups and in one-to-one assessment tutorials – to enable you to dig deeper into the histories, theories and ideas of literature.

This close partnership will help you develop the vital skills of analysis, communication and collaboration that employers look for in English Literature graduates – skills that will open up a diverse range of possible careers. Publishing, PR, teaching and journalism are popular paths, and our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers including NewScientist, Oxford University Press, Marie Curie, Bristol Museums and Barclays. You can also choose to further your learning through postgraduate study.

"The passion the lecturers have for the course shines through in the breadth of the modules and assessments available, making you feel supported and confident at every stage of your degree. Straight after graduating I began a career as an Event Manager, and have found the creativity and writing skills I developed while studying invaluable."

Tessa Kerslake, BA (Hons) English Literature
Tessa Kerslake

What you'll learn

Overview

We offer varied modules that allow you to study in greater depth writers that you already love, and discover writers that you have yet to fall in love with.

Our passionate knowledge informs an incredibly wide range of modules. Choose from the worlds of Shakespeare’s London, Romantic and Victorian visions of science, radical innovators of literary form, the new digital worlds of electronic text, the darker worlds of crime and gothic writing, and the continuing engagement of writers with questions of history and social justice.

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.

In your second year you'll take part in our innovative and institutionally-recognised programme of personal development, including a range of workshops on careers, graduate skills and strategies delivered by visiting industry professionals, our Careers team and our own graduates.

In your final year you can choose to undertake an applied project that will connect your subject knowledge to real world collaborations, such as an idea for a literary event or festival, a package of digital teaching resources for schools, an online edition of a historical text, or an exhibition in partnership with a heritage organisation.

You'll have the opportunity to take English Literature with a Professional Placement Year. In addition, you can expand your knowledge and skills in marketing, international business and freelancing by choosing from an exciting range of Open Modules offered by our colleagues in Bath Business School.

Course structure

Each semester in year one and two 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.

In your third year you can undertake independent study on a dissertation or project, focusing on an area of your own specific interest.

How will I be assessed?

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.

How will I be taught?

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

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Critical Reading 1
  • Critical Reading 2
  • Writing, Gender and Politics, 1500–1750
  • Scandal and Sobriety, 1750– 1890
  • Decadence to the Naughties, 1890–Now
  • Print, Book and Candle: making, selling, reading

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Critical Reading 3: Subject and Structure
  • Critical Reading 4: Equivocal Matter
  • Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
  • Literature and Digital Culture
  • Nature, Science and Self 
  • Revolutions in Realism: Nineteenth Century Literature
  • Gender and Fiction in the Long Eighteenth Century 
  • The Victorian Spectacular: producing the Modern
  • Modern and Contemporary Poetry
  • Crime Fiction
  • Literature, Ethnicity and Belonging
  • Gothic Origins and Innovations
  • Renaissance Worlds in Poetry and Prose
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • English Project
  • Texts in the City: Print Culture and Early Modern London
  • Modernist Networks
  • Literature and Digital Culture
  • Writing and the Environmental Crisis
  • Crime and Gothic Fictions
  • Literature and Psychology
  • In Search of America
  • More than Muses: Literary Women, Work and the Arts
  • Literature and Evil
  • Nation and Race in Early Modernity
  • Staging Gender
  • Modern American Drama

Opportunities

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

Careers

We believe strongly in employability, and have made it a core part of our curriculum. You’ll have access to our renowned digital facilities, as well as to our Bath Spa Careers team who'll help you forge a fulfilling future.

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

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Publishing Outreach Executive
  • Content Writer
  • Campaigns Officer

Some graduates choose to progress onto postgraduate study.

Competitions and awards

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

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The English Literature programme is taught at Newton Park campus, with most classes taking place in the state-of-the-art Commons building.

You'll have access to excellent facilities such as our:

Resources

We have a wide range of high-quality online resources to complement the books and journals you have access to in our Library, as well as digital publishing facilities, historical and modern printing presses, and industry-standard broadcast media facilities.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,300
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for students who share our passion for literature in all its forms. You should be inquisitive and willing to challenge yourself, to question shared assumptions, and want to collaborate with others in exploring the ideas and worlds that the written word opens up to us.

Typical offers

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

  • A-level – grades CCC accepted with a minimum of grade C in English or related subject
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject accepted
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum score of 26 points required with grade 5 or above in English at Higher Level
  • 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.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

We recommend that you read as much literature as possible! It’s a good idea to read books from various historical periods and literary genres – and think about the differences you notice between them. You’ll find Studying English Literature (Continuum Press, 2010) by Ashley Chantler to be a good guide.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Dr. Richard Stamp
Email: r.stamp@bathspa.ac.uk

Challenge yourself. Push boundaries. Our hands-on History degree looks to the past to answer the burning questions of today.

  • Study History in a World Heritage City that’s surrounded by fascinating sites – both ancient and modern.
  • Develop compelling communication skills and the ability to diversify across a number of cultural and social sectors.
  • Work with a small, dedicated team of tutors who are experts in a rich variety of historical topics.

History at Bath Spa is anything but typical. First, there’s our amazing location you’ll be based at our idyllic Newton Park campus, which boasts grand Georgian buildings and a fortified manor house dating back to the fourteenth century. With our modern, purpose-built study spaces, and Bristol just on the doorstep, you’re perfectly situated to enjoy the best of old and new. Plus, there’s a wealth of other sites to discover nearby, including Stonehenge and Avebury.

The employability of our graduates (95.6%*) also sets us apart. We want you to become a confident communicator, able to sift through the raw materials of history and re-present your findings to any audience – on any platform. Yes, you’ll write essays. But we also want you to be able to podcast, tweet, blog, create scripts for film and radio, and adapt your style to suit a range of consumers, including young audiences.

To a large extent, you’ll curate your own syllabus from a broad range of modules and topics, including democracy and dictatorship, the British Empire, British and American pop culture, riots, revolutions, and slavery. In your second and third years, you’ll have the freedom to specialise and focus on what inspires you. 

You’ll benefit from close contact with experts in diverse historical perspectives throughout the course. We’re a small team of committed, eminently approachable, inspiring tutors, engaged in fascinating research in topics that range from migration to the Secret Service.

*95.6% of our History graduates were in work or further study six months after graduating (DLHE 16/17).

“I loved the fact that the course was really challenging, and gave me the opportunity to learn about a wide and varied period of history. The tutors were always friendly, encouraging and approachable. It was a life changing experience, and the best thing I have ever done.”

Nicola Tallis, History graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

We combine the academic study of history with skill-based modules to create our ‘hands-on’ History degree. You could find yourself learning to write a funding application for one of your modules, and sifting through primary sources at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre or Bath City Archives on another.

You’ll gain broad historical skills and expertise – how to read historical texts; how to use a wide range of historical sources; how to discuss and debate historical subjects. You’ll also learn to analyse, process information, make decisions, manage projects, network, collaborate, and work with experts inside and outside of the University.

You’ll graduate with a wide range of transferable personal and intellectual skills, relevant both to further academic study and to your career ambitions.

Course structure

Year one
Develop a foundation of historical skills and expertise. At the heart of your first year are two core modules – the rest is up to you. For example, you might choose to study topics such as world heritage, archaeology, society, politics, war, gender, and popular culture in the modern world.

Year two
Start to specialise. You’ll extend your knowledge and build your confidence as you deal with new subjects and approaches. Underpinning this is the philosophy of History – how ideas about the past have changed over time, and how the study of history has influenced, and been influenced by, wider changes in society.

Year three
Focus on what inspires you. Your dissertation or final project is an important element of your third year. You’ll identify and develop your own historical question, conduct research, and prepare an extended piece of writing. New topics are offered through optional modules, such as political, social and cultural history, public history, and the impact of the past on the modern world.

How will I be assessed?

We’ll assess your progress in a variety of ways including essays, research papers, group presentations, projects, portfolios, and reports. There are timed assessments and some modules will have end-of-year examinations.

Our assessment methods allow you to develop and demonstrate different skills. Many of these will help you in the workplace, for example: planning ahead, working to deadlines, and managing priorities.

How will I be taught?

You’ll get to grips with your subject through lectures, seminars, workshops, and individual tutorials.

You can take advantage of the learning support provided across the University, whether to develop your writing skills or to learn how to use new techniques and technologies.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Europe and the World I
  • Europe and the World II
  • Atlantic Histories
  • Politics, Democracy and Dictatorship in the Modern World
  • Disunited Kingdoms: society, politics and culture in Britain and Ireland
  • Gender, identity and power: themes and approaches
  • War and Popular Culture in the Modern World
  • Heritage and Public History
  • Material Evidence: History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • Fragments of the World: an introduction to World Heritage
  • The World in Ten Objects

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Making History 1: Sources: the building blocks of History
  • Making History 2: Discourses and approaches
  • The British Empire: from Opium Wars to Decolonisation
  • Censorship, morality and freedom in British and American Popular Culture in the 20th Century
  • Culture, society and politics in 18th and 19th century Britain and Ireland
  • The Great War: Conflict and Society
  • An ungovernable people? Rights and riot in a historical perspective
  • Revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe
  • Ships, slaves and sugar: Britain and France in the Atlantic Trade
  • Immigration and Race in 20th Century Europe
  • Heritage Matters? People, place and politics
  • Presenting the Past: audience, story, media
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Researching the Past: Planning and preparation
  • Dissertation
  • Extended Research Project
  • Animating the Past: Public History in Practice
  • Epoch of Chaos: A global history of the 1970s
  • Islam: Faith, politics and history
  • Conflict and community: Public History, Cultural Heritage and Global Politics
  • Muslim Migration and Islam in Europe in a Historical Perspective
  • More than a Game: Sport and the Modern World
  • Society, Culture and Consumption 1700-1900
  • Secret Service: Intelligence and Espionage
  • History Works: Placement Module
  • Memory, slavery and social cohesion in Britain and France

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll be able to make good use of opportunities to study abroad through our Erasmus+ and other international programmes within our network of partner universities, usually taken in your second year.

Field trips

Depending on your module choices, you’ll visit Stonehenge, Avebury, Bristol Harbour, M-Shed, major national museums and galleries such as Oxford’s Ashmolean or the V&A, and hidden gems such as the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes or Dyrham Park, just outside Bath.

Linked to our teaching, trips change from year to year. But our location in the heart of the Bath and Bristol cultural area means you you can learn outside the seminar room. We have The Holburne MuseumRoman Baths and Brunel’s SS Great Britain right on our doorstep.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Placement modules prepare you for the world of work. We have an extensive network of partners across local, regional and national organisations, and can help you make the most of the opportunity to work with them.

You'll be able to work on projects with our partners in the city and region. This might involve research in a historic house, oral history projects, or devising public events and exhibitions. Through these projects, you’ll work collaboratively, manage your time, develop project management skills, and prepare for a future career.

Careers

If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a History degree, the answer may surprise you. Yes, you could become a historian or a teacher, but we prepare you for so much more.

The transferable skills you’ll gain on this course will prepare you for a career that demands confident communication at all levels. This could include curation for museums and heritage organisations, or work in the public and social services, the charitable sector, or the NHS. You’ll be well-equipped for project management, education, and events management. You may also choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Our graduates have gone into such areas as financial services, the police force, and management training schemes with major retailers, as well as worked for the National Trust, Bristol Old Vic and the Southbank Centre.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our campus is a historic resource in its own right. You’ll be based mainly at Newton Park’s outstanding Commons building. Our campus buildings – which include a period manor house, gatehouse, keep, and state-of-the-art learning and performance facilities – are set in an eighteenth-century landscape complete with lake and pavilions.

With excellent links to nearby Bristol, you benefit from all the advantages of a buzzing, modern city, while being based in a beautiful, rural location just outside Bath city centre.  

You'll have access to excellent facilties including:

Resources

In addition to the Library and online access to secondary and primary resources, we draw on the University’s own archive, other archives and museum collections, and the campus itself in our teaching.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,300
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You’ll have a passion for the subject, a curiosity for the sources of things, and how they inform our present, a commitment to finding out more, and a willingness to try new things. You may already have some great ideas about what you like to do and where you’d like to focus. Or you might want to look at historical topics in new ways, and explore aspects of the past you haven’t encountered before.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - grades CCC accepted with Grade C in History or related subject preferred
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum score of 26 points required with grade 5 or above in History at Higher Level
  • 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.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

We encounter the past every day, in news stories and current events; in political speeches and parliamentary debates; in the places around us. You can get ahead simply by listening, looking, and thinking about all of these. If you’d like to do some reading as well, here are some suggestions:

  • Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel, 1997
  • Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, 2015
  • Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, 2014

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Dr Alison Hems
Email: a.hems@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk