English Literature (BA)

We enjoy an international reputation for our teaching and research in English Literature and pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for our students.

English literature at Cardiff has long enjoyed an international reputation for its teaching and research. But more than this – we pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for our students. We aim for the best and for success in all we do.

Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

There are no compulsory modules in English literature at Cardiff after year one. We give you choice – but we also give you the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions from a diverse range of options which includes creative writing.

You are free to follow a traditional programme covering multiple periods and genres or to build a more distinctive mix of modules combining literary study with analysis of other cultural forms.

As a student in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff you will be taught by leading researchers in English literature in modules that reflect the cutting edge of the discipline.

Cardiff is a splendid city in which to spend your undergraduate years. Our commitment is to make those years intellectually stimulating and academically rewarding.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
  • research-led teaching, enabling you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of the discipline
  • flexibility - after year one there are no compulsory modules
  • a reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment and digital technology
  • a strong tradition in creative writing, taught by writers making their mark on today’s culture

I was immediately impressed with the standard of academia here. The academic and administrative systems of the University were designed to put me, the student, at the forefront of every process. I have also noticed the sheer excellence of the syllabus, and more importantly of the administrative and teaching staff. The atmosphere was exceedingly friendly.

Kandru Manibhushan Rao, English Literature student

Key facts

UCAS CodeQ306
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications.
Typical A level offerAAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points, including 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This full-time course lasts for three years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in years two and three.

Single honours students will need to take at least four 20-credit modules selected from the following list, but can take all six:

  • English in Theory and Practice (compulsory – module required for all year one students)
  • Creative Reading
  • Creative Writing
  • Drama: Page and Stage
  • Star-Cross’d Lovers: the Politics of Desire
  • Medieval Literatures of the British Isles
  • Transforming Visions: Images and Texts
  • Authoring the Self: Romantic and Victorian Literature

Creative Reading and Creative Writing are complementary modules which must be taken together .

If you wish, you may choose up to 40 credits in philosophy or in English language modules within the School to complete the 120-credit requirement for the year.

Year two

In year two there are no compulsory modules. You may select from a range of modules based on period, genre or theme in which you will be reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.

These might include modules such as Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama, The Novel in the Romantic Age, Welsh Fiction and Poetry, as well as Ways of Reading, the American South in Literature and Film or Creative Writing.

Year three

By year three you will have gained experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts. You will therefore be in an excellent position to choose between a range of more specialised modules that engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts both well-known and possibly less well-known to you.

Current modules include Norse Myth and Saga, Jacobean Shakespeare, 18th-Century Women Writers, 19th-Century Crime Fiction, The Illustrated Book, Early 20th-Century Poetry, The Post-1945 American Novel, French Theory and Hitchcock – and there are more opportunities for developing your talents as a creative writer, if you wish.

 

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

How will I be supported?

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

 

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development

We provide our students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

English literature graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Jobs

  • Reporter
  • Crime Intelligence Analyst
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Researcher

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2016/17)

EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2016/17)

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,500None

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will not need any specific equipment.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.