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.

As an English Literature student you can choose from an exceptional range of modules and programmes pathways. You will be taught by leading researchers in English Literature and Creative Writing on modules that reflect the cutting edge of these disciplines.

There are lecture and seminar classes for each module, supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff and supportive progress meetings with your personal tutor.

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

Key facts

UCAS CodeQ306
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
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.
QAA subject benchmark
Admissions tutor(s)

Professor Martin Coyle, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century. The curriculum is not 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. 

You are free to follow a programme covering the traditional periods and genres, or build a more distinctive mix of modules combining literary study with analysis of the cultural forms and disciplines mentioned above, including creative writing and critical theory. There are also crossover modules that give you the opportunity to hone your critical-creative skills by submitting a creative essay or piece of imitative fiction.

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.
Year one includes new optional modules in creative writing as well as a suite of brand new literature modules designed to introduce you to university-level study. In years two and three you will take six modules each year, with assessment (of diverse kinds) each semester to help you measure your progress.

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

Year one

Year one is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and 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 normally take all their modules (120 credits) in English Literature, choosing from the range below, which includes newly developed Creative Writing options:

  • English in Theory and Practice (compulsory – module required for all Year One students)

You will take at least three of the following 20 credit English Literature modules:

  • Creative Reading 
  • Creative Writing 
  • Drama: Stage and Page
  • Star-cross’d Lovers: the Politics of Desire
  • Medieval Literatures of the British Isles
  • Transforming Visions: Text and Image
  • Authoring the Self: Romantics and Victorians

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 you can select from a range of period-and theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.

Year three

By year three you will have gained an 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 in which you will be able to engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts both well-known and possibly less well-known to you.

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.

The Cardiff BA in English Literature will be taught using the following methods:

  • Weekly lectures
  • Weekly small group seminars
  • Contact via Virtual Learning Environments.

Most of the assessment in English Literature is by assessed essay. Some Year One modules and a very small number of modules in Years Two and Three are assessed partly by examination. Where appropriate, some modules in Years Two and Three also make use of other modes of assessment such as student presentations, journal entries, or portfolios of creative writing; in the final year students also have an opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their own choice.

It is possible to do formative written for all modules: this does not count towards the mark for the module but provides you with valuable practice in developing and expressing your ideas. Feedback is given on all formative and assessed work.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy provides its 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 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 graduation.

As a graduate in English Literature at Cardiff you will have shown yourself to be able to:

  • Grasp complex issues with confidence
  • Ask the right questions of complex texts
  • Have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options
  • Analyse these critically and reflectively
  • Identify and apply relevant data
  • Propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence and critical analysis
  • Do so clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech.
  • Work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • Articulate well-researched ideas with the right degree of assertiveness
  • Learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights in revising your work and in future work on different topics
  • Demonstrate enterprise and initiative in researching your topics and developing your point of view
  • Work as part of a team, developing qualities of respect for the ideas and arguments of others and a collaborative approach to inquiry and problem-solving.
  • Develop a range of communicative skills, including the use of IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate.

Jobs

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

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

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.

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

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.

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

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.

What should I know about year four?

What should I know about 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.

 

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about 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.

Other information

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

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.

Admissions tutors

Professor Martin Coyle, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anna Birt, Course Administrator


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.

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