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English Literature and Philosophy (BA)

Entry year


The School of English, Communication and Philosophy offers a challenging programme of modules in each subject, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

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Course overview

In this thought-provoking degree, you can combine your love of English Literature with your passion for exploring some of the fundamental questions of existence.

How should we live our lives? What should we believe? How should we set about trying to answer these questions? How are we even able to think about them? Philosophy investigates these profound issues.

As the world’s oldest academic discipline, Philosophy has developed an impressive range of concepts and techniques for addressing complicated problems. We equip you to analyse and construct complex chains of reasoning for yourself, developing and refining your thinking skills to consider the global philosophical puzzles of our time.

In English literature, we offer access to the complete chronological span, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Our curriculum is far from 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 this dynamic crossover. This allows you to shape your degree to suit, choosing a traditional path of multiple periods and genres or a more dynamic mix combining literary study with analysis of other cultural forms.

We offer a challenging and flexible programme of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships. Experts in their fields, our lecturers are all active researchers, sharing latest thinking in the classroom including their own cutting-edge research. Our stimulating Cardiff Book Talk, Cardiff Poetry Experiment, Philosophy Café and annual Festival of Philosophy offer more opportunities to explore contemporary themes and global issues with the wider public.

Distinctive features

English Literature offers teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Our reputation for theoretically informed reading brings texts into dialogue with contemporary concerns from gender, and identity to digital technology.

Philosophy examines fundamental philosophical questions from both the analytic and continental traditions, assessing arguments from philosophers across the ages. Investigating some of the most influential writings in Western literature, we cover moral philosophy; political philosophy; the nature of mind and language; the fundamental nature of reality; and the nature of knowledge and belief.

Taught by academics undertaking research in a wide range of specialisms, you will engage with the latest ideas and approaches, with a focus on ethics, politics and aesthetics in literature and society.

UCAS codeVQ53
Next intakeSeptember 2020
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.

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB including English Literature, English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. Please note, General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted. 

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DD-DM in a BTEC Diploma in Humanities or Social Science subjects, plus Grade B in A-Level English Literature, English Language & Literature (combined A-Level).

Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects including 6 at HL in English Literature, English Language and Literature or English Literature and Performance.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy admissions criteria pages.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£17,700None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

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

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You study 120 credits each year of your degree, taking 60 credits in each discipline from a range of core and optional modules.

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
Critical Reading and Critical WritingSE214620 credits
Mind, Thought and RealitySE410120 credits
Moral and Political PhilosophySE410320 credits
Critical ThinkingSE410720 credits

Year two

You take 60 credits in each discipline, choosing from a large range of genre, period and critical/cultural modules.

In English Literature, you choose from a range of thematic, genre, period and geographical modules. You read a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts, while continuing to develop your critical methodologies and knowledge of the subject.

Philosophy modules equip you with a thorough understanding of the core arguments of the principal areas of philosophical enquiry and debate.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Children's Literature: Form and FunctionSE244720 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form, 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
Shakespeare's Tragedies and HistoriesSE247720 credits
Contemporary Poetry: Tradition and InnovationSE248120 credits
GirlsSE248220 credits
Object Women in Literature and FilmSE249420 credits
Renaissance Poetry, Prose and Drama: The Principal Genres, Issues and AuthorsSE249720 credits
Decadent Men, 1890s-1910s: Wilde to ForsterSE249820 credits
Chaucer's Gender Politics: Chivalry, Sex and Subversion in the Canterbury TalesSE261820 credits
Contemporary British FictionsSE261920 credits
Experimental Early Modern DramaSE262020 credits
Writing MourningSE262120 credits
Philosophy and LiteratureSE262320 credits
Jane Austen in ContextSE262520 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Contemporary Ethical TheorySE438820 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits
Philosophy of FeminismSE441820 credits
Philosophy of PsychologySE442120 credits
Damcaniaethu a Dadfeilio’r Gymdeithas GyfalafolSE442320 credits
AestheticsSE442420 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

You take 60 credits in each discipline, choosing from a large number of genre, period and critical/cultural modules.

In English Literature, 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 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 familiar to you.

Within Philosophy, all modules reflect the latest research activities of our staff, building on the themes studied previously. You explore areas and texts that your module leaders are expanding.

You also have the opportunity to undertake research in a topic of your choice in either discipline through the optional dissertation module.

Module titleModule codeCredits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
Fictive Histories/Historical FictionsSE246720 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
Gender and Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsexed Females: Women in Public Life, 1770-1800SE258820 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Island Stories: Literatures of the North AtlanticSE259820 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
John MiltonSE260820 credits
The American Short StorySE260920 credits
Apocalypse Then and NowSE261120 credits
Criminal ShakespeareSE261220 credits
Scandal and Outrage: Controversial Literature of the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesSE261320 credits
Representing Race in Contemporary AmericaSE261620 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance DramaSE262220 credits
Visuality, Culture and TechnologySE262420 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Cognition and TechnologySE441020 credits
Animal MindsSE441120 credits
The Social ImaginationSE441220 credits
Modern German PhilosophySE441320 credits
Athroniaeth CrefyddSE441720 credits
Belief & IrrationalitySE441920 credits
Desires, Emotions and HappinessSE442020 credits
Ethics of KnowingSE442220 credits
Beauty & EthicsSE442520 credits
Moral ResponsibilitySE442620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
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.

Learning and assessment

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

20%

Guided independent study

80%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

18%

Guided independent study

82%

Placements

0%

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 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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

35%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

65%

Year 2

Written exams

25%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

75%

Year 3

Written exams

25%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

75%

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’, which 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.

Careers

Career prospects

Our graduates progress into a wide range of careers using the skills gained throughout their degrees. Some choose to pursue professions making direct use of their discipline expertise, while others enter the public or private sectors, from teaching to graduate-track management.

Our graduates progress into a wide range of careers using the skills gained throughout their degrees. Some choose to pursue professions making direct use of their discipline expertise, while others enter the public or private sectors, from teaching to graduate-track management.

95% of the Schools’ 2016/17 graduates reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey).

Taking the Class of 2017 as our most recent example, graduates from the School have gone on to roles in education, marketing, publishing, public relations, the civil service, the military, banking and insurance, and the charity sector.

During your degree you can take full advantage of the wide-range of opportunities provided by the Careers Service.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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Next Undergraduate Open Day

Spring 2020

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