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English Literature and History (BA)


Entry year

Why study this course

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Tailored to you

With primarily optional modules you have freedom to choose a personalised degree.

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Industry experience

Gain skills, confidence and connections through a variety of literary and cultural internships.

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Learn from experts

Benefit from the teaching and support  of research-active staff.

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Study with passion

Explore interests with subjects ranging from slavery in America to Soviet and Japanese history.

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Dissertation with a difference

Explore a topic that sparks your curiosity; enhance multiple skills with a presentation and written element.

This rich and rewarding degree allows you to combine a love of the past with a passion for English literature.

In English literature, we offer access to the entire 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.

In History, we give you an insight into the processes of change, from the medieval to the modern period. You will learn about the very different worlds of people in the past, and to better understand the present. On offer are the history of societies in diverse parts of the globe, including India, China, Germany, France, Russia, Britain and Wales.

We encourage you to 'do history' yourself, acquiring transferable skills so valued by employers. You will learn to think independently, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a body of historical evidence for yourself, and presenting your findings clearly. As historian, you will thoroughly research a topic of real interest, culminating in your dissertation in your final year.

Naturally, our friendly academic staff will be on hand to guide you and provide full and constructive feedback throughout your studies. Bringing a wealth of expertise across theme, period and geography, your lecturers will share latest thinking in the classroom, including their own cutting-edge research.

Subject area: English language and literature

Subject area: History and ancient history

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

ABB-BBB. Must include Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, or English Literature.

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ 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.


This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.

International Baccalaureate

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL English Language and Literature, English Literature, or English Literature and Performance.

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DD-DM in a BTEC Diploma in Humanities and Social Science subjects, and grade B in A-level Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, or English Literature.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

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 59 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.

You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2023 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year.

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.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2023 and this page will be updated by end of October 2023 to reflect the changes.

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

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.

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. By the end of the year, you will recognise both the similarities and differences between English Literature and History, enabling you to understand the complex relationship between historical periods and their cultural artefacts.

Year two

You take 60 credits in each discipline, choosing from a wide range of genre, period and regional modules.

In English Literature, you choose from thematic, genre, period and geographical modules, free from compulsory 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.

In History, emphasis shifts further towards seminar work, with a greater focus on analysing sources. You choose from a wide range of thematic and specialist modules which explore topics and countries in more depth.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Digital Games and the Practice of HistoryHS160230 credits
Making Modern AfricaHS160330 credits
Modern France, 1789 to the presentHS160530 credits
Approaches to HistoryHS170130 credits
Exploring Historical DebateHS170230 credits
Entangled Histories: Wales and the wider World, 1714 - 1858HS170330 credits
Heresy and Dissent, 1000-1450HS171030 credits
Poverty and Relief in Medieval EuropeHS171430 credits
Reformation and Revolution: Stuart Britain, 1603-1714HS172130 credits
The British Civil Wars and Revolution, c.1638-1649HS174230 credits
Europe between the two World WarsHS175330 credits
The American RevolutionHS175430 credits
"An Empire for Liberty": Race, Space and Power in the United States, 1775-1898HS176030 credits
India and The Raj, 1857-1947HS176530 credits
The Search for an Asian Modern: Japanese History from 1800 to the Post-War EraHS176830 credits
Europe, East and West, 1945-1995HS177530 credits
The Soviet Century: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1905-1991HS177630 credits
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
Medieval Arthurian LiteratureSE229520 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Children's Literature: Form and FunctionSE244720 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits
Object Women in Literature and FilmSE249420 credits
Renaissance Poetry, Prose and Drama: The Principal Genres, Issues and AuthorsSE249720 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Scandal and Outrage: Controversial Literature of the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesSE261320 credits
Contemporary British FictionsSE261920 credits
Philosophy and LiteratureSE262320 credits
Victorian Realism(s)SE262620 credits
Shakespeare's WorldsSE263220 credits

Year three

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

By your final year 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 and historical topics and areas both well-known and possibly less familiar to you.

You also have the opportunity to undertake independent research on a topic of your choice in either discipline, enabling you to focus on a particular area or period or to examine the interface between literature and history at greater depth, through a Dissertation if you wish.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationHS180130 credits
Ridicule, Republics, Revolutions: The (Awkward) Enlightenment in EnglandHS180230 credits
The World of the Anglo-Saxons, c.500-c.1087HS180330 credits
Kingship: Image and Power, c.1000-1399HS181330 credits
The Soviet Union and Utopian Ecocide: an environmental historyHS181630 credits
Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750HS182430 credits
Deviants, Rebels and Witches in Early Modern Britain and IrelandHS182830 credits
Germany's New Order in Europe, 1933-1945HS183230 credits
Fascism and Anti-Fascism in FranceHS184830 credits
Race, Sex and Empire: Britain and India, 1765-1929HS185530 credits
Socialism, Society and Politics in Britain, 1880-1918HS186030 credits
Remembering the Holocaust in Germany: Coming to Terms with the Past?HS186430 credits
Health and Medicine in Early Modern BritainHS187530 credits
Violence and Ideology in Inter-War Soviet RussiaHS188330 credits
Europe and the Revolutionary Tradition in the Long Nineteenth CenturyHS188730 credits
Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865HS189030 credits
The Dangerous City? Urban Society and Culture, 1800-1914HS189630 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
The Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Decadent Men, 1890s-1910s: Wilde to ForsterSE249820 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
American Poetry after ModernismSE260620 credits
The American Short StorySE260920 credits
Apocalypse Then and NowSE261120 credits
Representing Race in Contemporary AmericaSE261620 credits
Experimental Early Modern DramaSE262020 credits
Visuality, Culture and TechnologySE262420 credits
Activist Poetry: Protest, Dissent, ResistanceSE262720 credits
Contemporary British Political DramaSE262820 credits
Visions of the Future: Climate Change & FictionSE263020 credits
Encounters With Oil in Literature and FilmSE263120 credits
Romantic Circles: Collaboration, Radicalism and Creativity 1770-1830SE263320 credits
Medieval MisfitsSE263420 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

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.

You will also learn through practicals and field trips, and take part in one-to-one tutorials.

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.

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.

Other information

Teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, individual work and group tasks, one-to-one tutorials and self-directed learning. You can also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from academic tutors. These teaching methods enable you to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment. The teaching covers all the key competencies, and is enhanced by the inclusion of digital learning resources.

The focus of assessment is on supporting you to develop your ideas, skills and competencies. We use a wide range of assessment methods, including coursework essays, source criticisms, critical reviews, examinations, online tests, posters, oral presentations, blogs and group presentations. Progression is built into assessment, in that you will do smaller guided tasks in year one, as well as formative work in years two and three. As part of your skills training in year one, you will be supported in understanding how the assessments work, what is expected of you, how you will be marked and how to make the most of your feedback.

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, whilst 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 teaching, marketing, publishing, public relations, the civil service, the military, banking and insurance, and the charity sector.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating. During your degree you can take full advantage of the wide range of opportunities provided by the Careers Service, plus an optional second year Employment module.

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.