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English Literature and Philosophy (BA)

Entry year

English literature student reading outdoors

Why study this course


Study abroad

Adventure into a new culture; open your mind to new ideas and experiences in life and learning.


Tailored to you

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


Industry experience

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


Learn from the best

Benefit from research-led content; learn from world-renowned Philosophy  scholars, literary scholars and authors.

How can literature and art inform our understanding of the world? What are the social factors shaping who gets heard and who gets to participate in literature and social discourse? What are the challenges facing today’s society and how can literature and philosophy help address them? You will explore these kinds of questions and many more in our BA English Literature and Philosophy degree, which will equip you to understand, analyse and articulate solutions to complex problems.

English Literature at Cardiff has long enjoyed an international reputation for its teaching and research. Our dynamic, flexible degree programme allows you to study literature from different periods and cultures, and across the range of principal literary genres. You will not be restricted to studying the printed word: we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, history, technology, language, and everyday life, and our teaching reflects these interests. You will learn how literature addresses social, environmental, and economic concerns with the aim of creating a better, more inclusive world and developing sustainable solutions for the future of the planet.

In Philosophy you will develop a solid grounding in philosophy of language, will also study epistemology, philosophy of mind, and moral and political philosophy, and will have the opportunity to study areas such as aesthetics, feminist philosophy, and phenomenology. In the final year of the programme, you can specialise in your preferred areas of study. You will also come to a deeper appreciation of the implications of philosophical thought, providing you with a clear link between theories and their application.

This is emphasised in the final year of the programme, where in a core Philosophy module you will take part in a project to apply philosophical research to develop policies or strategies aimed at solving a real-world ethical or social problem. In the final-year English Literature core module, meanwhile, you will undertake a detailed examination of a single text across a whole semester and to use the experience and knowledge gained as the basis of a public-facing piece of work.

You’ll graduate with a range of professional skills, including collaboration, communication and critical thinking. You will be aware of the ethical, social and linguistic challenges that face contemporary society and industry, and have the ideas and confidence required to solve them.

Subject area: English language and literature

Subject area: Philosophy

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:

These grades apply to applications received before 30 June 2024. Grades required for Clearing applicants can vary and may be higher or lower. Get in touch to discuss your options.

A level

AAB-ABB. 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 offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.

  • Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
  • Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.

Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

34-32 overall or 666-665 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.

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.


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.


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

PTE Academic

At least 69 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 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.

Other qualifications from inside the UK


DD 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

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

Tuition fees for 2025 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 2025/26 academic year.

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 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 2025/26 academic year.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.


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

This is a 3-year full-time degree, with 120 credits of study in each year. You will study 60 credits in English literature and 60 credits in philosophy in each year of study.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2025/2026 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2025.

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.

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
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
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
GirlsSE248220 credits
Object Women in Literature and FilmSE249420 credits
Epic and SagaSE249620 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Contemporary British FictionsSE261920 credits
Philosophy and LiteratureSE262320 credits
Shakespeare's WorldsSE263220 credits
Victorian Worlds: Revolution, Disease, DevianceSE263620 credits
Philosophy of MindSE431320 credits
Philosophy of LanguageSE435820 credits
Philosophy of Contemporary PoliticsSE436320 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Contemporary Ethical TheorySE438820 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
What to Believe in the Age of the InternetSE440720 credits
Philosophy of PsychologySE442120 credits
Damcaniaethu a Dadfeilio'r Gymdeithas GyfalafolSE442320 credits
AestheticsSE442420 credits
Philosophy of Feminism (AUT)SE443620 credits
Philosophy of Feminism (SPR)SE443720 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 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 Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Gender and Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
American Poetry after ModernismSE260620 credits
John MiltonSE260820 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
Shakespeare's Fractured BritainSE263720 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Belief & IrrationalitySE441920 credits
Ethics of KnowingSE442220 credits
Beauty & EthicsSE442520 credits
Moral ResponsibilitySE442620 credits
A Sense of the PossibleSE442720 credits
Paradoxes of DemocracySE443220 credits
Meaning Through SilenceSE443320 credits
Aesthetic InjusticeSE443420 credits
Sociality OnlineSE443520 credits
Reasons and RelationshipsSE443820 credits
The Politics of Language DiversitySE443920 credits
Disruptive EmotionsSE444020 credits
Speech Acts OnlineSE444120 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

Throughout the degree, our aim is to support you to become an independent thinker. You will learn through a wide range of teaching methods including interactive lectures, lively discussion-based seminars and workshops. Seminars and workshops offer a rewarding experience to engage critically with the key ideas and readings on a topic. They provide a valuable opportunity to explore ideas and work closely with your lecturers and to learn from other students. You’ll have access to course materials through our electronic learning environment.

In this supportive environment, you’ll develop your abilities to closely analyse texts and arguments, evaluate evidence, collaboratively work through problems, construct your own arguments, hone your critical skills, and present your ideas clearly to others.   

How will I be supported?

Your main sources of support are your module leaders, your Personal Tutors and our in-house Writing Development Centre. Your module leaders are available during teaching weeks if you have any questions about course materials or assessments. You’ll also be allocated a personal tutor in both English Literature and Philosophy and you'll meet them regularly during the academic year. Personal Tutors can advise you on academic matters, including study skills, careers, and your academic progress, as well as on pastoral matters. You will be invited to meet your Personal Tutor regularly throughout the degree, and they are available for additional meetings as needed.

The School’s Writing Development Centre provides specialist support for academic writing across the programme. You can access online materials, workshops and one-to-one meetings about any aspect of academic writing to support you with your assessments.

Our Professional Services team provides academic and student support and is there to help you with information and guidance if you have any queries. Beyond the school, the university offers a range of support services and events to help you plan your career, manage your emotional, mental and physical health, support you with financial issues, and provide assistance for students with disabilities. These services are co-located at the university's Centre for Student Life. Libraries, study spaces and other resource centres will all be available to you.

How will I be assessed?

Your assessments are designed to cumulatively develop key skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and reflection. These can include critical analyses of texts, essays, exams, critical reviews, presentations, group work and group discussion assessments, and reflective assessment of your own skills. In the final year, you will take part in a large collaborative philosophy project that involves writing and presenting for a professional audience, while in English literature you will collaborate with others to produce a public-facing piece of work.

Optional modules can offer a wider variety of assessments, including writing for a public audience, commenting on an artwork or a media piece, or creative assignments.

You’ll receive regular feedback on your progress as you move through the degree. Oral feedback in lectures, workshops and seminars will help you assess your understanding of the course material and your critical responses to it. You’ll receive formative comments on essay ideas and draft work, and detailed feedback on all marked coursework.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will achieve by the end of your programme at Cardiff University and identify the knowledge and skills that you will develop. They will also help you to understand what is expected of you.

On successful completion of your Programme you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Systematically comprehend literature from different cultures and periods (including pre-1800) and the range of principal literary genres across prose, poetry, and drama
  • Critically assess some of the central theories and arguments, and their applications, in moral, social, or political philosophy, and in epistemology, philosophy of language, or philosophy of mind.
  • Critically examine theories and arguments from contemporary philosophical research, which may come from the intersection of different areas of philosophy or from interdisciplinary research.
  • Apply philosophical research to draft policy or strategy documents, or action recommendations, in response to a real-world ethical or social problem of contemporary societal concern.
  • Systematically comprehend the relationship between literature and other cultural forms and analyse how culture, language, technology and economics affect the production and reception of texts.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Examine different kinds of literary and cultural materials closely and critically.
  • Develop standard techniques of philosophical analysis to critically evaluate philosophical claims and arguments.
  • Develop independent and innovative responses to literary, critical, cultural, and creative material, in writing and in speech, and for different audiences.
  • Develop independent and innovative responses to complex and specialised philosophical claims and arguments, in writing and in speech, and for different audiences.
  • Construct and organise arguments that respond creatively to literary and critical sources or support claims in response to philosophical questions.

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Compile and systematically evaluate complex information and diverse evidence with accuracy.
  • Communicate complex information and arguments in different formats appropriate to different purposes.
  • Develop group discussions and team projects in a collaborative manner.
  • Articulate and assess your own academic and professional skills.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Assess and solve problems independently, taking the views of others into account in a systematic and evaluative way.
  • Apply advanced knowledge and skills to unfamiliar or wider world challenges or contexts.
  • Develop initiative by taking responsibility for structuring and time-managing a research task, working in teams when appropriate.
  • Develop positive and effective working relations with others in teams, especially through constructive and collaborative dialogue and feedback.
  • Develop resilience, adaptability and creativity, actively reflecting on your own studies and achievements.

Careers and placements

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.

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.


We encourage you to undertake placements off-campus through Student Futures in order to enhance further your employability.

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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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.