Why study this course

This course offers an exciting and wide-ranging exploration of the power of human creativity and literary expression.

This is a degree that fosters critical thinking, modern communication and employability skills, to help prepare you for successful graduate life

The course features no exams. It combines a contemporary and innovative student-centred approach to teaching (small-group teaching and personalised support) with a diverse and modern range of assessments.

Module options enable you to navigate your own path through a wide variety of literary styles, periods and genres.

Course summary

Studying English at BGU provides an exciting and wide-ranging engagement with the power of human creativity and the rich heritage of literary expression. You will study great works of literature from Sophocles to Ali Smith, directing your own path of learning through module options such as creative writing and crime fiction, American and World Literature, Restoration drama and trauma narrative, Victorian, Romantic, and contemporary literature.

Key facts


Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

Q300

Duration

3 years

Mode of study

Full-time

Start date

September

Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code

B38

Course details

About this course

Studying English at BGU gives you access to the intense power of human creativity, with opportunities to debate critical questions that continue to shape the investigation of literature. You will encounter authors from Ovid and Aesop to Shakespeare, Blake to Tennyson, Woolf to Winterson, Dickens to Blackman, and explore the richness and diversity of literary expression. All of this whilst you develop your understanding of key genres, styles, periods and contexts, supported by a passionate team of research-active lecturers.

At BGU you will study an exciting range of writers, texts and topics. You will be able to study works in their historical and genre contexts, explore literary concepts and themes (identity, memory, gender and adolescence), make intertextual and creative connections (myth, adaptation, film, creative writing) and develop your critical independence and career prospects with extended research and work-based projects (English@Work, research project). Throughout your studies you can follow your own interests through optional modules, and choose your own focal points and textual examples for assessment tasks.

You will acquire key academic and transferable skills such as critical thinking and evaluation, analysis, research and high-level communication skills through diverse methods of assessment, which blend established critical and communication skills with up-to-date digital literacies and platforms. You will develop expressive and creative skills fit for the 21st century; combining written essays and oral presentations with e-portfolios, multimodal video, posters, hypertext, digital publication, and independent research projects. You will benefit from an innovative and flexible approach to teaching and learning that promotes student participation and engagement. With the close academic support you will receive here at BGU, you will have the opportunities and guidance to fulfil your full potential.

As an English student at BGU, your engagement with literature won’t stop at the seminar door. The English team are all research-active lecturers who are passionate about the study of literature and its positive impact on the individual and wider society. We actively support a range of organised events and visits to enable a wider participation with literary culture, including visiting speakers, a research seminar series, subsidised film and theatre trips, workshops and celebrations, poetry readings and literary awards.

(Please note that depending on your choice of English course, you may have a choice of optional modules in your second and third years.)

What will you study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules

During this module, you will be introduced to the literacy-critical skills and approaches that are fundamental to the study of English. It will equip you with specialist analytical terminology and techniques, and reinforce and develop your existing skills of analysis.

This module is an introduction to Gothic effects, such as suspense, mood, eeriness, the weird, fantasy and horror. It covers texts from the eighteenth century to the present and aims to build your knowledge of the rise of the Gothic as well as its different manifestations in different genres and creative outputs, such as the novel, poetry and film.

This module will introduce you to some of the literary works, frameworks, and cultural developments in modern American literature. The primary texts will be drawn from a variety of genres and forms of writing, and will cover a period from the emergence of modern literature in the early twentieth-century through to the diversification of American cultural voices in the post-war period.

You will be introduced to important foundational myths, legends, fables and stories which have informed English-speaking cultures and societies, as well as those across Europe. Primary texts range from classical works to the Bible and later literary examples of the redeployment and recirculation of foundational myths in works from John Milton’s Paradise Lost to 21st-century retellings.

This foundation module will equip you with the necessary skills to analyse and evaluate poetry as a text. It will give you an idea of the breath and range of poetry in English by developing intertextual connections and recognising its relation to changing contexts.

During this module, you will study Shakespeare’s timeless work and investigate the ways his texts are repeatedly rewritten and performed today. You will engage in current debates about the nature and function of Shakespeare’s work by reading the work of the Elizabethan bard in relation to changing contexts through a range of production instances.

This module offers a broad examination of the longstanding and multifaceted relationship between literature and film. It examines formal strategies and ideological implications of literary adaptation; the potential synergies and divergences of different literary forms and genres; the cultural translation of adapted texts over time; the parallel development of form in both mediums; and the cinematic framing of specific authors, characters or genres.

Through this module you will embark on journey to discover world literatures by exploring a range of texts written both by authors whose national languages may include English, and authors whose work has been translated into English. Its range embraces novelists, poets and dramatists from around the world and encourages you to appreciate today’s intertwined global cultures by looking at, for example, the Booker Prize List.

This module is organised around key frameworks for the understanding of human and cultural identity; likely to include gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, subculture and social class. The exploration of such frameworks will be supported by theoretical materials designed to introduce you to key literary and cultural concepts (such as ideology, patriarchy, heteronormativity, performativity, otherness, diaspora, and hybridity). (core module)

During this module, you will be empowered to read, analyse, and discuss literature by having literary genres in mind. By connecting genre to political, social, and historical contexts you will examine how patterns and arrangements generate, as well as unsettle, conventional analytical models in literary studies. (optional module)

This module allows you to develop writing skills in a number of genres, and understand and apply a range of techniques required for the craft of writing. It will encourage you to consider the wider social, cultural and ethical implications of literary praxis, and to assume agency through your creative contributions to important cultural conversations. (optional module)

In this module, you will specialise in literature written for children, starting in the eighteenth century to the present and explore a range of genres, such as fairy tales, picture books, fantasy and animal stories as well as poetry for and about children. It provides you with knowledge and understanding of cultural contexts, origins of literary form as well as constructions and appropriations of childhood. (optional module)

In this module, you will be introduced to the generic and thematic diversity of the Victorian period (1837-1901). This module emphasises the specific historical, socio-cultural contexts of the Victorian era to reflect on the ways in which Victorian writers negotiated groundbreaking ideas and discoveries, and significant events. (core module)

This module offers a survey of the development of western drama from the late 19th century to the present day. You will be introduced to dramatists such as Ibsen, Brecht, Williams and Beckett, alongside key developments and debates in dramaturgical theory and practice. (optional module)

You will examine the impact of women in literature through transnational parallels and contrasts. This module highlights identity politics and the ways in which women have fought to change discriminations based on race, gender, class, age, and sexuality. (optional module)

This module provides you with opportunities to apply your subject-specific skills and knowledge, being developed throughout the programme, in a transferable manner. Suggested projects could take the form of a publication project (print or web), targeted writing project (such as brochure, newsletter or resource pack), or a project relating to a particular industry (such as arts, heritage, education, journalism, etc.), although this is not proscriptive. (optional module)

During this module, you will be required to devise and undertake a dissertation on a subject of interest to you, and to prepare in written form a substantial literary critical essay, including, for example, a proposal and reference list. It asks you to practice and develop all of the research skills imparted earlier as part of research-led modules, applying them in a more independent and critically advanced manner. (core module)

You will explore a range of literary and other texts associated with the cultural and artistic developments of Modernism during the early decades of the twentieth-century. You will be introduced to the diverse strands of Modernism, as exemplified by writers such as Conrad, Joyce, Hemmingway, Woolf, Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Mansfield and Faulkner. (optional module)

This module promotes detailed knowledge of the major developments in English Literature occurring during the Romantic period. With its emphasis on the cultural contexts of literary, poetic and dramatic language this module enables you to discuss critically changing modes of expression in relation to political, philosophical, aesthetic and social contexts. (optional module)

In this module, you will be asked to undertake an independently-conceived research project, on a subject of your choosing and to work on and prepare a substantial literary critical essay. The module will continue to deepen and refine your knowledge of a specialist area, as well as offering insight and supervisory guidance in the construction of longer pieces of analytical written work. (core module)

This module offers a final opportunity for you to extend your critical engagement with modern writing through an examination of some of the most significant writers, movements, and innovations in literature since the end of the second world war. Central strands of investigation will likely include: challenges to realism and aesthetic experimentation; the rise of apocalyptic imaginaries and the arrival of the Anthropocene; multiculturalism and globalisation; and the deconstruction of self and subjectivity. (optional module)

This module introduces and discusses texts from the nineteenth century through to the present day. It explores the meaning and origins of the concept of adolescence by investigating its functioning in works of literature written for and about adolescents and in relation to relevant social or cultural contexts. (optional module)

During this module, you will consider the role of memory as topic and method in the production of literary texts from the Victorian period to the 21st century. You will explore current issues in memory studies, including (for example) trauma theory, the ethics of memorialisation, and the role of memory in cultural consciousness and heritage. (optional module)

This module asks you to undertake an independently-conceived and researched research project, on a subject of your choosing and to work on and prepare a substantial literary critical essay. The module will continue to deepen and refine your knowledge of a specialist area, as well as offering insight and supervisory guidance in the construction of longer pieces of analytical written work. (core module)

At a time of climate emergency, this module asks how literature reimagines the environment and our relationship to it. You will begin by studying literatures produced in the early stages of the industrial revolution in order to understand some of the causes of our current environmental crisis, including fossil fuel production, major transport networks and other infrastructures, urbanisation, and global food supply chains. Literature not only represents these developments, but also imaginatively responds to the environmental changes that result from them. Poetry and fiction, in particular, call attention to alternative ways of conceiving of and responding to our surroundings, from evoking nostalgia for pastoral lands unaffected by industry to presenting utopian visions of environments for the future.

Entry requirements

You will normally need 96-112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.

However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (AP(E)L).

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.

Assessment

Assessments in English are designed to give you the oral, written and digital skills to be confident and successful in the 21st-century world. Through a staged process of development, you will learn how to express yourself persuasively and reflectively across a range of media and platforms: you will write short essays and a long dissertation, deliver oral arguments and create presentations, build digital portfolios and develop personal projects. Instead of time spent in examination rooms, you will experience a diversity of assessment methods, and acquire a broad platform of transferable skills that will prepare you for your future life.

Careers & Further study

Studying English at BGU equips you to succeed in a diverse range of professions, including teaching, journalism, creative and professional writing, publishing, marketing, librarianship, public policy and a range of creative and media industries. The highly transferable skills embedded in the English course focus on the creative thinking, flexibility, communication skills and problem solving abilities that are consistently sought after by graduate employers. English staff work closely with BGU’s Careers and Employability department and a range of community partners to find ways of engaging students in real-world projects, and putting those transferable skills to use in a way that builds your CV. As an approachable, supportive team we get to know our students well, so we can help you identify and develop your individual strengths, and build your confidence in areas where you want to improve.

Interested in a career in teaching?

As an Undergraduate student at BGU, you'll be offered a free place on one of our Preparing for Teaching (P4T) courses as a part of your degree (currently exclusive to BGU students).

Led by our team of teacher training experts, the course is designed to prepare you to apply for a place on a PGCE programme. It covers topics such as:

  • How to apply
  • What to expect at an interview
  • The realities of teaching and much more

Not only will you gain essential skills that will support you in your future career, by completing the course you'll also get a guaranteed interview to one of our highly sought after PGCE courses.

If you have any questions about the P4T courses you can register by clicking here or you can speak to our Admissions team via admissions@bishopg.ac.uk

Support

Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.