Why study this course
This course offers an exciting and wide-ranging exploration of the power of human creativity and literary expression.
A degree that fosters critical thinking, modern communication and employability skills, to help prepare you for successful graduate life
No exams, as the course takes a contemporary and innovative approach to teaching. The course combines a 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.
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.
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.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
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
During the course of your foundation year, you’ll cover the following modules:
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practice and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practice locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Enrivonment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
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 introduces you to a range of fiction, poetry, drama and periodical writing from eighteenth-century Britain. The module emphasises two major strands: on the one hand, it engages with the diverse and vibrant popular culture of the period, as a space where public and personal ideologies are contested; on the other, it considers the multiple models of value (moral, social, intellectual and economic) brought under scrutiny by Britain’s mercantile and imperial expansion. (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)
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GSCE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year. International applicants are not eligible to apply for an undergraduate course with a Foundation Year.
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, work-based placements or even field visits. 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.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
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.
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.
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.