BA English Literature and Politics
Find out how we're adapting during COVID-19.
Our BA English Literature and Politics joint degree programme allows study of the art of the possible and persuasion to provide a thorough understanding of the ways in which our society works.
On this programme you will gain a thorough understanding of the theoretical foundations of modern politics and the methods for studying political assent and conflict, at home and abroad. You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of specialist core and optional modules, which cover topical issues such as the politics of the welfare state, European political integration, and political thinking. In certain modules, you will have the opportunity to take part in United Nations and Middle East simulations and gain an insight into the political process. You can also take part in other activities that are related to the subject. For example, you can contribute to the Department of Politics and International Relations' weekly politics radio show and learn other useful skills such as presenting and audio editing.
Your study of English literature will give you the chance to study many similar issues from a different perspective: we have experts in contemporary literature from America, the Caribbean and across the British Isles, with research expertise in the study of minority identities and the literature of global justice. You will also have the chance to study more of the authors and genres that you may already know (from tragedy to Gothic, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Plath and Beckett). But it will also introduce you to aspects of literary studies that may be less familiar to you, from children’s literature to publishing studies and the history of the book. Everyone in our department, from new lecturers to professors, teaches at every level of the degree: this gives you the benefit of our expertise and makes you part of the conversation about our research and its impact outside the classroom. 96% of our students say that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2021).
We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment. In your first and second years, you will have a mix of lectures (which can be quite large) and seminars, which involve smaller groups of students working interactively with a member of teaching staff. We believe that the study of English literature and politics is a discursive process in which we learn by sharing our ideas, and so we are determined to keep class sizes small enough so that everyone feels able to contribute. We provide detailed and thorough feedback on your written work within 15 working days: this is crucial to your development as someone whose career will involve the writing of clear and persuasive documents.
Throughout your degree you will be thinking about the career choices that will enable you to thrive after graduation: we will help you put in place the skills and experience that you need to launch that career. In English Literature, our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take a placement module on languages and literature in heritage, in education, and in the media. In politics, you can undertake a two-week placement as part of our module on British government and politics. This is an opportunity for you to gain first-hand experience of working with an MP, charity, pressure group, local councillor or media organisation. You can also carry out longer placements during summer vacations.
In your second year, it may be possible for you to spend a term studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia and countries across Europe. To find out more, follow this link.
For more information, please visit the Department of English Literature website.