BA Philosophy and English Literature
With our BA Philosophy and English literature course, develop your critical and analytical skills and apply them to a variety of philosophical and literary texts. Our students become expert at presenting arguments clearly and persuasively.
In philosophy, we will give you an understanding of the central philosophical principles, concepts, problems, texts and figures. You will be taught by leading experts whose research strengths lie especially in moral philosophy and the philosophy of the mind and language. You will also have the chance to explore non-Western philosophies, such as Indian philosophy.
Your first year will introduce you to the general skills required for all philosophy. You can also select modules from outside the department. In years two and three you will have the opportunity to explore your chosen topic in more depth. These may include studying philosophy in terms of ethics and animals, crime and punishment or religion.
In your English Literature modules, you will read more of authors and genres that you may already know (from tragedy to Gothic, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Plath and Beckett). But you will also encounter aspects of literary studies that may be less familiar to you, from children’s literature to publishing studies and the history of the book. Our academics have published research on everything from medieval poetry to contemporary American fiction.
94% of students in the Department of English Literature said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023).
As you progress through your degree, your module choices become more diverse and specialised: you can pursue archive work, or look at the politics of literature. Everyone in the English 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. 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 and seminars.
In both subjects, you will be taught in small interactive seminar groups, encouraging discussion and debate with teaching staff and peers. Our small class sizes ensure that you will receive dedicated, individual attention.
We encourage you to undertake work placements as they provide you with a chance to put your newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice as well as allowing you to gain valuable real-world experience. You can undertake a placement at any point in your degree and work in a company or charity relevant to your final year studies. For example, a previous student worked at a zoo to learn more about the ethical treatment of animals. Other students have chosen to study abroad for one semester in their second or final year. Partner institutions include universities in Europe, the USA, Canada, Japan or Australia. You may decide to learn a language to complement your study abroad later on in your degree.