About the course

Literature and religion have long been intertwined, from the devotional poetry of the Renaissance to contemporary representations of faith in a multicultural modern world. Understanding the nature of religious belief unlocks the meaning of many literary texts, which in turn have profoundly influenced the course of debate on religious issues.

On a degree in English Literature with Religious Studies, we’ll introduce you to writers who will open doors to contemporary beliefs and cultures remote from your own, and also help you explore more familiar literature in ways that challenge your preconceptions. This means you’ll study literature written in English by writers from all parts of the globe, whose voices are relevant and important in our modern world.

A core Literature module in your first year will equip you to read and interpret both traditional and contemporary literary texts critically as a scholar of English literature. Alongside this you can choose to revisit Shakespeare and consider his cultural relevance today through fictional, cinematic and TV adaptations; or to deepen your understanding of Gothic writing by tracing its origins back to the Romantic era.

In your second year you’ll focus on period-based literature from the Renaissance onwards and gain an understanding of literary history, from Elizabethan verse and drama, via Augustan poetry and the emergence of the novel in the 18th century, to the radical transformations of the Victorian age, and the emergence of modernity in the twentieth century. You’ll also have the opportunity to consider ways of reading that go beyond textual analysis or historical context, such as understanding literature through the political or ideological lens of Marxism, feminism and post-colonial theory – alternative systems for interpreting the world which have sought, in different ways, to challenge the dominant religious worldviews that held sway for so much of human history.

You’ll have the chance to specialise in your final year, tailoring your literary study to reflect your own interests. Themed options include children’s literature, young adult fiction, Renaissance tragedy, European crime fiction, literary adaptations and the culture of print in the 18th century.

Whether you’re religious or not, understanding the beliefs that guide people’s lives is crucial to navigating a globalised world, and the ways in which writers have depicted it. Studying religion helps you to explore literature from social, political and ethical perspectives. You’ll learn about the development of religious ideas and practices over time through the exploration of four major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. This will be given a modern context through a module on religion and the contemporary world. Religious Studies seminars in your first year will explore how to investigate and discuss different beliefs and ideas and to develop your critical thinking, all within a respectful and empathetic environment.

In your second year you’ll study the philosophies of religion, while in your final year you’ll consider the intersection of religion with popular culture. You’ll be taught by academic staff who bring fresh thinking to our accessible, engaging courses. They are active researchers of international standing who bring their own passion for their discipline into the classroom.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) English Literature with Religious Studies
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) English Literature 2019 Programme specification 2 BA (Hons) Religious Studies

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • A fresh take on writing of the past, and the opportunity to study contemporary works that speak directly to our everyday lives
  • An expert academic team to challenge you, support you and build your confidence as you develop into a scholar of literature and religion
  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • Teaching rated excellent by 92.14% of our students in the 2018 National Student Survey
  • CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities

Course details

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Our courses equip you with transferable, intellectual and personal skills and experiences that are valued by employers in a wide range of industries. Over 96% of University of Hertfordshire students are in work or further study six months after graduating, according to the latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. 

Past students have embarked on successful careers in teaching, publishing and the media, journalism, advertising and marketing. For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with the School of Education. Many of our graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.

Teaching methods

Students of English Literature with Religious Studies will be taught in a variety of ways according to the characteristics of each module. Many are taught via weekly lectures and weekly seminars. Workshops are also used to discuss subjects in more depth and encourage independent analysis, and in Religious Studies, in particular, small group teaching helps you to find your feet in the academic environment.

There are plenty of opportunities to discuss philosophical, religious and ethical issues with staff and fellow students, including an optional residential weekend each year.

You’ll have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies and enhance your CV. These include our Philosophy Society, run by students, which hosts fortnightly research seminars led by distinguished external philosophers.

Work Placement

You can choose a work experience module, Literature at Work, which explores English in the classroom and aspects of the literary heritage industry. The module is centred around a six-week work placement where you’ll gain valuable transferable skills. Our students have worked as school classroom assistants, in publishing houses or attractions such as London’s Charles Dickens Museum and Dr Johnson’s House.

The Placement Year provides you with the opportunity to set your academic studies in a broader, practical context and to gain experience in specific areas relevant to your fields of study. You will also strengthen your time management, organisational and communication skills as well as develop employability skills.

The Placement Year helps you to develop as an independent learner and apply the communication, analytical and other skills gained from studying to the workplace.

Study Abroad

Taking a year’s study abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your understanding of the world. Living in another country opens up fresh perspectives and helps create global citizens. Immersing yourself in a host country enhances your learning, giving you a greater appreciation of other cultures and societies, and a deeper understanding of their everyday lives. Your time abroad could also afford you an opportunity to observe religious beliefs in your host country.

Structure

  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Introduction to World Religions 15 Credits Compulsory
    Religion and the Contemporary World 15 Credits Compulsory
    Texts Up Close: Reading and Interpretation 15 Credits Compulsory
    Make it New: Literary Tradition and Experimentation 15 Credits Compulsory
    Border Crossings: Modern Literature from around the World 15 Credits Compulsory
    Shakespeare Reframed 15 Credits Compulsory
    American Voices: Introduction to US Literature and Culture 15 Credits Compulsory
    Romantic Origins & Gothic Afterlives 15 Credits Compulsory
    Journeys and Quests: Adventures in Literature 15 Credits Optional
    Identity and Contemporary Writing 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Ways of Reading: Literature and Theory 15 Credits Compulsory
    Graduate Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    A Nation of Readers: British Identity and Enlightenment Culture 15 Credits Compulsory
    Revisiting the Renaissance 15 Credits Compulsory
    Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, 1900-1945 15 Credits Optional
    American Literature to 1900 15 Credits Optional
    Twentieth Century North American Writing 15 Credits Optional
    Images of Contemporary Society: British Literature and the Politics of Identity 15 Credits Optional
    Age of Transition: the Victorians and Modernity 15 Credits Optional
    Literature at Work 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Renaissance Tragedy 15 Credits Optional
    Eighteenth Century Bodies 15 Credits Optional
    Literature Project 30 Credits Optional
    Between the Acts: Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature 1890-1920 15 Credits Optional
    Postmodern Genders 15 Credits Optional
    Children's Literature:Growing up in Books 15 Credits Optional
    Native American Literature 15 Credits Optional
    East End Fictions: Interdisciplinary Studies of London's East End 15 Credits Optional
    Worlds Apart 1: Utopian & Dystopian Writing 15 Credits Optional
    Texts and Screens: Studies in Literary Adaptation 15 Credits Optional
    The Golden Age: Victorian Children's Literature 15 Credits Optional
    African-American Literature 15 Credits Optional
    Generation Dead: Young Adult Fiction and the Gothic 15 Credits Optional
    Twenty-first Century American Writing 15 Credits Optional
    Euro-Crime on Page and Screen 15 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS points A Level BTEC IB requirement
    104 BCC DMM 104 points

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    Locations
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

    2020

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

    2021

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year