About the course

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Our BA History and English Literature gives you the opportunity to study two subjects that speak closely to each other.

Just as poems, plays and novels can offer historians different ways to look at the past, historical documents can also be read as texts to be interpreted as works of narrative.

For both English Literature and History we have modernized and diversified our curriculum to reflect our changing world. Within our research-led courses you’ll study canonical texts and periods of history familiar to a traditional English or History degree but also voices and histories that reflect our modern, globalized 21 st century experiences.

You’ll start this joint degree with a core module that will teach you the skills of close analysis of literary texts. Reflecting on poetry by Danez Smith and Sylvia Plath, Caryl Churchill’s play Cloud 9 as well as work by Shakespeare and Zadie Smith, you’ll discover new ways of thinking about what literature is, and how to read it.

Also in your first year you’ll work through the Historian’s Toolkit, which helps you make the transition from school to university-level study. You will be introduced to an array of primary sources. You’ll also gain insights into historiography, to understand what influences historians, why they write the way they do and how they interact with one another.

Throughout your course, the common link between the two disciplines will be your analysis and interpretation of texts. The skills you’ve learned in your close reading of fiction are in many respects the same as those you will apply to your analysis of historical documents.

One of your second-year core English Literature modules is period-based, focusing on the 18th century, and offers a good example of how English and History are complementary. Your study of 18th century print culture and the emergence of the novel will be enhanced by your understanding of the politics of the day.

In your final year your courses will cover themes aligned to our academics’ research interests. You’ll have the chance to follow your interests and shape your studies, which could include African American literature, young adult fiction, or literary adaptations. Your History modules may focus on a particular region, such as Europe, or period, such as the 20th century. 

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • Exceptional academic teams, conducting world-leading research
  • Stimulating, innovative courses that allow you to make rewarding connections between two disciplines
  • CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities
  • Teaching rated excellent by 92.14% of our English students in the 2018 National Student Survey, with our History students reporting almost 94% overall satisfaction with their course

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Our History and English Literature students can take a second-year work experience module, either ‘Making Histories’ or ‘Literature at Work’, which is centred on a six-week work placement. The module looks at the graduate and transferable skills you acquire through studying English, the possibilities of teaching, and encourages students to take up work placements as teaching assistants in schools.

The ‘Making Histories’ module offers you the possibility of a voluntary placement in a local museum, archives or history societies, enabling you to gain valuable transferable skills and produce a portfolio of public history material. Our students have also taken up placements in heritage museums such as the Charles Dickens Museum and the Samuel Johnson House.

As well as working in the huge heritage industry, past students have gone on to careers in teaching, publishing and media, journalism and marketing. For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with our School of Education. 

Course details

Teaching methods

Our history students benefit from being part of a diverse and active academic community. Our interactive seminars and workshops help you find your feet in the academic environment, and establish ways of working confidently, creatively and collaboratively. We see our students as fellow researchers, and we place a great deal of importance on sharing and developing skills.

As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV. Our renowned staff-student Oral History team has taken students to Australia and produced a BBC Radio 4 documentary, which was commended at the 2018 Royal Historical Society Public History Awards. 

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. For our English and history students, 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.

Find out more about our Study abroad opportunities.

Structure

Level 4

Core Modules

  • Belief and Disbelief: Faith, Magic and Medicine, 1500 - 1800 - 15 Credits
  • Texts Up Close: Reading and Interpretation - 15 Credits
  • Make it New: Literary Tradition and Experimentation - 15 Credits
  • Border Crossings: Modern Literature from around the World - 15 Credits
  • Shakespeare Reframed - 15 Credits
  • The Fight for Rights: Freedom and Oppression, 1790s-1990s - 15 Credits
  • Historians' Toolkit - 15 Credits
  • Africa and the World, 1450-1850 - 15 Credits

Optional

  • Cashing In: Traders and Consumers, 1600 - 2001 - 15 Credits
  • Journeys and Quests: Adventures in Literature - 15 Credits
  • Identity and Contemporary Writing - 15 Credits
  • American Voices: Introduction to US Literature and Culture - 15 Credits
  • Romantic Origins & Gothic Afterlives - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to Public History - 15 Credits
  • The Heritage Industry in Britain - 15 Credits
  • Leisure and Lifestyle: 20th Century American Music, Sport and Entertainment - 15 Credits

Level 5

Core Modules

  • Ways of Reading: Literature and Theory - 15 Credits
  • Graduate Skills - 0 Credits
  • A Nation of Readers: British Identity and Enlightenment Culture - 15 Credits

Optional

  • Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, 1900-1945 - 15 Credits
  • USA 1861 to 1969: From Civil War to Civil Rights A - 15 Credits
  • American Literature to 1900 - 15 Credits
  • Twentieth Century North American Writing - 15 Credits
  • Lines on the Map: Explorations in Colonial Writing - 15 Credits
  • Images of Contemporary Society: British Literature and the Politics of Identity - 15 Credits
  • Postcolonial Cultures: Texts and Contexts - 15 Credits
  • Age of Transition: the Victorians and Modernity - 15 Credits
  • Literature at Work - 15 Credits
  • Revisiting the Renaissance - 15 Credits
  • Hearth & Heart: Family Life in the Long Eighteenth-Century - 15 Credits
  • Propaganda in Twentieth-Century War and Politics - 15 Credits
  • Nation & Identity: Newly Independent States in Interwar Europe, 1918-1939 - 15 Credits
  • Making a Historical Documentary - 15 Credits
  • Making Histories: Pubic History Work Experience - 15 Credits
  • Postcards from the Empire: Experiences of British Imperialism - 15 Credits
  • Maladies and Medicine in Early Modern Europe - 15 Credits
  • Crime and Society in England, 1550-1750 - 15 Credits
  • The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991 - 15 Credits

Fees & funding

Fees 2019

UK/EU Students

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

International Students

Full time
  • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

*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

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...

72 - 168 UCAS points

IB – 72 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above. Find out more about international application requirements.

GCSE Maths grade 4 (D) and English Language grade 4 (C) or above.

The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.

How to apply

2019

Start DateEnd DateLink
23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

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)