BA (Hons) English Literature and Media

About the course

A degree in English Literature and Media will help you grow from passionate reader into a critical thinker and literary scholar, while learning how to apply similar skills of analysis to other representations of the world, through cinema, television, magazines, the internet, and the ways in which people communicate with each other.

On a degree in English Literature and Media, we’ll introduce you to writers who will open doors to contemporary worlds 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. We’ll also develop your critical awareness of the media, sharpen your practical skills and get your career off to a flying start. In a fast-paced, multifaceted media world, people with the ability to write, design and harness new technologies are in high demand.

You’ll be taught by academic staff who bring fresh thinking to our accessible, engaging courses. Some are active researchers of international standing who bring their own passion for their discipline into the classroom; others are dynamic teachers with extensive industry experience.

Whatever your taste in literature, there will be something to interest and provoke you. From The Tiger Who Came to Tea to Jane Eyre, from Paradise Lost to Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, we’ll broaden your literary horizons and hone your critical thinking.

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.

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.

Your study of English Literature will enhance your ability to analyse and synthesise complex ideas, and to express yourself clearly in both written and spoken English. These skills will be hugely beneficial to your study of Media, especially when coupled with practical skills which help to prepare you for your future career. Design your own app proposal, create a hard-hitting ad campaign, build a brilliant website and craft an inspiring feature article -- all supported by our industry- experienced team. Working across different platforms and for different audiences, you’ll develop a packed portfolio that will demonstrate your skills, adaptability and ambition.

But you’ll need more than practical know-how to get published. So, we’ll develop your understanding of the global media industry, its influence on society, the legal and ethical contexts of your work and the impact of emerging technologies. 

Why choose this course?

We give you

  • A fresh take on traditional writing and the opportunity to study contemporary works that speak directly to our everyday lives 
  • An expert academic team to support you and build your confidence as you develop into a literary scholar
  • A flexible and programme of study, which introduces you to the methods and approaches of different disciplines, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • Real-world skills - Learn how to create and publish content on a broad range of formats including print multimedia and within online platforms
  • A bridge between theory and practice - Students studying this course will gain a theoretical and critically reflective understanding of media whilst gaining practical skills as an author and publications designer.

What will I study?

Students of English Literate and Media 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 used in English Literature to discuss subjects in more depth and encourage independent analysis, and in Media for modules where the degree of practical skills taught is enhanced by the supervision of experts in their field. You may be expected to contribute to online discussions and to download and read lecture notes from StudyNet, our virtual learning environment.

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. We ensure our programmes are relevant to the world of work through active links with regional employers across a range of industries and professions.

Our graduates have an excellent record of gaining employment in media, publishing, teaching and information management where their skills in analysis, communication and evaluation are highly valued.

There are just under one million people employed in the UK media industry, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). Opportunities for employment can be found in:

  • advertising
  • marketing
  • film
  • interactive media
  • radio
  • television

For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with our School of Education.

Many of our graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.

'Media Matters' Guest Lecture series

Each year the School of Humanities hosts the Media Matters Guest Lecture Series featuring a range of industry professionals, giving talks on their experience in the industry. These lectures are recorded by our final year students and available on our Media Hub. Some of our previous speakers have included:

  • Lewis Wiltshire, Head of Sport, Twitter UK
  • Jessica Fellowes, Author and freelance journalist
  • Ren Behan, Food blogger and journalist
  • Terry Mitchinson, Welwyn Hatfield Times Editor
  • Natasha Henry, Freelance sports journalist
  • Richard Keith, Journalist for Edge Magazine and Publisher for PCGamer
  • Bryan Rutherford, Reporter/newsreader
  • Mark Solomons, co-founder of SNS news agency