English and History - BA (Hons)

2024/25 Full-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Arts with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Arts and Humanities

Campus:

Coleraine campus

UCAS code:

QV31
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2024

With this degree you could become:

  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Librarian
  • Civil and Public Service
  • Banking and Finance
  • University Lecturer

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • BBC
  • Libraries NI
  • Santander
  • The National Trust
  • The NI Assembly
  • Public Record Office NI
  • Education Authorities

Overview

Turn your love of reading into a top degree! We will fire your imagination and help you to become a confident and persuasive communicator.

Summary

Student Satisfaction

Our amazing National Student Survey ratings don’t lie: English at UU is a fantastic course taught by fantastic lecturers. We bring passion, friendliness and expertise to our teaching; you bring a love of reading, enthusiasm and your creative imagination. The result is a great learning experience!

If you love to get lost in a book, English is the subject for you. Alongside a solid grounding in classic texts, the teaching at UU will give you the opportunity to develop your own interests: whether you prefer historical drama or detective novels, fantasy literature or instapoetry, narratives of slavery or gothic fiction, you're sure to find something you'll enjoy.

Our wide range of optional modules also includes courses on creative and professional writing to develop your skills as a communicator and raise your game for the jobs market. All employers love people who think in original and sophisticated ways, who display emotional intelligence and a creative imagination, and who can express themselves persuasively on paper and with confidence when speaking. This is what UU English graduates are like.

Come and join us!

As the highest ranked History course in Northern Ireland and amongst the highest ranked in the UK for student satisfaction, our Historygraduates are in high demand from employers who recognise the fundamental skills of writing and presentation, research and time management, critical thinking and independence, that our degree provides. If you have a passion for knowledge, are a critical thinker, and want to better understand the past and its influence on the present and the future then this subject is for you.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

Taking your love of reading as the one essential ingredient, we aim to broaden your knowledge and cultivate your abilities as a thinker, writer and communicator.

The UU English teaching team introduce you to the basics of critical writing and literary theory in year one, allowing you to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success in your later work. Following the groundwork of this introductory year, you will be able to choose from a wide range of options reflecting the interests and expertise of the lecturers. Subjects that we teach include women's writing, narratives of slavery, historical fiction, modern drama, detective novels, gothic and romantic writing, the Victorian novel, modern Irish writers, contemporary fiction and love poetry.

We very much enjoy sharing our enthusiasms, and try to make our teaching fun! Even more importantly, we want you to develop your own interests and follow your own passions. UU English allows you to construct your own path to success, writing on whatever engages you most, whether that be Shakespeare or 'Game of Thrones'. Having had many opportunities to share ideas with like-minded friends and sympathetic teachers, UU English students graduate as creative, free-thinking communicators; they often go on to do very interesting things.

More detail is available from (English) Dr Kate Byrne (k.byrne@ulster.ac.uk) and (History) Dr Kyle Hughes (k.hughes1@ulster.ac.uk)

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Attendance

The course normally lasts for three years (four years if you choose to do a placement). During this time, there will be a number of different teaching and learning experiences for you to enjoy. Teachers will talk about the books you are reading in lectures, and you will get the chance to share your views with other students in small group seminars. One-to-one tutorials, video and email consultations are also offered so that you can ask your lecturer the questions that really matter to you. Timetabled sessions usually amount to about 9 hours per week, but we hope you'll spend much more time that than reading!

Start dates

  • September 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching is mostly based on regular lectures, seminars and interactive workshops. Individual and small group tutorials are also common. Lectures allow the teacher to enthuse about their subject and flag up interesting and significant issues; seminars and workshops give you the opportunity to share your insights with other students and ask questions; tutorials allow for a more detailed interaction with your lecturer specially tailored to your own needs.

There are several methods of assessment, although the most common are the coursework essay (usually 2000-2500 words long) and the examination (usually two hours long). Some modules also include an element of assessed seminar participation, rewarding your contributions to the module discussions. We also assess by portfolio and by podcast.

You will need to pass all modules in order to progress - the pass mark is 40% - but why not aim high? If you average 70% across your final year you will be awarded a First Class degree, and be fully prepared for your Postgraduate study or future career.

We present Historyin unique and exciting ways. Rather than traditional lectures and seminars, you will learn mainly in interactive workshops. You will create podcasts and digital presentations, design websites, organise conferences and produce research portfolios.

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The teaching of English is driven by the research expertise of some brilliant lecturers, all of whom publish regularly and are pushing the boundaries of knowledge within their respective fields.

Professor Richard Bradford is a well-known and highly-regarded literary biographer. Creative writing is taught by published authors Dr Frank Sewell(an expert on Irish poetry)and Dr Kathleen McCracken, an internationally renowned, prize-winning Canadian poet who regularly gives readings at literary festivals in the UK and globally (and sometimes at UU!). Dr Kate Byrne specialises in nineteenth-century fiction, women's writing, masculinities and heritage TV. Dr James Ward works on (amongst other things) Swift, Eighteenth-Century writing and narratives of slavery. Dr Andrew Keanie, an expert on Romanticism, has recent publications on Thomas de Quincey and Hartley Coleridge. Dr Kevin De Ornellas writes on Renaissance drama. Prof Jan Jedrzejewski is an expert in Victorian fiction (especially Thomas Hardy and George Eliot). Dr Frank Ferguson, Director of the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, has published extensively on Ulster Scots literature. Dr Kathryn White is a Samuel Beckett scholar (and fanatic!). Dr Tim Hancock works on twentieth-century English poetry. Dr Willa Murphy's main area of expertise lies in the field of Nineteenth-Century American studies. Dr Stephen Butler writes on contemporary fiction.

It's a great team, and everyone is friendly!

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Coleraine campus

Accommodation

A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.

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Sports Facilities

Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.

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Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

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Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

University English Literature: An Introduction

Year: 1

This module offers students a basic introductory guide to literary criticism and interpretation, focusing upon the ways in which the formal structures of poetry, fiction and drama contribute to a diversity of effects and levels of meaning.

Theory and Other Monsters

Year: 1

The module offers an introduction to the practice of reading and criticism. It aims to enable students to work with a variety of critical approaches, and to develop an informed awareness of the analytical possibilities available to them as readers and critics.

Professional and Creative Writing: An Introduction

Year: 1

On this module, students actively engage in diverse genres of writing, developing and reflecting on their writing and reading experience in particular genres and for particular audiences, including employers. Reading and critical analysis of sample texts and of texts about each genre are essential elements of the module.

Making History: Skills for Historians

Year: 1

This module is designed to introduce students to the practical skills required for studying history at degree level and the methods and approaches that inform historical practice.

Defining America: Themes in American History, C17th -C20th

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module will illustrate and analyse the key themes and issues in American history from colonial times to the present day. Patterns and problems in the development of America will be discussed, and consideration of differing interpretations and source evaluations are implicit throughout the course. By the end of the module students should understand how the history of America has been shaped by the key events and debates that have taken place over the last four hundred years.

The Making of Modern Britain and Ireland, 1800-1945

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the histories of modern Britain and Ireland. It explores key themes such as migration; industrialisation and urbanisation; reform and revolution; class and identity; religion, nationalism and unionism; war and empire. It utilises the latest historical scholarship and key primary sources delivered by research-active scholars via interactive workshops. The module brings to light the key events and historical processes which have shaped the Britain and Ireland of today.

The Ages of Extremes: International History 1914-2020

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module is designed principally for students studying History and provides an introduction to some of the main developments in world and international history from the First World War to the post-September 11th world.

Disenchanted Land? Culture and Society in Early Modern Europe

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module tackles the social and cultural realities of early modern Europeans from all social strata. The various issues studied include: urban development; social problems involved in rapid urbanization; daily lives, material culture, and dissimilar forms of social existence of the various heterogeneous groups that constituted early modern society; the complex interaction between elite and popular groups; and the attitude of urban society towards marginal and deviant groups.

Revolutionary Russia, 1894-1939

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module examines Revolutionary Russia from the last Romanov ruler through to the establishment of Stalinism in the USSR. Key historiographical debates will be examined and assessed. The political, economic, and social and cultural aspects of this period will be covered

Year two

Employing History: Understanding the Past, Preparing for the Future

Year: 2

This module combines theory, historical content, primary source analysis, and self-reflection to enable students to think effectively about the practice of history and the ways in which historical study can augment and enhance key transferrable and employability skills.

Early Modern English Culture 1509-1659: Poetry, Prose, Drama

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module introduces students to the culture of Renaissance England. Canonical and non-canonical poetry, prose, and drama as well as artefacts (such as paintings, jewelry, coins, seals, architecture, and clothing) will be studied within a framework of instruction on the sweeping changes brought to England by sectarian tension, increased literacy, nationalism, changing politics, women's complex roles, technical innovation, increased power for the monarchy, expanding commercial enterprise and a major expansion of literary and cultural creativity.

Tales of the Familiar and the Exotic: The Beginnings of Modern Fiction in English

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module is designed to introduce students to the history of the development of early fiction in English, from the early adventure narratives of the Elizabethan era to the emergence of the novel as a leading literary genre in the mid-eighteenth century. It will acquaint students with a range of thematic and formal sub-genres of fiction, ranging from tales of adventure to the philosophical romance, from religious allegory to the oriental tale, and from the picaresque to the epistolary.

Rhymes Of Passion: A Brief History Of Love Poetry

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module tells the story of love poetry. Having first asked the question 'What is love?', we will look at significant periods, writers, attitudes, and innovations, starting with love poetry's deepest roots in ancient verse (including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman), and ending with recent Western writers (such as Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy). The main aim of the module is to help you appreciate both enduring themes and changes in the way love has been understood and has expressed itself over time. Warning: it's not all hearts and flowers!

Writing and Editing

Year: 2

This module is optional

This practice-based module aims to advance the writing and editing knowledge and skills of students through lectures and workshops focusing on diverse genres of writing. Students are introduced to methods and techniques in the writing and editing processes. Instruction is given in the collaborative teamwork of writers and editors, with students adopting both roles during the course of the module. Formative assessment ensures that all students get a chance to edit and improve their own work (and some of each other's work) before final submission.

Modern Drama and Its Influences

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module accounts for a diverse range of dramatic genres, staging techniques, and thematic preoccupations inherent to the work of twentieth-century heterosexual, feminist, gay, lesbian, White, Jewish, and Black British and American playwrights. On this module, their work is to be analyzed and critiqued in the context of their theatrical and thematic responses to influential ancient, early modern, and nineteenth-century playwrights and in the context of changing twentieth-century values.

Sex and the City of God: religion and sexuality in American literature

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module examines the intersection of religion and sexuality in American literature, with a view to exploring issues of religious discourse, theories of metaphor, the language of desire and constructions of gender. The module explores the Puritan foundations of America, and the long shadow it casts over American culture. As well as literary fiction, the module explores texts from popular culture, as well as sermons, diaries, and other non-fiction prose.

Angels, Madwomen and Whores

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module enables students to engage with a wide range of writing by women from the 1790s to the end of the nineteenth century. By examining both poetry and prose, this module will uncover self-determined literary representation of female experience throughout the modern period, allowing students to engage with the central issues of gender and identity which affect women's writing.

Writing the North: Ulster Literature

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module introduces students to literary writing from Ulster to representations of, and imaginative responses to, the north of Ireland, and to the central debates surrounding these representations and responses.

Contemporary World Fiction in English

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module introduces students to a range of texts from areas of the world that have been oft ignored in academic studies for various geo-political reasons. The role that fiction plays in helping nations construct a sense of identity and community is a key focus of the module.

How It Is: Samuel Beckett Studies

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module celebrates Samuel Beckett the man and artist, whose innovations in theme and form pushed the boundaries of literature, redefined the medium of theatre, and made him one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. We will explore Beckett's work chronologically from the early fiction to the late drama, examining its impact alongside historical, cultural, and philosophical influences; we will consider Beckett's depiction of the human condition and will chart his gravitation towards minimalism.

Adaptation and Historical Fiction

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module is about the relationship between verbal and visual media (adaptation) and the portrayal of the past in fiction, film, and television (historical fiction). The module is designed to make you think critically about the relationship between literature and visual media; how they shape our understanding of the past through historical fiction; how adaptation and historical fiction give a voice to marginalized/underrepresented people.

Gothic and Romantic Writing

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module surveys writing associated with Gothic and Romantic discourses, focusing on the rise of the Gothic novel at the end of the C18th, Gothic imagery in Romantic writing, late-Victorian versions of the Gothic, the concept of decadence both before and during the fin de siècle, and the rise of psychoanalytical models at the end of the C19th.

English Exchange 1

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline while generating educational and cultural networks.

English Exchange 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline while generating educational and cultural networks.

English Exchange 3

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline while generating educational and cultural networks.

English Exchange 4

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides students with an opportunity to undertake a semester or full year of the second year of their degree in study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. It is not open to non-study abroad students. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline of English whilst generating educational and cultural networks, and fulfilling the requirements of their second year programme.

English Exchange 5

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline while generating educational and cultural networks.

English Exchange 6

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline while generating educational and cultural networks.

Eighteenth-Century Literature

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides an introduction to literature from 1660 to 1780 (the 'long eighteenth century'). It helps develop knowledge of relevant contexts including marriage, sickness and health, 'race' and slavery, and encourages you to apply this knowledge critically in class and assessments. It assists in reflection on, and assessment of, skills for post-degree employment.

Detective Fiction

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module will cover a range of some of the best-known examples of detective and crime fiction, in print and on screen, from the C19th to the present, exploring the genre's social and political importance, and the reasons for its universal popularity.

Writing and Publishing

Year: 2

This module is optional

Students on this module learn about the functions, and apply some of the methods, of professionals in the publishing process (by undertaking tasks associated with writers, literary agents, editors, etc.). They workshop their own and each other's writing, and they gain experience in the editing and publishing processes

Exchange programme 1 - History Abroad

Year: 2

This module is optional

These modules provide an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. They are required modules for all History students on an intercalary study abroad semester or year during second year. They are not open to non-study abroad students. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline of History whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Family, Sexuality and the State 1850-1925

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module examines the role of the state in moulding the history of the family and sexuality in Britain between 1860-1925. It looks at the forces which have influenced state policy as well as the impact on issues such as prostitution, homosexuality, gender roles and childhood.

Politics and Society in early modern Britain and Ireland

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module tracks the emergence of an internationally powerful British nation state by examining key issues and events from c.1630-1730. It will explore governance in contested kingdoms and diverse societies, the rise of the fiscal-military state and parliamentary monarchy, religious confessionalism and religious pluralism. It will also examine the early modern family, the emergence of the middle class, social and economic improvement, and the Early Enlightenment.

War and Peace: the Ying and Yang of human history

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module is designed, primarily, for History students, and will introducing them to both side of the coin of human development: war and peace; promoting an understanding of the patterns in war and peace & advancement in the course of human history, with a particular focus on the post-1648 & post-1815 periods, but especially, post-World War One, post-World War Two and post-Cold War/post-9/11 history and systems.

The Great Powers and the Middle East since 1880

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module explores the impact of the West on the Middle East and its contribution to conflict in the region since the end of the 19th Century.

Film and the Vietnam Conflict

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module explores the history, media, film and political culture in the context of America's involvement in the Vietnam War. The module explores major debates in the historiography of the era. Film representations of the war are subject to scrutiny for what they reveal about American society, and how they depict the changing perspectives of the "history" of the conflict. The module also follows the way in which the war developed and the changing attitudes it provoked at home and abroad.

The Myth and Reality of Imperial Spain, 1492-1700

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module examines the rise to power of the Spanish Empire in the sixteenth century, and its subsequent decline from the seventeenth century onwards. The following issues will be emphasized: Spain's Empire building; its image in the European political discourse; the military, economic, and social crises of the seventeenth century; the importance of honor and religion in all realms of society; and the cultural impact of Spain in the early modern world.

Death, Disease, and Medicine in Britain, 1800-1914

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module introduces students to key themes and topics on the history of death and illness in the long nineteenth century. Drawing from social, medical and Victorian history, students will explore themes such as murder in the Victorian city, ghosts, asylums, suicide, Victorian funerals and bodysnatching. Students will examine interdisciplinary sources including literature and art, as well as standard historical sources.

'Good Trouble': Struggle, Resistance and the African American Experience

Year: 2

This module is optional

Race remains one of the most contentious issues in United States society. It has had a profound impact on America's domestic political process and culture and the way in which the US is perceived by the rest of the world. This module seeks to provide insight and understanding into the questions raised by the African American struggle and race relations in America and the continuing problems faced by Black Americans. The module proceeds chronologically through Black history from slavery through to the present day. This module also assesses the cultural contribution of African Americans in the United States in the twentieth century, and explores the legacy of the slave experience. It is interdisciplinary in method and will examine such issues as rebellion and assimilation, black nationalism, family, gender, film and popular culture.

Beyond Belief: The Global Supernatural, c.1700-2000

Year: 2

This module is optional

Students will study cultural and social change between 1700 and 2020 through a global history of the supernatural. Topics covered include: the history of spiritualism, exorcism, neo-paganism or Wicca, beneficial magic (divination, magical healing, protective magic), harmful magic (cursing, the evil-eye and witchcraft), supernatural beings (Djinn, Púca, demons, devils, fairies, banshees and golems), revenants, ghosts, and service magicians (astrologers, cunning-folk, fortune-tellers, magical healers, mediums, and ritual magicians). This module explores these topics in their social and cultural context and throws light on how they were experienced by people in the past, as well as how they were regulated and policed. It will consider the impact of colonialism on indigenous belief and the ways in which modernity and social, political, economic, and medical crises were and still are negotiated through supernatural belief and practice. It will also chart the changing ways in which popular culture uses and represents the supernatural. The module challenges and reconceptualises what it means to be 'modern' and asks whether we can call the 19th and 20th century "Disenchanted". It encompasses the history of mentalities, gender, science and technology, sex and sexuality (including Queer History), medical history and complementary medicine, and witchcraft and disability studies. Students will learn how to plan, script, record and edit a historical podcast on a topic of their choosing under the direction of the module coordinator.

History in the Workplace: Work-Based Learning

Year: 2

This module is optional

This is an optional module for students in second semester of level five. It is a work-based learning module designed for students who wish to undertake short periods of workplace experience or complete 'real-world' tasks with professional employers.

Year three

Hollywood Histories

Year: 3

Hollywood Histories explores the ways in which American films have critically engaged with the various cultural, social, technological, and economic issues that have defined the key periods of twentieth century history during the eras in which they were produced. Hollywood output, the impact of films on the public and how they were received, and in turn how American history has in turn impacted Hollywood will all be explored, through screenings, readings and discussions.

English Placement

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides students with the opportunity to experience life as a professional in the creative and cultural industries as a paid employee of a company. They will gain experience and expertise in the field of their future profession and extend and enhance their skills, capabilities, and practice.

English Abroad (DIAS)

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Black Lives Recovered and Remade

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module traces the historic presence of people of colour in literature and visual culture. It covers the lives of historical individuals as well as fictional recreations or imaginings. Content covered includes historical fiction, government reports, life writing, cinema, and television. It offers a range of perspectives on race, racism, and their legacies.

The ‘Impact of Translation’ in Modern Irish and British Literature

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module focusses on English-language translations of major works from European languages including Irish and Medieval English. No second language is required, as the texts are studied in translation. The translations are the work of leading authors, including Helen Waddell, Seamus Heaney, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Simon Armitage. The module explores the translators' motivations and methods, the context and reception of their translation work, the role of translation in each writer's oeuvre, and relevant questions and issues in Translation Studies.

International Academic Studies - English

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK. It is a required module for all History students on an intercalary study abroad year between second (level 5) and final year (level 6). It is not open to non-study abroad students. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Industrial Placement - Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP)

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their inter-calary programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.

The Irish Revolution, 1913-1923

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module uses an innovative teaching method and utilises documentary, digital, and audio-visual sources to explore life in Ireland during the revolutionary years, 1913-1923. The period is brought to life through narratives of key events and the analysis of primary source material from the time.

Late Soviet Communism, 1953-1991

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module examines the attempts of the post-Stalin leadership to manage, reform, and improve the prosperity of Soviet domestic communism. The political, economic, and social and cultural policies of the three main general secretaries - Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev - will be examined and assessed critically.

United States Foreign Policy Since 1945

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module is designed principally for students studying History and will promote and in depth understanding of U.S. foreign policy post-1945, and its significance vis-à-vis the rest of the world. It seeks to examine the complex interaction between the United States and the wider world by looking at key events, issues and debates in U.S. Foreign Policy. The chronological approach will focus on the Cold War, Post-Cold War, and post-September 11th eras, analyzing the administrations of Presidents from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama.

Saints and Sinners: Women in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Ireland

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module will use the study of women in Irish society from 1850-2000 to consider the role of women in areas such as politics, religion, culture, work and sexuality and how their role and experiences changed over the period. It will allow students to gain an alternative historical perspective on the major political and societal changes of the period. Though the use of oral history students will gain a personal understanding of female experience in the past.

History Research Project

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module is based on the preparation and completion of an extended piece of written work or digital composition which demonstrates a student's capacity to work independently and to apply the skills of planning, research, writing, analytical and critical thinking, and presentation which they have learned during their studies.

Imperial Retreat: The Decline and Fall of the European Overseas Empires

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module will examine the historical process since 1945 whereby European colonial powers either withdrew This module will examine the historical process since 1945 whereby European colonial powers either withdrew or were driven from formal occupation of their overseas possessions. The module will not only examine various interpretations of imperial disengagement but will also provide an in-depth study of the actual mechanics of European decolonisation for particular territories in South and South East Asia, Africa and the Pacific. It also aims to enhance student skills in evaluating interpretations put forward by historians through allowing them to make a detailed study of one particular colonial possession.

America in the Depression, 1929-1941

Year: 3

This module is optional

This is an interdisciplinary study of one of the most significant events in the history of the United States since 1900, the Depression that began in 1929 and lasted until the USA entered the Second World War in 1941. This course will examine the turbulent years of the Great Depression and the New Deal. It will cover political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the events and circumstances that led to the Depression, the election of FDR in 1933, and the formulation of the New Deal as national policy. It will then look at various aspects of New Deal policies and will assess the achievements and limitations of those policies.

The Post-War Body: Medicine and Society in Britain and America, c.1945-90

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module examines the dramatic changes in experiences of health and illness that occurred in the twentieth century. Focusing on Britain and America, it explores how our attitudes to matters such as sex, death, eating, disability and mental health were revolutionized in the twentieth century. The module also looks at ethical problems issues such as Cold War human experimentation. Students will engage with broader themes such as class, gender and race relations.

Witchcraft and magic in early modern Europe and Colonial New England, c.1550-1780

Year: 3

This module is optional

The early modern period in Europe saw around 40-50,000 people executed for the crime of witchcraft, and many more prosecuted, imprisoned or otherwise punished. This module will examine the many facets of the witchcraft experience in Europe and New England using a variety of contemporary sources: from artwork, to printed books and pamphlets, court records and private correspondence. It will examine patterns of witchcraft accusation and prosecution, the intellectual context of witchcraft beliefs, the connection between witchcraft and women, the decline in educated belief, and the continuation of popular notions and traditions. Early modern witchcraft will be located in its wider magical context by exploring both popular magic (cunning-folk, magical healers and fortune-tellers) and elite magic (astrology, alchemy and angelology). Developments in witchcraft and magic in the early modern period will also be linked to wider societal, cultural and religious changes..

Year four

Nineteenth Century Literature

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module is designed to introduce students to the history of nineteenth-century English literature. It will trace, through the study of a selection of representative works of the period's poetry and prose, the rise and development of Romanticism and its continuation - and gradual transformation - in the writings of the Victorian era.

Twentieth-Century Literature

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module offers a broad survey of English literature written during the twentieth century. It will describe, through analysis of significant works by celebrated and representative writers, some of the major aesthetic and cultural developments and thematic preoccupations of modern literature in English, paying particular attention to stylistic and attitudinal changes throughout the century, from late-Romantic melancholy to a post-modern appreciation of multicultural diversity.

How to be Modern: Writing from the Jazz Age, 1910-1930

Year: 4

This module is optional

The urge to be modern was a defining characteristic of a group of creative artists christened the 'Lost Generation'. Born towards the end of the 1800s and reaching maturity around the time of the First World War, these groundbreaking writers modernized English literature (and themselves) through the 1910s and 1920s. Looking at both poetry and fiction, we will explore the breaking of sexual taboos, the impact of psychoanalysis, the trauma of the Great War, the rise of the New Woman, the Harlem Renaissance and avant-garde aesthetics (including free verse, streams of consciousness and unreliable narrators). In all cases we will seek to appreciate how these dynamic authors challenged stale cultural norms left over from the previous century.

Dissertation

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module offers students an opportunity to design, plan, prepare, write up, and present a dissertation of 6000 words on a topic of their own choice and researched under the guidance of a suitably qualified member of staff.

Bonnets, Beards and Bastards: The Fiction of the Victorian Period

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module is designed to introduce students to the thematic and formal diversity of Victorian fiction, as illustrated through the works of the leading novelists of the period. The key themes studied will include, among others, the social problems of Victorian Britain, 'the woman question', the role of religion in society, and the operation of the literary market; in aesthetic terms, the novels on the module will exemplify a range of formats and story-telling conventions, from the psychological novel to the sensation novel, from realism to symbolism, and from comedy of manners to naturalism.

Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Year: 4

This module is optional

An introduction to some of the key texts and themes of nineteenth-century American literature, this module places texts in their social, historical, and political contexts. Reading a selection of fiction, poetry, and autobiography, we will explore issues such as the possibilities and limits of a 'new world', race and exclusion, gender and sentiment, nature and technology. This module will examine the invention of a unique American voice in writing of the period.

Twentieth-Century American Literature

Year: 4

This module is optional

Examining the history of twentieth-century American literature in its social, cultural, and political context, this module involves close literary study of selected texts by some of the most representative American writers of the period, and discussion of broader issues such as the American Dream and the relationship between the American and English literary traditions. The module links with ENG511 Nineteenth-century American Literature (Year Three, semester 1), with other modules in English and European literature, and related modules in American History.

Body, Mind and Soul in Novels and Non-Fiction from Addison to Austen

Year: 4

This module is optional

A survey of ideas about the human body, mind and soul in texts ranging chronologically from Joseph Addison and Richard Steele's Spectator (1711) to Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1814). It investigates the links between literature and medicine, psychology and philosophy, and will be of interest to students who want to explore how literature engages with issues such as belief, education, pain, pleasure, sexuality and disease.

The Ulster-Scots Literary Tradition 1750 - 2000

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module introduces students to the history of Ulster-Scots literature from the middle of the eighteenth to the beginning of the twenty-first century. It will trace the relationship of Ulster writing to Scottish and Irish cultural, literary, political, philosophical, and linguistic influences in this period. The module will investigate the development, revivals, and transformations of Ulster-Scots literature through an examination of its most representative and important authors.

From The Vote To The Pill: C20th And C21st Women's Writing

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will enable students to engage with a variety of writing, in different genres, by women writers of the modern and the postmodern period, and will develop their understanding of the ways in which new political, social and sexual freedoms impacted upon women in the last century and beyond.

Writing Ireland: Ulysses to Normal People

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module celebrates some of the most influential Irish writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Through an examination of poetry, drama, and prose, we will explore works that have been deemed classics, future classics, and revolutionary. From Ulysses to Normal People, we will examine the impact and prominent characteristics of key texts, exploring how they have responded to the changing state of Ireland.

Shakespeare

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module delivers advanced tuition on the works of Shakespeare. Every genre of Shakespearean drama is studied in detail: from Comedy to Tragedy, from Roman Play to Romance. Diverse appropriations of Shakespeare are addressed too - a political play, a bourgeois film, a diverting television sitcom. Shakespearean plays mean different things to different people in different places but, ultimately, sound knowledge of the primary texts, their genres and contexts must be established.

Narratives of Slavery

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module invites students to explore a diverse range of literary texts and other media through which the history and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade has been represented.

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

Grades CCC.

You can satisfy the requirement for the final A level grade C by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Preference may be given to candidates with an A level Grade C or higher in English Literature.

Applied General Qualifications

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma

Award profile of MMM

We will also accept smaller BTEC/OCR qualifications (i.e. Diploma or Extended Certificate / Introductory Diploma / Subsidiary Diploma) in combination with A Levels or other acceptable level 3 qualifications.

To find out if the qualification you are applying with is a qualification we accept for entry, please check our Qualification Checker - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/stud-y/entrance-requirements/equivalence

We will also continue to accept QCF versions of these qualifications although grades asked for may differ. Check what grades you will be asked for by comparing the requirements above with the information under QCF in the Applied General and Tech Level Qualifications section of our Entry Requirements - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/undergraduate-entry-requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate

96 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.

Preference may be given to candidates with a H4 at higher level in History and/or English.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades

CCCCC

Preference may be given to candidates with Grade C in English

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades

DDD

Preference may be given to candidates with Grade D in English

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - Grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile is minimum.

24 points (including 12 at higher level)

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 55% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access course)

Overall profile of 45 credits at Merit (60 credit Access course) (GB Access course)

GCSE

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above English Language.

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

HND - Overall Merit with distinctions in 15 Level 5 credits for entry to Year 1

HNC – Overall Distinction with distinctions in 45 Level 4 credits for entry to Year 1.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met).

Foundation Degree- an overall mark of 40% in Level 5 modules for Year 1 entry.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications.

Transfer from degree level study at other institutions

Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. Transfer from another institution or year 2 entry) will be considered on an individual basis.

Exemptions and transferability

  • You may be able to transfer from another institution should you satisfy our entry requirements.
  • It is possible to transfer between our single honours course and our combination courses at the end of your first year.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • BBC
  • Libraries NI
  • Santander
  • The National Trust
  • The NI Assembly
  • Public Record Office NI
  • Education Authorities

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Librarian
  • Civil and Public Service
  • Banking and Finance
  • University Lecturer

Career options

  • English Majors Among Most Desirable Employees, says Google​

The top characteristics of success at Google are so-called "soft skills", such as communication, good leadership, possessing insight into others' values and points of view, having empathy and a supportive nature towards others and possessing good critical thinking and problem solving skills, along with the ability to create connections across complex ideas.

https://www.bookstr.com/article/english-majors-among-most-desirable-employees-says-google/

Humanities graduates have the kind of intellectual, social and communicative qualities that employers of all kinds require. The English and History course at UU will give you the necessary skills to be successful in a wide range of fields: our graduates go on to do many wonderful things, pursuing careers in (for example) teaching, publishing, journalism and the media, the creative arts, advertising and marketing, arts administration, charitable organisations, human resources and the civil service.

You also have the option of go on to postgraduate work in all areas of English and History studies, or maybe do a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme with a view to pursuing a career teaching in schools / colleges.

Work placement / study abroad

There is an optional flexible placement element in your degree, encouraging you to develop your skills as a writer in the context of a relevant workplace. Opportunities for study abroad, usually during the second year of your degree, are also available: ISEP (International Student Exchange Programme) offers links with over 140 American Universities; Erasmus+ focuses on European destinations.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees

£4,750.00

England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands Fees

£9,250.00

International Fees

£16,320.00

Scholarships, awards and prizes

For scholarship schemes available to students at Ulster University, see the following web page:

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/scholarships

For a list of awards and prizes that English students can win during their time at UU, see:

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/prizes

Additional mandatory costs

None.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

Jana Cherry(English year 3, 2021)

When I first began my journey of studying English at Ulster University, I was a bit overwhelmed. Coming from A levels, you feel as though there is a pressure on you to reach the standards of what is expected from an undergraduate student. However, each lecturer I have had the pleasure of meeting and being taught by has really lightened this pressure and worked alongside me to make sure I understood each topic to the best of my ability, even if it was one that I wasn't as confident in compared to the others. For me personally, I couldn’t recommend the English course enough. It is definitely something I will never regret doing because it has opened doors for my future career and this is all through the help of the lecturers and their fantastic teaching standards.

Keilan Colville(English year 2, 2021)

Making the decision to study English at UU is one that I will never regret. In the two years I've been here, I've developed relationships not just with other students but with the teaching staff too. Lecturers are encouraging and understanding, as well as being down-to-earth people who are always approachable. In studying a wide range of literary texts, I can find the things that I am interested in most. Even over the last year of the pandemic, online lessons delivered by the English department have been engaging and enjoyable. Most of all, it is the authentic love for literature that drives the English degree – a love that is shared in every class. As a student of English, I am given the space to grow, learn and as William Wordsworth once wrote, to ‘feel we are greater than we know.’

Kirstie Brown(English year 2, 2021)

In studying English at Ulster I have been given the opportunity to explore more than just the classics and the English literary canon. Modules have allowed me to discover the works of underrepresented women and BAME writers whilst approaching texts through different lenses and with fresh perspectives. The lecturers at Ulster couldn’t be more approachable and supportive, even with the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peter Linkens(English year 3, 2021)

Studying English in Coleraine has been an exhilarating and enriching experience for me. It has broadened my reading, helped me to adopt viewpoints other than my own and provided opportunities to meet people with whom I share a passion for literature, both students and lecturers. The lecturers are an eclectic mix of personalities who have helped to make this course so enjoyable. They are passionate about the subjects they teach, and I have enjoyed learning from them and talking with them. There is a diverse range of modules within the course that have helped broaden my skills in research, critical analysis and creative writing. There is also an English & Poetry Society in the university for those aspiring writers who are seeking to cultivate their skills and public speaking, which provides a welcoming and relaxed environment in which to share work or to just come along and listen. I really consider myself fortunate to have attended this university where my interest in literature has been stimulated and expanded by the teaching staff.

Karolina Stonkute (recent History graduate)

During my three years on the History course at Ulster, I have never felt unsupported. The History lecturers have continuously provided me with help whether it was academic or personal. They strive to push their students to achieve grades that they believe best represents their skills. I would not have the experience nor the confidence to enter the next chapter of my career without them.

Orin McIvor (recent History graduate)

At the end of my second year studying History at Ulster, I applied for the ‘study abroad’ programme and spent a year at university in America. I had an incredible time. It was truly a life changing experience that boosted my self-esteem and confidence. It was amazing being able to experience different cultures and to meet people that I would become friends with that I would have had no opportunity to do so before. I miss the experience a little more every day and still catch up with the friends I made. It was an experience that I feel anybody with even a hint of interest in studying abroad should go for as they will not regret it.