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Overview

In this section

Traditional and contemporary English Literature that fosters writing and communication skills, emotional intelligence and creative thinking.

Summary

Study English and Media Studies at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

Built around a core of significant authors writing in English from Elizabethan times to the end of the Twentieth Century, from Shakespeare to Seamus Heaney, this programme also provides the opportunity for you to follow your own interests through a wide range of optional modules. Two thirds of the course is made up these: you can, for example, follow strands on creative and professional writing, women’s writing and gender studies, and American literature; or select from modules on historical fiction, contemporary fiction, modern drama, love poetry, the Victorian novel, or Beat culture, to name just a few. In your final year, you will – guided by a member of the teaching team – write a dissertation on a topic of your own choice. This combination of one-third compulsory historical core and two-thirds specialist optional modules will allow you to develop your own areas of expertise whilst still attaining a solid grounding in the history of English literature.

Media Studies

Taking Media as a minor will introduce you to the extraordinary influence the mass media have on our daily lives and the way we view each other and the world around us. Examination and understanding of the ways in which the press, broadcasting, cinema and new media work is essential for the modern global citizen.

The Media Studies programme explores the multi-faceted role that the media play in social, cultural and political life. It thereby addresses the vital need for a broad humanities education that thoroughly examines the modern media of public communication from a range of perspectives.

Media Studies

Taking Media as a minor will introduce you to the extraordinary influence the mass media have on our daily lives and the way we view each other and the world around us. Examination and understanding of the ways in which the press, broadcasting, cinema and new media work is essential for the modern global citizen.

The Media Studies programme explores the multi-faceted role that the media play in social, cultural and political life. It thereby addresses the vital need for a broad humanities education that thoroughly examines the modern media of public communication from a range of perspectives.

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About this course

In this section

About

Full-time students are expected to complete six modules per year: normally three in each semester. Most modules offer 3 hours of teaching time per week (2 lectures and a seminar), plus additional contact time as required for tutorial consultation or general guidance. Independent reading and study, which will also be guided by module coordinators, is expected to occupy 13 hours per module per week. We endeavour to make lecture and seminar times convenient for those who have to travel far or who have part-time jobs.

YEAR 1

The two compulsory modules are ‘Elements of Criticism’ (Semester 1) and ‘Modes of Reading’ (Semester 2), designed to equip you with some basic tools of literary criticism and introduce important concepts of critical theory..

The four optional modules are ‘Writing Matters’ and ‘Contemporary British Fiction’ in Semester 1, and –in semester 2 - ‘Literature and Society in Ireland’ and ‘Genres of Writing’ (the first module in the Writing, Editing and Publishing pathway).

YEAR 2

Core modules are ‘Early Modern English Culture’ in Semester 1 and ‘Restoration and the Eighteenth Century’ in Semester 2

Depending on staff availability, optional modules include (across both semesters) ‘The Rise of the Novel’, ‘A Brief History of Love Poetry’, ‘Writing and Editing’, ‘Sex and the City of God: Religion and Sexuality in American Literature’, ‘Beat Literature and Culture’, ‘Writing the North: Ulster Literature', ‘Romantic Narrative’,’Modern Drama’, ‘Gender and Creativity’, ‘Angels, Madwomen and Whores: Women’s writing in the nineteenth century’, 'Samuel Beckett Studies' and ‘Modern British Fiction’.

YEAR 3

Core modules are ‘Romantics and Victorians’ in semester one, ‘Twentieth-Century Literature’ in semester two, and the dissertation, which can be written in either semester.

Depending on staff availability, optional modules include (across both semesters) ‘Words in Freedom: the Modernist Revolution in Literature’, ‘Romantic Poetry and Theory’, ‘Writing and Publishing’, ‘Nineteenth-Century American Literature’, ‘Adaptation and Historical Fiction’, 'Twentieth-Century American Literature’, ‘Body Mind and Soul in Novels and Non-Fiction from Addison to Austen’, 'Twentieth Century Irish Writers', ‘Renaissance Drama’.

Further information on these modules is available from the English Course Director; Tim Hancock tc.hancock@ulster.ac.uk – please feel free to email.

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Normally three years.

Students are expected to attend all timetabled teaching sessions (lectures and seminars) as well as undertake private study. The overall workload (timetabled sessions as well as private study) usually amounts to 200 hours per module, 600 hours per semester, over 15 weeks (including the pre-exam study week and the exam period), averaging 40 hours a week (5 working days a week, 8 hours a day).

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

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.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is 280 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of BBC∆ at A2. Preference may be given to candidates with an A-level grade B in English.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final A level grade in the above grade profile (C grade) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS.

BTEC

Overall BTEC Extended Diploma profile requires a minimum of 280 UCAS tariff points with DMM award profile to include a minimum of 8 distinctions in level 3 units.

BTEC Diploma

The Diploma may be accepted in isolation or in combination with A levels. Where A levels are offered as part of a profile then they should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if one A level is offered with a Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for a B at A level with the Diploma offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the total tariff points - see further below).

280 = Distinction*, Distinction* (To include 10 distinctions)

260 = Distinction, Distinction* (To include 9 distinctions)

240 = Distinction, Distinction (To include 8 distinctions)

200 = Distinction, Merit (To include 7 distinctions)

180 = Distinction, Merit (To include 6 distinctions)

160 = Merit, Merit (To include 10 merits)

Preference may be given to candidates with an A-level grade B in English.

BTEC SUBSIDIARY DIPLOMA

The Subsidiary Diploma may be accepted in combination with A levels. Where A levels are offered as part of a profile then they should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if two A levels are offered with a Subsidiary Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for BB at A level with the Subsidiary Diploma offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the total tariff points - see further below).

140 = Distinction* (To include 5 distinctions)

120 = Distinction (To include 4 distinctions)

100 = Distinction (To include 3 distinctions)

80 = Merit (To include 5 merits)

Preference may be given to candidates with an A-level grade B in English.

Irish Leaving Certificate

A grade range is in operation for this course.

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is grades

B2,B2,B3,B3,C1

to

B2,B2,B2,B2,B2 at higher level.

Preference may be given to applicants holding Grade B2 in English Literature at higher.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is 280 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of AAAA∆. Preference may be given to candidates with a grade A in English.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final grade in the above grade profile (A grade) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is 280 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum BBC∆. Preference may be given to candidates with a grade B in English.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final grade in the above grade profile (C grade) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of 25 points to include 12 at higher level - 280 UCAS tariff points. Preference may be given to those holding Literature (English) at higher level 5.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

A grade range is in operation for this course.

For Access qualifications validated by Ulster University or QUB the entry requirement is currently under review with UCAS for 2017 entry. Please refer to the Equivalence of Qualifications for indicative requirement

For GB QAA accredited Higher Education Diploma qualifications the entry requirement is as follows:

Overall pass in a related subject area, achieving merit or distinction in all of the 45 level 3 graded credits (plus English level 2 equivalences where required).

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

Applicants holding a HND should achieve 120 credits at level 5 including a minimum of:

2 distinctions, 2 merits and 4 passes (for entry to Year 1).

Applicants holding a HNC will be considered on an individual basis for year 1 entry.

Applicants holding a Foundation Degree should achieve an overall average of 50% in second year modules for Year 1 entry.

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications. Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. Transfer from another institution) will be considered on an individual basis but should note that this process can be more difficult in subject combination programmes as both subjects must be satisfied.

Teaching and learning assessment

Teaching is mostly based on regular lectures (various sizes) and seminars (up to 15 students), although other methods - such as workshops, individual and small group tutorials, for example - are also common. Lectures allow the teacher to introduce a subject and flag up significant issues; seminars provide the student with the opportunity to ask questions and share their insights.

There are several methods of assessment, although the most common are the coursework essay (of varying lengths, depending on year) and the examination (two hours long in years one and two, three hours in the final year). Most modules combine these two; some also include an element of assessed seminar participation. You will need to pass all modules in order to progress - the pass mark is 40% - and your degree mark will be calculated through averaging all of your final year marks.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Students completing the BA Hons English course are equipped with the kind of intellectual and communicative skills that employers of all kinds require. Common career destinations include publishing, journalism and the media, business, the creative arts, arts administration, and civil service. Successful students can go on to undertake postgraduate work in all areas of English literary studies. Numerous graduates embark on Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes with a view to pursuing a career in teaching.

For information on postgraduate research opportunities see: www.arts.ulster.ac.uk/rgs.

The Career Development Centre (www://careers.ulster.ac.uk/ ; tel. 028 701 24210) is available to offer friendly and impartial help and advice with career planning and provide opportunities for you to develop your employability skills. There are Information Centres on each of the campuses.

Work placement / study abroad

There is a flexible placement element in the first year of 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.

Academic profile

The teaching of English is driven by the research expertise of the staff, all of whom contributed towards the subject's successful 2014 National Research Excellence Framework (REF) return: on quality of research output, English at UU ranked 27th out of 89 institutions across the British Isles.

Within its numbers, the department is lucky to have several published poets, a celebrated biographer and numerous authors of significant academic monographs.

Apply

Applying online at www.ucas.com.

For all full-time higher education courses at universities and colleges in the UK, students must apply online at www.ucas.com. There are three types of applicant.

Students at a school or college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges (and a small number of establishments overseas) are registered with UCAS to manage their students' applications.

Advice is available from your teacher or a careers adviser at your school or college. You fill in an online application and submit it to a member of staff. After checking your details, and having added the academic reference, your school or college submits the completed application online to UCAS. You pay online using a credit card or debit card. You may also be able to pay through your school or college.

Independent applicants in the UK

Other UK applicants, who are not at school or college, apply online independently.

It is likely that you are a mature applicant, who, unlike school and college students, cannot readily seek advice from your teacher, but can instead consult with various careers organisations (such as Connexions). You are responsible for paying the correct application fee, for obtaining and attaching the academic reference and for submitting the completed application online to UCAS.

International applicants outside the UK (EU and worldwide)

Except for those whose school or college is registered with UCAS, individuals from the EU (excluding the UK), and worldwide, apply online independently.

Advice is available from British Council offices and other centres overseas, such as your school or college. You are responsible for paying the correct application fee, for obtaining and attaching the academic reference and for submitting the completed application online to UCAS.

For all applicants, there are full instructions at www.ucas.com to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate. UCAS also has a comprehensive guide called Applying Online, which can be downloaded from www.ucas.com. 

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland & EU:
£3,925.00
England, Scotland & Wales:
£6,000.00
International:
£12,890.00

Scholarships, awards and prizes

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

http://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/outgoing-students/scholarships

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

http://www.ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/prizes.html.

Additional mandatory costs

None.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

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 wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

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

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director (BA English) / Subject Director (English in combinations):

Dr Tim Hancock

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4551

E: tc.hancock@ulster.ac.uk

School Office: Mrs Janetta Chambers

T: +44 (0) 28 7012 4111

E: j.chambers@ulster.ac.uk

For admissions queries contact arts@ulster.ac.uk.

Testimonials

'Climbing the right hill': choosing English at the Ulster University - Kendra Reynolds (Final Year)

Uncertain, anxious, alone, inadequate: any of these sound familiar? Certainly this blend of emotions overwhelmed me when I stood at the bottom of some daunting looking steps, staring at the rather majestic crest hanging above the front entrance to Ulster University at Coleraine. Nobody in my family went to university before me. I did not go to a grammar school. I was not one of those people who passed colossal amounts of A-levels. And I felt when I first faced those steps that I was not capable of getting the high marks that you read about in the newspaper.

On induction day a comment from my sixth form teacher was still ringing in my ear - 'You'll be in a class of hundreds, just a number' - but instead of an impersonal lecturer I was greeted by a happy face and a pleasant tone and instantly felt at ease. As a painfully shy person who rarely spoke out in class at school, I feared that the small group discussions would present a major obstacle. So it was a big shock when I heard my own voice answer a question posed in one of my first seminars! This was made possible by the English lecturers in this university, who are its greatest asset. Extremely talented and enthusiastic in their fields, their humanity and down-to-earth personalities came as a huge surprise. They spare time for every student and enhance the enjoyment and richness of our learning. Instead of being intimidated I've been made to feel like my ideas are valued; it was lovely to hear one lecturer announce that he appreciated our ideas and was looking forward to reading our essays. I was given the option to try out any subject from the Faculty of Arts in my first year, and if it did not suit, to switch to another. This flexibility turned out to be characteristic of the rest of my degree. With only one compulsory module per semester, English offers a wide range of options from which to choose, allowing you to shape your own education and encouraging individual thinking and learning. This is no conveyer belt which churns out a set package of knowledge; the teachers value and reward personal interests and original ideas.

Essay-writing is aided by the excellent range of services that the University's new library offers. Whether you're studying in groups or looking for peaceful solitude, the library caters for all needs: in the busy hub of a twenty-four hour computer facility, a soft-seated area and group rooms for interactive study, or individual rooms for those who need the quiet atmosphere that not even our homes can always provide.

I never saw myself as the kind of person who would be eager to stay on in education, but I'm now aiming to get into postgraduate study, and not in any other university, but right here because the support that I have been given has helped to instil in me such confidence and self-belief. In Shakespeare's words, 'We know what we are, but know not what we may be'. The lecturers have shown me that you don't have to be an Einstein to succeed. All you need is the enthusiasm and willingness to make the most out of your experience.

Little did I know that those daunting looking steps would reflect the ladder of achievement that I would climb in the next few years. Leaving school can seem like being pushed out of a comforting nest and being expected to fly before you feel like you can even walk, yet after taking those first tentative steps I've never looked back. It reminds me of a quote I have seen somewhere that asked, 'Are you climbing the right hill today?' At Ulster University, I know that I am.