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Communication & Society and English BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): LQ33
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

  • NTU is in the UK’s Top 30 for Communication and Media Studies (including Journalism) in the Complete University Guide 2021 (25th).
  • Work experience opportunities.

Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of individual, group and organisational communication and share your passion for English with a degree designed to enhance, interrogate and challenge your understanding.

It enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining two subjects can give your degree an international or industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our course combinations are designed so that what you learn in one subject will complement and enhance what you learn in the other. In your final year you can choose either to split your time evenly between your two subjects, or to specialise in one. Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you too. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters that enables you to take part in optional work placements or go on an international exchange.

By choosing English and Communication & Society you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. These two subjects have a natural synergy and will provide you with a unique perspective on culture, communication and society throughout the ages.

  • This degree offers work placement opportunities.
  • Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section.

Celebrating Literature

You'll study English in a City and University that celebrates Literature: NTU is a lead partner of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, and has established a variety of extracurricular opportunities and a host of partners in the creative industries.

In 2015, Nottingham was designated a permanent UNESCO City of Literature – one of only 20 in the world – thanks to our long and diverse literary history. From D H Lawrence to Alan Sillitoe and Lord Byron to J M Barrie, many wonderful wordsmiths have called Nottingham home.

What you’ll study

English 

Our English degree combines a diverse curriculum with open-minded thought and a thriving arts scene. We offer expert teaching and the transferable skills which make English graduates so popular with employers.

Communication & Society

Fascinating new forms of politics, economics and creative enterprises are rapidly challenging many core assumptions about human communication and identity. The possession and transfer of knowledge now lies at the heart of daily life and it’s more important than ever to understand various aspects of communication. You’ll look at communication between individuals, groups and organisations, humanity and nature, and the evolving media through which communication takes place.

This course offers a wide choice of interesting and engaging modules. The core of this course draws on Psychology and Sociology, and also includes aspects of Philosophy, History and Anthropology. No previous study in any of these areas is required.

Core modules

Ways of Reading: An Introduction to Literary Criticism

This module will address questions around authorship, textuality, and different ways of interpreting texts, as well as considering what goes into the creation of a ‘text’, as a production between writers and their environments. You will learn key skills around research, writing, referencing, critical reading and forming critical arguments that will help you to develop as an English student.

American Literature: Writing Self and Nation

This module introduces many of the authors, literary movements, and historical events that shaped American literature from the birth of the republic to the contemporary period. You’ll read writers such as Washington Irving, Alice Walker, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, F Scott Fitzgerald, or Tennessee Williams who call for a national tradition or assume the task of defining it.

Media Communications and Digital Cultures

Examine the social, cultural and political contexts within which media communications institutions have emerged and developed and study the history of media and communications.

Psychology of Communication

Investigate the psychology of leadership, group dynamics and intergroup relations through classical and contemporary psychology. Examine non-verbal and verbal communication, the role of the unconscious and the ways in which communication influences societal groups.

Some optional modules may be studied on the City campus.

Core modules

Culture and Anarchy

This module explores the ways in which the tension between ‘culture’ and ‘anarchy’ has repeatedly surfaced as a driving force in the development of English literature, animating creative expression and shaping critical debate. Taking the broad historical period ranging from the late-19th to the late 20th Century as its backdrop, the module focuses on a number of significant moments at which various understandings of ‘cultural’ and ‘anarchic’ activity have impacted upon the social landscape, and on literary texts themselves.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Explorations of Identity and Selfhood

Today the concept of ‘identity’ stands as a key term within many different academic disciplines, including geography, history and philosophy, as well as sociology and psychology. However, there is a considerable gap or discrepancy between common sense and more formal academic understandings of identity. This module aims to introduce you to these important debates – starting with our common sense and moving steadily towards more radical understandings of the nature of identity and selfhood.

Humanities in the workplace

This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. You'll undertake a placement, write a report around your experience and set clear work-based learning objectives.

English optional modules

Shakespeare and Co.: the Early Modern Stage

The module will be structured around four or five thematic clusters of dramatic genre, selected from a range of preoccupations of the period itself and of later critical responses to it. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: Jacobean tragedy, Shakespearean comedy, ‘problem’ comedy, city comedy, and history.

British Women Writers between the Wars (1918 – 1939)

The years after the First World War saw historic changes affecting the social and economic lives of British women. For the first time women were granted the vote on the same terms as men, and the opening up of professions to women permanently shattered the Victorian ideal of womanhood as the ‘Angel in the House’. Newspapers and magazines of the period were full of images of the ‘modern woman’ who became an emblematic figure for modernity in the interwar years.

This module will explore the ways in which a new generation of professional women writers represented women’s experiences of modernity across a range of literary texts written during the years between 1918 and 1939.

Romantic Revolutions 1780 – 1851

1780 – 1851 was a period of political, poetic and social revolution in Britain. By studying poetry and prose of the period, you’ll investigate how far revolutionary social and political change is reflected in the experimental themes and forms of Romantic writing, and the module will be attentive to the development from earlier to later Romantic writing.

Writing Works

During this module, you’ll study and produce writing in different genres, gaining knowledge of craft issues and learning how to apply them to many different forms.

Ethnicity in American Writing: Place, Identity and Form

Racial Identity and ethnic diversity have been central to the American experience since the nation’s founding. In this module you will examine literary interactions between people of different ethnic backgrounds and see how writers use ethnicity as a tool of resistance.

Literature and Psychoanalysis

This module explores the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, examining the way that psychoanalytic theory has reshaped our encounter with literary texts. Building on your understanding of the relationship between critical thinking and literary production and analysis, the module discusses the development of psychoanalysis from its origins to its application by contemporary literary critics. Reading a range of clinical, theoretical and literary texts, you will think about how different approaches to the human psyche have been understood and employed by different readers and writers in different places and at different times.

Voices and Visions

You'll be introduced to new writing specialisms with a particular focus on visual and vocal communication. Throughout this module you'll practice independent learning strategies and draft original creative work to enhance collaboration, research, editing and reviewing skills. You'll be taught how to combine information, think laterally and develop resonant visual and sonic narratives.

Black Writing in Britain

Examine a range of literary texts by black writers written in or about Britain from the 1950s until the present day.

Creating an Anthology: Developing Editorial Vision

In the first unit, a programme of lectures and seminar/workshops, will build on your close-reading and critical skills. In the second unit, you will be taught further theoretical concerns specific to the editing and scholarly presentation of texts. You will be guided in applying the skills and knowledge already learnt as you work in groups constructing a critical anthology of your own, and you will be invited to reflect on the processes involved as you work towards the final versions of the anthologies you have chosen to compile.

Communication & Society optional modules

Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 1: The New Creativity

This module explores at a practical and theoretical level the new modes of creativity which are transforming working methods in the contemporary economy. You'll study the histories of advertising, public relations and journalism. You'll look at the intersections between economic developments, forms of communicative and media technology and the evolution of modern psychology and sociology that have resulted in a proliferation of new types of creativity.

Communications and Creativity Toolkit

On this module you'll learn new skills and discover new ways of expanding your understanding of communications and creative industries. You'll combine insights from a range of disciplines and creative practices to generate a 'toolkit' for both the intellectual understanding of communications and creativity, and the practical development of creative practices in various forms.

Gender and Sexuality

‘Gender’ and ‘sexuality’ are key terms within psychology, social theory and ordinary everyday life. They are terms with which all of us are familiar. However, as this module will show, despite this familiarity, these concepts are highly complex – and, indeed, contested. During this module you'll look at the ways in which gender and sexuality have been theorised from a range of different social scientific perspectives.

Media, Communication and Culture in Asia

This module provides an insight into contemporary media development and cultural change in East Asia, placing this in the context of broader historical, economic and cultural debates. It will examine a wide range of media forms including print media, broadcasting, film and new media technologies, assessing their cultural impact in East Asian societies. It will explore contemporary issues of media development and policy and it will relate these to longer historical contexts.

Digital Identities: The Politics of Communication in the Globalised World

This module will develop your understanding of core themes in the study of communications and media. Four interlinking blocks of study take you from the formation of the communicating self through to further examinations of social, digital and global facets of contemporary communications.

Some optional modules may be studied on the City campus.

Core module

Dissertation

The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.

OR

The Creative Writing Dissertation

As an alternative to the critical dissertation, you may wish to do a creative writing dissertation. This alternative will enable you to study and participate in the practice of writing, with particular focus on the production of a long piece of individual creative work.

OR

Humanities Research Project

Explore your interests in a way that draws on both subject areas. Combine the knowledge and skills you have gained in each of your subjects to complete an interdisciplinary piece of research. You can deliver your project either as a written dissertation or through an alternative creative format such as a publication, film, podcast, website, or performance, supported by a shorter essay.

English optional modules

English and Creative Industries Project

The module will give you the opportunity to undertake project work in a small group, led by a project supervisor, and to produce a portfolio of critical and reflective writing. Working with an employer on a defined project you'll be able to put into practice the skills and knowledge gained over the course of their degree within a professional setting.

Early Modern Poetry and Prose

This module introduces you to authors writing poetry and prose in the 16th and 17th Centuries. You’ll become familiar with some of the following literary genres: the sonnet, the epic poem, the epyllia, ‘metaphysical’ poetry, satire, political allegory and radical writing. The module will greatly expand contextual knowledge, and explore political and religious context, as well as the application of appropriate theoretical approaches (e.g. cultural materialism, gender theory).

Reading Gender and Sexuality

This module examines the politics and aesthetics of gender and sexuality in relation to the writing of 20th Century and contemporary literature. It historicises and submits to sceptical analysis central concepts in the period's conceptualisations of fixed gender identities and sexual identities. Key terms for analysis include femininity, masculinity, androgyny, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, ethnicity, and 'difference'. These are related to literary texts from a range of cultures and from four main periods: the early 20th Century, the mid-century, the period of the sexual revolution and the contemporary.

Postcolonial Texts: Narratives of Liberation

This module focuses on postcolonial texts (fiction, poetry and film) and considers the relationship between acts of representation and the politics of anti-colonialism and postcolonialism. It introduces you to the historical, political and cultural contexts of the postcolonial world, as well as to a range of texts produced in postcolonial societies.

Travel Writing: Texts, Contexts and Theory

Led by members of staff from our highly regarded Centre for Travel Writing Studies, this module provides an overview of travel writing. It examines criticism and theories of the genre (including arguments about whether it constitutes a genre at all). You’ll be invited to consider the relationship of travel writing to society and to other forms of literature, both canonical and non-canonical.

Gothic Rebels and Reactionaries

This module will begin by exploring Romanticism’s Gothic impulse, examining the rise of the Gothic Romance in the late 18th Century, before investigating its development into the 19th Century. Each week, the module will consider a key literary text from the period alongside a theoretical issue in order to establish a critical vocabulary from which to interpret and understand Gothic’s many manifestations.

Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory

This module will be organized into three related thematic sections. The first will explore approaches to literature in contemporary theory, focusing in particular on innovative developments which work at the intersection of criticism and writing. Section two will examine debates about literature, culture, and technology which will include sessions on digital and other technologies, mobile devices, and electronic literature. Section three will consider recent debates about concepts of the world, transnational social processes, and global culture. These concepts and directions in contemporary theory will be approached through work by, among others, Giorgio Agamben, Roland Barthes, Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, N. Katherine Hayles, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Gayatri Spivak. Throughout, it will reflect on fiction, poetry, and other literary writing that engages with this module’s principal concerns.

Modernism and Modernity

This module explores some of the central features of the many transnational movements of modernism, examining how the experimental qualities of modernist culture were conditioned by responses to changes in social and technological modernity.

Nuclear Literature: Culture in the Atomic Age

Introduces students to the literary and cultural impact of a key technology and the latest debates in the Nuclear Humanities. Engaging students with research being undertaken into this subject at NTU, the module considers the representation of nuclear technology and science in literary texts, as well as the questions raised for literature by the dawning of the nuclear age.

Communication & Society optional modules

Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 2: Convergence and Creativity in the Digital Age

This module continues to develop your appreciation of the history, practice and theory of advertising, public relations and journalism. An important recent evolution of these forms in the digital age is characterised by what is known as ‘convergence’. This concept encapsulates the way individuals working in these sectors increasingly have to take on a variety of roles which cut across the traditional boundaries of each sector and learn to use a variety of working practices and technologies.

As well as continuing to study theoretical and critical academic perspectives on these developments, you'll take part in workshops to help you further develop the writing, digital literacy and image analysis / creation skills that are central to success in these areas.

Self in Crisis: Power, Prejudice and Otherness

This module brings together a range of debates in contemporary society about the nature of identity or selfhood that centre around claims that it is, in various ways, in a profound state of crisis. One part of this module will consider these ideas through a social-psychological examination of one of the most frightening crises of the 20th Century – the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews.

DJ Cultures: History, Theory and Technique

From obscure roots, the art of DJing has in recent decades exploded into the limelight as a major form of popular culture. No prior experience of DJing is required to take this module, which combines a basic ‘taster’ introduction to DJ technology and the practical techniques of DJ performance with a theoretical consideration of various styles of DJing, their histories, their related musical experiences and their wider cultural significance and influence.

Humanity in the Natural World

This module helps you to look at the relation between humanity and nature from psychological, cultural, and historical perspectives. You’ll examine questions such as: Is industrial civilisation simply an extension of nature? Is the 'environmental crisis' a symptom of a deeper alienation from the natural world? You'll also consider whether capitalism and technology are inherently destructive to nature, and will assess the possibility of 'greening' industrial civilisation.

Political Communications and Society

The module will look at the ways in which the political establishment, and individuals engage in politics, communicate with society in times of war and peace. You'll focus mainly on British and American politics but some light will be shed on other countries across the world.

What's New: the future of media communications

This module looks at innovations and challenges that face media communications professionals as they look to the future. Using practical assessments such as blog writing, producing a radio advertisement and making an audio slideshow, students will advance their media skills in preparation for future employment as digital, multi-media producers. You will examine the issues, ideas and debates which contemporary journalism and marketing have to engage with, such as the funding and accessibility of news on the internet, the nature and trends of popular content, new styles and forms of presentation and the blurring of fantasy and reality in digital communications.

Further information on what you'll study

Jenni Ramone

Dr Jenni Ramone, Associate Professor, explains what she loves about English at NTU

"We’re a community here, and I feel that’s what makes English at NTU so special. It’s not a relationship that ends with graduation. A former student of mine got in touch recently because he’d read a book that reminded him of a module he’d taken with me. He left the University four years ago, but this book really inspired him — it took him right back to his time here, and I was so happy that he’d taken the time to approach me for more recommendations. That kind of thing that happens all the time, and it’s what makes us a place to call home." Read more...

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (24%), independent study (76%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (77%), placement (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

Staff Profiles

Jenni Ramone

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Jenni Ramone is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies and co-director of the Postcolonial Studies Centre: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/research/groups-and-centres/centres/centre-for-postcolonial-studies Her research has focused on global literature, postcolonial literature, gender, and translation, approaching…

Catherine Adams

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Catherine Adams

Matt Connell

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Matt Connell

Colin Alexander (Dr)

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr. Colin Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications within the Communication and Society subject team at the School of Arts and Humanities

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

Our recent English and Communication & Society Joint Honours graduates have gone onto careers in:

  • Local Government – teacher (Secondary English)
  • JRS – market researcher
  • Vision Twentyone – social research interviewer
  • Lightdragon Ltd / Food Network UK – content producer
  • jigsaw systems – product manager.

Other career areas could include: publishing, PR, marketing, advertising, journalism and recruitment.

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

Entry requirements

104 UCAS Tariff points

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM.
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You will need the equivalent to:

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM.
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before. This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Please see our fees page for more information.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

Full-time courses

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

Part-time courses

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Need help with your application?

For admissions related enquiries please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Email or Ask us a question

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.