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English and History BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): QV31
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Understand the past through a range of skills and approaches and share your passion for English with a degree designed to enhance, interrogate and challenge your understanding.

This degree enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining these two subjects gives your degree an 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 History you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. English literature has always closely reflected key historical events and by combining these two subjects you’ll be exposed to an exciting international mix of authentic and fictional voices.

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

What you’ll study

English

Throughout the ages, the written word has been a powerful force for political action, historical documentary, creative expression and transformation. At NTU, we share your passion for English, and this stimulating degree is designed to enhance, interrogate and challenge your understanding, while also developing your talents and strengths.

You’ll study literature from different time periods, as well as professional and creative writing. Our modules will introduce you to a thriving arts scene. Taught by experts in the field, you’ll learn about cutting-edge developments. We offer the analytical and creative skills that make English graduates so popular with employers.

History

History is being made right now. It is a living, breathing subject that is constantly renewing, evolving and revealing new information that teaches us about the past, anchors us to the present and informs our future. Historians are passionate, focused, curious, intellectual and open to new experiences and information. If this sounds like you, then read on.

This course offers a broad curriculum, covering periods from AD 700 to the present day, with subject areas as diverse as dictatorship and warfare to youth and gender. We offer a wide range of options so that you have the greatest possible choice of areas to study in-depth.

Core modules

History: Practice and Purpose

This core module has been designed to equip you with the essential skills that are needed to read, research and write history during university. During the first section of this module you'll engage with some historical case studies ranging across medieval, early modern, modern contemporary and public history to develop a critical understanding of the often contested nature of historical evidence, how it's handled and its interpretation. In the second section you'll be able to understand the kinds of careers that you are attainable for. You'll contextualise the skills and practices acquired in the first half of the module in terms of raising awareness of employability and graduate attributes. Through interaction with employers and external agencies, you will reflect on the utility of a History degree, on the best ways to promote the qualities and competencies acquired over the course of their degree, and the potential of successful History students to excel in the competitive graduate market.

Modern European History

Explore the ideas and ideologies, political, social and economic changes associated with the development of western Europe and European states from the mid-nineteenth to the late-twentieth centuries. You will examine revolutions and unification, empire and colonisation, war and the state, the rise of communism and fascism,  intellectual, economic, cultural and social developments in ways that act as a foundation for your future study of history at university.

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.

Core modules

The Historian's Craft

This module will challenge you to critically investigate the problems posed by the nature and limits of historical knowledge and consider how history is communicated. The module will allow you to explore final year dissertation research in History, as you'll be informed on how best to identify a research topic and to conceptualise the research thesis.

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.

Humanities in the Workplace

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

History optional modules

Land of Liberty: History of the United States, 1815-2000

Consider the forces which have shaped American history between 1815-2000. The module pays specific attention to the ways that major social, economic and political changes have taken place during this time period. You'll explore key historical debates and study a range of primary sources.

The Crusades

The triumph of the First Crusade (1099) resulted in the establishment of a Western European community in the Levant for almost 200 years. In this course you'll investigate not only why such an event took place, but trace its impact and the development of subsequent expeditions through the 12th Century. You'll investigate the events that took place in both the Muslim world and Western Christendom directly before the advent of the crusades.

Fascism in Europe, 1915-45

This module introduces you to the historical development of Fascism as a political movement and regime. The module introduces historical characters and events such as, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Hitler and the Third Reich, General Franco and the Spanish Civil War. The module takes into consideration issues such as gender and homosexuality, racism, propaganda, and architecture in Fascist regimes.

Age of Reformations

Explore one of the major historical events of the early modern period: the Reformation(s) of Martin Luther, John Calvin and the Tudors and Stuart monarchs.

The Eagle and the Snake: Conquests and Colonisations of Mexico

This module will examine the civilisations of Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish. You'll analyse  the social, political, and cultural characteristics of the native Mexican civilisations. Through lectures and seminars you'll examine a range of 'clash of cultures' that happened, for example when the first European settlers arrived.

Early Modern Emotions

This module will challenge you to decode the emotional landscape of early modern Britain. You will work to understand our emotional past through examination and analysis of a wealth of textual, physical and visual evidence, historical objects, material culture and diverse media. These can include ballads, wills, diaries, art, sculpture, architecture and landscape.

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.

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.

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.

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.

History optional modules

Real-Life Work Project

This module will give you the chance to develop and apply historical skills to real-world situations for external clients. The module will enhance your chances of employability post-university,  enhance your confidence and awareness of transferable skills whilst developing and delivering work to external client briefs. External clients will include museums, heritage sites, charities, trusts, local organisations and private businesses.

Crusading Cultures and Communities

This module will allow you to explore the impact of crusading activities on societies in Medieval Europe. It will start by providing an overview of crusading in the 12th and 13th Centuries, and go on to look at a series of case studies in order to highlight the pervasive and Protean nature of the crusade agenda.

Early Modern Revolution and War

This module contextualises the civil wars across the British Isles in the period 1639-1660 within the context of the debate on the concept of military revolution with the wider background of the European Sphere, the Dutch Wars and the Thirty Years War. The module will also include a study of leadership and political / religious commitment, again within the background of the revolution / evolution debate.

The African American Experience in History and Memory

This module will examine the historical experience of black people in the United States of America. You'll consider slavery in the United States and investigate how both slavery and racism took place and spread across North America during the colonial period, to the mature plantation society and right before the civil war. During the second part of the module you will consider African-American experiences after Emancipation.

Living and Dying in Reformation Britain

This module explores key themes in the social and cultural history of Reformation Britain. You'll debate with your peers on the continuities and changes in religious belief and experiences, social attitudes, and cultural practices. The first part of the module explores the lasting impact of the Reformations on various aspects of life and lived experience in early modern England. The second part will explore the end of life, in regards to aspects of death and remembrance.

The Holocaust in History and Memory

In this module, we examine both the history of the Holocaust and interrogate how it has been discussed and commemorated in myriad ways. From the rise of hyper-nationalism, fascism and virulent racism in Germany, to the ways and places the Holocaust has been remembered, the aim is to develop your understanding of what made this genocide possible and how it was perpetrated.

Britain, War and Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

You will explore the key themes in the social, economic and political history of modern Britain from the Victorian period onward, and reflect on the relationship between complex interconnected issues during a transformative period in British history. The module takes a broad chronological sweep incorporating a range of conflicts and how these have impacted democracy, empire, welfare, politics and our lives.

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.

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...

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

James Wood

English and History

The staff are extremely supportive and always willing to help. Lecturers are enthusiastic and intelligent in their subject fields.

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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%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

Staff Profiles

Andrew Gritt

Head of Department

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Andy Gritt is Head of History, Heritage and Global Cultures.

Kevin Gould

Principal Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Kevin Gould is a Principal Lecturer in Late Medieval/Early Modern History (European), and Programme Leader for Single Honours History.

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…

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 History Joint Honours graduates have gone onto careers in:

  • Local Government – teacher (secondary English)
  • Barclays International – analyst
  • Vision Twentyone – social research interviewer
  • Lightdragon Ltd
  • Food Network UK – content producer
  • Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) – PR and marketing coordinator
  • The Army – army officer training.

Other careers could include:

  • heritage management
  • marketing
  • advertising
  • publishing
  • journalism and recruitment.

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

Entry requirements

  • 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.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

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.

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

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.