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In the UK for Philosophy in student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022)

English and Philosophy BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): VQ53
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

  • 73% of NTU’s research in English Language and Literature was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent - REF2021.
  • Choose between writing a dissertation and the Humanities Research Project.
  • A flexible Joint Honours course, means you can create a learning path as unique as you are.
  • Complete a work experience placement, meaning you’ll graduate with valuable industry experience.

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 international exchange.

By choosing Philosophy and English you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. By combining these two subjects, you’ll develop strong skills in critical thinking and conceptual analysis which will enhance your appreciation and understanding of literary texts.

What you’ll study

Philosophy 

People have been studying philosophy for about 3,000 years and its original questions are still being discussed by today's leading minds. Philosophers believe that the ability to question and think critically about the world is an important skill, something that’s now increasingly recognised by many of today's leading employers.

The course at NTU is organised around some of the philosophical problems faced by today's decision-makers in their professional lives. You’ll examine the interface between philosophical ideas and everyday life, and learn to think more clearly and critically about the world you live in.

At the end of your studies, you should be able to think through complex issues and questions with clarity and rigour. No intellectual problem should daunt you! No wonder philosophy graduates are in demand by today's employers, and as a Philosophy graduate from NTU you’ll be ahead of the pack.

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.

Core module

Applied Philosophy I

This module will examine the fundamental questions that have defined Philosophy as a discipline. Particular emphasis will be given to debates surrounding the nature of rationality, logic and critical thinking; the rhetorical power of language and the issues surrounding the use of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion; the uses of scepticism and the question of whether there are limits to what we can know; the ethics of corporate governance; the ethics of animal rights and euthanasia; as well as the philosophical significance of the environmental crisis and biotechnology.

Philosophy: Thinkers and Themes

This module aims to understand the development of western philosophy through its 2,800 year history. More specifically, it examines the claims of the philosophers whose ideas have helped to shape the moral, intellectual and political contours of the contemporary world.

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, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tennessee Williams who call for a national tradition or assume the task of defining it.

Core modules

Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy

This module will introduce you to the ideas of the key thinkers that have helped to shape the development of 20th-century philosophy. Specific ideas and themes covered will include the significance of Kant in the development of contemporary European thought; Husserl and phenomenology; Heidegger on the authentic life' as well as work on the nature of language, meaning and the mind by contemporary British and American analytic philosophers.

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 complete a placement, write a report around your experience and follow clear work-based learning objectives.

Philosophy optional modules

Applied Philosophy II

Philosophy is often viewed as a remote and highly esoteric discipline that has very little to say to ‘ordinary people’ in their workaday lives.

This module will challenge this view, and examine the ways in which philosophical forms of questioning and analysis can assist us both in our personal and in our working lives. Drawing upon both ancient and modern philosophical sources, the module will examine the way in which philosophy can provide us with ideas and arguments that point us towards greater self-insight and ultimately better ways of living.

Philosophy and Media

This interdisciplinary module aims to view the media philosophically through the lens of everyday life. Its central organising theme is the media’s potential to operate as a powerful philosophical tool within an image saturated society, with the capability to transmit, influence and critique dominant ideological norms.

The Philosophy of Time

Study two opposed contemporary theories of time's flow and three opposed ontological positions regarding the existence of the past, present and future.

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.

Philosophy optional modules

Wittgenstein and Heidegger

This module introduces you to some of the central problems in contemporary philosophy through an examination of the work of two of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

The overall aim of the module is to encourage you to question and wonder about your experience of the wider world and to show the extent to which answers to the philosophical questions posed by both these philosophers can change the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live.

Reasons for Action

The aim of the module is to introduce students to selected issues around the general topic: what kind of reasons for acting one way rather than another are good reasons? One possible reason for doing something is the belief that it’s the right thing to do: we ask whether morality can give us a reason for action. But we also consider other reasons for action (e.g. just wanting to do something) and what it is that we should be aiming for in life in general.

Advanced Topics in Applied Philosophy: Emotion and Power

The overall aim of this module is to show how philosophical modes of inquiry can allow you to make sense of the personal experiences, professional practices and contemporary ways of being that have become central to many aspects of human life in western societies today.

Philosophy and Film

This module aims to view film-philosophy via two interconnected perspectives. You'll learn about the specificity of the film medium and its relationship with philosophy.

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

Jack Webb

English and Philosophy

The facilities are fantastic, regardless of your interests. Whether you play sport, music or anything in between. You’ll find a way to do it.

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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 (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (77%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)

All Arts and Humanities students will complete a minimum of 240 hours of work like experience over the three years of the course

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…

Sharon Ouditt

Sharon Ouditt

Neil Turnbull

Interim Head of Department

School of Arts & Humanities

Neil Turnbull is a philosopher – by love and not simply by profession. His philosophical passions cover the full range of the philosophy curriculum, from ancient Stoicism and Cynicism to…

Ruth Griffin

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Ruth Griffin

Benjamin Curtis

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Benjamin Curtis

Annalise Grice

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Annalise Grice is Senior Lecturer in English Literature in the department of English, Linguistics and Philosophy.

How you’re assessed

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

Careers and employability

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.

Philosophy and English graduates have gone on to forge successful careers both within large, well known organisations and the small to medium sized companies that constitute much of the UK economy. Recent graduate roles have included:

  • law;
  • publishing;
  • marketing;
  • PR;
  • retail; and
  • finance.

Campus and facilities

Here are some of the free services, student discount and benefits you'll get studying at NTU

We've carefully considered what benefits and services you need for your studies, so when you join NTU you'll get free printing and materials credits, access to our free WiFi, a copy of Microsoft Office, and even borrow a laptop if yours is out of commission.

For life outside your lectures, you'll enjoy access to over 60 sports clubs and 130 student societies, discounted travel and bike hire, free language learning, award-winning student support and an entertainment programme which is second to none.

See all the benefits and free services you will enjoy as an NTU student.

Books and library resources

In our library you’ll have access to an extensive and diverse range of books including those on your reading list.

The library's online resources and NTU Online Workspace (NOW) also provides digital access to the core resources for your modules and a wide range of specialist collections, texts, and databases

Nottingham Trent University has its own Blackwell’s Bookshop which stocks relevant academic texts plus a wide range of bestselling novels.

IT Resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the campus, with PCs providing access to: Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services (with a free printing allowance for each student). Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Societies

Current students run societies in a range of Humanities and Arts subjects including History, Medieval, Film, Filmmaking, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, and the Book society.

There are also a number of media channels which our students get involved in such as the NTU radio station FlyLive, our student magazine Platform, and TV station TrentTV.

Find out more about student societies at the Student Union website.

Entry requirements

  • 104 - 112 UCAS tariff points from four A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.


Other qualifications and experience

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.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form

You will need the equivalent to:

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from four A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • GCSE 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.

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.