BA (Hons)

English and Philosophy

Statue and girl in library
  • UCAS code(s): VQ53
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

FIND US ON

If you've got two subjects that you really enjoy, or have career ambitions that demand a particular skill set, then a joint honours degree is a great choice for you.

Course overview

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 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.

Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section for more information.

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My Inkspiration – James Joyce
Here at NTU, we're enthusiastic about the English subject and wish to express a similar enthusiasm to our students. It's much more than a job: it really matters to us that you are inspired, passionate, challenged and motivated by your studies. Here, we talk about the authors who have inspired us and instilled in us a passion for the subject that we teach.

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

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.

  • Year One

    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.

    Foundations in Literary Studies

    This module provides the foundation for your studies. You’ll explore some of the most significant transformations that have taken place in the ways that texts are both written and read. The idea of 'great' English literature – indeed, even the idea of English literature – has been rigorously examined and vigorously contested in recent years, and this module considers some of the most important developments that have changed which texts we read and how we read them.

    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.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Contemporary Philosophy: Philosophy in the 20th Century

    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 at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and 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.

    Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

    This module introduces you to the key debates and themes in contemporary philosophy of religion. The module aims to facilitate an awareness of religion’s problematic status in modern philosophy through allowing you to explore the assumptions of key thinkers in an area of philosophical inquiry that also touches on important theological issues.

    Philosophy, Technology and Innovation

    Those of us who live in modern societies increasingly inhabit a ‘technological world’ where our lives and values are increasingly shaped, possibly even ‘determined’, by our interactions with technological devices of various kinds. However, this novel historical situation raises a number of important and pressing philosophical question.

    In this module we will examine these questions and introduce you to a number of recent debates that have made the philosophy of technology one of the most important branches of contemporary philosophical inquiry through an examination the ideas of Norbert Elias, Karl Marx, Hebert Marcuse, Martin Heidegger, Paul Virilio, Donna Haraway, Marhsall McCluhan and Bruno Latour.

    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

    Renaissance Literature, 1485-1660: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

    This module explores the dramatic writing of the Early Modern period, concentrating on writers such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson and Middleton.

    Throughout the module, you’ll become familiar with the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. You’ll also consider the critical responses to, and adaptations of Renaissance writing in our own time, whilst exploring the issues raised by Renaissance writing such as those of gender, sexuality or race.

    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.

    American Topics

    American Topics engages in the focused analysis of the representation in American texts of a particular theme or themes. So, for instance, the module might focus on Writing Landscapes, and would concentrate on agrarian and urban landscapes within the American imagination, on region and landscape (e.g. New England literary culture or the South), and on the American sublime. If the focus is on African American Identities it would cover the history and heritage of slavery, the Harlem Renaissance and the literature of the Civil Rights movement.

    Literature in Theory

    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.

  • Year Three

    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.

    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.

    Contemporary Metaphysics

    This module aims to introduce students to some of the major disputes in contemporary metaphysics.

    Contemporary French Philosophy

    This module serves to introduce you to some of the highly influential and continuously fecund schools of thought that emerged in France during the 20th Century. The module engages with many of the defining concepts of contemporary continental philosophy, tracking their development out of, and often in problematic relation to, the traditional philosophic discourse within which they arose.

    Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

    The overall aim of this module is to introduce you to the key concepts involved in contemporary philosophical debates about the nature and significance of the mind. The module examines critically the Cartesian idea that the mind is distinct substance separate from the body. It also explores the way that psychoanalysis and behaviourism both posed important challenges to this conception in the 20th Century.

    Advanced Topics in Applied Philosophy

    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.

    World Philosophy

    Globalisation has radically transformed the world’s cultural landscape. In this module, you will examine the impact of globalisation on contemporary philosophical debates and the way in which it seems to call into question the Greek origins of philosophical ways of understanding the world.

    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.

    Social and Political Philosophy

    This module will introduce you to some of key issues in contemporary social and political philosophy. Its central focus is on the question of how we are to understand the nature and dynamics of contemporary society in philosophical terms.

    Philosophy and Childhood

    This module will introduce you to some of the key debates in contemporary philosophy that address the nature and wider significance of childhood, with particular emphasis given to the philosophical significance of childhood thought, language and emotion.  The module will explore these issues through the ideas of the philosophers of the Enlightenment as well as the ideas of 20th-century novelists and developmental psychologists.

    English optional modules

    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).

    American Specialisms

    American Specialisms provides you with an opportunity to pursue the advanced study of one or more American literature specialisms, normally developed from recent and current research being carried out by tutors. It encourages you to intervene in current debates in American literature and to consider how the subject is being shaped by contemporary thinking. The focus will vary from year to year. Although the module may involve detailed focus on a highly specific aspect of American literature, you’ll be encouraged to understand this aspect in relation to broader developments in American culture.

    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.

    Literature in Theory: Writing, Technology, and the World

    This module aims to enable an advanced understanding of debates that have significantly reshaped literary and critical theory in recent years. Contemporary theory is now a very large and diverse field; focusing on specific issues and questions, this module will deepen your knowledge of literature and its cultural and social locations. It will consider how the concept of ‘literature’ and the practise of writing has been profoundly transformed by work that innovatively reshapes the relationship between writing, criticism, and subjectivity.

    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.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

92% student satisfaction rate for English (NSS 2017).

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.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 2 coursework (88%) and written (12%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (75%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%), independent study (81%)

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.

100% of our English joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2015-16).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

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

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our international team for advice.

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!

Getting in touch

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

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

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

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

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

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418