BA (Hons)

English and History

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  • UCAS code(s): QV31
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • 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 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.

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

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100% of our undergraduate students are satisfied with the quality of this course (National Student Survey 2018).

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My Inkspiration - Doris Lessing
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

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.

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.

  • Year One

    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.

    Pathways Through Modernity

    This module investigates the nature of modernity across national and international settings. It uses primary and secondary sources to explore the ideas, ideologies, and the economic and cultural changes associated with the historical development of modernity from 1750 up to the present day.

    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, 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.

  • Year Two

    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 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.

    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.

    Conflicts and Cultures in Mid-Victorian England 1850-1880

    Much of the period between 1850-1880 has been interpreted as an ‘Age of Equipoise’: a time of relative stabilisation in society, politics, and culture after decades of turbulence and disorder. The module will critically connect with this idea and will provide you with an opportunity to develop a rigorous understanding of this period and its interpretation. You'll also be able to engage with historical debate and handle primary sources that entail more detail and those that are considered more complex. You will utilise your findings through debates, presentations and academic writing.

    Heritage Matters

    Material and immaterial culture offers a detailed research resource for the historian to study the past, but how can artefacts be ‘read’ to elicit knowledge and understanding? In this module you'll discuss and investigate what can be learnt from objects, but will also ask questions about the justifications which are given regarding the selection and display of objects and artefacts in museums as well as collections in personal, local, national and international contexts. This module is supported by a field trip and regular close engagement with collections, objects and artefacts.

    The 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.

    Revolutionary Transformations: Russia and China in the 19th and 20th Centuries

    Examine the similarities and differences between the revolutionary transformations that gripped Russian and Chinese societies.This module takes a comparative approach, encouraging you to explore the similarities and differences between the revolutionary transformations that gripped Russian and Chinese societies in the modern period. This module encourages you to explore the historical change of revolution in wider social, economic and cultural terms to broaden your knowledge and skills in relation to what revolution was and what it signified to the societies who experienced it.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Memory and Identities in European Writing, Cinema and Society

    This module explores the way in which European writing and cinema investigates the links between identity, the individual and the collective in the post-war era.

    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.

    Rustic and Rude: Rural Cultures 1840-1880

    Examine the history of rural society in the mid-19th Century and gain a fresh perspective of the rural past. This module will encourage you to engage with a variety of sources and historical perspectives through a critical evaluation to develop you own interpretations of the rural past and especially its social and cultural relations.

    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.

    Magna Carta: Origins, Impetus and Legacy

    Explore the circumstances which brought Magna Carta into being in England in 1215 and the influence it has had on the development of laws, rights and liberties thereafter. You'll  examine the importance to rulers of gaining the consent of the ruled, using sources such as the laws of the Anglo-Saxons and the coronation charters of the Norman and Angevin kings of England, who, like all medieval kings, believed they had a ‘God-given’ right to rule.

    Museum Matters

    Museums and heritage organisations have become significant institutions of public cultural life in recent decades as they can help us to understand the past. This module provides a critical and creative investigation of modern issues in museums and heritage within a local, national and international context.

    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.

    Mission Impossible? Converting the New World

    During this module you'll investigate the numerous attempts of the Catholic and Protestant missionaries to convert the indigenous peoples of the Americas and East Asia to the Christian faith. This module will enable you to evaluate large issues within the study of conversion from a global and long-term perspective.

    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% of English and history undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016-17).

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 (75%) and written (25%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (93%) and written (7%)

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 (21%), independent study (79%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (76%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)

95% student satisfaction rate for English studies (NSS 2018).

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

  • 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’re unsure whether your qualifications 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.

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

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.

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418