BA (Hons)


Laura Clancy
  • UCAS code(s): Q300
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time (day)
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information


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.

English at NTU offers you an exciting opportunity to explore literary studies from the traditional to the contemporary. From Shakespeare to American Literature, through to travel writing and modern poetry, our English degree has been designed to give you the skills and knowledge for a successful career.

The course is extremely flexible, offering a broad range of optional modules that allow you to pursue your passions and interests. It combines aspects of a traditional degree course in English with elements that are at the cutting-edge of English literary studies today. Importantly, throughout the course you will develop a wide range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.

  • 97% of English graduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016 /17).
  • 92% of English students would recommend studying at NTU (NSS 2019).
  • Work collaboratively to produce either a conference or literary event for a public audience, or a published journal or magazine.
  • Work with an organisation to produce a portfolio of work.
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Study English in a City of Literature with NTU

What you'll study

In Year One you’ll cover a range of methodological, critical and theoretical approaches to the study of English. You’ll explore key debates and develop your written and verbal communication skills, while enhancing your career knowledge.

In Year Two, you'll study two core modules and select a number of optional modules based on your individual interests. There's also an opportunity to spend the second half of the year on international exchange at one of our partner universities.

In your final year, with one-to-one supervision, you’ll research an extended dissertation project on a topic of your choice or respond to an employer-led project brief.
  • Year One

    Literature: New Horizons

    This module will introduce you to the different ways of reading and critical perspectives on literature.  It will encourage you to think about why we approach literary texts as we do, and what factors influence writing and particularly reading.

    Questioning the Canon

    Understand and question the 'English literary canon' through examining the texts which have tended to be defined as the greatest works of English Literature and how these have influenced and shaped the study. The module contains a practical element, which provides you with training to create podcasts and blog posts; two increasingly relevant modes of communicating in the English literary field.

    American Literature: Writing Self and Nation

    Learn about the many authors, literary movements, and historical events that have shaped American literature from the birth of the republic to the contemporary period. You'll read writers such as Walt Whitman, Washington Irving and Alice Walker. Alongside this you'll pay attention to women writers, African American writers and other ethnic writers, considering how this work transforms the whole picture.

    The Book Group: Reading Texts in Small Groups and Curating Nottingham: Introduction to Professional Writing

    You'll work in small study groups over the year, to spend several weeks analysing a single literary work. Through writing workshops you'll initiate discussions with your peers, which are likely to focus on detailed textual analysis, contexts and strategies for writing about literature. The second half of the module will enable you to hone your writing skills while introducing you to employability issues and skills.

  • Year Two

    Core Modules:

    Culture and Anarchy

    Discover ways in which the tension between culture and anarchy has repeatedly surfaced as a driving force in the development of English literature. The module takes a broad historical period ranging from the late 19th to the late 20th Century as its backdrop, but will focus on numerous important moments where various understandings of 'cultural' and 'anarchic' activity have influenced social landscape and on literary texts themselves.

    Literary Cultures 1 (Journal/Conference) OR Literary Cultures 2 (Festival/Magazine)

    These modules have been designed to enable you to work collaboratively to produce a professional output, either a conference or literary event for a public audience, or a published journal or magazine (depending on student numbers and particular interests). You'll work in groups, and each student will undertake a professional role as well as producing an output. This module presents you with an opportunity to develop professional skills such as effective contribution to successful team projects.

    Optional modules:

    Renaissance Literature 1485-1660: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

    Explore the dramatic writing of the Early Modern period, concentrating on writers such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson and Milton. The module will also explore the ways that Renaissance writing has raised issues regarding gender, race and sexuality.

    Romantic Revolutions 1780-1851

    Study the political and social writings of the period of 1780-1851 to create a context for this module’s engagement with Romantic literature. This module will explore how far revolutionary political and social change is reflected in the experimental themes and forms of Romantic writing.

    The Anthology

    Examine poetry anthologies and develop skills in critical evaluation of poetry, editing and book construction. You'll work in groups to produce your own sample anthology.

    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.

    British Women Writers between the Wars (1918-1939)

    Look at how a new generation of professional women writers represented women’s experiences of modernity in texts written between 1918 and 1939. This module will encourage you to provide a a thorough introduction to British women's writing and the importance that this period provided for women's history.

    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.

    Literature and Psychoanalysis

    Investigate the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis by examining the way that psychoanalytic theory has developed the way that we interpret literary texts. By reading a selection of clinical, theoretical and literary texts, you'll be required to think about how different approaches to the human psyche have been understood and used by various readers and writers throughout different places and time periods.

    Writing Works

    This module will encourage you to study and partake in the practice of writing with a focus on the breadth of genre. You'll also rework samples of writing in specialist areas.

    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.

  • Year Three

    Core Modules


    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.


    The Creative Writing Dissertation

    As an alternative to the 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.


    English and Creative Industries Project

    As an alternative to the critical Dissertation or Creative Writing Dissertation, you may opt to undertake a 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.

    Optional modules:

    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. 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. It will also explore theoretical developments that address the transformation of both literature and social formations by various technologies.

    Early Modern Poetry and Prose

    Learn about authors writing in the 16th and 17th Centuries and cover genres such as the sonnet, the epic poem, satire and radical writing. This module will expand your contextual knowledge while exploring political and religious contexts.

    Gothic Rebels and Reactionaries

    Investigate the rise of the Gothic Romance in the late 18th Century and its development into the 19th Century by examining key literary texts from the period. This module will research the ways in which Gothic is a conservative and a reactionary genre; supporting and challenging our perceptions of nature / nurture, natural / supernatural and male / female.

    Reading Gender and Sexuality

    Examine the politics and aesthetics of gender and sexuality in relation to the writing and reading of the 20th Century, the mid-century, the period of the sexual revolution and contemporary literature.

    Postcolonial Texts: Narratives of Liberation

    This module will focus on a range of postcolonial texts and consider the relationship between acts of representation and the politics of anti-colonialism and post-colonialism. This module will help you to develop the ability to work across a range of theoretical and literary texts in original ways.

    Travel Writing

    Gain an overview of travel writing and consider the relationship of travel writing to society and to other forms of literature. There will be an in-depth study of selected regions, authors and themes. There are many issues that you may want to explore, such as construction of self and place in travel writing and traveller's representations of other cultures.

    Modernism and Modernity

    Throughout this module you'll explore some of the central features of the many transnational movements of modernism through a selection of literary texts. You'll examine how the experimental qualities of modernist culture were conditioned by responses to changes in social and technological modernity. An innovative feature of the module is the focus upon the modernist little magazine (which will be studied in digital form, therefore introducing some of the ideas of Digital Humanities to students).

    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.

Course specification

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

How you’re taught

How will I be assessed?

English modules are mainly tested through a combination of examinations, coursework essays, portfolios (which might include reports, reviews, annotated bibliographies, brief reports or short critical analyses), learning journals and presentations.

Who will teach me?

As well as being internationally recognised for our research, the English team is friendly and approachable. The course is informed by the latest thinking and you'll learn from people with a real passion for their subject. We'll help you find your feet when you first arrive, and stretch you as you become more confident. We look forward to expanding your interests and helping you to realise your ambitions.

Student academic prizes

At the end of your course, your work could be recognised with a prestigious award. At present four prizes are awarded annually to graduating students (these may vary from year to year):

  • The Michael Klein Prize for the best performance in American texts modules
  • The English Subject Prize
  • The Carcanet/PN Review Prize for Creative Writing
  • The HopeRoad Prize for Postcolonial Literary Studies

More student opportunities

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. Or you could source work placements abroad. 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.

Watch our video to find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a 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.

My Inkspiration

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.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • 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 (22%), independent study (76%), placement (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

As one of our graduates you will possess a wide range of academic and transferable skills.

Academically, you’ll have an extensive knowledge of a wide range of literary texts. You’ll gain an understanding of the complex nature of literary languages, and the ability to evaluate and debate theoretical viewpoints, which is an important life skill as well as being of benefit to a whole range of employment activities.

However, the major transferable skill of all English graduates is the ability to communicate effectively both in speech and in writing. These skills are invaluable for a wide range of occupations and settings.

Graduates have gone on to develop their careers within large well known organisations (such as Marks & Spencer, BBC etc.) and many graduates are forging successful careers in small to medium sized companies, reflecting the nature of the UK economy. Graduate roles include: publishing, marketing, PR, retail, finance and recruitment.

Some students choose to progress to further study, either to continue their research within English, or to gain more directly vocational qualifications such as journalism, teaching, law and social work.


Our friendly and experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. You will find consultants on all three campuses. Find out more about our Careers Service.

Entry requirements

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent including A-level English grade C); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM.
  • GCSE 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. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide. 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.

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