BA English Literature / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course description

BA English Literature will enable you to explore a wide range of texts dating from a variety of periods.

From the Anglo-Saxon period to American literary and cultural studies, from the Renaissance to the contemporary, you'll explore written forms ranging from illuminated manuscripts to graphic novels, from poetry to postmodern fiction.

Your first year of study will see you sample a wide variety of literature and cultural theories, and develop knowledge and skills that you will build on in Years 2 and 3, when you will have the opportunity to choose the course units that most interest you.

You will become part of a thriving community of students, lecturers and writers at The University of Manchester, based in the heart of a UNESCO City of Literature that has produced some of the world's greatest writers and has a thriving literature and arts scene, including major events like Manchester Literature Festival.

Special features

Placement year option

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Study abroad

You can apply to spend one semester studying abroad during the second year of your degree. Exchange partners are offered in Europe through the Erasmus Exchange scheme, as well as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore via the Worldwide Exchange scheme.

Literature events

Manchester Literature Festival holds literary events across Manchester throughout the year, many in partnership with the University. The Centre for New Writing also hosts a regular public event series, Literature Live, which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to read and engage in conversation.

Flexible Honours

Free choice units will allow you to explore subjects beyond your course. In addition, Flexible Honours may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject. Find out more here .

Meet like-minded students

You can get to know your fellow students outside of your course by joining the English Society or volunteering to work on the student-run Sonder Magazine. Learn more on our Societies page.

Teaching and learning

In Year 1 and 2, you will be taught mainly through lecture and tutor-led sessions. Tutorials will give you the opportunity to consider the same texts and topics as the lectures, but with a different approach. Tutorial groups usually meet at least once a week, and numbers are kept as low as possible so that you can get to know one another and share your ideas.

Other course units (mainly those in your final year) are taught through a weekly seminar led by a specialist member of staff. A compulsory long essay in Year 3 will give you experience of independent research and allow you to develop a personal project.

For some course units, you will join in group work and other forms of collaborative learning. You'll also have access to our virtual learning environment, Blackboard and other digital resources to support your learning.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed using a variety of formats, including:

  • written examinations;
  • coursework essays;
  • research reports;
  • practical tests;
  • learning logs;
  • web contributions;
  • oral presentations;
  • final-year thesis.

Your second-year work counts toward 33% of your final degree result. Your third-year work accounts for the remaining 67%.

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Reading Literature ENGL10021 20 Mandatory
Mapping the Medieval ENGL10051 20 Mandatory
Theory and Text ENGL10062 20 Mandatory
English Literature Tutorials ENGL10171 20 Mandatory
Literature and History ENGL10072 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
American Literature and Social Criticism, 1900-Present AMER20481 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL20002 20 Optional
Chaucer: Texts, Contexts, Conflicts ENGL20231 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and the Body: Theories and Histories ENGL20482 20 Optional
Writing, Identity and Nation ENGL20491 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL20901 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL20902 20 Optional
Medieval Metamorphoses ENGL21022 20 Optional
Renaissance Literature ENGL21151 20 Optional
Old English: Writing the Unreadable Past ENGL21161 20 Optional
Satire and the Novel: English Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century ENGL21182 20 Optional
Modernism ENGL21192 20 Optional
Romanticism (1776-1832) ENGL21521 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Long Essay ENGL30002 20 Mandatory
Climate Change & Culture Wars AMER30572 20 Optional
Progressivism in the United States AMER30581 20 Optional
Beat Writing AMER30792 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30121 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30122 20 Optional
Narrative Theory and Victorian Fiction ENGL30171 20 Optional
Culture and Conflict: Neoliberalism and Cultural Production ENGL30261 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL30901 20 Optional
Irish Fiction Since 1990 ENGL30942 20 Optional
Kipling, Forster and India ENGL31112 20 Optional
Radical Turns: Culture and Politics in the 1930s ENGL31141 20 Optional
Revenge Tragedy: Wild Justice on the English Renaissance Stage ENGL31762 20 Optional
Creative Writing Screenwriting ENGL31951 20 Optional
Gendered Experiments: Women's Innovative Writing in the Twentieth Century ENGL33061 20 Optional
Sex, Disease and the Body: 1660-1800 ENGL33082 20 Optional
Imagining the Early Modern: From Henry V to Game of Thrones ENGL34011 20 Optional
Telling Tales: Verse and Narrative from Chaucer to Shakespeare ENGL34042 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction ENGL34052 20 Optional
Romantic Venice ENGL34071 20 Optional
Vital Matters: Medieval Ecologies ENGL34111 20 Optional
Literary and Sexual Experimentalism Between the Wars ENGL34141 20 Optional
Contemporary South Asian Literatures ENGL34151 20 Optional
Literary Landscapes ENGL34162 20 Optional
World Literature and Climate Crisis ENGL34212 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 25 course units for year 3

Facilities

The John Rylands Library

Home to one of the world's richest and most unique collections of manuscripts, maps, works of art and objects.

You'll have access to the library's impressive special collections, including papyri, early printed books, key archives such as the Women's Suffrage Movement archive and Shakespeare's first folio.

The Centre for New Writing

The University is home to a major hub for new writing excellence and award-winning teaching staff, including Granta `Best Young British' novelist Kamila Shamsie and Jeanette Winterson CBE.

The Centre also hosts Literature Live - a public event series which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to showcase their work.

The University of Manchester Library

One of only five National Research Libraries; you'll have access to our internationally renowned medieval, Victorian and American literary collections, including the Walt Whitman Collection and the Upton Sinclair Collection.

You'll also have access to other cultural assets on campus, including the award-winning Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum . Find out more on our facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants from the Disability Support Office. Email: disability@manchester.ac.uk