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BA English Literature

Year of entry: 2021

Overview

Degree awarded
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Duration
3 years
Typical A-level offer

AAA-AAB

Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
AAB, including English Literature, or English Language & Literature (ie. not English Language alone)
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

36 points overall. 6,6,6 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature (or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone).

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply through UCAS

Course overview

  • Study at a university ranked 7th in the UK for English language and literature (QS World University Rankings 2019).
  • Explore the rich literary history and current creative scene of Manchester - a recently designated UNESCO City of Literature.
  • Study more than 1,000 years of writing in English, engaging with literary and cultural theory, studying texts in their historical contexts and reflecting on different cultures and traditions.
  • Gain insight into a breadth of written forms - from illuminated manuscripts to graphic novels, from poetry to postmodern fiction.
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Discover English Literature at The University of Manchester

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our open days .

Fees

Tuition fees for home students commencing their studies in September 2021 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £19,500 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
Lindsey Murtha
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 3098
Email
Website
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/english/
School/Faculty overview

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

Grades AAA-AAB, including English Literature, or English Language & Literature (ie. not English Language alone).  General Studies is welcomed but not normally included as part of the standard offer. AS-levels are not accepted in place of an A-level.

A-level exams should be taken at the same sitting, after no more than two years of study. If you have studied an advanced curriculum, where the examinations are spread over three years, consideration for an offer will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor. We may also require further information, in order to make an informed judgment on your application.

We recognise that applicants often achieve higher than their predicted grades, so we will consider applicants who are predicted to achieve one grade below our standard offer of AAA. The standard offer will be made in all cases, unless the applicant is studying for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). These applicants will be made an offer one grade below the standard offer with the condition they must achieve a Grade A in the EPQ.  

Applicants who are eligible for a contextual offer will be made an offer one grade below the standard offer applicants. Applicants who are also studying the EPQ and achieve a Grade A will receive an offer two grades below the standard entry requirements.

If your predicted grades are at the lower end of our advertised range and you are not studying the EPQ please contact the School to discuss your application as the School considers all applications holistically.

AS-level

AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

36 points overall. 6,6,6 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature (or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone).

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see Accepted entry qualifications from your country

Scottish requirements

Two Advanced Highers at AA, plus one additional Higher at A in relevant subject (see A-level subject requirements).

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this.

The minimum grade required will normally be the same as the lowest grade listed in the A Level entry requirements.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We normally require 85% with a mark of at least 8.0 in English Lit (or Lang & Lit, but not Eng Language alone)

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve AAA in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve AAA in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

Please read this in conjunction with our A-level requirements, noting any pre-requisite subjects.

For all other foundation programmes please see this list of approved UK foundation programmes .

Pearson BTEC qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: we consider the National Extended Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Diploma with grades Dist, Dist, Dist, plus one A-level at Grade A in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ).

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: we consider the National Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, plus one A-level at Grade A in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ).

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma: we consider the National Foundation Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Foundation Diploma with a Distinction grade, PLUS one A-level at Grade A in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ), PLUS an EPQ or AS at Grade A.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: we consider the National Extended Certificate for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to this course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Certificate with a Distinction grade, PLUS two A-levels at Grades AA; one of which must be in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ).

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy BTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC Diploma, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and BTEC Certificate.  The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new BTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC): we do not consider the Technical Extended Diploma for entry to this course.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC): we consider the Technical Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades Distinction, Distinction, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A Level at grade A in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ) .

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC): we consider the Technical Foundation Diploma for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Foundation Diploma with grades Distinction*, Distinction, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A Level/A Level at min. Grade A in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ), PLUS an EPQ or AS Level at grade B.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC) : we consider the Technical Extended Certificate for entry, preferably in a subject relevant to the chosen course.  Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Certificate with EITHER grade Distinction, plus two additional Level 3 qualifications such as A Levels at grades AA, OR the full Technical Extended Certificate with grade Distinction*, plus two A-levels at grades AB.  In either case, one of the A-levels must be in English Literature ( or English Language and Literature, but not English Language alone ).

The University of Manchester will consider applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma, CTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and CTEC Certificate.  The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new CTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

The specific course requirements are a minimum of 45 credits with a Distinction grade, in a Humanities-related subject. Where possible, 15 of the Distinction credits should be in the pre-requisite subject required for A-levels.

Applicants to Languages programmes are also required to have a minimum of GCSE grade B/6 in a modern language or in English Language.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A Level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken.

Candidates taking Pre-U principal subjects in conjunction with A levels are expected to achieve a combination of D3, D3, D3 in the Pre-U and AAA at A level in three distinct subjects.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. We strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement (and at interview, if  relevant).  We may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account, should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

For this programme, you will be made the standard offer plus an alternative one, if you are studying for an EPQ.  The alternative offer will be one grade below the standard offer but you will also be asked to achieve a Grade A in your EPQ.

Core Maths

The University recognises the value of Level 3 Core Mathematics qualifications. Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer we make. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when we consider a student's application, particularly for courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element that does not require A Level Mathematics. Academic Schools may also choose to take a student's performance in Core Mathematics into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Where a course requires applicants to have at least grade 6/B or higher in GCSE Mathematics we would be likely to consider a pass in Core Mathematics at a minimum grade C or B as an alternative way to fulfil this requirement. Where an A Level in Mathematics is required then Core Mathematics will not be accepted in lieu of an A Level.

A Level and GCSE Mathematics requirements for our courses vary according to subject so we advise students to contact the academic School, who will clarify whether a student's portfolio of qualifications is acceptable for entry onto the chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the academic School for your chosen course who will be able to help you. 

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.  The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) to which you plan to apply.  Further information for mature students can be found here ( http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/mature-students/ )

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade 4/C, or;
  • IELTS 7.0, or;
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

How your application is considered

We are looking for applicants who have the predicted A-level grades (or other qualifications) for the relevant degree programme and whose personal statement demonstrates an enthusiasm for the subject.

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

We like to see evidence of transferable skills, for example:
  • time management;
  • team work;
  • independent work;
  • critical and analytical abilities.

Interview requirements

We only interview students studying alternative qualifications to the A level syllabus, for example students studying Access courses and students who may have been out of education for some time.

Returning to education

We welcome applications from mature candidates. Where appropriate, mature applicants are called for interview and/or invited to submit written work.  Your qualifications to date will be considered, along with the length of time since you were last studying for a qualification - applicants need to have been in education within the last five years.  If it is any longer than five years since you were last in education we may require you to take an Access Qualification and invite you along for interview.

If you are on an Access course, you will be considered individually and we will ask to see some of your recent written work.

If you have other qualifications (eg Vocational A levels, Open University) you will be considered on an individual basis and you are recommended to contact our Admissions Administrator.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Overseas applications are welcomed and we will assess whether your qualification is of an equivalent standard for entry to our degree programme.  We do not interview overseas applicants. Applicants who are made an offer may be invited to a visit day, but this is not mandatory.

Deferrals

All deferred applications are assessed on the same basis as applications for the current year of entry.

We do ask applicants to let us know as early as possible if they are intending to defer.  This helps us to adjust the number of offers we make, in order to achieve the required number of students in a given year.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

The University will consider applicants who have re-sat their final examinations but we may require further information in order to make an informed academic judgment on your application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course. If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Course details

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 the present day, you'll explore a wide range of texts and genres ranging from illuminated manuscripts to graphic novels, from poetry to postmodern fiction, from across the Anglophone world and beyond.

Your first year of study will see you sample a wide variety of literature while giving you the necessary knowledge and skills to equip you for Years 2 and 3, when you will have the opportunity to choose the 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 Years 1 and 2, you will be taught mainly through lectures and seminars.  Lectures provide essential knowledge and identify key questions which are then discussed further in seminars. Seminar groups usually meet once a week and numbers are kept as low as possible so that you can get to know one another and have a chance to develop and share your ideas.

In Year 3, you choose from a wide range of specialist units.  You will be taught by a leading expert in the field.

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

Careers

Career opportunities

Our courses are designed to train your imagination and critical and creative thinking capabilities while also developing your research, time management and communication skills. You'll leave Manchester with the transferable skills needed to succeed in a wide variety of roles and industries, including jobs in the media, marketing, the creative sector, finance, education and management.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .  

Learn more on our careers and employability page.