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BA English Literature and History / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

BA English Literature and History allows you to study English Literature within its historical context.

You'll study English Literature and History as subjects in their own right, and explore them in an inter-disciplinary way.

Both our English Literature and History courses cover the last millennium, from Anglo-Saxon to the present day. Both subjects also offer a global reach from postcolonial literature to European, American, African and Asian history. 

Lecturers are leaders in their fields and cover the full range of English literature and British history, combining the strengths of both disciplines, while maximising student choice and opportunities for specialisation.

In addition, you will be able to take advantage of Manchester's rich archival holdings (particularly in the Medieval and Victorian periods), and will benefit from being part of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC) which has a long-established commitment to interdisciplinary study.

Aims

You will develop:

  • an understanding of the significance of historical context in the production and interpretation of literary texts;
  • an understanding of the literary text as historical evidence;
  • a sophisticated understanding of the inter-relationship between English Literature and History as academic disciplines;
  • a critical understanding of the methodological similarities and differences between the two disciplines;
  • the ability to reflect on the textuality of historiography.

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.

Connect with like-minded students

Join the English Society, which puts on social and cultural events. Its annual programme usually includes talks, readings, parties, theatre visits and a play production. Together, these societies run an annual Student Ball.

You can also join the History Society, which plays a key role in building a community among History students at Manchester by organising trips (in the UK and on the continent), hosting social events, and coordinating the student magazine, The Manchester Historian .

Teaching and learning

You will learn through tutor-led lectures, seminars and tutorials. For some course units you'll join in group work and other forms of collaborative learning.

Classroom time is frequently supplemented by new media, such as the virtual learning environment, Blackboard. You will also have access to other digital resources to support your learning.

You will spend approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions. For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, or revising for examinations.

A significant part of your study time will be spent reading, taking notes, preparing presentations and writing essays (which examine particular aspects of a subject in greater depth).

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • coursework essays;
  • research reports;
  • practical tests;
  • learning logs;
  • web contributions;
  • seminar presentations and participation.

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

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

Course unit details

You will take 120 credits in each year of study.

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
Literature and History ENGL10072 20 Mandatory
English Literature Tutorials ENGL10171 20 Mandatory
History in Practice HIST10101 20 Mandatory
From Reconstruction to Reagan: American History, 1877-1988 AMER10002 20 Optional
Constructing Archaic Greek History CAHE10011 20 Optional
From Republic to Empire: Introduction to Roman History, Society & Culture 218-31BC CAHE10022 20 Optional
The Odyssey CAHE10101 20 Optional
The Making of the Mediterranean CAHE10132 20 Optional
Discoveries and Discoverers: Sights and Sites CAHE10282 20 Optional
Reading Literature ENGL10021 20 Optional
Mapping the Medieval ENGL10051 20 Optional
Theory and Text ENGL10062 20 Optional
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10152 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST10171 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST10181 20 Optional
Imperial Nation: The Making of Modern Britain, 1783-1902 HIST10191 20 Optional
An Introduction to the Medieval World HIST10262 20 Optional
States, Nations and Empires. Europe, c.1750-1914 HIST10312 20 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10272 10 Optional
Science and the Modern World (20 Credits) HSTM10721 20 Optional
Exploring Enterprise MCEL10001 10 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
Standing on The Shoulders of Giants: Foundations for Study in The Arts SALC10002 20 Optional
Religion in Modern South Asian History SALC10222 20 Optional
Living and Dying in the Ancient World SALC10602 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 26 course units for year 1

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
From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture AMER20141 20 Optional
American Literature and Social Criticism, 1900-Present AMER20481 20 Optional
The World of Late Antiquity: Europe and the Med from the Severan Dynasty to the Rise of Islam CAHE20022 20 Optional
The Conquering Hero: The Life, Times and Legacy of Alexander The Great CAHE20041 20 Optional
The Roman Empire 31BC - AD235: Rome's Golden Age CAHE20051 20 Optional
Politics and Society in Classical Greece CAHE20062 20 Optional
Roman Women in 22 Objects CAHE20532 20 Optional
Introduction to the History and Culture of Pharaonic Egypt CAHE21441 20 Optional
Slavery in the Ancient Greek World CAHE24501 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
Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context HIST20181 20 Optional
Winds of Change: Politics, Society and Culture in Britain, 1899 -1990 HIST20252 20 Optional
Independent Research Project HIST20390 20 Optional
The Cultural History of Modern War HIST20482 20 Optional
Colonial Encounters: Race, Violence, and the Making of the Modern World HIST21122 20 Optional
From Catastrophe to Crusade: Europe in the Aftermath of the Vikings HIST21141 20 Optional
The Stuff of History: Objects Across Borders, 1500-1800 HIST21152 20 Optional
Histories of the Islamic World HIST21191 20 Optional
Capitalism in Historical Perspective: 1700-1913 HIST21201 20 Optional
From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20031 10 Optional
From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics HSTM20081 20 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20092 10 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20282 10 Optional
The Crisis of Nature: Issues in Environmental History HSTM20592 20 Optional
Information visions: past, present and future HSTM20782 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20501 20 Optional
History of Modern Islamic Thought MEST20501 20 Optional
Goddesses, Demons and Stories in South Asian History: From Early Epics to the Present Day RELT21222 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS20251 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20472 20 Optional
All about Eve: Encountering the First Woman from Antiquity to Today SALC21132 20 Optional
Entrepreneur: Innovator and Risk-Taker UCIL24002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 44 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
Athens and Attica CAHE30052 20 Optional
The Roman Army and the North-West Frontiers CAHE30882 20 Optional
Egypt in the Graeco-Roman Worl CAHE31401 20 Optional
The Early Roman Republic CLAH30041 20 Optional
Long Essay ENGL30002 20 Optional
Culture and Conflict: Neoliberalism and Cultural Production ENGL30261 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
Gendered Experiments: Women's Innovative Writing in the Twentieth Century ENGL33061 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
Romantic Venice ENGL34071 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
London and Modernity 1880-1960 HIST30102 20 Optional
'A Nation In The Making': India, 1800-1947 HIST30291 20 Optional
Empire, Gender and British Heroes, c.1885 - 2000 HIST30621 20 Optional
Refugees in Modern World History, 1914 to the Present HIST30941 20 Optional
Thesis (40 credits) HIST30970 40 Optional
Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa HIST31001 20 Optional
China & the West: From the Opium War to the Olympic Games HIST31201 20 Optional
Contesting the Supernatural in the Early Modern British Isles, c. 1600-1800 HIST31292 20 Optional
Sex, Drugs and Shopping: Readdressing Inter-war Britain HIST31342 20 Optional
Heroes and Holy Men: The Irish Sea World in the Viking Age, c. 780-1100 HIST31362 20 Optional
The Great Irish Famine and Its Impact, 1845-1900 HIST31451 20 Optional
The Holocaust: History, Historiography, Memory HIST31491 20 Optional
The Comparative and Transnational History of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany HIST31521 20 Optional
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s HIST31552 20 Optional
Defining the Deviant: Crime and British Society, 1888-2000 HIST31592 20 Optional
Christ's Knights: Hospitallers and Templars in the Latin East and Beyond HIST31621 20 Optional
The Aftermath of War in France, Britain and Germany: Violence and Reconstruction after WW1 and WW2 HIST31671 20 Optional
The Black Freedom Movement, 1955-1975 HIST31752 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31841 20 Optional
Seaborne State? Venice and the East 1150-1550 HIST31861 20 Optional
Culture in Ottoman Society, ca. 1300-1800 HIST31872 20 Optional
Material Encounters in the Early Modern World, 1400-1800 HIST31881 20 Optional
'Brains and Numbers': Intellectual Life in Victorian Britain HIST31892 20 Optional
Caste Politics in Twentieth Century India HIST31912 20 Optional
Imperial Encounters, Soviet Frontiers: Nations, Borders, Migration in the Caucasus HIST31922 20 Optional
Becoming Christian in The Early Middle Ages HIST31952 20 Optional
Health, Development and People: The Global Journey towards Health for All HSTM30232 10 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM30832 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM31212 10 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32011 10 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32511 20 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33201 10 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33501 20 Optional
Madness and Society HSTM40332 20 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Optional
Tools & Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30002 10 Optional
Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development MCEL30022 10 Optional
Enterprise Feasibility MCEL30052 10 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 54 course units for year 3

Facilities

The University of Manchester owns the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, giving you unique access to outstanding cultural and historical resources.

One of only five National Research Libraries, The University of Manchester Library holds extensive, internationally renowned collections in the medieval, Victorian, and American literary fields. The latter includes the Walt Whitman Collection and the Upton Sinclair Collection. Holdings also include the archive material of the Manchester Poetry Centre.

You will enjoy exclusive access to special collections of the John Rylands Library, including Shakespeare's first folio, and Elizabeth Gaskell and Ted Hughes' first archives.

Learn more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk