BA (Hons) Joint Honours English and History

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Overview

This course is a popular joint honours combination which brings together two subjects with highly complementary approaches and interests.

As well as offering a balanced combination of core and option units rooted in each of the two subjects, this course has been designed so that students' growing knowledge and skills in each subject will help them to develop a distinctive perspective and distinctive strengths in the other. During year one, for instance, students will study the history of Manchester as a radical city on the History side of their joint curriculum, and the various ways in which it has been represented on the English side. As they do so, they will be developing foundational skills in the study of each discipline.

Students will have opportunities to study abroad and, if they wish, to take their third year as a placement – in Britain or abroad. In their final year, students will have a chance to spread their wings with a substantial piece of project work, presented in a thesis, building on the skills they’ve been developing over previous years. 

The English and History subject groups are staffed by internationally renowned writers and academics, and there’s a strong research culture, creating a learning environment that is both supportive and intellectually challenging. We pride ourselves on our excellent teaching and highly positive student feedback. And with our extensive cultural links both in Manchester and further afield, students are in the right place to begin building a network for their future.

This course has a Foundation Year available.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Studying a joint honours degree gives you the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in two subjects.

The course aims to develop a number of transferable skills well suited to a broad range of graduate employment opportunities. Possible roles include those in the media, law, management, teaching and public and social services. You could also progress to postgraduate study.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

104-112 UCAS Tariff points from three A2s or acceptable alternatives. 

An English subject at GCE A Level is preferred e.g. English Language, English Literature, English Language/Literature.  Subjects such as Creative Writing, Drama, Theatre Studies, Religious Education, History, Media Studies and General Studies will also be considered

Performing Arts, Production Arts or Creative Media Production are preferred from applicants studying BTEC qualifications

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 106 UCAS Tariff Points -  units taken must include some element of literary or cultural study.

International Baccalaureate points

6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each element

IELTS score required for international students

26

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

In Year 1, you’ll explore a range of key topics to enable you to begin to develop a thorough understanding of English and History.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Global History 1: Empires, Migration and Cultural Encounters

This unit, linked with Global History 2: Empires, Migration and Cultural Encounters, provides a fundamental survey of world history. This module introduces you to the histories of relocation, encounter, empire, and migration, which have all shaped our world. The module uses a comparative and transnational approach, via case studies, introducing general themes in the history of migration and cultural exchange associated with mobility, imperial expansions and post-colonialism.

Global History 2: Empires, Migration and Cultural Encounters

This unit, linked with Global History 1: Empires, Migration and Cultural Encounters, provides a fundamental survey of world history. This module introduces you to the histories of relocation, encounter, empire, and migration, which have all shaped our world. The module uses a comparative and transnational approach, via case studies, introducing general themes in the history of migration and cultural exchange associated with mobility, imperial expansions and post-colonialism.

History in Focus 1

This unit, with History in Focus 2, exposes you to subject choices in areas such as, Ancient History, Medieval and Early Modern History, European, American and World History. You will explore areas related to your potential interests, but please note: the topics and subjects on offer can vary year to year.

History in Focus 2

This unit, with History in Focus 2, exposes you to subject choices in areas such as, Ancient History, Medieval and Early Modern History, European, American and World History. You will explore areas related to your potential interests, but please note: the topics and subjects on offer can vary year to year.

Approaches to Narrative 1

An introduction to the analysis of narrative forms and genres, focussing primarily on pre-20th Century texts.

Approaches to Narrative 2

An introduction to the analysis of narrative forms and genres, focussing primarily on 20th and 21st Century texts.

Metropolis 1: Reading Manchester (15 credits)

This unit introduces key skills for University study. You will learn skills of close reading and textual analysis, practised on a range of cultural forms and focussed on representations of Manchester as a diverse, international city.

Metropolis 2: Writing Worlds

An introduction to skills of research, writing and project development. You will develop your own independent project and put into practice the analytical skills developed on Metropolis 1: Reading Manchester.

Option Units

The Struggle for Mastery: Medieval Britain and Ireland, c.1066-1314

This unit explores the history of medieval Britain and Ireland from the Norman Conquest of 1066, to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. It looks at how the kings of England developed their power and came to be rulers of all of Wales and much of Ireland, and how their rule created new societies. It considers the ’paradox’ of Medieval Scotland, unconquered but heavily influenced by the south, and the ultimately unsuccessful attempts of Edward I and Edward II to subjugate the Scots. Finally, it considers the role of the Church, women, and of contemporary writers in medieval Britain and Ireland.

In Year 2, you’ll continue to build on your knowledge and skills developed in Year 1. A range of option units will be available to you.

Please note, these option units are indicative of what options may be on offer in Year 2 of this programme but may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Postwar Literature and Culture

A unit that is about reading in context. You will focus on a diverse range of texts and genres from the 1940's to the 1970's, considering the relationships between aesthetic form, thematic content and historical context.

Contemporary Literature and Culture

You will practice reading in context, focusing on the relationships between aesthetic form, thematic content and historical context in a diverse range of texts and genres from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Critical Approaches to History 1

This unit exposes you to areas of history suited to your intended exit award pathway. You will be able to choose from a menu of subjects, including ancient, medieval/early modern and modern history. The topics and subjects on offer can vary year to year.

Option Units

British Society Continuity and Change 1900-1939

This unit evaluates key social, political and economic developments in British history during the period 1900 to 1939.  It assesses the changing nature of society, before, during and after the First World War.  The unit examines Britain’s social structure and social relations, youth, the women’s movement, poverty, the rise of Labour Party; the Decline of Liberalism and Conservative Hegemony during the interwar period and the foundation of Britain’s Welfare State.

Culture, Community and Conflict in Classical Greece

This unit explores the fascinating world of antiquity, focussing particularly on the distinctive society and culture of Classical Greece, as well as the causes, course and consequences of the Great Peloponnesian War, fought between Athens and Sparta.

Revolutionary China: From Confucian Empire to Economic Superpower, 1800–2000

This unit explores the revolutionary transformations (political, economic, social, and cultural) that occurred in China during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This tumultuous period saw the decline and overthrow of China’s last imperial dynasty, the creation of two Chinese republics (the Republic of China [1912–49] and the People’s Republic of China [1949–]), and China’s emergence as an economic superpower during the post-Mao era. Moving beyond traditional approaches that reduce historical revolutions to the study of high politics, this unit examines the many ways in which revolutionary transformations affected the lives of the Chinese people who experienced them.

From Imperial Russia to Soviet Union: Russia in revolution, 1890s – 1922

This unit investigates the factors and forces that undermined and ultimately destroyed Imperial Russia and then examines the creation of the Bolshevik-led Soviet Union. It employs the historiography that stresses the role of political elites as well as revisionist historiography looking at the history of Tsarist Russia, the Revolutions of 1917 and the creation of the USSR, as history from below.

From Manchuria to Hiroshima: WW2 in Asia and the Pacific

The unit combines a chronological approach to the war in the East, from the Japanese attack on Manchuria to the nuclear tests in the South Pacific, with thematic approaches highlighting topics such as food supplies, comfort women, PoWs, animal and nuclear warfare, and troop entertainment.

Beyond Windrush: Race, Migration and Resistance in Modern Britain

In June 1948 the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks carrying hundreds of people from the Caribbean. This scene has become a national symbol in Britain’s history, yet Windrush was neither the first nor the last ship to carry migrants to the British Isles. This unit explores Windrush as part of a longer history of mobility in modern Britain, examine how race has intertwined with migration to order, reorder and contest the ways in which we live our lives. The unit therefore offers an alternative lens through which to understand modern British history, interrogating many of the concepts we now treat as natural (race, borders, citizenship) and situating them within a longer history.

The Creation of Tudor England: 1485-1553

The Creation of Tudor England examines the establishment of the Tudor dynasty in England and Wales by Henry VII, Henry VIII and Edward VI in the period 1485-1553. Henry VII’s seizure of the throne in 1485 was a turning point in English history, ending the Wars of the Roses and creating a new dynasty – the Tudors. This unit examines how Henry VII gained control of the kingdom and how Henry VIII and Edward VI established Tudor rule throughout England and Wales. Using primary sources, it examines the social, political and artistic world of the Tudor Court and Tudor England.

The “Clash of Civilisations”: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World

Espousing ideologies of holy war, discrete Christian powers went on the offensive in the late eleventh century conquering Muslim peoples in Iberia, Sicily and the Holy Land. The resultant history of the interaction between the Crescent and the Cross is much richer than one might expect. As this unit reveals, the greatest centres of political and military power in the medieval Mediterranean: Cordoba, Palermo and even the ‘crusader state’ of Jerusalem, produced great moments of cultural interchange and relative tolerance. Holy War was dispersed with long periods of peaceful coexistence. Muslims and Christians fought each other, but they also lived, worked, played and even prayed together in surprising and little known ways.

Egypt: Age of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egypt was one of the first great civilisations of the world. This unit explores its history from the formation of the state in the fourth millennium BC to the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 BC. We will cover all the major periods and events of Egypt’s long history during these 3,000 years. From the lives of the pharaohs themselves – the pyramid builders and the famous Rameses The Great and Tutankhamun – to the lives of normal Egyptian villagers and foreigners living in (and sometimes ruling over) Egypt, we will look at all aspects of life down the Nile Valley. Throughout, we will study closely the primary sources left by the ancient Egyptians themselves, both written evidence and museum artefacts, including hieroglyphic temple inscriptions, papyrus letters, objects of daily life, statues, coffins, and human remains. Finally, we will look at the legacy of Egypt and the impact of this ancient culture on life in the 21st century.

Women in Power in Early Modern Europe

The unit focuses on the government and society of female rulers and leaders in seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. It analyses the development of relationship between gender and social, political, and cultural aspects of history, and the increasing visibility of women as writers, scientists and political players in the Age of Enlightenment.

American Slavery

This unit will study North American slavery chronologically, charting the fate of the enslaved from the establishment of the Atlantic Slave Trade in the 15th and 16th centuries through to the emergence the abolitionist movement and the age of emancipation in the nineteenth century. It will also focus on specific themes such as ideologies of race and dominance, the economics and culture of slavery, the interplay of law and custom within an extreme form of chattel slavery, the gendered experience of enslavement and mastery, and the interplay of authority, resistance and accommodation in the operation of an unfree labour system.

This course offers a placement year option which can be taken up in Year 3. Where a placement is not undertaken you will study the following final year units.

Please note, these option units are indicative of what options may be on offer in Year 3 of this programme but may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Arts & Humanities Project

You will work with a supervisor to define an independent project on an appropriate topic of your choosing. You may focus on an academic subject or work with an external partner. Preliminary research will generate a detailed proposal, which will form the basis of a guided independent research-based project to produce an extended piece of work that presents a thesis. Your final submission will be an individual project that builds upon the skills you have developed on your course.

Option Units

A Queer History of the Twentieth Century

This unit offers you a new way of approaching the history of the twentieth century. It looks into how the experiences, interpretations and self-understandings of gays and lesbians have changed since 1900. In this sense, 'queer' can be used as an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities. But queer history goes beyond gay and lesbian history. This unit will introduce you to queer theory, which prompts us to fundamentally question our categories of historical analysis. So, we will dispense with supposed binaries (gay/straight, man/woman, progress/ persecution) and instead focus on how historical constructions of 'normal' and 'natural' have changed since 1900.

The Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’

For thirty years conflict racked Northern Ireland in what became known as the ‘Troubles’. After communal rioting broke out in the late 1960s, groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) pursued violent campaigns that spilled over into bombings in England and the Republic of Ireland.  The British army carried out controversial killings of civilians, fuelling this rise in paramilitarism. This unit charts the evolution of the conflict and the shifting strategies of its protagonists. It considers motivations behind political violence, the role of ideology and attempts by the British and Irish governments to bring an end to the conflict.

From Guevara to the Berlin Wall: A comparative history of revolution

This unit will examine chronologically-ordered case studies, with a broad scope addressing different geographical areas, and events related to the phenomena of revolution in the twentieth century. This will include studies (the exact studies will differ each year) of the Cuban revolution, the cultural revolution in China, the Prague Spring, Berlin in 1989, and revolutionary Iran. The course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the possibilities of comparative history for a better and more nuanced understanding of the past. The unit will allow for the identification of similarities, differences and transnational connections among different events and nations.

A Women’s History of North America, from Pocahontas to Civil War, 1400s-1865

This unit explores a women’s history of North America from colonial times to the Civil War. The intention is not to cover the entire period and all regions, but rather to focus upon the ways in which race, class and gender affected the social, economic, cultural and political experiences of American women. Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this course will examine women’s lives in the context of pre-contact, early settlement, slavery, revolution, through to the end of the American Civil War.

Hollywood History: Cinema and Culture in the American Century, c.1933-1989

This unit examines twentieth century American history via the prisim of film. It explores the emergence of Hollywood, the development of the studio system, the establishment (and success) of particular film genres, the relationship between cinema, society and politics, and the ways in which film has narrated and interpreted the American past and present.

A People’s War? Britain’s Domestic Experiences in the Second World War

This unit will examine the domestic experience of the Second World War in Britain, questioning whether it was a ‘people’s war’. Taking a thematic approach, it will cover the major social and cultural effects of war on the home front.

Ghosts, Witches and Prophets: The Supernatural in Early Modern England

This unit examines ideas and beliefs about the supernatural in England in the period 1600-1800. It looks at popular and scholarly beliefs about supernatural beings (such as ghosts and demons), and the use and understanding of magic, visions and astrology.  Moving into the eighteenth century, it asks how the Enlightenment and the emergence of modern science influenced and changed these beliefs.

Revolutions in Early Modern Britain and France: From Enlightenment to the French Revolution

This unit focusses on the development of the Enlightenment in Great Britian and France, and the long-term drive towards revolutionary change in both nations. Several strands of historical enquiry are pursued, including the creation and consumption of wealth and ‘globalisation’, the influence of increased literacy on society, and the impacts on both countries of the revolution in America. As a comparative unit, weekly topics will focus on political and intellectual leaders on both sides of the Channel: Montesquieu and Voltaire; Adams and Hume; Pitt and Fox; and Robespierre and Napoleon.

Byzantium and the West, c.800 – 1261

This unit surveys the main points of contact, conflict, difference and similarity between the East Roman – or Byzantine – Empire and the Latin West, including the so-called ‘Crusader States’. Adopting a chronological framework, the unit addresses the period from Charlemagne, the first emperor of a revived western Roman Empire, through to the age of the crusades in the Middle East and the sacking of the greatest city in Christendom, Constantinople. Examinations of the most significant and sometimes extraordinary theological, political, societal, and military challenges, which the Latin West compelled Byzantium to confront during this period, form the heart of the unit.

The Migration and Mayhem of the Vikings ‘A True Story’

This unit provides a critical overview of the Early Medieval Period and late antiquity in Britain, from the 9th- 10th centuries. You will develop an understanding of the key historical influences of migrations and invasions during this period; understanding how this historical period influenced the creation of English national identity, and impacted on the country’s social cultural and geographical landscape.

Growing Pains: Children and Childhood in the Ancient World

This unit will focus on the lives of children in the ancient Mediterranean world, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome from the pyramid age to the coming of Islam. The course focusses on different topics, drawing together case-studies from each of the regions in question. Similarities and differences in the experiences of childhood will be examined and studied. In doing so, we will use methodological frameworks including feminist approaches, gender studies, and subaltern studies.  Examination of the topics will be based on material remains and texts (in translation) from all the civilisations in question.

Romans and Barbarians: Rome and the Celtic People of Western Europe

This unit will explore the complex world of Rome and its 'barbarian' neighbours, from the early days of the Republic to the rise of the Empire. Using classical sources and physical evidence (including the Vindolanda tablets, coins, inscriptions and archaeological remains), you will gain an in-depth understanding of the interactions between the expanding Roman state and the Celtic peoples of Iron Age Europe that they came to dominate. It will question how 'barbarian' these societies actually were.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study

Assessment

Department of English

Our Department of English is a large, vibrant community of around fifty internationally renowned writers and critics, and is home to the Manchester Writing School and Centre for Gothic Studies.

As well as a solid grounding in the traditional core of the subject, the department offers a modern and innovative approach to the study of English, with all strands of its degree programmes offering the opportunity to study abroad for a term.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £15,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international students: Part-time fee: £3750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

£300

English and History are reading subjects and students must have access to a copy of all set texts. Primary texts are held in the University library but students often prefer to possess their own copy. Prices vary but many are cheaply available and set texts are often available online for no cost. Students often buy texts second hand, and there is a book exchange in the Atrium of the Geoffrey Manton building. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents.

Some option units include trips to relevant events or venues, e.g. theatres, museums, exhibitions and libraries. These are all optional.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

QV34

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

Full-time applications through UCAS
Part-time applications - download an application form at www.mmu.ac.uk/applicationform

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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