BA (Hons) English

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Rise to the challenge of English and you’ll set off on an exciting intellectual journey to a future filled with creative possibilities.

This course takes an innovative, modern approach to literature, focusing on drama, prose, fiction and poetry from the 17th century to the present – balancing the traditional with the modern. 

Flexibility is key to our approach and as your course progresses you’ll be able to choose course units to suit your own particular interests, such as creative writing, film and cultural theory. Or why not focus geographically and culturally on writing from the USA, Ireland, Africa, India and the Caribbean? And in your final year, you’ll get a chance to spread your wings with a substantial piece of project work that presents a thesis, building on the skills you’ve been developing over previous years. 

Our lively department is staffed by internationally renowned writers and critics, and there’s a strong research culture, creating a learning environment that is both supportive and intellectually challenging. And with our extensive cultural links both in Manchester and further afield, you’ll be in the right place to begin building a creative network for your future.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Graduates enter a wide range of employment, especially media work and teaching, where their transferable skills are particularly relevant. Recent graduates have become school and college teachers, and gained employment in fields as diverse as banking and finance, manufacturing and retail. There is also the opportunity to engage in further study and professional training, for example some of our graduates go on to study creative writing at postgraduate level in our Manchester Writing School under the creative direction of Poet Laureate, Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE. However the opportunities for further study are diverse and some students have undertaken further professional training to work in law, public administration, management, and librarianship.

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 or Creative Writing. Subjects such as Drama, Theatre Studies, Film 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

26

IELTS score required for international students

6 with no element below 5.5

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

Course details

This course takes a comparative and contemporary approach to the study of literature and focuses on the major genres of drama, prose, fiction and poetry. In historical terms our curriculum covers the seventeenth century to the present, with strong emphasis on the literature of the last two centuries. You will learn strategies for reading and interpreting, not only books, but other forms of text and the world around you. We pride ourselves on our excellent teaching, highly positive student feedback and strong research culture.

In Year 1 there is a compulsory syllabus, with course units in narrative, poetry, drama and critical dialogues. These units will introduce you to the reading skills and ideas needed for the study of English.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Approaches to Poetry

You will be introduced to the history of poetry written in English from the 1500s to the present day. Themes include courtly love poetry, religious poetry, satire, Romanticism, Victorian poetry, Modernist poetry, post-war poetry, and contemporary poetry.

Critical Dialogues

This unit is an introduction to a number of key topics in critical and cultural theory. You will gain a range of distinct approaches to the analysis of literary and cinematic texts. Your study on this course will give you the skills required to identify, explain and compare particular critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature and film. It also develops key skills in referencing and the conventions of academic essay writing.

Approaches to Drama

This unit introduces the practice of reading drama in various forms: on the page and stage, and on cinematic and television screens. You will study key dramatic texts, from Ancient Greece to postmodern Britain and America. This unit aims to equip you with the critical skills required to analyse dramatic texts, and gives you the opportunity to develop exam technique and skills of oral presentation.

Approaches to Narrative

This unit introduces the critical study of narrative, providing you with the appropriate critical skills and vocabulary with which to analyse different forms of prose narrative, introducing a range of texts from different historical periods, traditions and genres. It develops key skills in the areas of planning and writing essays, and supports structured reflection on the transition to university-level English studies.

In Year 2 there is a choice of Core Options which represent some of the major aspects of the subject, for example Romanticism, Nineteenth-Century writing, Modernism, Post-modernism, and Critical Cultural Theory. Students select at least two of these Core Options, and you will be able to tailor your studies with specialised unit options that draw on areas of staff expertise, including American literature, film and creative writing units. 

Critical and Cultural Theory I

This unit introduces theoretical arguments about literature as a cultural practice, raising questions about its social significance and how we make value judgements about texts.  The unit will draw upon and link three fields of critical practice.  By analysing texts using Critical Theory, Postcolonial Theory and Disability Studies you will reflect upon the relationship between theoretical models and literary and cinematic representations.

Enlightenment and Romanticism

This unit will look at the period of British literature from 1688 to 1830, dealing in particular with the emergence of the novel, and the shift from eighteenth-century to Romantic culture.

Nineteenth-Century Writing to Modernism

This unit will develop your knowledge and understanding of British poetry, fiction, drama, visual art and travel literature published between 1800 and 1939.

Post-war to the Present

This unit will introduce you to a range of contemporary British fiction and drama written in the period between the end of WW2 and up to the present day.

 

Read more about this year of study

Option Units

Engaging the Humanities and Social Science: Interdisciplinary Learning and Practice

This is an innovative cross-departmental unit which provides an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary context alongside other students from a range of undergraduate programmes within the Humanities part of our Faculty.

Manchester and the City

This unit is concerned with the changing representations of the city in a variety of literary and cultural texts, investigating the underlying ideologies of the city and the varying ways that cities have been theorised. We explore the nature of the city as text and consider the relationship between urban life and artistic form. Is the city a setting? An actor? How does it represent social, linguistic and ethnic difference? What are the historical and social tensions underlying constructions of the city? What relationship does it have to the condition of modernity/ postmodernity? Having first explored the changing concept and meaning of the city, students will focus specifically on Manchester as an example of the city as text.

EdLab (15 credit unit)

EdLab units enable you to gain credit for project-based learning conducted in partnership with external practitioners, charities and social enterprises, educational providers and other workplaces. Your project may be the development of products or resources, interventions or educational opportunities.

Film Genre and Mode

The unit introduces theories of film genre and develops students' understanding of a range of film genres and other modes of cinematic expression.

Creative Writing Workshop

This unit covers topics such as creative writing: poetry, prose, script, considering processes of writing and engaging with writing techniques. Over the course of two terms you will elect to write in two of the following three genres: Prose, Poetry, Script. Accordingly, the unit's learning outcomes are replicated across two terms as in each term a different genre will be covered, providing the same generic skills but honed to the specific demands of the genre. You will, then, study the formal aspects of creative writing, including linkage between form and content, genre and structure.

American Spaces

Touching upon a broad range of genres, this unit is concerned with critical and creative conceptions of 'space' and travel (both geographic and metaphorical) in American literature from colonial times to the present.

Uniwide Language (15 credits)

You can add a foreign language to your portfolio of skills. Enhance your employability by learning Classical Latin, English (as a foreign language), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Modern Standard Arabic or Spanish alongside your main degree. Whatever your language knowledge, from beginner to advanced, these classes will take you to the next level of proficiency.

In Year 3 you will undertake an independent research project, in which you'll either pick your own topic, or work to a brief set by an academic or an external organisation. You also have a free choice of options from a diverse range of units.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Critical Project

This unit provides you with the opportunity to undertake a guided independent research-based project to produce an extended piece of work that presents a thesis. This will result in a piece of writing on a subject of your choice, representing an individual project that builds upon the skills you will have developed on this course. Opportunities are also available for students to work with external partners on their research project.

Option Units

Reading Children's Literature

This unit provides an analytical study of a range of classic and modern texts written for children. It also uses these texts as models for the production of new texts. The unit also covers appropriate techniques for writing for children. It provides you with the skills to analyse a range of children's literature, and to use the resulting knowledge to produce original texts suitable for teenagers and children. 

This unit may also be taken as a 15+15-credit combination with EdLab'.

Writing and Place

This unit will critically analyse the representation of place in key contemporary texts. These texts, drawn from a range of genres, will be evaluated within the frameworks (including literary geography and ecocriticism) provided by contemporary theoretical debates. The unit will also situate creative and conceptual writing about place within the context of 'real world debates': topics to be covered will include environmental crisis, regeneration and the post-industrial city, and digital technologies and spatial literacy.

Reading and Writing Games

This unit provides an analytical study of a range of twenty and twenty-first century games both analogue and digital. You will be introduced to the critical and historical field of game studies, and given guidance on the appropriate techniques for writing for gaming and the experience of working with pre-determined project briefs.

Texting Britain, Texting the World

This unit will introduce students to a range of contemporary poetry, plays, novels, film and television which examines themes of diaspora, race and identity within the national (British) and global context. The first term will focus on Black British literature, exploring the emergence of a cosmopolitan (Black) British identity in the post-war era. Students will critically engage with constructions of ‘home’ and notions of belonging in the inter-generational writings of Black Britons. In the second term we will explore literature of the global south, focusing on the works of writers from former British colonies. The texts studied will be located within the literary traditions from which they have developed, whilst also considering how British colonial rule has shaped experiences in countries such as Nigeria, Jamaica and India. Discussion will be informed by postcolonial, globalisation and cosmopolitan theories.

Writing in Genres

The course will begin with an overview of the genres under consideration; thereafter students will have the opportunity to try their skills in three different genres in workshops dedicated to each specialism. The genres on offer may vary each year depending on staff, but might include three from e.g. historical fiction, crime fiction, fantasy writing and science fiction. In the first term, students will submit a portfolio of short pieces selected from their creative work in these genres. In the second term, students will concentrate on an extended piece of creative writing in their genre of choice. Both the portfolio and the extended piece will be accompanied by a critical reflection on the creative process.

Writing Series Drama

The unit concentrates on the composition of series, serials and continuing drama as opposed to the single play, in the context of critical awareness of contemporary dramatic writing. It reinforces and develops students' pitching, storylining and scriptwriting skills. Students will study the historical development of episodic drama and professional writers' responses to new technologies, including webcasting; key texts will illustrate a range of formats such as cop shows, comedy series, sci-fi, soaps, medical/hospital drama and explore the relationships between generic and 'authored' series. Students will devise the premise for a long-running drama to be pitched in class, and then work in teams to plot storylines over a number of episodes. In the light of feedback from tutor and peers, each student will then write her or his own individual version of the narrative framework for the group-devised story. Each writer will then script fifteen minutes of playing time of the devised storylines

EdLab (15 credit unit)

EdLab units enable you to gain credit for project-based learning conducted in partnership with external practitioners, charities and social enterprises, educational providers and other workplaces. Your project may be the development of products or resources, interventions or educational opportunities.

This must be taken with the co-requisite unit ‘Reading Children's Literature' (15 credit unit) OR Reading Games (15 credit unit).

Shakespeare
This unit looks at Shakespeare's plays and poems in regard to both his contemporary intellectual, political and social meanings and effect, and the influence of his work on subsequent culture, in terms reception, adaptation, and reinvention.
Representing Trauma
This unit is concerned with critical and creative conceptions, constructions and depictions of forms of violence and trauma, and introduces you to representations and theories of trauma drawn from multiple locations (temporal and geographic).
Reading and Writing Poetry
This unit explores relations between reading and writing poetry. It focuses on reading and analysing a representative range of work by contemporary poets, and introduces you to relevant critical work. It equips you with critical, analytical and writing skills to read and write poetry effectively.
Reading and Writing Children's Literature
This unit provides an analytical study of a range of classic and modern texts written for children. It also uses these texts as models for the production of new texts. The unit also covers appropriate techniques for writing for children. It provides you with the skills to analyse a range of children's literature, and to use the resulting knowledge to produce original texts suitable for teenagers and children. 
Modern Gothic
This unit introduces and defines the field of Gothic studies via film, TV and literature as the locus of textual and contextual issues. It explores the mode's responses to historical and social change via psychoanalytical and socio-cultural theory. The unit develops student skills in both close textual reading and psychological and ideological analysis of the mode. It introduces you to the critical and historical field of Gothic studies.
Fin-de-Siecle Literature and Culture
This unit will introduce you to end of Nineteenth Century British and European culture and writing by studying the fictional, dramatic and poetical works of individual authors and other texts originating in the fin de siècle period.
Cultures of Life and Death: Debates In Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory

This unit investigates the question of the human in contemporary cultural debate. In this exchange - between theory and cultural texts - topics such as neoliberalism, bare life and biopolitics, contagion and immunity, bodily commodification, surveillance culture, artificial intelligence and neurochemical selfhood will be explored via a discussion of a range of key theoretical, literary and cinematic texts. 

Cinema and Nation
This unit explores the ways in which national identity is constructed in the cinemas of the United States and United Kingdom to interrogate formulations of British and American identity, both independently and in dialogue with each other. 
American Literature & Culture 1945 to the Present

The unit surveys American literature and culture (including black and African American music) from 1945 to the present day. It introduces you to the range and diversity of recent US literature, beginning in the post-World War II period and continuing through to the present day. Alongside the study of literature, students explore the wider cultural scene in the US, in particular, the political and social significance of black and African American music.

Modern Drama

This unit will investigate the ways that dramatic writing has engaged with social, cultural and political debate during the twentieth and twenty-first century. Drawing on texts from Britain, Ireland, Europe, America and Africa, the unit will consider the texts within their historical political and theatrical context, considering the ways in which both thematic content and theatrical form have impacted on audiences.

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
Optional foundation year

Placements options

The Department of English works closely with a number of local schools and voluntary organisations that will give you the opportunity to gain experience in a range of areas, including youth work, education, creative workshopping and video production. These placements are generally on a voluntary basis, though some work in local schools has been waged.

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

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation 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: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £14,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. 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)

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: £14,500 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: £3625 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 is a reading subject 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 Manton building. Students often choose to buy their own laptops but computers are available on campus, and laptops and iPads are available for students to borrow. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop.

Placement Costs

Some option units include trips to relevant events or venues, e.g.. theatres, exhibitions, libraries.

Funding

For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

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)

Q300

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
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

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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