>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>English / Politics (BA)

Overview The Politics of Literature and the Literature of Politics


UCAS code

QL32

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Length

3 years full-time

An English and Politics degree will enhance your understanding of the world around you in a thought-provoking, innovative way. Studying English asks you to embrace new ways of thinking about the world and new possibilities of expression. Studying Politics invites you to engage with a vast spectrum of political issues and problems. Studying the two subjects together asks how literature and politics work to shape the world. You will graduate with skills highly prized by employers across a wide range of industries.

You can discover more about the Department of English and Related Literature’s exciting degree programmes by watching our video.

At the heart of current thinking, research, and debate – what it’s like to study Politics at York.

I chose to study in English and Politics because I'm really interested in the political context of novels and in the modes of language used in politics. Studying English and Politics here lets you combine so many interesting modules! Studying two disciplines has widened my perspectives and gives me even more freedom over what I study.
Livvie
BA English/Politics

Course content What you’ll study


General

You’ll cover an extraordinary range of literature and politics in this degree, from the medieval period to the 21st century and from around the world.

All combined course students take 120 credits each year, adding up to 360 credits across the course of your degree. You’ll split your time equally between English and Politics in your first year. You may choose to weight your degree towards one subject or the other over the course of Years Two and Three, but you must take at least one English and one Politics module in each year, as well as the bridge elements.

NB: This information reflects the current course content and structure, which may be revised from year to year.

Year 1

In the first year of your degree, we’ll introduce you to the undergraduate study of English and Politics. Our modules will give you the skills you need to start doing literary and political research, and advice on how to combine the two disciplines.

English/Politics students take the following three modules in English, which are worth 20 credits each. These modules are designed to lay the foundation of literary study for your whole degree.

  • Approaches to Literature I (Autumn) and Approaches to Literature II (Spring) – Get a feel for the shape of literary history by studying works from the medieval, early modern, eighteenth-century and Romantic, and modern periods on these linked modules.
  • Key Concepts– A year-long foundation module that provides you with important critical and methodological contexts for the study of literature.

 You will also take a further 60 credits in Politics:

 What Is Politics? (30 credits)

AND one of these three 30-credit modules:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

In the second year of your degree, you’ll choose from a range of intermediate modules across the English and Politics departments.

English/Politics students choose from the same English options as our single subject students in Year Two. These include a choice of modules covering Medieval, Renaissance, Eighteenth-Century and Romantic, and Modern Literature, as well as our World Literature offerings and Topic Modules. Topics covered in Politics may include War and Peace, US National Security after the Cold War, Politics in the United Kingdom, State, Economy, and Society, and the Politics of Development.

Year 3

In the third year of your degree, you will choose from our Advanced Option Modules in English. In addition, all English/Politics students take the bridge module, Politics and the Novel, designed specifically for your degree pathway and typically taught by a member of staff from each department. This module is the cornerstone of your combined course programme; it will provide you with a range of critical and analytical skills, and will highlight the possibilities offered by studying two disciplines.

You will also undertake a Bridge Dissertation, one of the distinctive features of the English/Politics degree at York. The Bridge Dissertation invites students to undertake a research project that brings the study of English and Politics together, and is supervised by a member of staff in each department. This year-long advanced module offers you the chance to use all the research and writing skills you will have developed at York. 

Study abroad

We are proud of our international outlook. If you’re also interested in studying abroad, there are a number of options both in the English-speaking world and in Europe. 

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The Department of English is ranked second overall in the UK for the quality of research and the Department of Politics is ranked eighth overall in the UK for research performance (REF 2014).

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed


Teaching format

In English, you’ll learn through a programme of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-one consultations. We emphasize small-group teaching, which means you’ll mainly be taught in seminars.

In Politics, you’ll also learn through a combination of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-ones. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups (typically under 15 students in a seminar group). Our staff are very approachable and our doors are always open.

York’s English and Politics degree is renowned for its flexible and innovative approach.

  • You can expect an average of seven hours of contact time a week — and sometimes more, depending on which modules you choose to study.
  • Our cutting-edge research informs all our teaching activities.
  • Our staff are world-leading experts, but are friendly, approachable, and accessible – they all have two open office hours a week.
  • We organize many guest lectures and readings by well-known writers and politicians.

Assessments

The Department of English and Related Literature employs a variety of assessment methods, including group presentations and closed exams, but with a strong emphasis on essay writing. Your main mode of assessment will be essays, which will range from short exploratory exercises to more detailed discussions on a topic of your choice, to the 8,000-10,000-word bridge dissertation in your final year. We offer high levels of feedback and ample opportunities for students to meet with staff to discuss their written work.

Assessment in the Department of Politics varies from module to module and includes a combination of exams, written essays, and project work. Your tutors will give you feedback in a variety of forms depending on the specific needs of the module. This may consist of written feedback, in-class discussion, model answers, one-to-one discussions, or online responses.

Careers Where you’ll go from here


Studying English and Politics at York will provide you with numerous career possibilities. You’ll learn presentation, language, and critical thinking skills during your combined degree, and gain expertise in complex analysis and research. These skills suit a wide range of careers, from law and teaching to national and local government and the creative industries.

Our English alumni
Our Politics alumni

Career opportunities

  • Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations
  • Arts Administration
  • Civil and Diplomatic Services
  • Film, Radio, Social Media, Television, and Theatre
  • Journalism and Broadcasting
  • Law
  • Librarianship
  • Member of Parliament
  • Publishing
  • Postgraduate study
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

  • Ability to analyse and compare complex texts
  • Communication and teamwork skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Data interpretation
  • Experience of researching and debating challenging topics
  • Independent study skills
  • Logic and rhetoric
  • Proficiency in presenting findings cogently and persuasively using information technology

Entry requirements How to get here


Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS.

Normally, only mature candidates and those with special circumstances and/or qualifications will have an interview. Interviews will usually be a half-hour conversation about your interests. We’ll also ask you to bring along some of your recent essays.

A-levels and GCSEs

  • AAB, including an A in English at minimum.
  • We’ll ask for an A grade in English Literature (English Language and Literature is also acceptable).
  • We won’t accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • AAAAB at Higher level.
  • AA at Advanced Higher level, including an A in English.

Cambridge Pre-U
D3, D3, M2, including D3 in English.

Access to HE

  • 30 credits from units awarded Distinction.
  • 9 credits from units awarded Merit or higher.

International options

International Baccalaureate
35 points, with 6 in Higher level English.

Irish Leaving Certificate
AAAABB, including A1 in English.

European Baccalaureate
80 overall, with 85 in English.

English language

Our English language requirements for international applicants can be found on our Entry Requirements page.

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions


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