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BA (Hons) English/Politics

Discover how literature and politics shape the world

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code

QL32

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

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in the UK for English

Complete University Guide 2025

in the Russell Group for 'Organisation and management'

of institutions included in the National Student Survey 2023 for English studies (non-specific)

An English and Politics degree will enhance your understanding of the world around you in a thought-provoking, innovative way. 

Applications for this course are closed to UK (home) applicants for 2024/25. Applications for 2025/26 will open in September.

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 – learn what it's like to study Politics at York.

Distinguished visiting speakers

Both departments host speaker series where high-profile academics, campaigners, journalists, politicians, and writers share their experience, insights, and informed research.

Taught by experts

The Department of Politics and International Relations staff advise governments on a wide range of issues and contribute to news, media, and current affairs programmes globally. English courses are designed and taught by world experts who are at the forefront of current research.

English and Politics at the University of York are fascinating and exciting subjects, with non-stop events and socials happening all year round. I’ve really enjoyed my time here studying, and feel I will leave wider knowledge, experiences and friendships.
Emily, English and Politics.

Read Emily's blog post.

Course content

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. The degree is distinguished by opportunities to bring the two subjects into dialogue on our dedicated Politics and the Novel module, and through the bridge dissertation.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

Placement year

The placement year provides you with an opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of fields while putting your academic learning into practice. You could apply to roles that are related to your degree, such as the House of Commons Placement Scheme or a placement with YouGov, or to a business-related placement in a wide variety of organisations and industries.

Placements

There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

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 undertaking literary and political research, and advice on how to combine the two disciplines.

English

Core modules

Your core modules in English are designed to lay the foundation of literary study for your whole degree.

Get a feel for the shape of literary history by studying works from the medieval, early modern, eighteenth-century and Romantic, and modern periods.

Politics

Core module
Option modules

You will also study two option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

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

Core module

Option modules

English

You will choose from the same breathtaking range of English options as our single subject students.

You'll also be able to choose subjects included in our World Literature modules. Recent offerings have included:

Politics

Examples may include:

Semester One

Semester Two

The above list is indicative and subject to change. The exact options available to you will be confirmed in your first year.

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

Core modules

In the third year of your degree, you'll take our exciting bridge module Politics and the Novel, designed specifically for your degree pathway. 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'll also undertake a English and Politics Bridge Dissertation, carrying out a research project that brings the study of English and Politics together. This year-long advanced module offers you the chance to use all the research and writing skills you will have developed at York.

Option modules

In English, you will choose from the department’s Advanced Option Modules. These reflect the wide-ranging and cutting-edge research expertise of the Department, and our options cover literature from the classical period to the twenty-first century, as well as film and creative writing. Students can typically choose from around 30 options. Recent offerings have included:

English
Politics

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Engage, understand and identify the origins, evolution and contemporary dynamics of politics, including being able to apply this knowledge to addressing real world problems in areas like democracy, government, immigration, elections, human rights and the environment.
  • Read diverse texts, especially literary texts, closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to the period, place, language and tradition in which they were produced and where they have cultural and political impact.
  • Apply different theoretical perspectives, methods and concepts to aspects of politics and literary studies, as well as the intersection of the two disciplines. This will enable intellectual reasoning and systematic empirical testing to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in politics, and the use of intellectual interpretive methods and critical argumentation skills in literary studies.
  • Conduct independent interdisciplinary research by: conceiving and operationalising research questions; selecting and justifying the use of appropriate theories and concepts; establishing a suitable corpus of primary texts; gathering and interpreting data; synthesizing second sources; and, arriving at appropriate and justified conclusions.
  • Lead groups and collaborate with others to achieve collective goals, including via group work and projects, problem-based exercises and presentations.
  • Write clearly, accurately, and persuasively to a deadline, conveying complex ideas and representing detailed and relevant research.
  • Explain and demonstrate to academic and other audiences the application of political and literary theory to important international, regional, national and local problems and issues. This will include an ability to communicate the benefits of combining politics and the study of literature via advanced oral communication skills.
  • Act and communicate as a global citizen by exploring complex political and multicultural contexts. This will include an ability to foster and examine global ethics and cross-cultural dialogue, as well as promote equality, sustainability, cultural sensitivity, inclusivity and ethnic and linguistic diversity.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

You'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, the Department works to arrange digital copies via the University Library. Where this is not practical, you'll be instructed in advance of the start of each term about the texts and editions you'll need to purchase (whether new or second-hand).

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

In English, you’ll learn through a programme of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-one consultations.

In Politics, you’ll also learn through a combination of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-ones. Our staff are very approachable and our doors are always open.

  • You can typically expect eight contact hours per week – and sometimes more. There are also numerous opportunities for informal contact.
  • Our dedicated research informs all our teaching activities.
  • Our friendly, approachable, and accessible staff are world-leading experts in their fields. They are each available to meet individually with you during two weekly open office hours.
  • The English Department’s unique writing provision, designed and taught by specialist tutors, forms a practical spine for the degree, preparing you to communicate clearly and confidently on a rich variety of topics and to any audience

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures5 hours per week
Seminars4-6 hours per week
Workshops0-4 hours per week
Film Screening0-2 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Facilities

As an English student, you'll have access to the Thin Ice Press, our department's in-house printing studio. Our iron presses chart the evolution of print from 1838 to 1926. They offer the opportunity to experience the relationship between writing and printing practices through publication, practice-led research, teaching and public workshops.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Department of Politics and International Relations on Campus West.

Your contact hours will be divided between Derwent College, the Spring Lane Building, and other locations nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

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 you to meet with staff to discuss your written work.

Assessment in the Department of Politics and International Relations 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.

Free online courses

Get a taste of university-level study on one of York's free short courses.

Careers and skills

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, social media, and public relations
  • Arts administration
  • Civil and diplomatic services
  • Film, radio, television, and theatre
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • Law
  • Librarianship
  • Member of Parliament
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

Transferable skills

  • Ability to analyse and compare complex texts
  • Capacity to write clearly and fluently for a variety of audiences
  • 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

Typical offer
A levels

AAB including an A in English Literature (English Language and Literature is also acceptable)

Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction, including at least 9 credits in Literature-related units, and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD with an additional A Level or equivalent qualification in English Literature at grade A
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including D3 in English Literature
European Baccalaureate 80% overall, with 85% in English Literature.
International Baccalaureate 35 points including 6 in English Literature at Higher Level (Higher Level English Language and Literature is also acceptable)
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in English Literature has been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Advanced Highers - B in English Literature Scottish Highers - BBBB

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve A or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

We look for intellectual and literary curiosity, open-mindedness, and analytical ability.

We encourage mature students to email the Admissions Tutor for consultation and advice.

At the University of York, we are committed to providing the support our students need to achieve their full potential and have an exceptional, transformational experience. The York Access Scheme offers help to those faced with social, personal or educational challenges which have affected their performance in education. We also offer support for care leavers.

Next steps

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Department of English and Related Literature, Department of Politics and International Relations

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