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BA (Hons) English

Discover a world of literature at York

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June.

Book your place

in the UK for English

Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

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)

English and Related Literature at York is unlike any other English degree. We have a unique approach to what literature is and does, how we read it, how we write about it and even how we make it. 

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

We offer a breathtaking choice of modules with an unsurpassed geographical and linguistic range, giving you the freedom to tailor your degree to your interests with the support of friendly and accessible tutors. With period coverage extending from Greek and Latin classics to literature being published right now, there’s something for everyone, including creative writing, drama, fiction, film, poetry, and the chance to get your hands dirty in our printing studio.

No discipline equips its students better to understand and interpret a wide range of texts or to form articulate and persuasive responses to a range of challenges. Join us at York to discover a world of literature.

Lively intellectual culture

We partner with the York Festival of Ideas, the annual York Literature Festival, and the biennial York International Shakespeare Festival. Our hugely successful Writers at York series bring in a stellar cast of world-famous contemporary writers, and our Writer-in-Residence offers creative writing workshops and events throughout the year.

English at York is fantastic! I have had the opportunity to cover a broad range of modules that have introduced me to literature of different periods and exciting theoretical debates. I have particularly valued the flexibility of the course; an array of modules are available, and I have been able to tailor each term with options to suit my developing interests.
Loretta, BA English

Course content

York’s English degree offers exceptional flexibility and choice. We provide a comprehensive overview of literary history and criticism while also encouraging you to explore the subjects that you are most passionate about.

You will get the chance to examine literature from the ancient classics to the present, and from the United Kingdom and beyond. You’ll also study non-English texts, in the original language or in translation.

Writing is embedded in each year’s curriculum, helping you to discover and refine your own critical and creative voice. We have a strong commitment to the Creative Industries, offering option modules on creative writing and writing in the marketplace.

Study abroad

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


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

Year 1

Core modules

We’ll introduce you to a range of different texts and critical approaches in your first year to lay the foundation for your degree. Through a carefully designed curriculum, you will be introduced to the historical and theoretical study of literature. This will be supplemented by additional skills-based modules.

Approaches to Literature

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

A World of Literature

Explore a range of responses to ancient literary texts and literature from around the world.

Now Modules

Develop new skills and methods for the study of literature now.

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

The second year of your degree is characterised by great flexibility, allowing you to choose from a wide variety of Intermediate Option Modules and World Literature Modules.

Intermediate Option Modules

Our Intermediate Option Modules allow you to deepen your understanding of the relationship between literary works and the cultural, historical, and political contexts in which they were produced. You’ll choose from the following modules:

World Literature Modules

You’ll take at least one of our World Literature Modules, which invite you to engage with questions of language, translation, and cultural difference in ways that equip you with important skills in linguistic analysis and description. Some are taught partly in the original language and partly in translation, others entirely in translation - the choice is yours. You’ll choose from about ten options covering ancient and modern literature from around the globe. Recent offerings have included the following:

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

You’ll have the opportunity to explore further the areas you’ve developed an interest in over the course of your studies through the diverse range of module choices available to our third-year students. In addition, the subject of your English dissertation is entirely up to you, which means that there is an exciting opportunity for you to shape the trajectory of your final year.

Option modules

Our advanced option modules reflect the wide-ranging and cutting-edge research expertise of the Department and cover literature from the classical period to the twenty-first century, as well as film and creative writing. You'll choose four option modules, typically expecting to choose from around 30 options. Recent offerings have included the following:


The degree culminates in the dissertation; an in-depth exploration of 7,000-8,000 words on a topic of your choice. Research lectures and writing labs support the one-to-one supervision you will receive from a member of staff. This year-long capstone project is a wonderful opportunity to display your skills in detailed research, elegant writing, and rigorous argument. You can also choose to do a dissertation with creative practice, which might involve producing a portfolio of creative writing; a translation project; or an external engagement project.

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:

  • Read diverse texts closely and critically and interpret them with reference to the period and tradition in which they were produced.
  • Analyse the affective power of language and narrative, and their cultural and political impact, and use this awareness to better understand the world and influence others.
  • Operate in complex multicultural contexts and display an informed awareness of cultural diversity, gained through situating English literature in relation to different varieties of English and/or texts written in other European and world languages.
  • Exercise independent thought and judgement and develop well-structured, evidence-based arguments by interrogating their own assumptions and those of others, through self-reflection, peer review, and advice and feedback.
  • Initiate, manage and complete original projects of their own, producing both individually formulated essay topics and a dissertation and researching materials from a range of sources, primary and secondary, archival and digital.
  • Write clearly, accurately, and persuasively to a deadline and to a professional standard, conveying complex ideas in an accessible way to expert and lay audiences.
  • Engage in critical discussion and debate and demonstrate advanced oral communication skills, developed in small-group seminars and collaborative group projects.

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).


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

For September 2024 entrants, the Department of English and Related Literature will offer a number of scholarships and bursaries for Home and International/EU students:

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.

At York we engage with and argue with (and against!) academics who are considered the experts in their own field. This all sounds very intellectually grandiose but what I most appreciate is how incredibly nice they are – as teachers (in seminars), as colleagues (on the Board of Studies), and as people (in pubs!).
Gan, BA English

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

York’s English degree is renowned for its flexible and innovative approach. We emphasize small-group teaching, which means you’ll mainly be taught in seminars of up to fifteen people. You’ll also take part in workshops, attend lectures, and consult staff on a one-to-one basis. You can typically expect eight contact hours per week - and sometimes more. There are also many opportunities for informal contact.

  • Our advanced 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.
  • Our 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.
  • We organise many guest lectures, readings, and workshops by well-known literary figures.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures3 hours per week
Film Screening2-3 hours per semester
Seminars and workshops6 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.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent in independent study. This will include guided preparation for seminars and lectures. We recommend that students spend at least six hours in preparation for a two-hour seminar and at least two hours in preparation for a one-hour lecture, as well as at least one further hour of revision and consolidation after each teaching session. You will also devote time to wider reading; complete ‘formative’ assessments (practice essays and short exercises); write essays and revise for exams; and take advantage of opportunities for informal contact, including one-to- one consultations, workshops, guest lectures, and readings.

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.


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, on Campus West.

Your contact hours will be divided between Derwent College, the Spring Lane Teaching 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

We employ 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 7,000-8,000-word 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.

A 19th-century Columbian iron press in our very own York Print Studio.

Careers and skills

No discipline equips its students better to understand and interpret a wide range of texts – whether literary, historical, political, or social – or to form articulate and persuasive responses to a range of challenges and questions. The Department has a dedicated Careers Officer, which means you will get specialised advice and support throughout the three years of your degree.

You’ll learn presentation, language, and reasoning skills during your English 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

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
While at York I learn to be and think rationally and assemble arguments. This is something that has certainly been of value in my working life.
John Dearing, BA English and Related Literature
Director, G. P. Wild (International) Limited

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

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

Access to Higher Education Diploma 39 credits at Distinction, including at least 9 credits in Literature-related units, and 6 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, D3 including English Literature.
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, with 85% in English Literature.
International Baccalaureate 36 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 - A in English Literature plus 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.


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.

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Department of English and Related Literature

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