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Overview Two of the UK’s Finest Departments — Now in One Programme

UCAS code


Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

A combined English and History course offers one of the most wide-ranging and adventurous of university degrees. It encompasses almost every aspect of human culture.

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

Incredible chronological breadth and thematic scope – find out what it’s like to study History at York.

It is fantastic to be a part of two amazing departments and explore both subjects in exciting ways. I have been completely supported by both departments and the chance to write an interdisciplinary dissertation with two supervisors is a real highlight of my joint studies.
BA English/History

Course content What you’ll study


All combined course students take 120 credits each year, adding up to 360 credits across the course of your degree. In the first year, you will split your studies equally between the English and History components of your degree. In Year Two, it’s possible to vary the balance and devote more time to either English or History. In Year Three, your choice of Advanced Option Modules (English), Special Subject (History), and bridge dissertation topic let you tailor the degree to your own interests and needs.  

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 History. Our modules will give you the skills you need to start doing literary and historical research, and advice on how to combine the two disciplines.

English/History 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 History:

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 History departments.

English/History students take a minimum of 40 credits in English in Year 2. You will choose from the same options as our single subject students. 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. English/History students can also elect to take Critical Questions.

In addition, all English/History students take Texts and Histories, designed specifically for their degree pathway and 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 that are applicable across periods, and that will highlight the possibilities offered by studying two disciplines.

You will also take a further 50 credits in History:

Year 3

In the third year of your degree, English/History students take two Advanced Option Modules in English, one in the Autumn and one in the Spring. You will also study a History Special Subject.

You will also undertake a Bridge Dissertation, one of the distinctive features of the English/History degree at York. The Bridge Dissertation invites students to undertake a research project that brings the study of English and History 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

You can apply to study abroad during your second year, for the whole year or just a term.

Both the English and History Departments are ranked second overall in the UK for the quality of their research (REF 2014).

Both departments are part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, which is ranked in the top 25 in the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

QS also ranks the Department of English and Related Literature and the Department of History among the best in the world. See for yourself: 


Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

In both English and History, 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.

York’s English and History 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 historians.


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.

The Department of History also uses a variety of assessment methods. These include assessed essays from 2,000-4,000 words, closed exams, and open exams. You will complete a 3,000-word group project in your second year and an 8,000-10,000-word bridge dissertation in your third year.

Both departments offer high levels of feedback and ample opportunities for students to meet with staff to discuss their written work.

When looking at different universities, York offered me the best flexibility to study English and History together. I love the way the different modules intertwine.
BA English/History

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Studying English and History 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 History 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
  • Postgraduate study
  • Publishing
  • 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
While at York I learned to read fast while absorbing key details and to express myself clearly. I learned to listen and to be generous when sharing ideas. I gained confidence and developed a more independent way of thinking.”
Sarah Ward-Lilley
Head of International Bureaux, BBC News

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS. We look for intellectual and literary curiosity, open-mindedness, and analytical ability.

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

  • AAA, including an A in both English and History at minimum (English Language and Literature is also acceptable).
  • We don’t accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • AAAAA at Higher Level
  • AA at Advanced Higher Level, including English and History

Cambridge Pre-U
D3, D3, D3, including D3 in English and History

Access to HE

  • 30 credits from units awarded Distinction
  • 15 from units awarded Merit or higher

International options

International Baccalaureate
36 points, with 6 in all Higher Level subjects, including History and English

Irish Leaving Certificate
H1 (English), H1 (History), H2, H2, H2, H3

European Baccalaureate
85 overall, including 85 in English and History

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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