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BA (Hons) English/History

Combine the expertise of two of the UK’s finest departments

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



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 UK for history

Complete University Guide 2025

in the world for English

in the QS World Rankings by Subject, 2024

A combined English and History course offers one of the most wide-ranging and adventurous of university degrees, tackling key aspects of human culture. 

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

Our pioneering curriculum offers an international outlook. Our modules span the globe, encompassing over two millennia of history and literature.

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.

Interdisciplinary teaching

You'll benefit from our interdisciplinary research and teaching with critical thinking and transferable skills.

I love my degree as not only do I get to study a variety of interesting texts, but I also get to immerse myself in the beautiful and historic city of York.
Nadia, English.

Read Nadia's blog post.

Course content

Our combined English and History degree fosters a sense of interdisciplinarity: building on the subject specific skills developed in Year 1, you’ll begin to think about the relationship between the two disciplines in the Year 2 module Texts and Histories. This innovative module invites you to bring together your understanding of historical phenomena, narrative structures, and the particularities of close textual analysis in a module co-taught by a member of staff in each department.

In Year 3, you will undertake a bridge dissertation that combines your two subjects together. Alongside this independent research project, you’ll also choose from a range of option offered by English and special subjects offered by History.

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

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


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. and develop the necessary skills for the study of literature at university level.


Core modules

Your core modules in History will cover topics such as:

You will also choose one of the following: 

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 take our exciting bridge module Texts and Histories designed specifically for English/History students 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. 

Core modules

Option modules

You will choose from the same breathtaking range of English options as our single subject students. You will also choose from an exciting range of History Explorations modules.

You will study five option modules. Examples may include:

World Literature
History Explorations

You'll choose from a range History Explorations. Examples may include:

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

In your third year you will concentrate on your bridge dissertation as well as choosing modules in both English and History.

Bridge Dissertation

In the third year of your degree, you will undertake an 8,000 word bridge dissertation, one of the distinctive features of the English/History degree at York.  The bridge dissertation allows you to undertake a research project that brings the study of English and History together. This year-long advanced module offers you the chance to use all the research and writing skills you will have developed at York. There is also the option to undertake a bridge dissertation with a creative element.  

Option modules

Our options cover literature from the classical period to the twenty-first century, as well as film and creative writing. Examples include:


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:

  • Display broad and deep understandings of the history and literature of a wide range of periods, and engage creatively and critically with a variety of conceptual, theoretical, and methodological frameworks.
  • Read diverse texts closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to the period and tradition in which they were produced, and synthesizing information from secondary sources where appropriate. They will be able to evaluate the arguments of others and assess the value and significance of different forms of evidence.
  • Write clearly, accurately, and persuasively, articulating ideas and presenting arguments, their own and other people’s, to a deadline and to a professional standard. They will demonstrate advanced skills in oral communication, presentation, and collaboration. They will be expert in debate and adept at using evidence to support an argument.
  • Make comparisons and connections between different periods, places and societies and understand a situation from a range of perspectives. They will be able to analyse the emotional power, and the cultural and political impact, of language and narrative. They will use this awareness, along with an advanced understanding of historical precursors and examples, to better understand the world and influence others.
  • Have highly developed research skills. They will be able to identify useful material, understand sources in context and construct meaningful research questions. They will be skilled at engaging with a variety of different forms of information including digital resources, material culture, visual imagery, texts, databases and statistical information, and in identifying and utilising the most appropriate resources to achieve a desired result.
  • Initiate and complete projects of their own which contribute to pressing contemporary debates.
  • Exercise independent thought and judgement, and be skilled in interrogating their own assumptions.
  • Have the ability to work in collaboration with others. They will know how to extend their knowledge and skills within a team context, and have the qualities to lead a project and execute a programme of work in a timely and professional manner.

Free online courses

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

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

In English, you'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, the Department of English and Related Literature 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). In History, you will have to pay for the cost of printing some assignments for submission as assessed work in Years 2 and 3.


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

Department funding

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 both English and History, you’ll learn through a programme of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-one consultations. We emphasise 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 typically expect eight contact hours per week – and sometimes more. There are also numerous opportunities for informal contact.
  • 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.
  • We organise many guest lectures and readings by well-known writers and historians.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures4 hours per week
Seminars2-3 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.


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.

The University is home to the Borthwick Institute for Archives and students can also access York Minster Library and the City Archives. We're also close to the British Library Reading Room at Boston Spa where you can consult millions of items.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Department of History, which are on Campus West.

Your contact hours will be divided between Derwent College, Vanbrugh 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 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 word bridge dissertation in your third year.

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

I’ve loved exploring the speeches, campaign posters and media images of the time and hope to explore these further within the Borthwick Archive, and potentially use these for later studies!
Fran, History.

Read Fran's blog post.

Careers and skills

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.

Student and graduate stories

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
York is a beautiful city. It’s quite a privilege to spend your days encountering that history, stumbling around incredibly long cobbled streets! I really miss it as a place. That’s why I’ve loved coming back for the past nine years to give talks – it feels like coming full circle.
Greg Jenner, BA History Alumni
Public Historian & Podcast Host

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAA, including English Literature and History (English Language and Literature is also acceptable)

Access to Higher Education Diploma 39 credits at Distinction, including at least 6 credits in Literature-related units and 6 credits in History-related units, and 6 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD with additional A Levels or equivalent qualifications in English Literature and History at grade A.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3 including English Literature and History
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, with 85% in English Literature and 85% in History.
International Baccalaureate 36 points including 6 in English Literature (or English Language and Literature) and History at Higher Level
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless additional A Levels (or equivalent qualifications) in English Literature and History have been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Advanced Highers - AB in English Literature and History plus Scottish Highers - AB

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.

Next steps

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Department of English and Related Literature, Department of History

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