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BA (Hons) English/History

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

Year of entry: 2022/23

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£19,600 per year

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in the UK and 22nd in the world for English

QS World Rankings by subject 2021

in the UK and 46th in the world for History

QS World Rankings by subject 2021

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

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.

World-class research

The Department of English had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). In the Times Higher Education's ranking of the REF, the Department of History was second overall for research performance.

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.
Alex, BA English/History

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 supervised by a member of staff in each department, combining your two subjects together. Alongside this independent research project, you’ll also choose from the full range of Advanced Option Modules offered by English and Special Subjects offered by History.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your 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.

Establish important critical and methodological contexts for the study of literature. You will develop strategies for essay writing, engaging with criticism and critical theory, and revising work to improve its fluency and persuasiveness, as part of the Department’s innovative Writing at York provision.


Core modules

Your core modules in History will cover topics such as:

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

Core module

Our bridge module is 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.

In addition, you’ll choose from a range of intermediate modules across the English and History departments.


Option modules

You will choose from the same breathtaking range of English options as our single subject students. These include Writing Now, Research Now, and our Intermediate Option Modules, which allow you to deepen your understanding of the relationship between literary works and the cultural, historical, and political contexts in which they were produced. These may include topics such as:

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


Option modules

You will choose from a selection of Histories and Contexts option modules. Recent examples have included:

You will choose from a selection of Explorations option modules. Recent examples have included:

Year 3

In your third year you will concentrate on your dissertation as well as choosing topics to focus on with our option modules.


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 25 options.  Recent offerings include:


Option modules

You will choose from a selection of History Special Subject option modules. Recent examples have included:


One of the distinctive features of the English/History degree at York, you will 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.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

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 synthesize information from secondary sources. 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, to a deadline and to a professional standard. They will demonstrate advanced skills in oral communication, presentation, and collaboration. 
  • Make comparisons and connections between different periods, places, and societies, and understand a situation from a range of perspectives. Be able to analyse the emotional power, and the cultural and political impact, of language and narrative. Use this awareness, along with an advanced understanding of historical precursors, to better understand the world and influence others. 
  • Use your highly developed research skills to identify useful material, understand sources in context, and construct meaningful research questions. 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, and have the qualities to lead a project and execute a programme of work in a timely and professional manner.

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are for 2022/23 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £19,600

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): further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international and EU students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at two per cent each year.

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.

Type Amount
Printing, photocopying and dissertation binding Optional additional expense £0


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 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 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 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 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 organize 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 based on an average student in an average 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 term time. 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.

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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

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.

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 you to meet with staff to discuss your written work.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams38%17%17%
Practical exams0%8%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

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.
Emily, BA English/History

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.

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 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, BA English
Head of International Bureaux, BBC News

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, with 6 in all Higher Level subjects, including English Literature and History
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: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. 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 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 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've not 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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