3 years full-time
Combining English and Philosophy offers you one of the most wide-ranging and stimulating degrees. Encompassing almost every aspect of human thought and culture, this course will expose you to an array of ideas and ways of thinking about the world. Staff in both departments at York are world-renowned for their research, which covers every period, every major literary and philosophical genre, and all areas of the world.
You can discover more about the Department of English and Related Literature’s exciting degree programmes by watching our video.
Every day should be a new intellectual adventure – find out what it’s like to study Philosophy at York.
“Choosing to study a joint degree in English/Philosophy was the best choice I could have made. I get the very best of both worlds, with an amazing range of both literary and philosophical texts and topics in my first year alone. I particularly love the ability to transfer skills and insights between subjects. Studying English and Philosophy together is daring, rewarding, and life-changing.”Tim
All combined course students take 120 credits each year, adding up to 360 credits across the course of your degree. In the first and second year, you will split your studies equally between the English and Philosophy components of your degree. In Year Three, it’s possible to vary the balance and devote more time to either subject. You'll learn about literature and philosophy from the classical era to the modern world, and from a distinctly international perspective.
NB: This information reflects the current course content and structure, which may be revised from year to year.
In the first year of your degree, we’ll introduce you to the undergraduate study of English and Philosophy. Our modules will give you the skills you need to start doing literary and philosophical research, and advice on how to combine the two disciplines.
English/Philosophy 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.
You will also take a further 60 credits in Philosophy:
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:
In the second year of your degree, you’ll choose from a range of intermediate modules across the English and Philosophy departments, taking 60 credits in each subject.
English/Philosophy students choose from the same English 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 Critical Questions, our World Literature offerings, and our Topic Modules.
In Philosophy, you will choose from a range of Key Ideas modules, looking in more depth at issues in some central areas of theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and the history of philosophy. These will help you to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills that you'll use in more specialised investigations in your third year.
In the third year of your degree, English/Philosophy students choose from our Advanced Option Modules in English and a wide range of specialised Philosophy modules based on our latest research, enabling you to tailor your degree to your particular interests.
In addition, all students take Philosophy and Literature, a module designed specifically for this degree pathway and taught by a member of staff from each department. One of the distinctive features of the English/Philosophy degree at York, this advanced 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.
English/Philosophy students may weight their degree towards one subject or the other in Year 3 (up to a 70/50 credit split, including the required bridge module, which counts for 10 credits on each side of the degree).
We are proud of our international outlook. If you’re also interested in studying abroad, there are a number of options both in the English-speaking world and in Europe.
The Department of English and Related Literature is ranked second overall in the UK for research performance and 96% of research activity in the Department of Philosophy is judged as internationally recognised (REF 2014).
In English, 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.
Teaching in Philosophy takes much the same form. The department prides itself on having smaller seminar groups than some other universities, and staff strongly encourage one-to-one conversations in open office hours.
York’s English and Philosophy degree is renowned for its flexible and innovative approach.
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. We offer high levels of feedback and ample opportunities for students to meet with staff to discuss their written work.
Your work in Philosophy is assessed by a more or less equal mix of essays and exams – the exact blend of assessment depends on the modules you choose. In the first year, some work is assessed by online tests and poster presentation.
[The] English and Philosophy course is very well structured, allowing for the enhancement of creative and original thought within both subjects through its interdisciplinary approach. Few universities permit the academic freedom of writing on Gustave Flaubert’s works in light of Jean-Paul Sartre’s account of the imagination!Alex BA English/Philosophy
Studying English and Philosophy 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 range of careers, from law and teaching to national and local government and the creative industries.
The English part of my degree helped me develop the skill of being able to absorb and analyse large amounts of information at short notice which is a daily demand in the world of law.Penny Darragh Solicitor, Dickinson Dees LLP
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.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
D3, D3, M2, including D3 in English.
Access to HE
35 points, with 6 in Higher level English.
Irish Leaving Certificate
H1 (English) H2, H2, H2, H2, H3
80 overall, with 85 in English.
Our English language requirements for international applicants can be found on our Entry Requirements page.