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BA (Hons) English/Politics

Discover how literature and politics shape the world

Year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

QL32

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£17,120 per year (2019/20)

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An English and Politics degree will enhance your understanding of the world around you in a thought-provoking, innovative way. 

Studying English asks you to embrace new ways of thinking about the world and new possibilities of expression. Studying Politics invites you to engage with a vast spectrum of political issues and problems. Studying the two subjects together asks how literature and politics work to shape the world. You will graduate with skills highly prized by employers across a wide range of industries.

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

At the heart of current thinking, research, and debate – what it’s like to study Politics at York.

Top-rated departments

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the Department of English and Related Literature had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments. The Department of Politics were ranked eighth in the Times Higher Education's ranking of the results.

Distinguished visiting speakers

Both departments host speaker series where high-profile academics, campaigners, journalists, politicians, and writers share their experience, insights, and cutting-edge research.

Taught by experts

The Department of Politics staff advise governments on a wide range of issues and contribute to news, media, and current affairs programmes globally. English courses are designed and taught by world experts who are at the forefront of current research.

I chose to study in English and Politics because I'm really interested in the political context of novels and in the modes of language used in politics. Studying English and Politics here lets you combine so many interesting modules! Studying two disciplines has widened my perspectives and gives me even more freedom over what I study.
Livvie
BA English/Politics

Course content

You’ll cover an extraordinary range of literature and politics in this degree, from the medieval period to the 21st century and from around the world.

All combined course students take 120 credits each year, adding up to 360 credits across the course of your degree. You’ll split your time equally between English and Politics in your first year. You may choose to weight your degree towards one subject or the other over the course of Years Two and Three, but you must take at least one English and one Politics module in each year, as well as the bridge elements.

Study abroad

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. 

Year 1

In the first year of your degree, we’ll introduce you to the undergraduate study of English and Politics. Our modules will give you the skills you need to start undertaking literary and political research, and advice on how to combine the two disciplines.

As an English/Politics student, you will 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.

  • Key Concepts: An Introduction to Genre, Theory, and Writing- A year-long foundation module that provides you with important critical and methodological contexts for the study of literature, as well as an introduction to rhetoric and writing. In addition, you will be introduced to strategies for developing essay-writing skills, engaging with criticism and critical theory, and revising work to improve its fluency and persuasiveness, as part of the English Department’s innovative Writing at York provision.

You will also take two modules in Politics, which are worth 30 credits each:

AND one year-long option module worth 30 credits:

Note: This information reflects our current offerings. We keep our modules under review and we may make changes in the future.

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 choose from a range of intermediate modules across the English and Politics departments.

English/Politics students choose from the same English options as our single subject students. These include Critical Practice (20 credits) and our Intermediate Option Modules (20 credits):

These also include our World Literature offerings (30 credits each) and our Topic Modules (10 credits each).

English/Politics students also choose from the same Politics options as single subject students in Year Two. Topics may include:

Note: This information reflects our current offerings. We keep our modules under review and we may make changes in the future.

Year 3

In the third year of your degree, you will choose from our Advanced Option Modules (20 credits) in English, which reflect the wide-ranging and cutting-edge research expertise of the Department (you can typically expect to choose from around 25 options). You will also choose a wide range of specialised option modules (20 credits) in Politics, all based on our latest research, enabling you to tailor your degree to your particular interests.

Politics’ current specialised 20-credit modules include the following:

In addition, you will take our exciting bridge module Politics and the Novel, designed specifically for your degree pathway and typically 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, and will highlight the possibilities offered by studying two disciplines.

Note: This information reflects our current offerings. We keep our modules under review and we may make changes in the future.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

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:

  • Engage, understand and identify the origins, evolution and contemporary dynamics of politics, including being able to apply this knowledge to addressing real world problems in areas like democracy, government, immigration, elections, human rights, and the environment. 
  • Read diverse texts, especially literary texts, closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to the period, place, language, and tradition in which they were produced and where they have cultural and political impact. 
  • Apply different theoretical perspectives, methods, and concepts to aspects of politics and literary studies, as well as the intersection of the two disciplines. This will enable intellectual reasoning and systematic empirical testing to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in politics, and the use of intellectual interpretive methods and critical argumentation skills in literary studies. 
  • Conduct independent interdisciplinary research by: conceiving and operationalising research questions; selecting and justifying the use of appropriate theories and concepts; establishing a suitable corpus of primary texts; gathering and interpreting data; synthesizing second sources; arriving at appropriate and justified conclusions. 
  • Lead groups and collaborate with others to achieve collective goals, including via group work and projects, problem-based exercises, and presentations. 
  • Write clearly, accurately, and persuasively to a deadline, conveying complex ideas and representing detailed and relevant research. 
  • Explain and demonstrate to academic and other audiences the application of political and literary theory to important international, regional, national, and local problems and issues. This will include an ability to communicate the benefits of combining politics and the study of literature via advanced oral communication skills. 
  • Act and communicate as a global citizen by exploring complex political and multicultural contexts. This will include an ability to foster and examine global ethics and cross-cultural dialogue, as well as promote equality, sustainability, cultural sensitivity, inclusivity, and ethnic and linguistic diversity.

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are based on data from 2018 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/EU International
£9,250 £17,120

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).

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: 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 students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

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.

Funding

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International 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.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. 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 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.

In Politics, you’ll also learn through a combination of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-ones. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups (typically under 15 students in a seminar group). Our staff are very approachable and our doors are always open.

York’s English and Politics 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 cutting-edge 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.
  • The English Department’s 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

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars216 hours168 hours168 hours

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

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Department of Politics on Campus West

Your contact hours will be divided between Derwent 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. We offer high levels of feedback and ample opportunities for you to meet with staff to discuss your written work.

Assessment in the Department of Politics varies from module to module and includes a combination of exams, written essays, and project work. Your tutors will give you feedback in a variety of forms depending on the specific needs of the module. This may consist of written feedback, in-class discussion, model answers, one-to-one discussions, or online responses.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams32%30%0%
Coursework55%70%100%
Practical exams13%0%0%

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

Careers and skills

Studying English and Politics 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 Politics 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
  • Publishing
  • Postgraduate study
  • 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

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels
  • AAB or ABB plus A in the EPQ, including an A in English at minimum (English Language and Literature is also acceptable).
  • We don’t accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction, including at least 9 credits in Literature-related units, and 6 credits at Merit or higher.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2, including D3 in English.
European Baccalaureate 80 overall, with 85 in English.
International Baccalaureate 35 points, with 6 in Higher level English.
Irish leaving Certificate H1 (English) H2, H2, H2, H2, H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB at Higher level.
AA at Advanced Higher level, including an A in English.

English language

Our English language requirements for international applicants can be found on our Entry Requirements page.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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.

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Department of English and Related Literature, Department of Politics

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