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BA (Hons) English

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From examining iconic and influential texts to cultivating your writing skills, this multifaceted course explores English language and literature within the context of the media in all its various forms.

The course is designed to give you a strong foundation in the academic study of language and literature, whilst equipping you with professional skills to enhance your employability. Alongside the study of texts in print, you’ll be introduced to the latest developments in digital media and new media storytelling. There’s also a strong emphasis on honing your writing skills, whether that's in academic work, creative writing, or journalism, opening the door to an exciting range of career possibilities or further study.

As you progress through the course you’ll be able to select subjects to focus your studies in areas of English that interest you, and you’ll have the opportunity to complete a four or 30-week placement, depending on the length of degree you choose. The placement is a productive and dynamic way of putting your theory into practice, and is designed to develop your abilities and understanding of a real-world working environment. It also provides a platform for successful entry into the workplace following graduation.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

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All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


3 years including a 4-week placement (or 4 years including a minimum 30-week placement). Full-time

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 112 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements page

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Media & Society: This unit looks into the core mass communication media such as newspapers, radio, TV and the internet with particular emphasis on Public Service Broadcasting, regulation, globalisation and the relationship between politicians/government and the media.
  • Adaptation: Here you’ll focus on key theoretical perspectives and debates. Case studies will include adaptations from across a wide range of media, including film, television, comic books and the internet, and encompassing both classic and popular texts.
  • Academic & Writing Skills: Introducing you to the practical skills of academic study, ensuring you make a smooth transition to Higher Education. You will also begin to develop high level skills in academic writing, journalistic and creative writing, this unit emphasises the differences between audiences and appropriate types of writing.
  • Language Matters: This unit examines attitudes and approaches towards styles of English, and the various uses of language in everyday situations and contexts, across a range of media uses.
  • Forms & Contexts: Introducing you to the main literary forms of fiction, drama, and poetry, and associated critical perspectives. You will understand how literature is influenced by its historical, social, and cultural context.
  • Approaches to Literature: You will learn the different methods and critical approaches required for the study of literature at degree level. You will gain a thorough underpinning of the skills and attributes required when studying a greater range of literary texts throughout your three years.

Year 2

Core units

  • Modernism & Postmodernism: Through a selection of texts, you’ll explore two of the major literary and artistic movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as their historical and cultural perspectives and influences.
  • Gender & Sexuality: In this unit, representations of gender and sexuality will be considered in examples of novels, plays and other writing from the last 200 years.
  • Children's Literature: This unit examines the relationship between narrative form and content, and the literary, social and cultural context in which children’s literature has been produced.
  • Narrative Structures: You’ll develop analysis and evaluations of a variety of contemporary narrative texts from sources such as film, television, journalism, magazines, the internet and prose fiction.
  • Writing for the Media: This unit aims to strengthen your professional writing abilities and to develop your understanding of the formats and conventions employed in writing for a range of media.

Option units (choose one)

  • Popular Texts & Intertexts: Texts from across popular media including literary, cinematic, televisual and graphic genres will be examined.
  • Media: Messages & Meanings:This unit examines how messages are constructed, conveyed and received over a range of media and by differentaudiences.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 3

A minimum 4-week placement or optional 30 week placement (minimum), designed to develop your abilities and understanding of the workplace. It also provides a platform for successful entry into the workplace following graduation.

Year 3/4

Core units

  • Dissertation: You'll undertake original and independent research to produce a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic or problem of your choice, using a discursive approach.


  • Creative Dissertation: An original piece of writing such as: a set of short stories, a script for TV or screen, or an extract from a novel. All creative work will be supported by a rationale and critical evaluation.

Option units (choose four)

  • News & Journalism: This unit seeks to provide you with a critical perspective on journalistic outputs and the ability to report and produce news and other forms of journalism in a digital world.
  • Writing, Editing & Publishing: A practical unit which combines study of publishing processes and practices with creative writing.
  • Fact & Fiction: This unit explores the diverse panorama of non-fiction works produced in the realm of literary, or narrative, journalism. It will analyse ethical issues such as objectivity, accuracy, and the social and historical context of the genre over the centuries.
  • New Media Narrative: You'll examine the evolution of narrative forms in relation to the development of digital media, especially exploring non-linear and interactive narratives.
  • Crime & Terror: Studying the development of crime and gothic literature over the last 200 years, this unit will explore the cultural and historical context of the genre with reference to a range of critical approaches.
  • Post-Colonial Texts: Exploring the ways in which the legacy of colonialism has impacted on writing and other cultural forms, the unit will consider key issues raised in postcolonial discourse while also interrogating some of the very terms on which those issues are debated.
  • Alternate Worlds: This unit considers the uses of alternate worlds as motifs and narrative strategies in the development of both classic and contemporary literature. Ancient literature, Jacobean drama, utopian and dystopian visions, science fiction and fantasy are among the genres discussed.
  • Transient Literature & Serial Storytelling: You will explore relationships between storytelling and the publishing formats and media used to deliver those stories. Through the study of key texts and critical perspectives you will consider how elements of materiality such as serialisation and format effectively coordinate with market, audience and content.
  • Space, Place & Environment: This unit focuses on critical representations of space, place and environment in literature and culture from industrialisation to the present. You will explore the significance of space and the environment in relation to diverse yet connected topics such as globalisation, personal, social and national identity, politics and policy, global transmission of literatures, literary tourism, conservation, biophilia and urban regeneration.
  • Media & Trauma: This unit aims to explore critical and cultural responses to traumatic experience and death across a range of media or texts from print and broadcast journalism to filmic and literary representation. The unit will focus on how trauma is interpreted, recorded, represented, constructed and produced across a range of media and in a variety of social, professional and medical contexts.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

The emphasis of this course is in guided independent learning, which helps you develop into a self-motivated learner. When not attending lectures and seminars, you will be expected to read around the subject. Your typical week’s activities will include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments. The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course.

Year 1 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 206 hours
  • Independent learning: 994 hours

Year 2 – 19% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 208 hours
  • Independent learning: 992 hours

Year 3/4 – 13% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 115 hours
  • Independent learning: 1045 hours

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 89% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BA(Hons) English.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

We will provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement. What’s more, you can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:

  • Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
  • Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
  • Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
  • Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
  • Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
  • Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • Cubiq Design
  • Touch Broadcasting
  • ESPN
  • Gearing Media Group
  • Discovery Networks International

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and can choose to complete 4-weeks or a minimum 30-week placement.

Your application

Background and experience

For BA (Hons) English we are looking for applicants who can:

  • Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
  • Work well within a team as well as individually
  • Demonstrate good presentation skills
  • Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.

Students must demonstrate a love of English and creative writing as well as understanding on the Media. A clear, well written personal statement outlining why they wish to study this subject is a must. Students must have basic computer literacy, including knowledge of word, excel and power point.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications, there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply web pages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 112 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.

GCSEs: This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Future Students Enquiries Team to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Future Students Enquiries Team – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 112-118 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 112-120 tariff points from 2 principal subjects including 36 points from one required subject.

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 30-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Higher: 112-120 tariff points from 2 Advanced Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


As this degree focuses on studying English in the context of the media, you will not only study literary texts, but will also have the chance to develop your own writing skills in both a factual and creative setting. The diverse nature of this course means you'll be in a position to work in a range of industries, and will particularly well-suited to roles where communication is key.

We have an excellent graduate employment rate, with 85% of our students in work or further study within six months of finishing their course*.

There are a wide range of careers open to you once you graduate, including:

  • Content editor
  • Freelance writer and video producer
  • Marketing and PR executive
  • TEFL teacher
  • Underwriter

Industries worked in

  • Marketing
  • Digital media
  • Education
  • Media Publishing.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the english sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.

Dr Hywel Dix

I completed a doctorate in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Glamorgan in 2006, having earlier studied at the universities of Cambridge and York. I see myself as a specialist in modern and contemporary British literature, postmodernism, postcolonial studies and critical cultural theory.

In my research, I am interested in the relationship between culture and social and political change, especially in relation to political devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I explore these in detail in my monographs After Raymond Williams: Cultural Materialism and the Break-Up of Britain (2nd edition, University of Wales Press, 2013) and Postmodern Fiction and the Break-up of Britain (Continuum, 2010) as well as numerous other articles, book chapters and conference presentations. I am currently working on a comparative study of Welsh and Scottish literature, which is likely to be given fresh impetus by the recent results of the European referendum on ‘Brexit.’

More recently, I have developed a second research interest, exploring the relationship between literary careers and the body of work known as Career Construction Theory, which has its origins in social psychology and in career counselling. Drawing on the theories, concepts and critical approaches of Career Constructionism has enabled me to develop a new understanding of the material properties of authorial careers. I anticipate publishing this research in a new monograph in 2017 as well as editing a collection of essays on the newly emerging field of Autofiction in English.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Head of Education for the School of Journalism, English and Communication and programme leader for BA English. I am interested in supervising potential doctoral projects on aspects of contemporary British literature.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance), you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790

2018 entry requirements have changed to 112 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. 

Key facts and 2018 entry requirements 

The entry requirements for this course are 120-120 tariff points from 3 A-levels. 


2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed to This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

2018 entry requirements

This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

6/9/2017 This course no longer requires any required subjects.  Key facts and 2018 entry requirements 

English Literature or combined English Literature/Language A-level (or equivalent).  If you are not studying one of these subjects please contact the Admissions Team.

What our students say

Louise Jones

I received offers to write and was offered literary representation during my first year. I am now signed to Rogers, Coleridge & White and writing my first novel.

Hear from our staff

Jim Pope

Witness the success of our graduates in a wide range of professions such as publishing, journalism, PR, advertising, marketing, management and teaching.

What our graduates think

Maddie Saunders

As well as traditional literature-focused ones I had modules on news journalism, media, blogging, digital narrative and coms helping to give a broad view.
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New Media Writing Prize

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Fresher Publishing

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Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

Purbeck House common room

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.