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BA (Hons) English

BA (Hons) English video
  • UCAS Code:
    Q300
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

From the classics to contemporary literature, from exploring the media to developing writing skills, this course covers a huge variety of aspects of English.

Alongside the study of iconic and influential texts in print, you'll be introduced to the latest developments in digital media and new-media storytelling. Furthermore you'll examine literature and language in a variety of media; for example, you may read Jane Eyre while also studying television and film adaptations of the book, plus fan fiction and comics featuring Charlotte Bronte’s characters.

The diversity of the modules will give you an excellent understanding of English language and literature, with theory and practice blended. There is a strong emphasis on honing your own writing skills, whether that's in academic work, creative writing, or journalism, opening the door to an exciting range of career possibilites. You will have choices as you progress, so that you can focus your studies in areas of English that interest you.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

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

Relevant subjects:

Psychology, Philosophy, Media Studies and Law

Required subjects:

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

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 112 to 120 tariff points, from 3 A-Levels, including 32 points in a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 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.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the first year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

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

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.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the second year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

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

Year 3

A minimum 4-week placement or optional 40 week placement (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry), 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.

OR

  • 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.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the final year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

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

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.

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 support to help you find the most appropriate work placement for the subject you’re studying and the career you’re interested in, which means you could be based anywhere in the UK, or even overseas.

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.

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.

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.

Find out more about placements and our student experiences here.

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 three 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 20-60 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.

*Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 112 to 120 tariff points, from 3 A-Levels, including 32 points in a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Required subjects: English Literature or combined English Literature/Language A level. If you are not studying one of these subjects please contact the askBU Enquiry Service.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

GCSEs: 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.

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 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 askBU Enquiry Service 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 askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent).  Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diplomas: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels to achieve the overall tariff.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 73 - 75%.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 30-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff and include required subjects as appropriate.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Distinction, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants to 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.

Careers

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 90% 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.

Course statistics

The National Student Survey

The below information all comes from the National Student Survey completed by some of the students who graduated from this course last year.

  • Students agreed staff are good at explaining things - 100%
  • Students agreed staff made the subject interesting - 92%
  • Students were satisfied overall - 90%
  • Students agreed they got sufficient advice and support - 78%

79% of the course is assessed by coursework

Assessment methods include essays, written and oral exams, case studies, portfolios of different styles and formats, pitches and presentations. In your final year you will work on a major piece of original independent research or a major creative project.

16% is scheduled learning and teaching activities

This is a broad academic course with some vocational units and a strong emphasis on writing skills. You will share some common units with students studying BA (Hons) Communication and Media. The course is designed to develop your analytical and evaluative skills through the study of literary and media texts. The first two years have a consistent level of scheduled learning and teaching and in the final year you have a choice of option units plus your dissertation. The dissertation may be a major piece of original independent research or a major creative project with tutorial support.

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.

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
  • 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
  • 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, 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.

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.
New Media Writing Prize promo

New Media Writing Prize

This international prize promotes the best in new media writing and you can enter your exciting and inventive stories that integrate a variety of formats, platforms and digital media.
Fresher Publishing promo

Fresher Publishing

Fresher is a young publishing venture, established at Bournemouth University and our annual Fresher Writing Prize gives new writers the chance to showcase their work in front of some of the best in the publishing industry.prizes

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

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

applicant 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. 

International students

International students

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