The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities

Q300 BA English (3 years)

An English degree at Southampton is made up of a broad range of imaginative modules that enable you to chart your own path through the history, theory, and practice of literature in English. You will explore the writing that inspires and challenges you with the help of specialist scholars, creative writers, and internationally recognised researchers who are as passionate about literature as you are.

Introducing your degree

Our BA in English will give you the room to think beyond the confines of A-Level English, empowering you to conduct independent research and to draw your own conclusions about the texts you choose to study. You will be given the knowledge and skills to explore poetry, prose, drama, and film in their real-life contexts by studying their relationships with history, politics, visual culture, science, gender, religion, law, and more. Not only will you emerge with an internationally-recognised degree from a top Russell Group university, you will also acquire the critical thinking and writing skills that will enable you to excel in whichever career you choose next.



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View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

Your first year will introduce you to new forms of literature, and new critical approaches, that will provide the foundation for your subsequent years of study. You will take modules that range across the full chronological sweep of literary history, from Anglo-Saxon songs to contemporary world literature, and you will learn the skills of literary criticism, essay writing, poetic language, and group research that will enable you to develop your own perspectives and approaches.

In second year you will choose your own modules to study, enabling you to deepen your knowledge of periods of literary history including the Renaissance, Romanticism, and Modernism, or to explore new approaches to literary study in research-led modules designed by scholars researching the relationship between fiction and finance, Victorians and their feelings, Shakespeare in performance, literature and visual art, or women’s writing from the Enlightenment to the present.

In your third year you will consolidate your knowledge and skills as an independent researcher by writing a dissertation on a topic of your own choice, whilst continuing to pursue new avenues of literary study and practice: writing screenplays and short stories, examining the representation of African cities, visiting medieval places, or charting the radical writings of the English and American republics.

Our teaching makes use of the unique partnerships we have with cultural institutions such as Chawton House Library, a rich resource for eighteenth-century literature, the John Hansard Gallery, and the Nuffield Southampton Theatres, where our Theatre Studies students get practice experience of working on professional productions with leading international theatre practitioners.

Study Abroad Options

You can take this programme with a year abroad at one of our 173 partner institutions in over 24 countries – use code Q301 when you apply through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB including English Literature or a related subject*.

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 in higher level English Literature or a related subject*.

*A related subject includes History, English Language and Literature, English Language, or Drama and Theatre Studies. We may interview students without a Literature component in their A levels, due to the literary emphasis of our degree programmes.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in Reading and Writing, 6.5 in Listening and Speaking.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB from three A levels including a Grade A in English Literature or a related subject* or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admission pages for more information.

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

From medieval travellers' tales to contemporary fictions of globalisation, from in-depth studies of Milton and Shakespeare to interdisciplinary explorations of poetry and science, and from first-hand encounters with Romantic libraries to the writing of your own novels and screenplays: the unique range and choice of modules in a Southampton English degree will enable you to follow your own path through the diverse histories of literatures in English.

Beginning with a carefully designed first-year programme that introduces you to the broad chronological sweep of literary history and teaches you the skills of poetic analysis, essay writing, and group research, you will then be able to pursue your own interests by enrolling in research-led modules, where you will study with writers and scholars at the forefront of their specialist fields.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

Year 1

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

Students not taking Multimedia Old English should choose a language option.

Semester One
ENGL1004Credit: 15
ENGL1086Credit: 15
ENGL1089Credit: 15
Semester Two
ENGL1080Credit: 15
ENGL1087Credit: 15
ENGL1090Credit: 15

Year 2

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

Students may opt to take one single module in semester 1 and one single module in semester 2 in a discipline other than English.

Semester Two
ENGL2001Credit: 15
ENGL2052Credit: 15
ENGL2061Credit: 30
ENGL2078Credit: 15
ENGL2079Credit: 30
ENGL2085Credit: 15
ENGL2089Credit: 30
ENGL2096Credit: 15
ENGL2097Credit: 15
PHIL2001Credit: 15

Year 3

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

Students may also opt to take one double and one single English module plus a single module in another discipline in semester 1, and the Dissertation as an extended independent project, plus a single English module and a module in another discipline in semester 2.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Curriculum Innovation Modules

Southampton's Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your English degree. This will enable you to develop new skills and knowledge for your future, and to discover how your study of English can inform and interact with modules in business, law, pyschology, geography, and more. Click here to view the Curriculum Innovation modules available on this degree programme.

Language Modules

Literature travels and translates across nation and language, and so does a Southampton English degree. You can take optional module languages that count towards your final degree classification, that range from French and Spanish to Arabic and Chinese, and can be studied from absolute beginners to near-native levels. Click here to view the Credit-Bearing Language modules available on this degree program.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
BA English2018Full-time£9,250£16,536
BA English2018Part-time£4,625£8,268
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.).
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT - Computer discs or USB drives: Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device. Software Licenses: All software is provided. Hardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please Note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.
PlacementsStudents on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programme details of your programme.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities


Employability Facts

94% of our English graduates were in employment or further study within six months. Click here to find out more.

Employability Facts

Career Choices

A Southampton English degree will provide you with sophisticated communication and critical thinking skills that will enable you to excel in whatever career you choose to pursue. And with your wide-ranging knowledge of histories and cultures, your ability to express yourself with clarity and style, and your capacity to develop creative solutions to unexpected questions, your choice will indeed be a wide one: our English graduates have progressed to careers in publishing, business, advertising, media, journalism, teaching, creative writing, and many other areas.

Flexible Skills and Experience

Across your full three or four years of study, our English degree will equip you with the skills you will need for a successful career. From your very first semester you will learn how to write clearly and confidently in a range of different formats, and how to argue your case convincingly in writing and in person. You will learn how to pursue the kind of independent and collaborative research projects central to careers in journalism, the civil service, consultancy, and advertising, and how to communicate the results of your research in written essays and oral presentations.

Some of the modules you can choose to take offer direct and relevant work experience working with local schools and professional theatres. You can also gain relevant work experience by becoming a student representative and taking an active role in the governance of the Department, a student society, or the Students’ Union.


We are proud of our graduates and our impressive record of employability: 94% of our English graduates were in employment or further study within six-months of graduation, according to the 2016 DLHE Employment Survey.

Jason Cowley, a graduate of English and Philosophy at Southampton, went on to become Editor of the New Statesman. “Studying English and Philosophy was a rewarding experience,” he said. “You are taught to argue and reason rationally and never quite forget what you read and what you thought back then.”

You can find out more about the support your will receive at our Careers and Employability and Employability Facts and Figures pages.

Learning & Assessment

Combine pleasure with learning
Combine pleasure with learning

An English degree at Southampton provides you with an excellent education in literature, theory and visual culture. There are opportunities for creative writing, study abroad, as well as work experience in local schools. We are committed to providing a rich, rigorous, and above all enjoyable experience ensuring that you graduate as a confident, curious and independent self-starter equipped with the skills for a successful career.

• Research-led teaching by English academics who are passionate about their subject

• Talks by visiting speakers from international universities and by successful professionals

• Specialist online learning resources for every module

• An exciting range of assessment methods including presentations, group projects, portfolios, and dissertations, as well as essays and exams

• An academic advisor to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress

• Opportunities to visit Chawton House Library and the former home of Jane Austen, as well as visits to galleries, museums, and theatres

• Internships and writing workshops at the nationally-renowned Nuffield Theatre

• Opportunities to spend a semester, a year or a summer at one of our international partner universities in Asia, Europe, and the Americas to experience a new culture

• Placements in schools and colleges as part of your degree such as international writing in schools, and the student associates scheme

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study16%16%13%
Independent study84%84%87%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment0%9%18%
Practical exam assessment6%0%0%
Coursework assessment94%91%82%

Study Locations

Avenue campus

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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