BA English with Study Abroad

UCAS codeQ314
Duration4 Years
Typical offerAAB-ABB; IB: 34-32
LocationTaught in Cornwall Campus Cornwall (Penryn Campus)


The Cornwall Exeter English degree is a classic English degree covering the history of English literature, with a focus on writing from 1580 to the present. This programme gives you the opportunity to study a broad and stimulating range of literatures from their ancestry in classical, Old English and medieval texts to the excitement of studying contemporary literary and cultural works. The programme combines a strong foundation in historically-based core modules with specialization in a range of innovative options.

In addition, we also run classes in Academic Literacies. This is a series of skills-based presentations and workshops using relevant literary examples that will help the transition to university by equipping you to approach academic assignments such as annotated bibliographies and essays. Academic Literacies will also introduce employability issues by considering English literary studies in the workplace, whether directly – such as in getting your work published – or indirectly – such as working in the media.

The department of English at the Penryn Campus offers a unique student experience, combining a friendly, small-group approach to teaching with top-flight research. The campus offers a welcoming atmosphere where it’s easy to make new friends and where staff and students know each other well. With a smaller student intake, the emphasis is on innovative learning and teaching in a flexible and intimate atmosphere.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The English degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

The third year is spent abroad.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of English theory, concepts, texts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

Compulsory modules

TRU1100Shakespeare and the History of Ideas30
TRU1103Critical Theory30

Year 2

This year offers an in-depth exploration of the themes and literary trends initially encountered in year one. Expert tutors lead each period-based module, and students have the opportunity to discuss literature in its cultural and historical context.

Compulsory modules

TRU2006Renaissance, Reformation and Rebellion: English Literature 1580-1700 30
TRU2010From Romanticism to Decadence 30
TRU2011From Modernism to the Contemporary 30
TRU2012Reason & Passion: Literature 1700-1799 30

Year 3

Students will spend the third year of their studies in a partner university on an Erasmus/Socrates exchange or other approved programme of study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits and assessment is based on the credits gained at the partner institution.

Compulsory modules

HUM3999Year Abroad120

Year 4

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. You will become an independent researcher yourself, as you write a dissertation on a topic of your choice under supervision. You will also take up to three specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

Compulsory modules

Students must select ONE of the following modules:
TRU3042Creative Writing Dissertation30

Optional modules

Select 90 credits of English Level 3 optional modules.

TRU3002Witchcraft, Magic and Gender in Literature 30
TRU3018Women's Writing: Romantic to Modern 30
TRU3024The Gothic 30
TRU3025Tolkien: Scholar, Critic, Writer 30
TRU3028Literature, Culture, and Crisis in Early Modern England 30
TRU3029Sex, Scandal and Sensation in Victorian Literature 30
TRU3035'Great Hatred, Little Room': Irish and Scottish literature, 1800-193930
TRU3036Inventing the Body30
TRU3038Decadence and the Birth of Modernism30
TRU3039British Children's Literature30
TRU3041Short Fiction30

Full module descriptions

For full module descriptions please visit the English website.

Entry requirements 2017

Typical offer

AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32

Required subjects

GCE AL English Literature grade A; IB English HL6.

Candidates may offer either GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

The department of English at the Penryn Campus offers a unique student experience, combining a friendly, small-group approach to teaching with top-flight research. The campus offers a welcoming atmosphere where it’s easy to make new friends and where staff and students know each other well. With a smaller student intake, the emphasis is on innovative learning and teaching in a flexible and intimate atmosphere.

All full-time staff are internationally acclaimed researchers with specialisms ranging from the literature and history of witchcraft to Victorian sensation fiction, from experimental fiction to the Gothic.

We use a variety of learning and teaching methods including lectures, seminars, student study groups and web and IT resources. All our modules centre the learning experience on seminars, involving groups of between 10 and 20 students, typically running for two hours. Many modules, are supported by weekly 50-minute lectures. Students generally prepare for seminars by involvement in student study groups, which are a distinctive and successful feature of our programme.

Typical contact time with academic staff is six hours per week, on top of which you’re expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities and film screenings. Most of your work will be done in group and self-directed study: reading or viewing module material, writing essays or preparing material for seminar presentations. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.

We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning such as the Exeter Learning Environment where details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website and students can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and take part in a discussion forum. Another special feature of our courses is the way we make use of films, videos, tapes and slides for studying printed texts and other forms of cultural production.

Essays can be discussed on a one-to-one basis with the tutor who has marked them and all students have a Personal Tutor who is available for advice and support throughout their studies. Study Skills tutors are also available within the Department to work on specific problems in written work and assessment and we train you in key skills including presentation, time-management, team-work, problem-solving, communication and constructive self-criticism.


You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.

Assessment in English is through a mixture of methods that includes essays and a Dissertation as well as examinations and group presentation work. The ratio of formal examination to continuous assessment is on average 40:60. On the English with Study in North America degree programme you will be assessed by your host university during your academic year abroad. This will contribute towards your degree classification.

Study abroad

Students spend this stage in a partner university on an Erasmus/Socrates exchange or other approved programme of study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits. Assessment is normally based on the credits gained at the partner institution abroad.


English graduates from the University of Exeter benefit from a degree which is internationally recognised and compete very successfully in the employment market. 6 months after graduation 97.2%* of our English graduates are in work and / or further study.

Graduating with a degree in English will put you in a great position to succeed in a range of different careers. Oral and written communication is at the heart of our programme and you will learn to present your ideas in a range of formats. You will also develop strong research and analytical skills and the ability to problem solve and make informed decisions. Through a balance of independent study and teamwork you will learn to manage your time and workload effectively.

Our students have progressed to a broad range of work sectors including education, arts management, publishing, journalism, marketing, finance and events management, working for companies such as:

  • Barclays
  • Palgrave Macmillan
  • English Heritage
  • O2
  • Haymarket Media
  • ITV
  • Amnesty International

Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:

  • MA Cultural Heritage Management
  • MA English Literary Studies
  • PGCE English primary
  • MA Magazine Journalism
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills

Career Zone

The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you. 

*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of English. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

Find out more about careers in English

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 724202

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

Website: Visit the English website

How to apply Get a prospectus Visit subject website 2016 degrees

View our English brochure

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BA English at our Penryn Campus

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