|Typical offer||AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34; BTEC DDD|
Studying English at the University of Exeter opens a world of possibilities. Our flexible course introduces you to over 1,500 years of the written word; epic medieval poetry, the colourful, turbulent era of Renaissance and Revolution, through to contemporary authors who have been instrumental in defining the modernist literary movement. Our world-class faculty staff will nurture your natural talents and enthusiasm for English literary studies, but more importantly they will challenge you. Challenge you conceptually, intellectually, creatively, morally and politically, because choosing to study English is choosing to broaden your mind.
As a student at one of the top 100 universities to study English in the world, you will gain access to our Special Collections and Digital Humanities Lab, unique Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and take advantage of our research power in English, which ranks 4th highest in the UK. The University of Exeter was rated gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and within the English department our staff’s expertise spans the entire academic landscape, with specialist knowledge in film studies and creative writing. The supportive teaching style will give you the skills required to critically analyse texts, draw informed comparisons and challenge theories with confidence. From a vibrant city centre location, with coast and countryside on your doorstep, you will hone your investigative skills to become an accomplished independent researcher, and through exploration of literary greats, will define your own writing style.
We’re proud to say that 95% of our graduates are in employment or further study six month after graduation. English degrees offer a wide range of transferable skills that lead not only to humanities jobs, but a diverse range of careers across multiple industries. At Exeter University, you enjoy flexibility to build a programme that covers the areas you’re most passionate about. You can even combine English with another subject under our Flexible Combined Honours Scheme, incorporate Employment Experience and have the opportunity to study abroad at a range of partner institutions in Europe, USA, Canada and elsewhere.
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, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
The first year of study will provide you with a rich foundation in the evolution of English literature from Genesis to Frankenstein. It will give you the theoretical tools to interrogate how literature and culture intersect, and offer you essential training in university-level research and writing. In addition to courses giving you a foundation in the analysis of poetry and poetic form, you are offered a choice of modules in the second term, introducing you to important sub-fields of our subject such as creative writing, film studies or Shakespeare.
In your second year you will develop a path of study by selecting four optional modules. You can choose from modules covering specific periods of English literature spanning Medieval to Modernism, and from a range of non-chronological topics such as transatlantic literatures, adaptation, critical theory and creative industries, including further options in both film studies and creative writing.
You will choose ONE or TWO modules concerned with literature pre-1750, and ONE or TWO modules concerned with literature post-1750. There is also a list of modules which are not concerned with a particular historical period; you may choose up to TWO of these, though you are not required to choose any.
In your final year you will select three optional modules from an extensive list of options. Our optional modules will allow you to learn from academics at the cutting edge of their field and become part of the debate on topics that may include the writings of James Joyce, representations of India in film and fiction, surrealism and its legacies, or literary cultures of realism. They will enable you to delve deeper into topics such as Elizabethan literature and culture, advanced critical theory, or Dickensian England. Our specialist options will also take you beyond the classroom.
We might invite you into Exeter’s Special Collections and Digital Humanities Lab to work with archives and manuscripts, or into our unique film museum The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. In addition to your core and optional modules, you will become an independent researcher yourself as you write a dissertation of 8,000 words on a topic of your choosing with dedicated one-to-one support from an academic supervisor.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions please visit the English website.
Entry requirements 2019
AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34; BTEC DDD
GCE AL English Literature grade A; IB English HL6.
Candidates may offer either GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature. Candidates taking the IB should offer English syllabus A.
Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.
*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.
International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Humanities, Law and Social Science.
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 nature of learning at university involves considerable self-guided study and research. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and small group tutorials, led by internationally respected academics at the forefront of research. You will be encouraged to take the initiative by organising your own study groups, taking advantage of online and traditional learning resources, and managing your personal workload and time.
Most of your work will be done in group and self-directed study: reading or viewing module material, writing essays or preparing for your seminar presentations. We encourage you to present your work because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process, and develops important transferable skills such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people. You will also develop a range of professional skills, such as time management and team working, plus valuable critical, analytical and communication skills.
In your first year, you will receive a minimum of 10 hours of contact with academic staff per week. You will also be expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities and film screenings. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time.
We are actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including the increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where you can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as discussion forums.
You will also have access to online subscription databases and websites, such as Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), MLA FirstSearch and JSTOR. Technical skills will include accurate notetaking from presentations, research and IT skills. You’ll also learn subject-specific skills, such as constructive self-criticism.
Film, audio and other mediaWe use a range of film, video, audio and other media to aid study of printed texts and other forms of cultural production. The Streatham Campus is home to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, which contains an enormous collection relating to the history of film and visual media and an online virtual exhibition. Our libraries have extensive audio visual collections as well as the Chris Brooks collection, which contains over 10,000 works of primary and secondary source Victorian material.
We provide an exciting range of special lectures and seminars on both campuses by visiting academics and renowned writers, actors and film directors. In addition to your academic work, the student-run English Society organises book and poetry readings, film screenings and social events, providing an opportunity to meet students who share a love of literature, culture and the arts. Students from the English department are always active on the University student newspapers, radio and TV station and in the University’s drama groups.
We believe that every student benefits from being part of a culture that is inspired by research and where modules are taught by experts who contribute to the latest developments in their field. This is particularly important in the final year of your studies, where modules will give you the most up-to-date research ideas and debates in the discipline. The work of our academic staff is of the highest quality with English ranked 4th in the UK for research power in English*.
You will have access to a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
You will be assessed in a variety of ways but primarily through exams and coursework. Coursework includes essays, a dissertation and presentation work. The ratio of formal exam to coursework is on average 40 : 60. Your first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress.
English graduates from the University of Exeter benefit from a degree which is internationally recognised and compete very successfully in the employment market.
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:
- Palgrave Macmillan
- English Heritage
- Haymarket Media
- 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
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.