BA English and History
|Typical offer||AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM|
|Location||Cornwall (Penryn Campus)|
Set in 100 acres of countryside, our state-of-the-art eco campus in Cornwall is a place where students and lecturers from the disciplines of both English and History work side-by-side as part of a vibrant, friendly and innovative community. Here, you benefit from being part of the University of Exeter, an internationally renowned Russel Group university, whilst enjoying a modern and more intimate place in which to live and study. Our combined English and History degree connects two well-establish subject areas to bring you a programme with a diverse mix of periods, geographical regions and interdisciplinary approaches for you to explore.
In English, you will critically analyse texts from literary giants who have made their mark on history, as well as tackling more contemporary work that deals with current day issues and themes. From the mechanics of poetry and the craft of writing, to interrogating the social and ethical contexts of Dickens and Shakespeare, this course is designed to expand your thinking. You will be encouraged to also pursue your own research interests to create a bespoke programme of study that will help you realise your personal career goals. Graduating as an accomplished writer and researcher, this course equips you with skills sought after by many employers in the public and private sector positioning you well for a range of careers in English, History and beyond.
We believe the best way to understand the present society we live in is to examine the past to uncover the changes in societies, conflict, culture, religion, politics and science that led us to where we are today. This three-year combined course will nurture your interest in history to allow you to develop as an independent thinker and historian. Our expert faculty at Penryn boast a broad range of expertise including specialties such as Cornish history, culture, memory and heritage, oral history, party politics, environmentalism and environmental politics, modern conflict, imperialism and 19th and 20th century North American History. Rated in the top 10 nationally for student satisfaction, Penryn possesses world-class facilities and as part of the University of Exeter you will also gain full access to the Special Collections and Digital Humanities Lab and unique Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in Exeter.
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 and History 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.
In your first year as an English and History student, you will take a carefully curated set of compulsory modules that lead you through the foundational concepts in each discipline, as well as the study skills necessary to flourish at university level. In addition, you can take a selection of exciting History and English modules as options.
In your second year, you will begin to specialise on the literary side of your studies, selecting two of our core period modules from the English programme, as well as selecting from our wide range of options from both disciplines. You may consciously co-ordinate your modules to focus on related themes and periods, or simply opt for a diverse selection of your choice. You will also hone your research skills by undertaking an independent study project based on historical and literary sources.
In final year, you will have complete optionality and take our research-led literature modules alongside another slate of History options. Your studies will be capped by a dissertation reflecting the full scope of your experience and skills: a long piece of guided independent research on a topic of your own devising (you may also take the creative writing dissertation). As an English and History student, you also have the opportunity to take our university-subsidised field trip, currently based in Rome and Florence.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions please visit the English website and the History website.
Entry requirements 2019
AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
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
We teach via a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as self-directed learning. Students are also encouraged to use the wide range of web-based course material that we make available. In the first two years, we place considerable emphasis on teaching in small groups, which gives you ample opportunity to participate, as well as providing close contact between you and members of staff. In the third year there are few formal lectures and much of your learning is through seminars, in which the usual format consists of students presenting reports followed by class discussion. You will also carry out a piece of research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice under the close supervision of a member of staff with similar research interests.
The ambience of the department is one of informality. Members of the teaching staff either maintain an open-door policy for student enquiries, or have a regular set of times when they can be consulted. On day one, you are allocated a personal tutor who acts as a mentor on academic work, as well as sources of advice for accessing wider Student Services.
Assessment is via a combination of written examinations, continuous assessment essays, oral presentations, group project work and a dissertation.
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.
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:
- 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.
*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of English. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.
View our English brochureDownload PDF
View our History brochureDownload PDF
BA English and History at our Penryn Campus
Hear about studying BA English and History at our Penryn Campus. View full size.