English BA (Hons)

Key information


The BA English degree programme gives you the flexibility to combine the study of Literature and Language in a balance that suits you, and offers optional modules in Creative Writing in Years Two and Three.

Our Literature modules cover a wide range of texts, genres and themes from the early medieval period to the present day. Our Language modules aim to provide understanding of the historical, social and psychological factors that shape the English language used in everyday life.

Programme in detail

Through a range of entirely optional modules, you may choose to construct a programme combining English Language and Literature, or to specialise in either part of the subject. The Language modules aim to provide understanding of the historical, social and psychological factors that shape the English language used in everyday life, while the Literature modules are designed to foster interpretive skills applying to a wide range of genres and historical periods.

Year One introduces key skills necessary for the advanced study of English Literature and Language. You will study the historical developments of the English language and of literatures in English, alongside approaches to textual analysis and interpretation. Year One modules will also introduce key study skills including academic writing and independent learning.

In Years Two and Three, you will have the freedom to plan the specific path that you follow through the programme.
Year Two focuses on the major periods of English Literature and core aspects of English Language study. Modules available examine the literatures of specific historical periods, eg the medieval, Victorian, or modernist, or areas of language study including child language acquisition or psycholinguistics.

In Year Three the emphasis is on specialisation within different literary genres and on the social, legal and other contexts of English language. You will also develop skills of independent research – for instance, by choosing to write a dissertation on a topic of your own design – and you will also have the option to take a work placement module that will give you workplace experience with an organisation relevant to your degree.

Year in Industry 

This programme is available with a Year in Industry. Year Three is spent on a paid placement within an organisation in industry, broadly defined. You will be supported by the School of the Arts and the Department throughout, and your reflexive written account of the experience will contribute towards your final degree result. If you wish to study this programme with a Year in Industry please put the option code YI in the Further Choices section of your UCAS application form.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

English partners well with many disciplines in the arts and humanities, including Communication & Media, History, and Philosophy. Combining English with another subject allows you to take advantage of the range of choice available on our English programmes while also developing your interests in another subject.

In Year One, you will take modules aimed at developing the skills necessary for advanced study in English Literature and Language. From Year Two, you will choose from a range of Literature modules that focus on specific periods, genres or themes, and Language modules that develop your understanding of the ways in which language works in the world. You can choose to maintain an even balance of Language and Literature study, or to specialise in one aspect of the subject.

In each year, you will take 60 credits of English and 60 credits from your other subject choice.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

170 Year One undergraduates in 2018

Graduate prospects

99% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)

Research performance

Ranked 10th in the UK for 4* and 3* research in the REF 2014 (THE 2014)

Facts and figures

Three BBC "New Generation thinkers" teach in the department. Staff at Liverpool are internationally renowned for their work, as evidenced by the presence of three BBC ‘New Generation’ thinkers within the department.

Why this subject?

Challenge yourself to look deeper

We will challenge you to engage fully with words and texts, informed by the best in critical thinking and debate. The flexible framework of our programmes allows you the freedom to choose areas of specialisation as you progress through your degree. Our English degree programmes are also valued by employers who recognise the skills our students develop, including teamwork, project design, critical thinking, proficiency in text analysis and communication and presentation skills.

Explore English in all its breadth

Our Literature modules cover a wide and continuous range of writing in English, from the Middle Ages to the present, and including every major genre: drama, prose fiction, poetry and nonfictional prose. Language modules cover topics ranging from the history, contexts and regional variations of English to child language acquisition and multilingualism. Our Creative Writing modules are provided by a group of award-winning writers.

Share ideas in our small group tutorials

We are committed to small group teaching.This encourages a more rewarding learning experience, where ideas are shared and explored with your peers and tutors.

Debate with leading academics in the field

Our tutors are all respected academics - including four BBC "New Generation Thinkers". Our teaching is research-led, which means not only will you be challenged intellectually but your own research skills will be fostered and encouraged.

English Attainments Scholarships

We are pleased to offer two Attainment Scholarships per year to undergraduate students from the UK or EU. The Scholarships will cover the entire Home (UK/EU) tuition fee for both Years 2 and 3 (currently £9,250 per annum). Awards will be made by the department at the end of Year 1, based on performance.