Writing and English Literature BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)

Cambridge

September

Overview

Develop your creative and professional writing skills while exploring how English literature has shaped, and been shaped by, different societies on our full-time Writing and English Literature degree in Cambridge. Choose to study abroad for one semester, and get support to find work placements, as you prepare for a career in creative industries including fiction writing, journalism, arts criticism and publishing.

Full description

Careers

Our BA (Hons) Writing and English Literature will help you develop many skills for your future career, including literacy, communication, creativity, self-reliance and teamwork.

Many of our graduates have found success in roles such as journalism, teaching, writing, television, radio, the music industry, gallery work and arts administration.

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Our work-based modules will give you a chance to get crucial experience in the field that you hope to work in, and our links to local professional bodies – including Cambridge University Press, Windhorse Publishing and Writers’ Centre Norwich – can help you find a placement.

Find out more about our placements and work experience, or the faculty's employability support.

You might also decide to continue on to a Masters course after you graduate, such as our:

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Humanities, English, Media, Social Sciences and Education
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to the humanities, social sciences, English, media and education. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching, and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. In addition to these fundamental study skills, Students will be given an introduction to a broad range of disciplines whose skills and theories are widely applicable. Students will study a variety of writing styles in order to recognise, deconstruct and replicate various forms of persuasive, analytical, and informative writing. Students will learn the basics of intercultural studies and how these theories can be applied to real-world problems. Students will consider social perceptions held across western cultures, and the difference between social and self-perception, participating in structured discussion and argument. Students will be introduced to the core principles of psychology and will explore various current applications of psychological theory. Students will also be introduced to ethics and will learn about some of the key theories and thinkers in the development of current ethical considerations in a range of scenarios. This module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Intercultural Studies; Psychology; Composition and Style; Ethics; Social Perceptions.

Year one, core modules

  • A History of English Literature 1: Writing Matters
    In this module you will survey the history of English Literature between William Blake and the present day. Mainly using Volume 2 of ‘The Norton Anthology of English Literature’ you will study period, genre and form through a range of texts including: the novel; the short story; the essay and manifesto; poetry; drama; letters and graphic art. Each week, you will attend a lecture which will introduce you to key issues from the text and period, followed by week a three-hour seminar. The first two hours of the seminar will be spent on close reading and discussion. These activities will allow you to develop your analytical skills as well as your abilities in communicating the research and analysis that you will apply to the literatures under discussion. Working with other students in class you will develop your social capital and critical skills in whole and small group discussions. You will develop your sense of identity as a critical and adaptable thinker, problem-solver, researcher and creative agent as you apply theoretical material to the primary literatures under discussion. You will also realise the broader social and cultural capital of the course as you engage with key ideas and concepts related to, but also transcending, the literatures under discussion.
  • A History of English Literature 2: Reading Theory
    In this module you will survey the history of English Literature between the Anglo-Saxon period and the end of the eighteenth century, using Volume 1 of The Norton Anthology of English Literature. The juxtaposition of pieces by well-known authors such as Chaucer, Marlowe, and Milton with less familiar texts is intended to encourage reflection upon what constitutes the 'canon'. At this same time, you will be introduced to an exciting range of social, cultural and political theories that can be used to further the analysis of literary texts. These might include psychoanalysis, Marxism, structuralism, feminism, postcolonialism, postmodernism or queer theory. In your seminars, you will apply these theories to the texts studied. Each week, you will attend two lectures; one which will introduce you to key issues from the text and period, and one which will introduce a theory. These will be followed by a two-hour seminar. The seminar will be spent on close reading and discussion. These activities will allow you to develop your analytical skills as well as your abilities in communicating the research and analysis that you will apply to the literatures under discussion. Working with other students in class you will develop your social capital and critical skills in whole and small group discussions. You will develop your sense of identity as a critical and adaptable thinker, problem-solver, researcher and creative agent as you apply theoretical material to the primary literatures under discussion. You will also realise the broader social and cultural capital of the course as you engage with key ideas and concepts related to, but also transcending, the literatures under discussion. You will be assessed by: a portfolio of writing including a 2000-word essay which analyses literary text through the lens of one of the theoretical approaches studied; a group presentation at a student conference that makes the case for a text to be included on one of the History of English Literature modules next year.
  • Introduction to Imaginative Writing
    The module will introduce you to techniques for developing and sustaining creative writing and show you how to practice these techniques in your own short fiction, poetry and dramatic writing. There will be an emphasis on analysing imaginative texts to understand what makes them effective for different audiences and on practical writing exercises. Your practical work will address the processes, content, structure and formal features of imaginative writing genres. You will be given guidance on making use of journals and notebooks, on reading widely to inform creative writing practice and on engaging in constructive criticism. As the module progresses, you will explore the special techniques and conventions of writing short fiction, poetry and dramatic writing. Using critical skills developed through wide reading and from workshop analysis, you will re-draft your own work and produce a critical commentary evaluating the creative processes that you have pursued, analysing specific techniques used in your portfolio of imaginative writing, and identifying areas for future development.
  • Screenwriting: The Short Film
    This module will equip you with the skill base to make an entry level submission to the industry, both in schemes for new writers and relevant competitions. You will be expected to develop your own original idea for a short film. To this end it is vital that you acquire a real understanding of the form. The first half of the course will be spent analysing a range of short films to understand how story ideas are generated and developed into a workable template. You will then progress onto developing your own original idea in second half of the course, producing a short treatment and a script plus supporting material for a short film of between 3-5 mins. Your final submission will be divided between an analysis of a short film shown on the module plus the creative practice component.
  • Fundamentals of Publishing
    The literary texts you study on your English Literature and Creative Writing modules are inevitably shaped by the publishing process. This module will introduce you to publishing in the 21st century. You will explore the complex and rapidly changing role of publishing in defining what a text is and how and in what form and for what price that text will reach readers. You will use Darnton’s Communication Circuit as a model through which to examine the cycle of interdependent players in content development, distribution, and consumption. Through weekly seminars, the module will incorporate fundamental elements of theory, economics, law, and professional practice. You will interrogate the ways in which specific publishing contexts enable, or constrain, writers, editors, distributors and readers at different times. The module will serve as a foundation if you want to take History of the Book (level 5) and Publishing in Practice (level 6). Ultimately, you may continue to a career and/or graduate study in Publishing (level 7 and research degrees). Your final assessment will be a written assignment on an aspect of publishing studied on the module.

Year two, core modules

  • Writing Short Fiction
    On this module, you'll learn the techniques of effective short fiction writing, beginning with the literary short story and moving on to explore short fiction for younger readers and some areas of genre fiction. You'll be introduced to the scope and the conventions of short fiction in English through an analysis of a diverse range of classic and contemporary examples, examining the creative process from the collection of ideas at notebook stage to the production and editing of a finished narrative. Authors studied on the module may include Anton Chekhov, Katherine Mansfield and Edgar Allen Poe. Your writing exercises will focus on practical writing techniques for effective work, with key elements such as characterisation, setting, structure, movement in time and space, observation, point of view, opening and closing, voice, dialogue, cliché, description and dialogue. For assessment, you'll submit the best work you produce during the module, along with a critical commentary that'll include a contribution to your Personal Development Planning file.
  • Romantic Conflicts
    This module will develop your knowledge of the Romantic Period, which usually covers literature produced between 1770 and 1832. In this course you will develop your analytical skills as well as your abilities in communicating the research and analysis that you will apply to literature of the period. Working with other students in class you will develop your social and critical skills in whole and small group discussions. You will realise the broader cultural capital of the course as you engage with themes that transcend the literature of the period. Conflict can be found in all literature. However, in the Romantic period it seems to have been the essence of the spirit of the age. Percy Shelley called the French Revolution of 1789 ‘the master theme of the epoch in which we live’, and indeed many critics and historians date the beginning of the Romantic period from then. In fact Britain was at war with France for most of this period (from 1793 to 1815) trying to undo the revolution, restore a king, and with him, the old aristocratic ruling class. Class conflict was in the air well before 1789 as William Hazlitt notes: ‘the French revolution might be described as a remote but inevitable result of the invention of the art of printing.’ What he means is that an overwhelming public consensus had to be achieved before a revolution could occur, and the only way to achieve this is through the mass dissemination of ideas – through literature. Therefore, this module will help you consider your own individual identity, as well as your attitude and adaptability to ideas on a diverse range of subjects. Notions of class, race, debates over work, the individual in society, women’s rights, slavery, protest and land ownership all feature in this module and require engagement with you as a person who has to examine many still current ideas from the Romantic period. Therefore, the scope of this module is a large one.
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
    This module is structured around three main themes: ‘The Impersonating I’, ‘Victorians and Globalization’ and ‘Sensation, Scandal and Serialization’. These themes are central to the current re-formulation of Victorian studies and, as we work through them, you will be asked to engage with new critical developments in the field. In considering ‘The Impersonating I’, you will be asked to examine uses of first-person narratives in ‘autobiographical’ bildungsroman, the incorporation of multiple first-person perspectives in fiction and the impersonation of an individual in the dramatic monologue. The second strand of the module, ‘Victorians and globalization’, will involve how different forms imagine ‘the globe’, how the practice of imperialism both shaped, and was shaped by, the works that described it. The final theme of the course will involve a careful engagement with print culture and the development of sensation fiction. Through the course of the semester, you will experience something of the practices and rhythms of serial reading as we discuss the weekly instalments of a selected novel. From the outset of the module, textual study will be embedded in an examination of key historical developments and the issues - political, social, cultural and intellectual - to which these developments gave rise and currency. Formative and summative assessments will give you the opportunity to investigate particular historical and contextual phenomenon and will stretch your abilities of close analysis.
  • Writing for the Stage
    This intensive reading and writing module will introduce you to the techniques and conventions of dramatic writing, with an emphasis on writing for stage performance. You'll study the skills and knowledge required to create effective performance texts through a combination of reading, critical analysis of diverse examples from the genre, practical writing exercises and readings of students' own work in progress. You'll also explore elements of dramatic writing such as monologue, dialogue, narrative, character and physical and vocal connection, learning the conventions of presentation for dramatic texts. In later sessions, you'll workshop sustained pieces of dramatic writing, confronting the challenges of audience and staging. Your finished dramatic text will be assessed in the form of a ten-minute script. You must also submit a critical commentary addressing specific aspects of the writing process, including questions of staging.

Year two, optional modules

  • Reading Beyond Britain
    This module engages actively with widespread calls to decolonise the curriculum of English literature by considering some of the best writing from beyond Britain. You will consider applied theories that enable you to think deeply about issues of colonialism, postcolonialism, race, gender, empire, and canon. It is a sweeping module, covering not just 150 years but also oceans and continents, equipping you with the critical tools needed to participate knowingly in today’s trans-global economies of thought, culture, and labour. This module deliberately turns on its head new political and social movements towards nationalism and localism to think through diverse voices and non-UK perspectives. It seeks to tear down literary and cultural walls to develop empathetic critical reading practices and encourage reading beyond ‘identification’ and towards activism. The final assignment is a free-form 3000-word submission, creative, critical, and/or pragmatic, on the theme of ‘global literature and equality’. Accepted submission forms include blogs, YouTube videos, Twitter streams, essays, radio dramas/features, political protest plans/reports, short stories, artefact(s) with critical commentary, or (recorded) time-based art.
  • Film Criticism and Reviewing
    This module will give you training and experience in writing film reviews within a professional context. You will begin by exploring the nature and purpose of reviewing films, and consider the impact and influence of film reviewers on notions of taste and cultural and social value. You will then work through the professional practices of the reviewing process. You will gain experience in writing reviews for a variety of different readerships, across a range of print and digital formats. The seminars will illustrate review philosophies; planning and structuring of reviews; tailoring the review according to a brief; keeping film diaries; and developing your own personal writing style. You will share and develop ideas in small peer groups, with regular feedback from the module tutor. You will also have the opportunity to review films in a live context, through our links with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and Take One magazine. You will also be encouraged to keep a film diary and to write reviews for the student-led Ruskin Journal. Over the course of the module, you will develop a portfolio of reviews in a variety of styles and formats and for a range of readerships, which will form the basis of your summative assessment. You will also produce a critical commentary and evaluation of your development and working practices on the module as part of your summative assessment.
  • Writing World War One: Trauma, Memory, Resistance
    This module examines a range of texts to consider current understandings of WWI and its representations. You will begin the module by looking at the poems that have famously memorialised the experience of soldiers on the Western Front before widening your outlook to explore different forms of texts (including novels, autobiography, short stories and graphic novels) that present a more diverse range of wartime experiences on the ‘home front’ and ‘forbidden zone’. This will include experiences by ‘enemy’ authors, racial minority groups, the ‘insane’, women in war zones, and animals. Each two-hour seminar will have a (mini) lecture with a thematic focus. The (mini) lecture will be followed by close reading and discussion of related texts in the seminar group. These activities will allow you to develop your analytical skills as well as your abilities in communicating the research and analysis that you will apply to the literatures under discussion. Working with other students in class you will develop your social capital and critical skills in whole and small group discussions. You will develop your sense of identity as a critical and adaptable thinker, problem-solver, researcher and creative agent as you apply theoretical material to the primary literatures under discussion. You will also realise the broader social and cultural capital of the course as you engage with key ideas and concepts related to, but also transcending, the literatures under discussion, such as: the role of propaganda and the rise of anti-war writing (literatures of resistance); changing definition and realities of war through developing technologies; the politics of remembering and forgetting war and military conflict in general; new understandings of WWI derived from global history, race and gender theories; the relationship of war to literary and visual modernism; the psychological realities of war on combatants and civilians. Each seminar will offer you opportunities for formative feedback on your work and ideas, so allowing you to adapt to the challenges of the module and develop strategies for planning and completing your assessment. You will be assessed by means of a final 3000-word essay, allowing you to demonstrate your understanding of what has been covered, including your knowledge of set texts and your grasp of key theories and ideas that have informed the course.
  • Modern Science Fiction
    In this module you will study the development of modern science fiction, concentrating on major texts from the postwar period. You are expected to acquire a detailed knowledge of the history of science fiction and a critical understanding of the problems of defining it in relation to other forms of literature. You are also expected to gain an understanding of the distinctive pleasures which science fiction offers its readers. The emphasis is on science fiction as a literature of ideas. In this module you will be concerned primarily with science fiction as a literary form rather than with its manifestations in other media, but the demands of adapting science fiction to other media will be considered. You will read short stories, novels, and critical essays enabling you to develop a detailed knowledge of science fiction from the 1930s to the present day, and gain an understanding of some key science fiction tropes and sub-genres.
  • Contemporary Issues in Stylistics
    On this module, you will look at different types of written and spoken texts, or genres, and how they are structured linguistically. You will learn to use different analytic tools and approaches to explore how different text types work, and how they interact with their ‘users’ in particular contexts. You will look at how language is used to convey not only overt but also hidden meanings, such as ideologies, and how such hidden meanings can be systematically analysed. For this, you will learn to use a variety of both traditional and modern digital techniques. The module will develop your understanding of key concepts such as concordance, collocation and semantic fields to help us to answer questions such as ‘What do texts of a particular genre have in common?’. You will also reflect on the effectiveness of digital tools and know-how with regard to the analysis of textual data.
  • The European Novel: Desire and Transgression
    This module will introduce you to a representative selection of some of the most memorable and significant European novels, ranging from ancient Greek prose narratives and Renaissance romances to contemporary fiction. You will compare the ways in which different writers have handled elements of the novel such as characterisation, dialogue and narrative voice, as well as consider different sub-genres of the novel, for example magic realism and the epistolary novel. Texts will be selected to complement the novels you have studied on other modules, giving you a fuller understanding of the origins of the genre, and of its wider European context. Desire was a key focus of the very first European proto-novels, and continues to be a preoccupation today. You will engage with some of the changes and continuities in fictional depictions of romantic and sexual relationships, examining the ways in which topics such as same-sex desire, elopement and adultery have been depicted. The first assessment element, a 1000 word critical analysis, will test both your close reading skills and your understanding of the contexts and conventions of the early novel. The second assessment element, a 2,000-word essay, will require you to demonstrate an understanding both of your knowledge of set texts and your grasp of key ideas that have informed the course.
  • Modernism and the City
    In this module you will examine literary Modernism as an artistic response to the social conditions and technological advances of modernity. You will explore the ways in which the distinctive features of Modernist writing - subjectivity, the psychological, innovations in form, style and genre – are produced by urban experience. You will study a range of canonical and noncanonical texts that 'write' the city in order to explore the centrality of urban culture to modernity and to consider the connections between cultural geography, historical context and narrative form. You will study poems, novels and manifestos dating from 1900-1940 in the contexts of some of the following: the influence of the First World War; suffrage; changes in visual art (primitivism, postimpressionism); cinema and photography; the movements of Imagism, Futurism and Surrealism. Ideas of exile and expatriation will underlie discussion of the cultural exchanges occurring in London, Paris and New York. Working with other students in class you will develop your social capital and critical skills in whole and small group discussions. You will develop your sense of identity as a critical and adaptable thinker, problem solver, researcher and creative agent as you apply theoretical material to the primary literatures under discussion. You will also realise the broader social and cultural capital of the course as you engage with key ideas and concepts related to, but also transcending, the literatures under discussion, which provide: differing reactions to the early twentieth-century city, in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, gender, nationality and class. The 1000-word Critical Review that forms the first part of the assignment, provides valuable experience in summarizing and synthesizing complex ideas, whilst the 2000-word essay allows you to develop these ideas with reference to your chosen literary texts.
  • History of English
    This module will introduce you to aspects of the spelling, phonology, syntax and morphology of English from its earliest attested form, tracing how they have changed over time and why. You will begin by investigating the origins of language and the Indo-European language family of which English is a member. You will then learn about the history of the language, including the arrival of the Germanic tribes, the Viking and Norman invasions and the arrival of the printing press, as well as how these events map onto the various stages of the history of English. The remainder of the module will focus on analysing aspects of English grammar which have undergone significant changes through the language’s history, including: word order, pronouns, auxiliary, modal and lexical verbs and negation. The assessment for the module is an open-book exam in which you will be asked to answer questions on the history of English and write an essay in relation to (previously seen) texts from different historical periods. Discussions in seminars will focus on how to analyse historical data, applying skills and knowledge that you have acquired in other course modules and using a diverse range of resources.
  • Dialogue and Debate: More to Milton
    On this module you will study a range of key poetic and prose texts produced by canonical and non-canonical early modern authors. One of the characteristics of the literature of this period is its dialogic nature. The writers on this course lived in an age in which the religion of their immediate forebears was seen as heresy and, in many cases, they went through a school system in which students were trained to speak for and against the same proposition. It is not surprising that they were adept at seeing issues from more than one angle. Many texts offer the reader two or more perspectives on an issue, asking questions which often remain unanswered. In addition to these internal debates, texts (translations, adaptations, parodies, flytings, prequels and sequels) were also often in dialogue with each other. You will explore these issues in lectures and seminars, investigating the relationship between the set texts and their literary, cultural and historical contexts. These contexts include politics, religion, mythography, rhetoric, gender and sexuality. Upon successful completion of the module, you will have a greater understanding of Renaissance poetry and prose, as well as appropriate cultural, historical and theoretical contexts. You will be assessed through one 3000-word essay.
  • Writing Historical Fiction
    On this module, you'll study the skills and techniques needed to create successful historical fiction for a range of media (prose, TV, film radio, and other). You'll consider the issues which arise while trying to create a fictional 'historical past', and experiment with different techniques of conjuring the past, with reference to place, voice, character, food, manners and mores. You'll also consider the needs of different audiences and different platforms from the demands of a staged or radio play through to the differences between the scope of a short story and novel. Your assessment will be a 2,000-word piece of fiction (for any media or platform), and an accompanying 1,000-word critical portfolio.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project English Literature
    The individual Dissertation/Major Project module allows you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic relevant to English Literature. The dissertation topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present their findings using a variety of media. All of these activities will allow you to develop your identity as a researcher, critical-thinker, creative agent, and enhance your confidence and adaptability. You will realise the broader cultural capital of the module by making clear links between managing a Major Project and real-world project management as you conceive of, design, plan, manage and produce your Major Project. The focus of this module is independent learning. However, supervisions will take place so that your dissertation/project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. In total, you will receive 6 hours of individual supervision with your supervisor. Supervisions may take place by phone, email, Skype or other media, and include the supervisor’s reading time for any draft work submitted. Supervisions will allow you to develop social capital by working closely alongside a member of teaching staff and receiving - and giving - constructive feedback. They will also offer you opportunities for feedback on your work and ideas, allowing you to adapt to the challenges of the module and develop strategies for planning and completing your assessment. Your assessment will normally include a substantial self-devised written element.

or

  • Major Project Writing
    This module is compulsory for all students studying Writing as a single subject and optional for those taking Writing in combination with another subject. you will be expected to work independently, with guidance from an approved adviser or mentor, to produce a longer piece of writing or coherent set of shorter pieces. This may be in any genre, including imaginative writing, creative non-fiction or professional writing, provided that a suitable consultant can be found to support the project. Approval may also be given for a major editorial project, for example leadership of the university writers magazine. Three seminar sessions will support you through the main stages of your project, enabling you to review strategies and content. A maximum of 4 hours individual consultation time is available to each student in addition to the seminars. Arrangements for consultation meetings are the responsibility of the individual student. Work towards the final project consists of four overlapping stages: reading and research (including consideration of audience) resulting in project proposal; drafting (with further reading and research as necessary); editing, re-drafting and more specific audience engagement; reflection and critical evaluation. Your work towards these stages will be reviewed in the seminar sessions. You will need to produce a proposal accompanied by extracts from your reading journal at an early stage in the project. You will submit this directly to your individual supervisor, and it will not be formally assessed.
  • Writing Poetry
    Through critical examination of modern and contemporary poems, you'll learn to explore important developments in technique and appreciate the benefits of close reading to open up possibilities for language use. You’ll develop sophisticated approaches to the relationship between form and content. You'll engage in advanced workshop treatment of your poems, moving beyond explanation of sources and meanings to explore process, form and audience. The seminar topics may include modelling, seeds and sources, working with journals, presentation of poetry on and off the page, working with sound and visual material, and redrafting. Your assessment will be a selection of poems accompanied by reflective writing that explores key issues of process.
  • Contemporary Fiction
    In this module you will look at a range of fiction written in the last 10 years, examining formal and thematic issues and the relationships between them. You will consider narrative experimentation and the recycling of old stories and forms; the representation of and return to history; posthumanism and the limits of the human; globalization and technology. The module will invite you to consider the power and role of literature in contemporary society and the impact of literary prize culture on publishing and publicity. Taking place in the final trimester, it will also encourage you to reflect upon literary developments that have led to 21st-century writing and thus the texts’ relationship to those studied on other modules on the degree, such as Modernism and the City. Since there is inevitably an absence of established critical texts on the contemporary works studied, you will consider alternative sources of critical opinion (academic journals, the internet, broadsheet and broadcast journalism); and the ways in which new novels demand and shape new criticism. The reading list will be updated annually to ensure that all texts are those written during the last decade. Each two-hour seminar will have a (mini) lecture with a thematic focus. The (mini) lecture will be followed by close reading and discussion of related texts in the seminar group. These activities will allow you to develop your analytical skills as well as your abilities in communicating the research and analysis that you will apply to the literatures under discussion. Working with other students in class you will develop your social capital and critical skills in whole and small group discussions. You will develop your sense of identity as a critical and adaptable thinker, problem-solver, researcher and creative agent as you apply theoretical material to the primary literatures under discussion. You will also realise the broader social and cultural capital of the course as you engage with key ideas and concepts related to, but also transcending, the literatures under discussion, which provide: differing reactions to the early twentieth-century city, in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, gender, nationality and class. The 1000-word Critical Review that forms the first part of the assignment, provides valuable experience in summarizing and synthesizing complex ideas, whilst the 2000-word essay allows you to develop these ideas with reference to your chosen literary texts.

Year three, optional modules

  • Scriptwriting: Multi Platform Storytelling
    This module will introduce you to the scope and conventions of scriptwriting across four forms – film, television, radio and gaming – through analysis of a diverse range of classic and contemporary examples. You'll examine the creative process and engage in this process by maintaining a reading journal and writer's notebook. Your writing exercises will focus on practical writing techniques such as writing an effective treatment or outline, and exploring the different techniques needed for different broadcast mediums. For assessment, you'll submit the best work you produce at the end of the year, along with a critical essay, that'll include a contribution to your Personal Development Planning file.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës
    This module will introduce you to the work of Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontë sisters and to literary and cinematic adaptations of their fiction. You will begin by reading Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Brontë alongside Lucasta Miller’s The Brontë Myth and by assessing the way in which the ‘Brontë myth’ has been sustained by different generations of readers. The second part of the module will include a detailed survey of the diverse literary outputs of Gaskell and the Brontës. Through this, there will be a focus on the ways in which the four writers engage with their cultural contexts. In addition to thinking about the issues involved in debates about religion, education, social change, gender and familial and romantic relationships, you will be asked to consider the novels through the lens of disability theory and to assess their treatment of Imperialism and Empire. The final part of the module will involve an introduction to theories of adaptation and to rewritings and cinematic adaptations of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.
  • Renaissance Magic
    This module will give you the opportunity to specialise in an exciting period of literary history – the English Renaissance – and to pursue a thematic interest: the early modern literary fascination with magic. ‘Renaissance Magic’ explores the intersections between imaginative literature, science, religion and the occult, through the close study of various literary forms (from journal entries and essays, to epic poetry and drama) both canonical (including the works of Shakespeare, Jonson and Spenser) and more marginal (including seventeenth-century women’s writing, and anonymous alchemical poetry.) You will be introduced to various aspects of magic/occult culture of the early modern period: attitudes toward angelology and demonology; the learned figure of the ‘Renaissance magus’; alchemy; the fascination with and persecution of witches; and early science fiction. The variety of different texts is designed to challenge perceptions of the ‘canon’, and to broaden views of what constituted ‘literature’ in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. You will find all texts either in the Norton Anthology of English Literature, widely available for inexpensive purchase, or shared as documents on the VLE. You will be assessed through: an in-class (written) close reading exercise, worth 20% of the final mark; involving responding critically and applying some contextual knowledge to a short, unseen text; a 2000-word essay worth 80% of the mark at the end of the semester, showing your ability to read two or three texts from the course within their historical and cultural context. The choice of questions for this assessment will be available to you from the beginning of the module.
  • Spectacle and Representation in Renaissance Drama
    You will consider a range of plays from the period 1580 to 1642 in the light of issues of stage spectacle and representation in a variety of forms, including identity, sexuality, violence, and death. You will experience one of the greatest periods of dramatic writing that English literature has known, which has subsequently continued on the English stage under the UK’s great acting companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre. Primary texts will be taken from Shakespeare and his chief contemporaries, including a changing range of authors chosen from Thomas Kyd, George Chapman, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, John Marston, Thomas Middleton, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, John Webster, John Ford, Richard Brome, and James Shirley. You should check the reading list each year to determine specific plays. You will become familiar with relevant theory and criticism of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. In seminars you will be attentive to issues of performance, which can include active learning through play-reading and walking through a scene, or in independent learning through attending relevant performances or viewing film adaptations.
  • Working with English
    You should take this Employability module if you have had employment, want employment, need a CV, or have ever wondered how to connect what you do at university with what you have done in the workplace. If you have been on an international exchange, you can use that experience for this module too. English literature connects with every aspect of human activity, including the workplace. In addition to being a subject that provides you with a great range of transferable skills, it also engages in deepening a person’s social and cultural capital. Literature is about every part of the human experience and this makes it one of the most valuable degrees to possess - it help shapes your identity, as a broad range of ideas are examined through a thousand years of English Literature. Literature necessary engages with the world of paid work and this module helps you examine those links as well as gain credit for any work that you do. The CV and covering letter you will create can be used, and reused, after your degree, adapting to the needs of the jobs you apply for. This module requires you to complete 35 hours of work in any field, full or part time, by the end of your degree. The 35 hours worked do not have to be consecutive and might be excerpts from periods with various employers. Students with more limited CVs are encouraged to aim for work experience in areas that will aid disenfranchised people or are at prominent companies. Doing well in this module will be achieved through ambition; evidence of analysis in your work journal and having a tight and interesting covering letter and CV. This is potentially the most useful module that you will take as it will help you earn money and to apply for employment after university.
  • Publishing in Practice
    On this module you will explore the practical aspects of creating content and compiling content into a published product—and anthology of student work—with a theme to be determined by the module leader. You will learn practical skills such as the basics of desk editing, web editing, and using publishing software such as InDesign. You will also learn about legal issues related to sourcing content, the theory behind text and paratext, and the basics behind cover design and typography. As a student you will be responsible for creating a written and visual component of a larger anthology; as a class you will design and create the anthology of student work which can be printed in book form. The class will consist of seminars in a computer-lab setting, allowing the group to work together toward a common goal. Final assessment includes a creative publishing project and a critical commentary analysing your work on the creative publishing project.
  • Romantic Idealism
    The Romantic period heralded not only the beginnings of the Modern world, but it also looked towards futures and ideals that humans have not yet obtained: slavery still exists, and yet it was banned in this period; Britain passed the first animal rights legislation in Law, but species are still disappearing and the human relationship with other animals remains uneasy. This was a period in which old ways were sometimes driven out and everything seemed up for grabs. Even time was altered. In revolutionary France the old 24-hour clock disappeared, making way for a new decimal clock with 100 minutes in the hour, 10 hours in the day, 10 days in the week and three weeks in the month. This module will help you to engage in fresh critical thinking about ideas that you might never have imagined as well as your position within society. The module will deepens your social and cultural capital with ideals examined including: Human perfectibility; Veganism; Animal Rights; Women’s rights; Children’s rights; Slavery; Human stratification; Disenfranchisement; the Natural Environment; the purpose of life; jealousy; the Imagination.
  • Writing Speculative Fiction
    In this module you will be introduced to the craft of writing speculative fiction, including fantasy and science fiction. You will ask questions about what it means to write within a genre, whether the lines between genres are clear cut or blurred, and reflect upon what this means specifically for the writer of speculative fiction. You will be introduced to the specific difficulties faced by the writer of speculative, including how to build convincing worlds; how to invent convincing histories, literatures, and societies; how to avoid cliché in the writing and creation of unreal places; and how writers of speculative fiction map, explore, populate, and imagine fully their unreal worlds. You will be required to produce a portfolio of creative writing, and a critical commentary reflecting upon aspects of writing speculative fiction.
  • New Media Discourse
    This module explores the importance and significance of computer mediated communication, digital media and more modern ways of communication in a rapidly changing world. It also explores how new technologies have changed the way we communicate with others. You will be introduced to a wide range of theories and theoretical as well as analytical frameworks. These include not just critical sociolinguistics and critical discourse analysis but also more pragmatic approaches to the study of digital communication. You will also learn how these approaches could be meaningfully used to analyse real and authentic digital texts. The module consists of a weekly lecture followed by a one-hour seminar, in which you will work in pairs and small groups, providing feedback to each other and reflecting on your performance. The topic of the week will be introduced in the lecture and explored in seminar discussions. You will be assessed by a portfolio of coursework comprising two tasks. In the first, you will design and maintain a weblog on Wordpress for 7 weeks on a topic discussed in class, and each week you will post original content, receiving feedback on your blogs. In the second, you will write a critical essay on one of the topics provided.
  • Literature and Exile: Displacement, Identity, Self
    This module will introduce you to a range of C20th and C21st literary representations of exile. To be in exile is to be banished from one’s home, to be displaced and/or estranged from one’s country, family, community, and even one’s self. Exile takes many forms: it can be literal or metaphorical; it can be enforced or self-imposed. Through close readings of novels, graphic novels, poetry, autobiography and short stories, many of which were written by authors in exile, you will explore various forms of exile writing and consider various conditions and contexts of exile, including politics, race, sexuality, gender and disability. At the start of the module, you will be introduced to a range of theories of exile; you will explore these theories each week in relation to the selected literary texts and related themes of memory, home, identity, community, nostalgia, self, and language. You will be assessed by means of a final 3,000-word essay, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of what has been covered on the module including your knowledge of the set texts and grasp of the key theories and ideas that have informed the course.
  • Film Journalism
    Starting with an exploration of the various modes within which film journalism functions, this module will guide you through the world of professional film journalism, giving you the skills and knowledge to create original features for a variety of readerships in a range of media. You’ll look at working with editors; planning and structuring interviews; developing, drafting and revising reviews and features; and developing a personal style. Your explorations will be reinforced by regular formative assignments, leading to the creation of your own portfolio of work.
  • Theorising Children's Literature
    You will take as a starting point the need to be critical about literature written for young audiences, including early years and YA fiction. You will read children’s literature primarily as literature, instead of as a contributing factor towards childhood development. This process will demand that you engage with the primary texts through literary theory, including wider theory that is not typically applied to children’s texts, such as the work of Lacan, Bakhtin, Said, Foucault, Derrida, and others. You will consider eco-criticism, animal studies, disability, race, sexuality, and gender. You will also engage with changing historical constructs of childhood and the generic fluidity of children’s and fantasy literature. Reading will be set each for you to discuss in two-hour seminars.

Optional modules available in years two and three

  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme module will allow you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You may choose to take two language modules in place of options on your course from the second semester of your first year, or in the second or third year. You can choose from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish. In order to experience the learning of a new language, you must select one that you have not learned before.

Assessment

Modules are subject to change and availability.

You’ll show your progress on the course through a combination of writing portfolios, critical commentaries, presentation, performance, video and audio recordings, proposals, reading journals, exams, essays and reviews.

Each year you’ll prepare a Personal Development Portfolio, which includes a CV and personal statement. This will give you the chance to reflect on your progress to date, the skills you’ve developed and any extracurricular activities that will help you when looking for work.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Using our creative expertise and industry connections in Cambridge and beyond, we create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

At Cambridge School of Creative Industries, we believe in the importance of experimentation and risk-taking to create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

Whether writing bestselling fiction, creating challenging documentaries or sharing a piano with people on the autism spectrum, the expertise of our staff goes far beyond teaching. Their research produces significant funding success, leading to important publications and international conferences.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Activities and events

You can take part in our many extra-curricular activities, including poetry and writing evenings, research symposia and conferences, as well as many student societies including the Creative Writing Society, the Poetry Society and the Harry Potter Society.

Study abroad

You can apply to study abroad for one semester, and get funding to help you cover the cost

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)

£9,250

International students starting 2020/21 (per year)

£13,500

Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Scholarships

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

Drama and English Literature

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)

Cambridge

September

Writing and Film Studies

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)

Cambridge

September

Philosophy and English Literature

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)

Cambridge

September

Apply now

UK and EU students

Apply through UCAS

UCAScode: WQ83

Apply via UCAS

International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

Apply direct

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online