English and History

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to explore how the world changed and developed around the great authors of history and how those changes influenced their works.

Course Description

  • As part of the University of Leicester’s commitment to being a leading academic institution, we regularly review and update our degrees and modules to ensure that they reflect the most up-to-date research, knowledge, ideas and teaching practices, as well as taking into account student feedback. We also have to take into account the availability of key teaching staff where this will impact on the delivery of the course.  As a result, if there are major changes to the course that you have applied for, we will contact you as soon as possible and will ensure that any disruption to your studies is minimised.

The disciplines of English and History are almost inseparable. Events throughout history have influenced the shape of language and literature around it from the all-consuming cataclysm of total war to the hushed intrigues of the English court. The English and History BA brings together these two naturally complementary subjects by grouping modules in such a way that they support and enrich each other.

  • Watch this video to find out what one of our current students thinks about English at Leicester.

This course will help you to understand how writers have been inspired by historic events, how they have represented them and how to read between the lines of fact and fiction to extract the truth of history.

In your first and second year you will divide your time equally between English and History modules. You third year offers you the chance to specialise more in the area that interests you the most. You will have the opportunity to study a vast range of English and History modules from the Middle Ages to the present day.

You will explore English Literature and History in every period, a feature which makes graduates from our course remarkable for the breadth of their knowledge. A variety of option modules will allow you to add a deeper understanding of those subjects that you find most fascinating.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
English, History

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2620

English at Leicester website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

Our student drama society LUTheatre presents a programme of new and classic works every year. New writers can see their work performed at the popular Proteus nights.

Literary Leicester, our annual festival of local and international talent, has attracted such notable authors as Sue Townsend, Carol Anne Duffy, Will Self, Amitav Ghosh, Jacqueline Wilson and Sarah Waters.

Our staff teach and research across a wide range of topics - from medieval to modern periods and across all the continents. This is reflected in the diversity and breadth of modules that you can study.

Our New History Lab brings together staff and students every fortnight to discuss history over tea and cake. Guest speakers have included newsreader Julie Etchingham and historian Melvyn Bragg.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

In your first year you split your studies equally between English and History.

Core modules

  • Reading English
  • Barbarism and Civilisation: Medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • The Shock of the Modern
  • Renaissance Drama
  • The History of the English Language

Option modulesa

Choose one option module from:

  • Global History: Connections and Cultures in a Changing World, 1750 to the present
  • Great Britain: The State We’re In
  • American History since 1877
  • Europe 1861-1991: Emancipation and Subjugation

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

In your second year you will continue to divide your studies equally between the two subjects. You will learn about some of the most influential medieval and early modern literary texts and their impact on literary traditions and the development of the English language. You will take a thematic approach to History, studying topics such as race, gender, religion, society and spaces.

You will also decide whether to write your third year dissertation in English or History. If you choose History then you must take the option module The Historian's Craft to hone your investigative and analysis skills.

Core modules

  • Chaucer and the English Tradition
  • From Satire to Sensibility: Literature 1660-1789
  • Perceiving the Past
  • Medieval Literatures

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

  • All Bourgeois Now? Class in History
  • Global Cities
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Radical Histories 

Then choose one option module from:

  • A World Connected: Welfare since 1945
  • Blood, Position and Power: The Nobility of Late Medieval England, 1066-1485
  • Classical and Post-Classical Latin
  • Deviance and Disorder in the Early Modern City
  • Domestic Revolutions: Women, Men and the Family in American History
  • Early Anglo-Saxon England to Alfred
  • Enter the Dragon: Modern Chinese History, 1839-1989
  • European Humanism and the Age of Crisis
  • From Beer to Fraternity: Alcohol, Society and Culture in North America
  • History in the Classroom
  • Imperialism and Decolonisation
  • Ireland Under the Union
  • Madness, Monarchy and Politics in Georgian Britain
  • Origins of a Global Economy, 1815-1941
  • Peopling Australia
  • Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
  • Slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction in the United States
  • Stormtroops, Blackshirts, Arrow Cross: Fascist Movements in Europe 1919-1945
  • The Historian’s Craft
  • The Making of Modern British Politics, 1906-2007

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

English and History at Leicester have links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

History at Leicester also has links with some universities outside Europe and the EU. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

In your final year you write a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice. You are free to choose the rest of your modules during this year. If you write an English dissertation you will be able to choose five option modules. If writing a History dissertation you will choose four option modules. The option modules cover a broad range of topics, allowing you to tailor your studies towards your interests.

Core modules

  • Romantics and Victorians: Literature 1789-1870
  • Victorian to Modern: Literature 1870-1945
  • Post War to Postmodern: Literature 1945-present day
  • Dissertation (on a topic from either English or History)

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

  • Advanced Old English Language
  • Agincourt and Orleans: Lancastrian England and Valois France, 1413-1453
  • American Masculinities
  • Austen in Antigua: Literary and Cinematic Explorations of Rural Britain’s Slavery Connections
  • Autobiography and American Literature
  • Blood, Terror and Belonging
  • Church and State in Medieval Literature
  • Cities and the Making of Modern South Asia, c.1750-1950
  • Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968
  • Classical and Post Classical Latin
  • Classical Worlds: Translation and Reception
  • Clinical Encounters? Narratives of Doctors and Patients
  • Clothing and Fashion in Historical Perspective: Case Studies of Modern European History in Transnational Context
  • Coming of Age in America: Representations of Adolescence
  • Containment and Resistance
  • Contemporary Women’s Writing: 1960–Present Day
  • Crime and Literature 1600-1750
  • Detective Fiction from Sherlock Holmes to the Second World War
  • Early Modern Fantasies and Fears
  • English and Education
  • English Around the World
  • Facing Modernity: Jews in Central Europe
  • Food, Diet and Health in Early Modern Europe
  • Fourteenth Century Crisis in England
  • From Empire to Nation: Modern South Asia c 1857-1947
  • Genocides and Mass Violence in Europe and its Colonies in the Twentieth Century
  • Gothic: from Otranto to Wuthering Heights
  • Harem and Hijab: Writing about the Position of Women in Islam, 1716-Present Day
  • How Soon is Now? A Social History of Urban England 1945-1991
  • Ideals of Womanhood in Nineteenth Century America
  • Imagining London: The City in Early Modern Literature
  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, c. 1350-1650
  • Israel/Palestine, the Story of a Land
  • Jane Austen: The Novels, their Contexts and their Adaptations
  • Kingdoms of Ice and Snow: Exploration in Writing and Film
  • Late Victorian Gothic: Texts and Context
  • Libertine Literature 1660-1690
  • Literature in Action
  • Love and Death: The Novel in 19th-Century Russia and France
  • Love and Sex in Old English Literature
  • Making Nazis: Propaganda and Persuasion in the Third Reich, 1933-1945
  • Medicine and Literature in the 19th Century
  • Modern American Poetry
  • Modern European Fiction
  • Multilingualism
  • New York Stories: Tales of the City
  • Parties and Politics in Britain, 1914-1974
  • Political Satire, 1681-1792
  • Poverty and Welfare in Britain 1957 to the present
  • Power, Politics and Everyday Life in Post-War Ireland 1945-1973
  • Representing the Holocaust
  • Slavery in the Americas
  • The Age of Bede and Alcuin
  • The American Revolution
  • The British Abroad: Europe, the Atlantic and the Formulation of Britain in the 17th and 18th Centuries
  • The Crusading Movement in the Fourteenth Century
  • The Decline of a World Power: British Foreign and Defence Policy, 1898-1968
  • The Forms of Modern Poetry
  • The French Revolution, 1789-1804
  • The Holocaust: Genocide in Europe
  • The Imperial Economy: Britain and the Wider World 1815-1914
  • The Medieval Natural World
  • The Presidency of Franklin D Roosevelt
  • The Thatcher Factor: the 1980s in Literature
  • The Transformation of Leicester 1945 - 1980
  • The USA and the Vietnam War
  • Tragedy
  • Twenty First Century Global Fiction
  • Understanding Screenplays
  • Visions of Hell: The Fiction of Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark
  • War, Trauma and the Novel
  • When Two Dragons Fight: China and Japan at War in the Twentieth Century
  • Woman and the Feminine in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • Women in American Society from Civil War to First World War
  • Writing on the Threshold
  • Writing the Middle Ages: Medievalism in Contemporary Fiction
  • Writing Voices

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor degrees enable you to create your own degree. You can study a core area in depth (your major subject), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Find out more

Teaching and Assessment


For each module you will typically have one or two lectures and a seminar each week, along with a number of additional events such as workshops on research and study skills, learning groups, and introduced film screenings. Lectures are designed to introduce you to important debates and contexts for understanding an author’s work. Weekly seminars, in which a tutor leads a small group of students in discussion, will allow you to explore a text or topic in depth.

When you study the ‘Renaissance Drama’ module in your first year, you will take part in a workshop with local theatre companies, including the opportunity to stage the climactic scenes of Shakespeare’s 'Richard III' actually on Bosworth Battlefield itself.

For your third-year dissertation you receive one-to-one tuition across the term from a tutor with an interest in your chosen subject.


You will be assessed through a combination of essays, group work, oral presentations, and exams. These assessments are designed to help you build confidence in a range of skills and to provide prospective employers with evidence that you can work effectively both as an independent researcher and as a team member.

You will have regular meetings with your Personal Tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your Personal Tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for English courses in 2016/17: 

Year 1: 14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours
  • Independent learning: 1032 hours

Year 2: 14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours
  • Independent learning: 1032 hours
Optional year abroad: If you're spending a year abroad, your contact will vary depending on the institution you're studying at. 

Final year: 11% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 132 hours
  • Independent learning: 1068 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB at A-Level including English (Language, Literature or combined) and History. Two AS-Levels considered in place of one A-Level. General Studies is accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB at A-Level including English (Language, Literature or combined) and History + EPQ at grade B.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points, including 6 in Higher Level English
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at distinction. To include 12 credits at Distinction in English Level 3 Modules.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM. Plus grade B in A-Level English (Language, Literature or combined)

Other national and international qualifications considered.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed: If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2018

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.


  • Starting in 2018

    • £15,980 per year
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,995 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

All students take part in the Talent Academy, which will introduce you to the resources provided by our Careers Development Service and provides opportunities to gain work experience with leading employers.

'History in the Classroom' is a Second Year module in which you can spend one afternoon a week under the direct supervision of a qualified classroom teacher in a local school where you will teach some History. If you are thinking of teaching as a profession, this is the module for you.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
English and History BA 3 years full-time VQ13 Apply Now
English and History with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time VQ13 Apply Now
English and History
3 years full-time
English and History with Year Abroad
4 years full-time

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