The English BA at the University of Leicester
In the UK, a ‘BA in English’ can describe different kinds of course. Some BA degrees focus only on the English Language, some only cover English Literature, and some are specifically designed to train teachers of English as a foreign language.
The English BA at Leicester involves the study of both the English language and literature in English from 800 AD to the present. It is primarily a literature course, with subjects such as Medieval Literature, Renaissance Drama, Victorian Literature and Twentieth-Century Literature. However, you also take 2 compulsory modules on English language (The History of the English Language and Old English) and you can take more language courses in your third year if you choose.
In the first year, English modules are designed to help you manage the transition to university and develop your study skills. You will become more knowledgeable about major literary genres (such as the novel) and learn about the development of English Language across time and space. A third of your time in the first year is spent studying an Option subject: options include American Literature, Film Studies, History, and History of Art.
In the second year you study compulsory modules which take you from the early medieval period to the start of the Romantic period (1789). Modules on Old English and on Renaissance Literature build directly on the knowledge gained in your first year, while other modules such as Literature 1660 - 1789 and Concepts in Criticism introduce new forms of writing and new approaches.
In the third year, you take modules on literature from the Romantic period to the present day. You also take two 'Special subjects' which are optional modules that allow you to engage in detailed study of one area of literature or language. Topics range from 'Women in Medieval Literature' and 'The Nineteenth-Century Novel' to 'American Autobiography' and ‘Postcolonial Afghanistan’. In the final year you also write a dissertation: a 5,000-word essay on a topic of your own choice, with one-to-one supervision.
Students who take a joint degree involving English and another subject will take half of their modules from English. They are taught alongside students on the English BA degree.
If you are interested in American literature, film and culture you will be interested in applying for our BA English and American Studies and if you want to explore the close relationship between literature, language and history then the BA English and History will be an attractive option.
The University also offers the following joint degrees: