English Literature and History BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Course Finder Books

Find Out More About English Literature

Open Day Course Finder Banner

Meet our students

English Literature at Huddersfield


About the course

English Literature is one of life's great pleasures. It can be exciting, moving, stimulating and challenging. Literature has been a source of inspiration, entertainment and education for hundreds of years, spanning from the English Renaissance of the 16th century through to the present day. History is a fascinating and thought provoking subject, covering the cultural, societal, historical and political impact of the most significant eras and events of the past. From the medieval to the modern, history provides insight into the conflicts, empires, and disasters that have shaped today's civilization.

This course combines the study of English Literature and History with equal emphasis. In History you'll explore Early Medieval Europe and 20th Century Britain, whilst in English Literature you'll be supported to develop a broad-based knowledge of literature and criticism from a range of genres. By studying this course, you'll be preparing yourself for a future career in fields including teaching, libraries, archives, the media, industry and the voluntary sector, PR, law and accountancy (amongst others).

Why study English Literature and History at Huddersfield?

•  The University was ranked 13th in the country (out of 90) and top in Yorkshire for History studies by The Guardian's University Guide 2015.

•  To increase your future employability prospects and give you the chance to make useful contacts in industry.

•  In the National Student Satisfaction Survey 2016, English scored 92% for overall student satisfaction, ranking us the best in Yorkshire and History scored 91%.

•  We have a friendly, hands-on approach to delivering our courses. All our staff are high achievers in their research fields. 100% of the work submitted by our History staff for the last Research Assessment Exercise was internationally recognised, with 66% classed as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'. 86.9% of work submitted by our English Literature tutors was recognised as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

See what current English Literature student Sarah has to say about her course.

Here's what current History student Claire has to say about her course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

4 years inc. placement year

5 years part-time

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year / Part Time

Course content

Year 1


Core modules:

Early Medieval Europe: c500 - 1215

This module covers the history of, what was to become, Europe from the decline of the Western Roman Empire to the end of the 11th Century. It explores the religious and social history of the period, in a range of geographic locations and ethnic groups, from Scandinavia to the Eastern Mediterranean. You’ll have the opportunity to examine written sources alongside visual representations and material culture. You’ll also be advised how to find, evaluate and reference supporting material for your work; how to identify arguments and structure essays and document analyses; and how to present material orally, as well as in writing.

Twentieth Century Britain

Using a chronological and thematic approach, you'll be introduced to the major political, social, economic and cultural developments affecting British society in the 20th Century. This module falls within the ‘Communities and Welfare Research Group’ at the University and explores how Britons identified themselves with a variety of communities, relating to place, gender, class and other affiliations. It also explores the development of social policy in relation to the welfare state.

English Literature

Core modules:

Literary Genres

You'll be introduced to literary texts which represent the established genres that form the foundation of Western literary tradition. You'll have the opportunity to explore how they've been adapted, modified and reformed in later periods and across cultures. You'll also have the chance to explore literary conventions and innovations, along with concepts and terms used in the analysis of literary texts. The assessment for this module consists of a mixture of written coursework and presentational assignments.

Thinking Critically

This module introduces you to a range of potential approaches for the study of literature at university level. You'll have the opportunity to evaluate key ideas and concepts from a range of theoretical approaches, taking a critical perspective to the discipline as a whole. You'll then have the chance to explore how to apply these ideas to literary and other texts. The assessment for this module consists of a mixture of written coursework and presentational assignments.

Year 2


Core modules:

Research Skills

This module helps to equip you with the necessary tools to devise and plan your own independent research project. The module is taught through a series of workshops that support you in becoming a historical researcher in your own right. You'll have the opportunity to identify a historical research topic, locate research questions within an appropriate historiographical context and find relevant primary source material. As such, the course offers a significant underpinning for third-year dissertations and projects.

Work Related Project

This module will support you in developing your career plans and gaining experience that will help you to succeed in your future employment. You'll undertake either a work placement or a work-related project in your chosen area. You'll receive guidance from academic staff and the careers service as you plan your placement or project, helping you to gain the most from this valuable experience.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Hitler's Germany: Life and Death in the Third Reich

This module examines the history, memory and historiographical controversy surrounding the Nazi era in European History. It uses a broad range of primary and secondary source material to provide a deep historical analysis, rooted in the debates over the consent or coercion of the German population, the limits of the totalitarian model and the nature of victimhood and commemoration.

Modern India: from Raj to Independence C. 1860-1950

This course is designed to introduce students to the benefits, and complexities, of studying the history of another culture and continent, and the specific issues at stake in studying a colonised society. Thus, the course will incorporate both an in-depth study of the history of India, c.1860-1950, and the historiographical debates that have characterised post-colonial studies. To do so, it will utilise both the records of British colonial rule, and Indian sources (some in translation). Special attention will be paid to regional differences and to the impossibility of treating either ‘the British’ or Indian subjects as homogeneous groups. To facilitate awareness of the complexities of colonial and post-colonial society, the course will often turn to local studies and to biographies of individuals who lived through this period of Indian history – exploring both the diversity of experience, and continuities of thought, custom and practices.

Hands on History: Voice Film and Material Culture

You'll aim to gain a practical understanding of how non-textual sources can be used to write history. You'll be encouraged to explore at least three different types of source material and look at the variety of ways the past is represented in the historical record and the contemporary world. This may involve organising an oral history project or handling the objects in a museum collection.

Holy Wars: The Age of Crusades

This module explores the Crusades to the Holy Land from the late 11th to mid-13th Centuries in the context of contemporary political, social and religious developments in Western Europe and the Middle East. You'll be directed to different accounts of the Crusades in contemporary sources from the perspective of the crusaders themselves, as well as from the point of view of the Jewish, Islamic and Byzantine peoples who were affected by the influx of Western Europeans to the Eastern Mediterranean. You'll also have the opportunity to examine crusading activities within Europe (e.g. Spain and the Baltic).

Digital Victorians

This module studies the major themes of social, political and cultural development in Victorian Britain and its Empire. It explores the key landmarks in Victorian history and asks a series of historiographical questions about the period. You’ll be introduced to the major digitized primary sources of the era and will be shown how to use digital means for research, analysis and dissemination of your historical work.

After the Black Death: Late Medieval Society

This module will explore the world created by the experience of the Black Death in the 14th and 15th Centuries, focussing on England in Europe but broadening your focus to explore connections with the wider world. You'll start with the Europe of the early 14th Century – a place of high population and food shortage - and then move to investigate how that changed with the population crash of the Black Death. You'll be encouraged to use digital sources such as British History online, JISC Historic Books, and British Library Digitised Manuscripts.

Reformation and Revolution

This module aims to introduce students, through a study of primary and secondary sources, to the political and religious history of the Tudor and Early Stuart periods in areas under the control of the English crown. It aims to lead students to an understanding of the way these developments have been debated and still have a resonance in the 21st century. This is a survey module.

Medieval and early modern warfare in England

In this module you will explore the ways in which warfare was conducted in the late medieval and early modern periods. The focus will be principally on battles fought in England, from Hastings to Sedgemoor, viewed from an archaeological and landscape rather than a purely military historical perspective. You will have the opportunity to examine the ways in which the interaction of troops, technology, tactics and terrain influence the character and outcome of the action. You will also consider how warfare can be studied using a combination of written and physical evidence.

Growing up in the past: oral histories of childhood and youth

This module deals with the theory and practice of oral history in relation to the history of childhood and youth. You will conduct at least one interview, and provide all the relevant ethical and archival documentation to accompany it. You will be introduced to the key problems in oral history of memory, ethics, intersubjectivity and narrative. Finally, in order to write about the experience of childhood and youth in the past, you will learn the analytical techniques which can be applied to oral history data.

English Literature

Core modules:

Literary Histories

In this module you will develop skills in contextual analysis relating to two different topics in literary studies. You will analyse digital resources, evaluate the arguments of a range of literary critics, and present your own arguments and ideas in a written essay and an oral presentation. The module incorporates a series of skills workshops in addition to the core of lectures and seminars on of two distinct literary topics. You will choose these from a range of options, which relate directly to the research expertise and scholarly publications of individual members of academic staff. The options on offer in 2017-18 are: - Renaissance Chivalry: Playing Knights and Ladies in the Golden Age - Twentieth-Century Fiction - Frontiers & Borders in American Literature - Twentieth- and Twenty First-Century Poetry - The Romantic Period - Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds - Extraordinary Gentlemen

Critical Concepts 1

This module aims to develop your understanding of key theoretical concepts and the productive ways in which these can be used in reading literary and cultural texts. It encourages you to engage with challenging ideas around nation, identity, history and culture.

Year 3

Option modules:

One option from a list which may include-

Dissertation (History in Practice)

The dissertation is a 12,000 word project where you'll be encouraged to use primary sources to research a topic of your choice. Alternatively you can opt for the History in Practice element which allows you to put the skills you've learnt in your time at Huddersfield into a creative project. This is an opportunity to present your work in a different way. Every year we work with external partners to deliver exhibitions, create learning resources and research public facing projects. Previous students have worked with organisations such as Leeds City Museums, the National Coalmining Museum for England, the Thackray Medical Museum, local schools and local history societies. Assessment is an oral presentation, and a 12,000 word dissertation or a 5,000 word essay and a Community History project.

Dissertation In English Language and Linguistics

You'll be asked to produce an extended piece of work supervised individually by a member of staff. There will be a regular schedule of supervisions and you'll be asked to submit evidence of your progress (outlines, drafts, etc.) at regular intervals. The skills workshops will focus on raising your awareness of research practices, and developing your organisational and self-management skills.

Honours Level Project

The Honours Project is a 6,000 word tightly focused project where you'll have access to primary sources to research a topic of your choice. Assessment is an oral presentation and 6,000 word project.


Option modules:

Choose up to three options from a list which may include-

The Elizabethan Age

This is a specialised module which engages students, through the study of primary and secondary sources, in examining the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). It aims to develop students’ understanding of key themes in the early modern era, such as gender, politics, foreign policy and religion. It also aims to look at perceptions of Elizabeth I’s reign in modern society by examining modern views of Elizabeth in writing, image and popular mediums of television and film.

History and Myth: Writing and Re-writing the Middle Ages

This module will explore aspects of medieval history in depth, focusing on contemporary narrative sources, both historical and literary, and including some consideration of related visual and material sources. You'll also engage with the post-medieval representation of the Middle Ages in both academic and popular terms.

Community and Identity in the Later Middle Ages

This module explores the construction and negotiation of community and identity in the later middle ages, through the lenses of gender and religion. In the 21st Century ‘the religious turn’ has focused attention on the need to understand these interactions, and the module encourages you to develop and explore your own case study and consider how you would share that with a wider world.

Henry's Empire

This module will consider a key era of early modern history with a strong focus on primary materials and the way in which they relate to key historiographical debates.

Britain on the Breadline

This module studies particular decades of the late 19th and 20th Centuries in order to determine the extent to which Britain experienced discontent in a period of generally improving living standards. You will have the opportunity to study Britain in the 1930s or the 1970s.

The Great War: Culture and Society

The module examines the origins of the war, the military course of the conflict, its effect on domestic society and reactions to the war through literature, art and memorial architecture. The focus of the module is on the British experience, though it will consider continental European and imperial experiences too.

The Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance and Memory in Wartime France

This module examines the history and memory of the French experience of World War II, focusing on the German Occupation, the Vichy Regime, French collaboration, and the development of internal and external resistance. You'll have access to a broad range of primary and secondary source material to provide a cultural historical analysis, rooted in the debates over silence, truth and representation.

Mindsets, Institutions and Madness

This module aims to develop your understanding of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries in relation to the ‘care’ of what we would now call the mentally ill and the learning disabled. By focusing on social and political, as well as medical themes you’ll have the chance to explore both the understanding of mental ill health and learning disability, and the responses to them.

The Body and the City

This module aims to develop your understanding of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in relation to health, medicine and the urban environment. By focusing on social and political, as well as medical, themes you’ll have the chance to explore key changes in knowledge about the regulation of the body. The primary focus is on Britain but comparative elements from other western European countries are included to put the British experience into context.

Bloodlands: Historical Geography of Interwar East Central Europe

This module will investigate East Central Europe in the period between the two World Wars. Carving states out of the remnants of the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian Empires created much political (and, in some cases, military) turmoil over border disputes and ethnic exclaves, some of which resurfaced after the end of the Cold War. You will learn about Eastern European history in the 1920s and 1930s, theory and methods of spatial history and historical geography, maps as sources, and digital cartography for analysis and dissemination of historical geographies.

English Literature

Core modules:

Advanced Critical Practice

In this module you will consolidate the skills you have previously developed in critical analysis and use them to develop rigorous independent responses and innovative ideas that engage with the subjects of current debates in two separate fields of literary study. You will choose these from a range of options, which relate directly to the research expertise and scholarly publications of individual members of academic staff. The options on offer in 2017-18 are: - Renaissance Chivalry: Playing Knights and Ladies in the Golden Age - Twentieth-Century Fiction - Frontiers & Borders in American Literature - Twentieth- and Twenty First-Century Poetry - The Romantic Period - Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds - Extraordinary Gentlemen


Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course offers a compulsory 6 week work placement in Year 2. Previous placement providers have included Pen and Sword Books, Oldham Evening Chronicle, Lotherton Hall, Rochdale Law Centre, The Royal Armouries Museum, DIG York Archaeological Trust, Leeds Mencap, Cancer Research UK, Poplars Farm Primary School, Aviva Insurance and the National Media Museum and a range of primary and secondary schools.

The ERASMUS+ exchange provides an optional short term (12 or 24 weeks) opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities where you join in classes and receive credits towards your degree at the same time. We have partnerships with universities in Athens, Ghent, Granada, Hanover, Paris and the USA.

Career opportunities

95% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating. As an English Literature and History graduate, you are valued for the advanced skills you have developed in communication, self-motivation, teamwork, analysis, creative problem solving and persuasiveness. Studying history alongside English allows you to keep your career options open. Depending on your specialism, your career choices are as varied and exciting as your degree course.

Our graduates have gone on to a variety of careers within publishing, broadcasting, teaching, writing, advertising, management, politics, local government, archives, the media, PR, law, politics and accountancy.

A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include BBC, Zurich Financial Services, O2, English Heritage, The National Trust, The Royal Armouries, British Waterways and Eureka Museum*. Others have opted for PGCE study and have become teachers, or continued their studies at Master's level. *Source: Linked In

Teaching and assessment

20.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc. Some of your submissions may involve producing a podcast, contributing to an exhibition or working on an archive. The assessment of this course will be based on both written and practical work including examinations, essays, oral presentations, research analysis reports, posters, research projects, screencasts and portfolios.

You will also take part in workshops where you might learn how to write better essays, produce a digital artifact or design a research project. You will also have regular meetings with your personal tutor who will help you to reflect on your strengths and identify ways in which you can improve.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our facilities are continually being updated with cutting edge technology to support your learning. IT facilities in West Building, where History and English are housed, include flexible learning rooms equipped with video conferencing equipment, interactive smart boards with all-round ceiling projection and audio-visual cabinets with the usual CD/DVD playback and pc and laptop connections. We are in the early stages of planning a new purpose-built building.

In the University Library and Computing Centre (LCC), only 2-minutes walk from West Building, you will find History and English subject specialists to help you find and use source materials. There are collections on books, journals, newspaper articles, and electronic access to a wide range of journals, parliamentary papers, state papers, newspapers and other resources, including an extensive collection of archival material.

The English section contains our rapidly-expanding collection of linguistics and literature materials, including journal and newspaper articles, books, audio recordings, and a range of electronic databases (such as Early English Books Online) and several linguistic corpora (e.g. the 100-million-word British National Corpus), together with the software for their analysis.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: Business English and Intercultural Communication MA International Communication MA English Language and Literature (MA by Research) Communication Cultural and Media Studies (MA by Research) History MA
History (MA by Research)


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 7.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry.

English is a thriving subject area with a strong research culture in language, linguistics, literature and creative writing that is internationally recognised and of a high collaborative standard. There are currently two research groups in English: the Centre for Intercultural Politeness Research and the Stylistics Research Centre. Current individual staff research projects also include: Grist: The Anthology of New Writing and The Anne Clifford Project.

100% of research produced by History at Huddersfield is internationally recognised, and two thirds of this is internationally excellent or world-leading; we more than doubled the amount of world-leading research we produced since the last REF. Our impact case studies scored particularly highly, being rated 20% world leading and 50% internationally excellent - REF 2014. We extend our knowledge and understanding of History through the production of high quality work, with funding coming from the AHRC, ESRC, the Wellcome Institute, the Leverhulme Trust and other significant grant providers. As part of this process we have also invested in early career members of staff with great success.

There are currently four Research Centres in History: the Arms and Armour Research Institute, the Archaeogenetics Research Group, the Academy for British and Irish Studies, Centre for Visual and Oral History. Current individual staff research projects also include: Mental Health and Learning Disabilities: Heritage and Stigma and Making the Tudor Viol.

For more information, see the Research section of our website.

You may also like ...

© 2017 University of Huddersfield - All rights reserved

VAT registration number 516 3101 90