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English and History BA

Please note that information shown below may be subject to change.

UCAS code
QV31
Year of entry
2018
View 2019 entry »
Course length
3 years full time
Department
English »
History »

This exciting and challenging course offers the opportunity to combine the study of English with the study of History, allowing you to explore and reflect upon the relationships between literary texts and their historical contexts.

From Beowulf to the Booker Prize, English offers you the opportunity to study the full historical range of literature in English as well as the latest developments in the field, and even to pursue your own creative writing.

You can discover the earliest works in English, deepen your knowledge of Shakespeare, find out what is great about Renaissance literature, darken your view of the 18th century, and unpack the Victorians. The course's structure allows you to develop a sound understanding of key periods, genres, authors, and ideas as well as choosing from a huge range of options. You can study Modernism, Postmodernism and American literature, explore literary criticism, develop your own creative writing, and analyse the latest developments in global literatures in English.

  • You will gain a solid knowledge of the whole range of English literature from its beginnings to its latest developments, ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Salman Rushdie.
  • Study unusual, non-traditional subjects such as the body in the 18th century or time in modern literature or courses incorporating visual arts and cinema.

Studying History is exciting and rewarding; it encourages you to appreciate the human experience in other places and at other times. Exploring what people have felt, thought and done in the past expands our self-awareness. It will help to satisfy your curiosity about the past, acquire understanding of specific periods and problems, and make discoveries.

Our internationally renowned academics are developing the very latest thinking on historical problems; this cutting edge knowledge informs the curriculum and will enhance your learning experience. By studying History at one of the largest and most influential departments in the country you will be able to choose from an exceptionally broad range of subjects, enabling you to spread your studies across the medieval and modern worlds, from Ancient Rome through to modern China, from Saladin through to Margaret Thatcher.

  • 96% say that our teaching makes the subject interesting and 94% find the course intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016).
  • World-leading and internationally excellent research which is ranked joint first for its impact on greater society (Research Excellence Framework 2014, 4* and 3* research).

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in English Literature are:

Introduction to Medieval Literature
Shakespeare

The core modules in History are:

History and Meanings 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of historical writing and the associated debated around the creation of meaning via study of the past. You will look at changing expectations about historical truth, style and content, considering classical, Christian, Reformation, Renaissance, and Enlightenment approaches. You will examine the global professionalisation of historical research and writing as a discipline from the nineteenth century onwards, with specific case-histories including the impact of Marxism, anthropology, gender studies, Foucault, and Postmodernism. You will also consider History's response to Postmodernist theory and the state of historical studies post-Postmodernism.

Public History

In this module you will develop an understanding of how historians, politicians and communities make use of the past in the present, and the problems, opportunities and responsibilities this entails. You will look at the use of history in the modern world through a series of case studies and consider your own role as a consumer and producer of history. You will evaluate both historians' interpretations and the history presented through the media and in public and political spaces. You will hear from a number of historians, drawn from Royal Holloway and beyond, who will speak experty about the intersection of their research with the public sphere.

Year 2

The core modules in History are:

Independent Essay
Research Skills

Year 3

All modules are optional.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Optional modules in History include:

Gods, Men and Power - An Introduction to the Ancient World, from Homer to Mohammed
Republics, Kings and People - The Foundations of European Political Thought from Plato to Rousseau
The Age of Discovery - Expansion, Invention and Globalisation in the Early Modern World
Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe, 1770 to 2000
Mao to Mandela - Twentieth-Century Leaders of the non-Western World
Rome to Renaissance - An Introduction to the Middle Ages

Year 2

Optional modules in English Literature include:

Middle English Poetry
Tolkein's Roots
Medieval Dream and Vision
Strange Fictions
Myths of Origins
Old English Riddles
The Renaissance
Intensive Shakespeare - Comedy, History, Tragedy
Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642
Theatre and The City, 1590 to 1625
Early Modern Bodies
Paradise in Early Modern English Literature
Literature After The Conquest, 1066 to 1340
Gender and Writing in the 18th Century
The Age of Oppositions - Literature, 1660 to 1780
Tristram Shandy and the Experimental Novel
Fictions of Sensation
Victorian Literature
Romanticisms
Creative Writing - Structure and Style
Queer Histories - Contemporary Gay and Lesbian British and Irish Fiction
Four National Poets - Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead, Paula Meehan
Literature of The Fin de Siècle
British Drama from Shaw to Priestly 
Dark Reform - Scandal and Satire in American Culture
Contemporary Debates in Literary and Critical Theory
Modernism
The Art of Noise
Shakespeare from Page to Stage
Playwriting
Fiction
Poetry

Optional modules in History include:

History of the British Empire, 1763 to 1900
The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
Europe, 1000 to 1300 - The Structures of Power
The European Crucible, 1914 to 1945
New Worlds, Lost Worlds - The Tudor Monarchy, 1485 to 1603
The Birth of Europe, 400 to 800
The Ottoman Empire, 1453 to 1789
Peace That Is No Peace - The Global Cold War, 1945 to 1991
Virtue and Power - Political Thought from Ciecero to Machiavelli
Everyday Life in the Italian Renaissance
The Victorians, 1837 to 1901
The United States in the Twentieth-Century
The Holy Man
Mutiny to Modi - the Indian Subcontinent from the 19th Century to the Present
Rome and its Empire from Augustus to Commodus
Europe, 1000 to 1300 - Culture, Society and Religion
The Sacred and Profane - Cultural Life in Renaissance Europe
Killing the King: England in an Age of Revolutions, 1603 to 1714
Spanish and Portugese Empires in the Americas, 1450 to 1650
Byzantine Twilight, 1200 to 1460
The Politics of Postwar Europe, 1945 to 2000
The Georgians - Society, Culture and Crime, 1714 to 1830
Nineteenth-Century Europe - Society and Culture, 1789 to 1905
The Making of the Modern Middle East, 1789 to 1930
International Economic Relations, 1917 to 1991
Modern British History, 1914 to 1973
History of the USA, 1787 to 1877
The Later Roman Empire
Byzantium and its Neighbours
London Urban Society, 1400 to 1600
Tudor Queenship - Mary I and Elizabeth I, 1553 to 1603
The Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1095 to 1291
Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, 1955 to 1968
Modern Girls - Women in Twentieth-Century Britain 
The Russian Empire in the Age of Reform and Revolution
Nationalism, Democracy and Minorities in Central Europe, 1918 to 1939
Modern Political Ideas
 'The Devil's Decade' - Britain, America and the Great Slump, 1929 to 1941
Genocide
A History of Terrorism
Justice, Power and Religion in the Muslim World - The History of Shari'a Law
Entangled Histories - The Interconnected Atlantic World, 1500 to 1800
Modernizing Despots and Angry Mullahs - Development and Popular Resistance in the Muslim World, 1930 to 1980
Waging Armageddon - The First World War in British Experience and Memory
The Vietnam War and the Cold War in Southeast Asia
Children of the Revolution? France from 1789 to the Great War
Art, Architecture and Power in the Roman World
The Age of Thatcher - Politics and Culture in Britain, 1970 to 1997

Year 3

Optional modules in English Literature include:

Tolkien's Roots
Myths of Origins
Old English Riddles
Advanced Shakespeare - The Problem Plays
Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642
Early Modern Bodies
Paradise in Early Modern English Literature
Literature after The Conquest, 1066 to 134
Middle English Poetry
Medieval Dream and Vision
Medieval Epic and Romance
Literature and Philosophy
Tragedy
James Joyce - Revolutions of the Word
Shakespeare in Stages - Shakespearen Adaptation Across Four Centuries
Painting and Writing
Gender and Writing in the 18th Century
Lliterary Persons, Selfhood and Interiority in Early Modern Literature
Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
Tristram Shandy and the Experimental Novel
Fictions of Sensation
Queer Histories - Contemporary Gay and Lesbian British and Irish Fiction
Writing Migrant Identities
Special Topic - The Girl in the Book
Children's Literature
The Post-Colonial Novel - The Art of Resistance
Byron, Modernity and Europe, 1780 to 1830
Poetic Practice
Odysseus' Scar: Time in Modern Literature and Film
Art of Noise
Pastoral
Visual and Verbal in the Long Nineteenth Century
The New York Schools - Poetry, Painting and Music in the 1950s
The 1930s British Fiction and the Road to War
The Great American Novella
Special Author: Conrad
Special Author Project - Woolf
Special Author Project - Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Special Author Project - Dickens
Special Author Project - Thomas Hardy
Of Circumference: Emily Dickinson
Special Author: Samuel Beckett
Special Author - Oscar Wilde
The Brontës
Reading the Waste Land
Playwriting 2
Fiction 2
Poetry 2
Creative Writing Special Focus

Optional modules in History include:

The Later Roman Empire
Byzantium and its Neighbours
London Urban Society, 1400 to 1600
Tudor Queenship - Mary I and Elizabeth I, 1553 to 1603
The Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean, 1095 to 1291
Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, 1955 to 1968
Modern Girls - Women in Twentieth-Century Britain 
The Russian Empire in the Age of Reform and Revolution
Nationalism, Democracy and Minorities in Central Europe, 1918 to 1939
Modern Political Ideas
 'The Devil's Decade' - Britain, America and the Great Slump, 1929 to 1941
Genocide
A History of Terrorism
Justice, Power and Religion in the Muslim World - The History of Shari'a Law
Entangled Histories - The Interconnected Atlantic World, 1500 to 1800
Modernizing Despots and Angry Mullahs - Development and Popular Resistance in the Muslim World, 1930 to 1980
Waging Armageddon - The First World War in British Experience and Memory
The Vietnam War and the Cold War in Southeast Asia
Children of the Revolution? France from 1789 to the Great War
Art, Architecture and Power in the Roman World
The Age of Thatcher - Politics and Culture in Britain, 1970 to 1997
The Causes and Consequences of the Fall of Constantinople, 1453
Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, c.1140 to c.1300 
Modernity and the Victorians - The Intellectual Response
Berlin - A European Metropolis in the Twentieth Century
The Clash of Powers and Cultures - Sino-American Relations during the Cold War
Christians and Pagans from Constantine to Augustine, AD 306 to 430
Representing Authority from Henry VII to Charles II
Victorian Babylon - Life, Work and People in London, 1840 to 1890
The Age of Terror - Terrorism from 1945 to Present
Photography, Film and British Society 1850 to 1965
Malcolm X and African American Islam
History of the Bomb - Atomic Weaponry and Society in the 20th Century
Drawing the Line - Independence, Partition, and the Making of India and Pakistan
Villa, Domus and Palace - Domestic Space and Social Identity in the Roman World
Union and Emancipation - The American Civil War
The Death of God: From the Enlightenment to Psychoanalysis
The Monastic Revolution
Holocaust Witnessing

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take a total of twelve course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice. 

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, large and small seminar groups and occasionally in one-to-one tutorials. Outside classes you will undertake group projects and wide-ranging but guided independent study. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle, which provides a wide range of supporting materials. A Personal Tutor will guide and support throughout your degree and you will be supervised by a member of staff when preparing your second-year independent research essay and your final-year dissertation. 

We use a variety of assessment methods, including long and short essays, formal examinations at the end of each year, online tests and exercises, presentations, commentaries and portfolios of creative work.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 17% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 83% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 17% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 83% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 11% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 89% in guided independent study.

Assessment


Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 43% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 57% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 25% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 75% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 29% of the total assessment for this year of study, 1% will be assessed through practical exams, and 70% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB including B in English
How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Required/preferred subjects

Required subjects:  A Level Grade B in English Literature or English Language  & Literature and at least five GCSEs graded A*- C or 9-4 including English and Maths.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level including English Literature with a minimum of 32 points overall.

BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction*, Distinction*, Distinction in relevant subject including distinction in all essay units plus Grade A in GCSE English Literature
Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject plus Grade B in A Level English Literature or English Language & Literature
BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction plus A Level Grades A,B including B in English Literature or English Language & Literature

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers

AAB-ABB including English Literature or English Literature & Language

Scottish Highers

AAABB including English Literature or English Literature & Language

Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including English Literature or English Lit/Lang at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 24 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit. All level 3 English studies units must be passed with Distinction. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Choosing English and History at Royal Holloway will give you the skills and qualities that employers are looking for.; it demonstrates that you enjoy being challenged and are able to understand complex issues.  You will be well-informed, culturally-informed and alert, with strong skills in problem-solving, organisation and planning, research, critical and analytical skills and the ability to craft an argument.  

  • 92% of the recent English graduates and 86% of history graduates were in employment or enhancing their skills with further study six months after graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • The English department runs work placement schemes with The Daily Telegraph, the BBC’s Newsnight and publishing companies. During your second year, you will meet with your personal tutor group to work on personal development planning.
  • Our recent graduates have entered a wide range of careers including: as curators (Imperial War Museum, Museum of London), in information management (British Museum), teaching, finance, law (a barrister in the Lord Chancellor's office), broadcasting (Director of the BBC), marketing/PR ,national defence (Royal Navy), or the performing arts.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2018/19*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2018/19**: £16,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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