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English and Film Studies BA

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

UCAS code
Year of entry
View 2018 entry »
Course length
3 years full time
English »
Media Arts »

This Joint Honours degree allows you to combine English and Film Studies, considering the cultural and creative impact of both literature and film.

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.

In Film Studies, our unique 360˚ approach to cinema allows you to understand film from every angle: from stars to directors, historical origins to contemporary economics, socio-political contexts, to aesthetic achievements and from the dynamics of screenplays to the global cultures that shape production, reception and film form itself. You'll come away from the course speaking confidently about concepts and ideas, with the ability to deftly critique them, too – ideal skills for the communication industries, creative arts and beyond. Taking this approach, you will study film and television from Hollywood and Europe, Bollywood, Asia and Latin America alongside a range of more experimental non-narrative film, television and digital media forms.

  • Work with world-leading experts in European and World cinema, and award-winning practitioners from across the media industry.
  • Join a creative, critical community that ranks in the top 10 for research quality in Media Arts (Research Excellence Framework 2014)

Core modules

Year 1

English: Shakespeare

This module facilitates a deeper - as well as a more pleasurable and rewarding - understanding of the range of Shakespeare’s work. You will be encouraged to think about the plays as theatre as well as printed literature, although a main feature of the course will be its close attention to the extraordinary fertility and force of Shakespeare’s dramatic language.  While paying close attention to Shakespeare’s very different historical context in the Renaissance, the module will be equally concerned with the question of whether the plays are still relevant to us today.

English: Re-orienting the Novel

This module introduces you to the origins, developments and innovations of the novel form through a range of contemporary, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels. Organised thematically, the module considers earlier novels in relation to contemporary examples.

Film Studies: Film, Television and Digital Histories

This module introduces you to film, television and digital media history with a particular emphasis on how and where digital media intersect and converge with these moving image forms. The module spans the late 19th century through to the current epoch of convergence media. You will consider how even ‘old’ technologies were ‘new’ at some point, exploring the relationship between technological, social and aesthetic developments in new media forms. This broad historical sweep provides you with a chronological knowledge to complement and contextualise the bespoke theoretical emphasis of other core modules in either Film and Television or Digital Culture.

Film Studies: Critical Theory and Textual Analysis

This module concentrates on how we study film and television, introducing you to key debates in critical theory. Over four distinct blocks of lectures and seminars, you will gain an opportunity to explore a range of different methods in studying film, television and digital media—including artistic achievement and critical interpretation; close textual analysis; ideological analysis; national cinema and psychoanalysis. Each method asks questions about the relationship between the intentions of individual film- and programme-makers and wider processes. Across the module you will study films and television programmes in close detail, examining one a week, thinking about the relationship between how something is achieved and what it means.

Year 2

English: Shakespeare - From Page to Screen

This course aims to promote the interdisciplinary study of Shakespeare. It provides students with the opportunity for dedicated study of a limited number of plays both from the perspective of theatre and film studies and literary criticism. It explicitly encourages you to reflect on the creative tensions and cross-fertilisation between the two halves of your join degree.

English: Literary Adaptations

This module aims to introduce you to a range of historical adaptations of English Literature in order to illustrate the creative dialogue that these works have inspired over time. The analysis of the texts of these adaptations will be combined with an exploration of their social, political and cultural contexts in order to articulate the connection between creative work and social environment raising the questions of why adapt English Literature and what constitutes adaptation. By introducing these questions in a historical context to begin with, you will develop opinions and critical strategies that can be tested on more recent adaptations of the texts studied.

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

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

English: Love, Honour, Obey' - Literature, 1525 to 1670

English: The Age of Oppositions - Literature, 1660 to 1780

English: Victoria Literature

English: Romanticisms

English: Contemporary Debates in Literary and Critical Theory

English: Modernist Literature

English: Middle English Poetry

English: Medieval Drama

English: Tolkien's Roots - Old English Poetry and Modern Medievalism

English: Medieval Dream and Vision

English: Medieval Epic and Romance

English: The Gawain-Poet

English: Myths of Origin in Old English Literature

English: Old English Riddles

English: Intensive Shakespeare - Comedy, History, Tragedy

English: Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642

English: Theatre and The City, 1590 to 1625

English: Early Modern Bodies

English: Paradise in Early Modern Literature

English: Gender and Writing in the Eighteenth Century

English: Eighteenth Century Bodie

English: Tristram Shandy and the Experimental Novel

English: Fictions of Sensation

English: Creative Writing - Structure and Style

English: Writing Migrant Identities

English: Enivornmental Literatures

English: Four National Poets - Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead and Paula Meehan

English: Literature of The Fin de Siècle

English: British Drama from Shaw to Priestly

English: Dark Reform - Scandal and Satire in American Culture

Film Studies: Women's Cinema

Film Studies: Documentary

Film Studies: Psychoanalysis And Cinema

Film Studies: European Cinema and the Culture of Modernity

Film Studies: Film Theory - Hitchcock and Point of View

Film Studies: French Cinema: The Nouvelle Vague to the 1970s

Film Studies: European Modernism and the Avant-Garde Film, 1910 to 1939

Film Studies: Hollywood Star Performances

Film Studies: Television Genre

Film Studies: Modern European Cinema

Film Studies: Post-Classical Hollywood

Film Studies: Television And Identity

Film Studies: The Cultures of Celebrity

Film Studies: The UK Film Industry - Contemporary Issues and Debates

Film Studies: US Television Fiction: Institutions and Aesthetics

Film Studies: Contemporary Chinese Cinema

Film Studies: Beyond Bollywood - Indian Cinema in a Transnational Frame

Film Studies: Right of Reply - Autobiography and Poetry in American Underground Film, 1945 to 2005

Year 3

English: James Joyce - Revolutions of the Word

English: A Marriage of Minds?

English: Special Author Project - Conrad

English: Special Author Project - Woolf

English: Special Author Project - Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales

English: Special Author Project - The Brontes

English: Special Author Project - Donne

English: Special Author Project - Dickens

English: Special Author Project - Thomas Hardy

English: Special Author Porject - Coetzee

English: Special Author - Samuel Beckett

English: Special Author: Christopher Marlowe

English: Special Author Project - Oscar Wilde

English: Rewriting Mythologies in 20th Century Literature

English: Character - Literary Persons, Selfhood and Interiority in Early Modern Literature

English: 19th Century Literature and Culture

English: Special Topic - The Girl in the Book

English: The Post-Colonial Novel

English: The Pre-Raphaelite Movement

English: Byron, Modernity and Europe - 1780 to 1830

English: Sex, Death and Celebrity

English: African-American Literature

English: Science Fiction

English: The Literature of Chicago

English: Special Topic - Opium, Empire, Art

English: The Idea of America in Philosophy and Literature

English: Theatre and the City, 1590 to 1730

English: The New York Schools

English: Popular Music

English: The Nineteen Thirties, Fiction and the Road to War

English: Vernacular Writing

English: Special Topic - Shakespeare on the Global Stage

English: Reading Beowulf

English: Medieval Drama

English: Tolkien's Roots

English: Myths of Origin in Old English Literature

English: Old English Riddles

English: Advanced Shakespeare - The Problem Plays

English: Witchcraft and Drama

English: Early Modern Bodies

English: Paradise in Early Modern English Literature

English: Middle English Poetry

English: Medieval Dream and Vision

English: Strange Fictions

English: Beowulf and The Critics

English: Literature and Philosophy

English: Tragedy

English: Literatures of Genocide and Atrocity

English: Sheakspeare in Stages - Sheakspearean Adaptation Across Four Centuries

English: Shakespearean Echoes, Offshoots and Responses

English: Gender and Writing in the 18th Century

English: Reading Tristram Shandy

English: Everyday Literature

English: Queer Histories - Contemporary Gay and Lesbian British and Irish Fiction

English: Writing Migrant Identities

English: Special Topic - Ideas in Contemporary Fiction

English: Advanced Romanticism - The 18teens

English: Children's Literature

English: Poetic Practice

English: Odysseus' Scar - Time in Modern Literature and Film

English: The Art of Noise

English: A Year in the Life of Victorian Fiction - 1855

English: The Lives of Writing

English: Pastoral

English: Visual and Verbal in the Long Nineteenth Century

English: The Great American Novella

English: Ethics and Aesthetics in the Novels of J.M. Coetzee

English: Exploring James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

English: The Brontes

English: Reading The Waste Land

English: Dissertation

Film Studies: Media Research Project

Film Studies: The Gothic, Gender and Sexuality

Film Studies: Television Histories

Film Studies: Film Aesthetics

Film Studies: Materials-Procedures - Paradigms-Parameters, 1960 to 1980

Film Studies: World Cinema

Film Studies: Contemporary British Cinema - Issues and Themes

Film Studies: German Cinema: From the Post-war Period to the Present

Film Studies: Cinephilia from 1915 to the Present

Film Studies: Melodrama

Media Arts: Transnational Cinemas 1 - Issues and Identities

Media Arts: Transnational Cinemas 2 - Issues and Identities

Film Studies: Film Aesthetics 1 - Issues of Interpretation and Evaluation

Film Studies: Film Aesthetics 2 - The World and Its Image

Film Studies: Psychoanalysis and Cinema

Film Studies: Cinephilia

Film Studies: Film, Television and the Holocaust

Film Studies: 360 Cinema

Film Studies: Political Cinema: From Eisenstein to YouTube

Film Studies: Media Authorship

Film Studies: Multi Media Modernism

Film Studies: Contemporary British Cinema - Issues and Themes

Film Studies: Dissertation

The course has a flexible structure, whereby students take 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’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, and participate in study groups, essay consultations, screenings and guided independent study. In your first year, you will also work in small groups of just four or five students focusing on study skills such as close reading, essay writing and presentation and self-editing. As you progress through your degree, these tutorials focus on your own personal development, for instance working on your CV. 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. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

Assessment is carried out by a combination of written assignments such as long or short essays, assessed coursework,  formal examinations at the end of each year, online tests and exercises, presentations, commentaries and portfolios of creative work.

Your first year results do not count towards your final degree award, however your second and third year do.

Study time

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

Year 1

You will spend 25% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 75% 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 21% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 79% in guided independent study.


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

Year 1

Written exams account for 60% of the total assessment for this year of study, 10% will be assessed through practical exams, and 30% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Coursework accounts for 100% of the total assessment for this year of study.

Year 3

Practical exams account for 6% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 94% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers

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: A Level Grade B English Literature or English Literature & Language and at least five GCSE passes 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 
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a 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 Levels Grades B,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 ABB including English Literature or English Literature & Language. 
Scottish Highers AABBB  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

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
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.

Our graduates have gone into broadcasting, film and TV production and information technology and design. We've helped to create video directors, Hollywood script supervisors, independent documentary film makers, web designers, marketing professionals and contemporary artists. You could be one of them.

Along with your creative skills, you'll be able to walk into an interview with a thorough grounding in the history and theory of film and TV, and understanding of the economic and power structures behind media production – invaluable for companies who want to look ahead to future trends.

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

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

Other essential costs***: Film Studies - £80 to £500

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, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates has not yet been confirmed for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20.

**Fees for international students starting a degree at Royal Holloway in the academic year 2019/20 have not yet been set, and those for 2018/19 are shown for reference purposes only. 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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