Home Courses English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) English Literature and History

BA (Hons) English Literature and History

Critically analyse literature, events, and contexts from across history

Critically analyse literature, events, and contexts from across history

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Critically engage with literature from around the world
  • Engage with historical debates from a variety of contexts
  • Learn from expert staff and expert researchers
  • Smaller class sizes for better learning
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Top 40

UK University

The Guardian University Guide 2024

Top 10

for teaching quality in English and Creative Writing

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024


rated university in the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF 2023

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Critically engage with literature, events, and contexts from throughout history

Explore your passion for both English Literature and History as you discover new literary worlds and engage in critical debate as you analyse texts from a variety of contexts, time periods, and authors.

You will have the opportunity to critically engage with literary texts and historical contexts from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, through the Renaissance and Victorian periods, and into the present day.

Your studies will take you around the world, as you explore wars, revolutions, and the social, religious and gender issues that shape our very identities.

You will learn from experienced tutors and experts who use the latest research to underlie their teaching. This ensures that you have access to the latest debates within the study of literature, as you learn the vital communication and critical thinking skills necessary for the workplace.

On this course you will

  • Study some of the most well-known names in literature such as Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and the Brontës.
  • Critically engage with historical contexts from the Renaissance period through the Present Day.
  • Gain an insight into a variety of genres and styles, including contemporary women’s writing and beyond realist literature.
  • Learn from our expert team of published writers and leading academics.
  • Engage with contemporary issues such as climate change, race and sexuality.
  • Build your degree around your interests.

The Course

Critically engage with literary texts and their historical backgrounds

Year One

In your first year, you will explore Victorian literature from the Brontës through to Oscar Wilde, as well as examine the exciting space of Modernist experimentation in the twentieth century.

You will also develop your knowledge of British, European and international history.

Year Two

In year two, you will delve into past cultures, experiencing the rich literature of the Renaissance and study some of the wars, revolutions, social, religious and gender issues that shape our very identities.

You will choose to deepen your knowledge of fantasy, fairy tales or the gothic as you continue to explore the globe through world literature.

Year Three

In your third year, you will select from numerous specialisms and design your own research project on a topic of your choice.

This list is indicative and subject to change. You can choose to undertake your final dissertation project in either English Literature or History.

Select a year

Contemporary Fiction: War, Women and the World – Bowen to MacLeod

This module considers the historical period since the Second World War, focusing in particular on the social, cultural and personal changes in relation to fiction. You will consider literary texts in relation to key contextual and historical information, looking at the new forms developed by contemporary writers in order to write about a period of social change, conflicts and controversies.

Critical Writing: An Introduction

This module is built around the key research, reading and writing skills that are fundamental to the study of English Literature at degree level.

You will start with the basic close reading techniques that you will use throughout your degree. the module then moves on to a consideration of research and library skills. You will also learn how to engage critically with secondary sources. Finally, you will learn how to plan, write, reference and proofread written work.

Literature Now: Reading and Writing the Present Moment

This module introduces you to the contemporary cultural landscape by exploring recent literary texts and transformations of the literary (film, graphic novels, digital texts, gamification, etc.). Tracing multiple forms of ‘writing’ and ‘reading’, you will gain the capacity to engage creatively with the present and to develop your own critical responses.

Make It New: Modernist Experimentation From T.S. Eliot to Graham Greene

This module explores the first half of the twentieth century, focusing in particular on the radical developments and experimentation associated with modernist literature.

You will engage with the forms developed by modernist writers in order to write about the period of rapid change, conflict and controversy in which they lived.

Making History: Theory and Practice

This module examines different approaches to a range of historical case studies. These will include, amongst others, social and cultural history, the history of women, gender and sexuality, ideology and discourse analysis, postcolonial, the history of the visual image, landscape and public history, the legacy of modern war, and heritage studies. Key concepts common to history writing such as periodisation and the nature of the archive are also examined.

Renaissance and Reformation Europe: 1350-1600

This module evaluates the political, intellectual and religious development, popular, elite and court culture, warfare and international relations and gender issues across Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire within the Renaissance and Reformation periods.

In doing so, you will gain a better understanding of Early Modern European society and the way it responded to pressure and change.

The Tudors: 1485-1603

This module moves chronologically through the monarchs and events of the sixteenth century.

You will consider the role of political faction in the decision-making process under Henry VIII; the impact of the Reformation at the centre and in the localities; the shaping of monarchical authority by the royal minority of Edward VI; and the female monarchies of Mary and Elizabeth.

The United States: An Introduction: 1763-1970

This module analyses the distinctive origins of American political thought and constitutional practice, the structures and effects of slavery, the origins of the civil war, the evolution of popular culture with special reference to jazz, the pursuit of civil rights and the emergence of the United States as a world power.

Agents of Change: Women’s Writing in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

This module explores the challenges made by women’s writing, both critical and creative, to established authority over the past two centuries.

Approaches to Research

This module will build on your earlier explorations of research techniques, with a focus on the development of time and project management skills as you begin to prepare for your dissertation.
Questions concerning how one starts on a research project and establishes viability of subject to a range of different approaches/theoretical perspectives will be discussed in detail, in relation to how you will choose their own dissertation topic.

Culture and Civilisation in Late Medieval England: C.1200-1550

This module offers a thematic and contextual survey of late-medieval England.

It commences by problematising ‘The Middle Ages’, focusing on historiography, myth, public perception, and the constructed nature of historical periodisation.

The focus is on England, but material from elsewhere may be used, and videos and field trips are normally employed in order to enhance your understanding of late-medieval culture and its conceptualisation.

Enlightenment Europe: 1688-1789

The ideas of the Enlightenment provided new ways of thinking about science, religion, education, politics and society and the place of ‘mankind’ in the world, but to what extent did the ‘philosophers’ transform society and how enlightened were they?

You will explore these ideas as you engage with the works of Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Beccaria and Wollstonecraft.

Environment and State in Britain Since 1945

This module explores the British state’s evolving stewardship over the environment since the end of the Second World War.

You will examine the connected environmental challenges that the state has faced in this time including pollution, urban change, resource depletion, species conservation and control, epidemics, extreme weather, the threat of nuclear war, and climate change.

Experiments in Fiction: Magic, Detection, Sci Fi and Beyond

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of, and ability to recognise, a range of genres in prose fiction.

You will gain an understanding of genre as a means of classification and understand that the way a text employs genre shapes its meaning.

Fairy Tales: Early Modern to Postmodern

Gain an informed historical and critical perspective on a powerful literary and cultural tradition beginning with the fairy tales written in early modern Italy, continuing through Perrault, D’Aulnoy, Grimm, Andersen to the work of more contemporary authors such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. It also asks where we can turn to for modern fairy tales, through a focus on the use of fairy tale tropes in the work of J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.

Fascism and Post-Fascism in Europe

By looking at a variety of case studies from across Europe throughout the first half of the 20th century, we will discuss the way in which fascism was both embraced and fought against.

In addition, by using literary and cultural forms of post-fascism you will explore how many of the core messages of ideological fascism survived despite being politically discredited.

From ‘Angry Young Men’ to Cool Britannia?: A Historical Analysis of British Cultural Activity After 1945

This module provides you with an opportunity to analyse examples of British cultural activity after 1945 within their artistic, political, and historical contexts.

The module discusses a series of key movements of cultural production, for example, ‘the Angry Young Men’; ‘Cold War fictions’; or ‘Thatcherism/responses to Thatcherism’.

Identity and Conflict in Russia and Eurasia

This module provides you with an understanding of contemporary Russia and Eurasia.

You will examine the recent conflicts across the region through the prism of nationalism and identity politics.

The module re-examines these conflicts by focusing on the sources of demand for national self-determination in secessionist conflicts in Azerbaijan (Nagorno Karabakh), Georgia (Abkhazia/South Ossetia), Moldova (Transnistria), Ukraine (Crimea/Eastern Ukraine); Chechnya (Russian Federation), as well as causes of intra- and inter-ethnic violence in Central Asia.

Popes and Politics

This module examines the nature of papal pronouncements and diplomatic interventions in the continuing evolution of the modern nation state. You will consider these ideas in the new ideological landscapes of totalitarian power, in the two world wars and the Cold War.

It will involve an analysis of the ideas, culture and structures of the Roman Catholic Church as they were found at work in the contexts of national and international politics in the years 1864-2005.

Re-Litigating the Past: State, Media and Historical Injustice in Contemporary Britain

This module focuses on how public histories have been rewritten in Britain over the past three decades, through the interventions of state, media, and voluntary sector institutions.

By studying these forms of investigations, you will learn about how private traumas are integrated into or transformed public memory, the ways in which and reasons why silences are maintained or broken, and the place of ‘the past’ in judicial processes.

Renaissance to Restoration

This module explores the evolution of poetry and prose throughout the Renaissance era and into the Restoration period of the 17th century, as result of major political and religious turbulence.

You will consider the works of Spencer, Marlowe and Shakespeare, who begin to explore gender and history in their work, before moving on to the satirical poetry of Donne, Marvell, Milton, and Rochester.

Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries

The module will also assess how far second-generation Romantic poets developed the key Romantic theme of reform, as you consider the influence of the French Revolution on the work of British writers during the 18th century.

You will study the work of renowned and revered Romantic poets including Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Wollstonecraft, alongside the work of Mary Shelley and Jane Austen.

Women and Gender: 1000-1600

This module explores the term ‘gender’ and its usefulness as a category of historical analysis. It will then explore major areas of research on gender and sexuality by medieval and early modern historians, examining women across all social strata, from queens and regents to prophets and peasants.

World Literature: Roots and Routes From Conrad to Afrofuturism

This module explores the role of literature in making the modern world. Using texts from around the world, you will consider a new sense of the globe, colonial relations, and the new post-colonial world.

You will consider our sense of having roots in the world, especially national roots.

Charting a path through texts from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century, the module does not aim to ‘represent’ the totality of world literature. Instead, you will study a selection of texts that engage with crucial issues. Within these, you encounter a variety of themes: from the violent imposition of imperial power, to the ecological challenge of global climate change.

British Culture Wars

This module explores conflict within British culture from the start of the 19th century to the turn of the new millennium.

You will consider the reaction to obscene publications and other literary controversies and moral panics of Victorian Britain, through to the liberal reforms in the 1960s and the self-censorship and the baleful influence of Hollywood on British cinema.


The Dissertation enables you to build on your research and writing skills developed during the first two years of the degree. It gives you the opportunity to work independently on a research project of your own choosing (with supervision), to pursue specialist interests and to strengthen and enhance your knowledge of a chosen subject.


The dissertation represents the culmination of your History studies as you complete an individual research project on a topic of your choosing. the 10,500-word thesis will include explicit methodological and historiographical dimensions and where appropriate, theoretical discussions integrated into the text.

European Literary Legacies: Writing the City

This module will deal with connections between the reader, author and cityscape.

Using Venice as an example, as well as key psychogeographic works by Benjamin, de Certeau, Debord, Sinclair and others, you will examine key works created and inspired by Venice over the past four hundred years.

By doing so, you will consider how cityscapes are created and affect conceptualisations of settings outside the boundaries of their original texts.

Fairy Tales: Early Modern to Postmodern

Gain an informed historical and critical perspective on a powerful literary and cultural tradition beginning with the fairy tales written in early modern Italy, continuing through Perrault, D’Aulnoy, Grimm, Andersen to the work of more contemporary authors such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. It also asks where we can turn to for modern fairy tales, through a focus on the use of fairy tale tropes in the work of J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.

Gothic, Romanticism and Women’s Writing: From Mary Wollstonecraft to Jane Austen

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the exciting range of women’s prose writing in the late 18th century, as you consider the relationship between such writing and the political debates of the period.

You will discover how this writing, while often underrated, was of importance to Romantic aesthetics, often primarily understood and defined in terms of poetry written by men.

The Cultural History of Death

This module explores how literary representations of the historical and social treatment of the dead presents a vivid insight into the cultural behaviour, ideology and social order of different cultural and historical contexts.
You will explore the beliefs and attitudes towards the dead within literature from the Middles Ages through to more contemporary examples and debates.

Unconscious Desires: Psychoanalysis and Culture From Freud to Žižek

This module explores the notion of unconscious desire and the expression of these desires in literature and culture.

You will trace the emergence of the ideas of psychoanalysis in the work of Freud and how various psychoanalytic thinkers have transformed the notion of unconscious desire and used it to grasp literary and cultural forms.

Unforgettable Corpses: Literature, Cultural Memory and the First World War

This module will examine literary products of the First World War, the methods by which the authors reproduced, described and fictionalised their experiences.

The second half of the module will also consider the use of First World War tropes in literature produced in the latter half of the 20th century, compare the application of those narrative devices, and critically assess the later use of those devices.

Writing, Environment and Ecocriticism

This module will offer you the opportunity to explore the ways in which contemporary writers and critics engage with images, issues and concepts of the environment in novels, poetry and non-fiction. You will choose whether you wish to engage with the themes of the module as a critic or a creative writer.


Find facilities and research centres that support your learning

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of expert staff and researchers


Our team of experienced tutors and experts use the latest research to underlie their teaching. This ensures that you have access to the latest debates within the study of both English literature and history.

Much of our teaching takes place in small groups. Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment.

It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.


Our BA (Hons) English Literature and History course uses a range of assessments methods, including:

  • Essays
  • Textual analysis
  • Commentary
  • Collaborative project work
  • Portfolio
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation
  • Manuscript work.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress throughout your degree.

Guest Speakers

Hear from visiting writers with regular guest events

The University boasts a blossoming writing culture and community, with regular book launches and conferences.

Some renowned authors to have visited the University in recent years include:

  • Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy
  • Matthew Sweeney
  • Helen Dunmore
  • Jo Shapcott
  • Sarah Hall
  • Bernardine Evaristo
  • Vicki Feaver
  • Sarah Hall
  • Kate Mosse
  • Alison MacLeod
  • John McCullough.

Work Placements

Gain vital experience within the workplace

We encourage our students to get culturally involved and gain experience. You could pursue experience as a student blogger, with student societies, with local heritage projects or with our own vibrant research culture.

In your second year, you will have the option to take a work placement module. This allows you to work as, for example, a journalist or within a publishing environment, then to reflect critically upon the experience.

Alternatively, you could pursue opportunities linked to your history modules and will have the option to work with sector-leading museums, galleries or heritage sites.

Our prestigious partners include Arundel Castle, Emsworth Museum, the West Sussex Record Office, and the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum – the setting for the BBC One show The Repair Show.

Our prestigious local partners include:

  • Arundel Castle
  • Bignor Roman Villa
  • Butser Ancient Farm
  • Chichester Cathedral
  • Chichester District Museum
  • D-Day Museum, Southsea
  • Emsworth Museum
  • Fishbourne Roman Palace
  • Mary Rose Museum
  • Pallant House Gallery
  • Petworth House
  • Portsmouth City Museum
  • Royal Marines Museum
  • Tangmere Aviation Museum
  • University of Chichester Archive Collections
  • Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
  • West Sussex Record Office
  • Worthing Library

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


Open up your future career options

Our English Literature and History graduates are highly-valued by employers for their strong problem solving and communication skills and often continue into a wide range of careers.

Career paths include:

  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Communications and PR
  • Local and national government
  • Copywriting

Postgraduate pathways

  • MA Creative Writing
  • MA English Literature
  • MA Cultural History
  • MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora
  • PGCEs
  • Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

104 - 120
tariff points.
A Levels
Access to HE Diploma
with 12 level 3 credits worth of English units at Merit.
28 points
with English Higher at 4.
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.


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