School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) English with Publishing

Combine your love of English literature with hands-on experience of the publishing industry. Explore six centuries of literature, from Shakespearean drama to the graphic novel, and choose from a variety of specialist options. Apply this knowledge to your publishing studies, where you will undertake work experience and train in design, editing, and marketing skills for print and digital publications, taking your own publishing project from the initial concept to the final product.

You will get access to some of the best letterpress facilities and workshops in the UK, and enrich your studies with field trips. You will the opportunity to choose a sandwich degree with a placement year in the publishing industry, and boost your career prospects by working with Plymouth University Press and the Plymouth International Book Festival, gaining valuable experience in publishing, arts management, marketing and the book trade.

Key features

  • We have excellent survey results  in 2016, 96 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things; 91 per cent agreed staff made the subject interesting; 86 per cent agreed they got sufficient advice and support and 91 per cent were satisfied overall. 85 per cent were in work/study six months after finishing the course (source: 2016 NSS and 2016 DLHE survey results available on Unistats*). 
  • Choose from a wide variety of specialist modules, including period and cultural studies and creative writing.
  • Get access to some of the best letterpress facilities and workshops in the UK.
  • Receive free set texts for all core modules throughout the three years.
  • Enrich your studies with field trips including trips to Plymouth Theatre Royal, Paris (Modernism module), Saltram House (18th century module), the Jane Austen Centre, Bath (Austen module), the Imperial War Museum (War Writing), RSC at Stratford (Shakespeare module); a visit to the London Book Fair, the key annual event for publishers.
  • Boost your career prospects by working with Plymouth University Press and  the Plymouth International Book Festival, gaining valuable experience in publishing, arts management, marketing and the book trade.
  • Choose a sandwich degree with a placement year in the publishing industry.
  • Make use of our open-door policy and talk to your lecturers in a friendly and supportive learning environment.
  • Learn from internationally recognised research-active staff, including published creative writers.
  • Experience other cultures by studying or working abroad in either Europe or the US.
  • Write and be published as part of INK, the English and Creative Writing student-run magazine.
  • Access resources at any time with the University library, open 24 hours 365 days a year, offering a vast range of electronic and print materials, including a rare books collection. 
  • Make the most of a rich cultural life with Plymouth University’s Peninsula Arts programme and the University’s links with local arts organisations, like the Theatre Royal.

If you are interested in taking this normally full-time programme on a part-time basis please contact Rachel Christofides to discuss this possibility.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you'll be introduced to all aspects of publishing and the publishing industry, and we'll help you explore careers in the industry, including editing, design and marketing within an international environment. You’ll consider the use of typeface and image, and explore principles such as structure, layout, hierarchy, pace and typographic detailing required to achieve a coherent and readable publication. You’ll also start using image and page formatting software.

    Core modules
    • ENGL400 Journeys into Literature: The Odyssey and Beyond

      This four-week module provides an important foundation for new students studying English and Creative Writing. Based around one of the earliest written texts in Western literature the module engages with a number of issues to enable students to gain an understanding of the historical development of literature and the ways in which texts relate to each other over the centuries. It includes the study of genre, poetic forms, literary influence and creative interpretation as well as developing research and study skills including project work and collaboration.

    • ENGL402 Writing the Modern World, 1600-1700

      This module considers `modern¿ ways of writing, thinking, trading, seeing, and relating to others in the seventeenth century. The literature of this period first explores ideas central to our own time and place, and is crucial both to understanding literary history and to understanding ourselves. The course will be structured through four key narratives, traced through a chronological selection of texts:¿ authority ¿ modern ideas of gender ¿ global capitalism ¿ modern print culture.

    • ENGL404 Critical Theory

      This module will introduce some key critical theories relevant to the study of English literature. It will familiarise students with a range of theoretical perspectives and enable them to develop an understanding of different ways of reading literature, and its wider contexts.

    • PUBL401 What is Publishing?

      An introduction to all aspects of publishing and the publishing industry: the breadth of products and platforms including books, magazines, journals ¿ analogue and digital. An introduction to careers in the industry across all genres, including editing, copy-editing, design, marketing within an international environment.

    • PUBL402 Publishing: design and production

      This module considers how the appropriate use of typeface and image can be used to interpret, present and promote a publication. It will also explore principles such as structure, layout, hierarchy, pace and typographic detailing that are required to achieve a coherent and readable publication. Students will also be given an introduction to relevant image and page formatting software.

    Optional modules
    • ENGL405PP Making Waves: Representing the Sea, Then and Now

      The four-week Plymouth Plus module fosters both analytical and creative skills, through problem-based, self-reflective, collaborative and interdisciplinary learning; students devise a major group presentation. Discipline-based skills are focused on the topic of the sea; close attention to classic maritime poetry and fiction encourages basic literary critical and creative skills. The analytical concept of waves is central to the module, and broadens the topic out to foster more general critical, theory-based thinking.

    • OS106PP Our Ocean Planet

      In this module students will explore important topical issues associated with our ocean planet. Students will have a creative opportunity to work in teams on a topic of their choice using a project based learning approach. They will develop a variety of communication skills in order to present their ideas in a medium of their team's choice.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, we’ll introduce you to key concepts in publishing history. You’ll examine the ways that knowledge has been captured, stored, retrieved, disseminated, policed and suppressed, and consider how the development of different writing and printing technologies have changed the understanding of the self in relation to the world. You’ll discuss the creation, production, publication, distribution and reception of texts in their cultural, economic and technological contexts. You'll also apply your literary and creative skills in a 'work-facing' environment. Gain work experience in the publishing industry or devise a publishing project of your choice.

    Core modules
    • ENGL501 Romanticism

      In this module literary Romanticism, in its rich and problematic diversity, is introduced and explored through a consideration of imaginative conceptions of the individual in writing between 1790 and 1830. The study ranges through a selection of texts in verse ¿ lyric and narrative ¿ and prose - essayistic, theoretical and fictional.

    • ENGL506 Victorian Literature and Culture

      This module aims to introduce students to the Victorian period through an examination of literature read in conjunction with a range of other contemporary cultural documents including scientific, sociological, psychological, political economic and aesthetic texts.

    • ENGL518 The Impact of Publishing: Understanding the Technologies of Knowledge

      The module will provide an introduction to some of the key concepts in publishing history. It will look at the ways that knowledge has been captured, stored, retrieved, disseminated, policed and suppressed. It will consider how the development of different writing and printing technologies changed the understanding of the self and the self in relation to the world. It will discuss the creation, production, publication, distribution and reception of texts within their cultural, economic and technological contexts.

    • ENGL519 Working with Literature

      While remaining focused on English and English and Creative Writing projects, this module will provide students with the opportunity to apply their literary and creative skills in a 'work-facing' environment.

    Optional modules
    • ENGL502 Gothic Fictions: Villains, Virgins, Vampires

      This module looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels to trace the variety and scope of literary contributions to the Gothic. It begins by discussing the origins of the Gothic novel, then moves to the heyday of the genre in the revolutionary 1790s, on to authors writing in the early and mid-nineteenth century, through to the decadence of the 1890s.

    • ENGL503 Dramatic Writing

      This course explores a wide range of dramatic writing and dramatic writing theory, integrating critical reading with creative writing projects. Class time will be spent discussing published authors/texts/productions, writing/reading theories, compositional processes, practical exercises, and student work.

    • ENGL504 Out of the Gutter: Graphic Novels

      This module will introduce students to the comics medium by providing a survey of the development of graphic novels/comic books, and focusing on several genres within the medium (such as autobiography, superhero, realism, journalism, among others). Students will read works by a variety of established comics artists/writers, theorists of the medium, and student work.

    • ENGL505 Rakes, Rascals and Rudeness in the Eighteenth Century

      Introduces historical & contemporary satirical theories; analyses satirical forms; enables critical engagement with the foundational associated modes: comedy, parody, irony and hyperbole.

    • ENGL508 Fourth genre: Creative nonfiction into the 21st century

      This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in creative nonfiction. We will read classic and contemporary works of nonfiction, both short- and long-form, from sub-genres including biography, autobiography, travel writing, and reportage. We will produce our own works of nonfiction and critically evaluate them.

    • ENGL509 Women and Romanticism

      This module tests notions of `Romanticism¿ by asking how it looks different when viewed from a gendered perspective. The course incorporates well-known material and popular texts not normally encountered at undergraduate level. Developing knowledge of Romantic-era writing, the module attends to gendered norms, transgressions, and authorship.

    • ENGL510 Shakespeare and the Early Modern Stage

      This module provides an introduction to many aspects of Shakespeare's plays with emphasis on the practice and practicalities of playwriting for the early modern stage and on Shakespeare's plays in performance. Students will also be introduced to a range of critical approaches to the plays, from Shakespeare's contemporaries to the present day.

    • ENGL511 Apocalypse and the Modern Novel

      This module explores how fiction from the late nineteenth century to the present day has represented end of world scenarios. It will engage with issues of genre and form, and with appropriate historical and cultural contexts including the environment, spirituality, technology, and globalisation. Criticism and secondary sources pertaining to these issues, as well as to individual authors, will be considered alongside the primary texts.

    • ENGL512 Literature and History

      This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

    • ENGL516 American Novel

  • Year 3
  • In your final year, you’ll devise or commission a publishing proposal and carry it through to publication, identifying all stages of a small-scale project across a variety of analogue and digital publishing platforms. You’ll study publishing as a business operating in an international marketplace and learn to engage effectively with the different stages of the publishing process. In partnership with the in-house University Press, you’ll study modes of production and distribution according to the end consumer by deploying appropriate digital and analogue skills.

    Core modules
    • FAPY603 English with Publishing Placement

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • ENGL603 Modernism

      This module will explore a number of themes through an examination of writing published in the approximate period 1910-1930. The themes will include structural and linguistic experimentation, historical and artistic influences, the First World War and literary networks.

    • PUBL601 Publishing and its Markets: The Proposal

      Devising or commissioning a publishing proposal. Present a proposal and identify all stages of a small-scale project across a variety of analogue and digital publishing platforms. Includes team work.

    • PUBL602 Publishing and its Markets: The Project

      Publishing as a business operating in an international marketplace. To engage effectively with the different stages of the publishing process. Modes of production and distribution according to end consumer by deploying appropriate digital and analogue skills in partnership with the in-house University Press.

    Optional modules
    • ENGL601 Project in Critical Writing

      The student will complete, under tutorial supervision, a project in critical writing in the form of a literary - critical dissertation based on an idea, theme, author/s, theoretical consideration etc: or a dissertation which arises from literary - critical interests connected to issues arising from the student's work in other English modules. Maximum length 12,000 words.

    • ENGL602 Project in Creative Writing

      The student will complete, under tutorial supervision, a project in creative writing such as a collection of poetry, short stories, a longer piece of prose fiction, autobiography, travel writing or other suitable modes which may draw upon issues encountered in other English modules and which includes relevant literary-critical material. Maximum length 12,000 words.

    • ENGL607 War Writing Since 1914

      The module will explore a range of the writings of war published in a variety of countries since the outbreak of the First World War. The writing will cover a number of wars with a principal focus on WW1 and WW2. It will involve the writing of both men and women in several genres.

    • ENGL608 American Crime Writing

      This module considers the development of twentieth-century American crime fiction from hard-boiled detectives, to myths of the mafia, and postmodern reinventions of the genre. This module will explore the cultural contexts of American crime writing, prevailing conventions of the genre, as well as challenges to those conventions.

    • ENGL609 Contemporary Poetry

      In this module we will examine a range of contemporary poetry and poetic theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own poems. Class time will be divided between discussion of poetry/theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student poetry.

    • ENGL610 Reading Jane Austen - then and now

      This module explores the cultural politics of Jane Austen's novels and of reading her work, both at the time it was written and now. Attending to social and historical contexts, the course selects some of Austen's major works, together with a selection of early and minor material and work by her contemporaries, to consider how we can read Austen as a novelist, as a political writer, and as a writer of `romance'.

    • ENGL613 Literatures of Environmental Crisis

      This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and literary studies are responding to our current era of ecological crisis. It introduces students to the debates, modes of reading and key ideas of ecocritical literary criticism.

    • ENGL615 Professional Writing

      This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in professional writing. We will explore technique in features and literary journalism; music reviews, opinion columns and longer immersion features as well as other contemporary works of non-fiction feature writing, both short- and long-form, from sub-genres including profiles and interviews, autobiography and columns, travel writing, and reportage. We will learn to research and produce our own works of professional nonfiction and critically evaluate them.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons English with Publishing 5212

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120

A levels: 
Minimum of two A levels including A level English Language, Literature or Creative Writing at grade B, excluding general studies.

International baccalaureate
28 overall including three subjects at Higher Level and English at grade 6 at Higher Level. If overseas & not studying English within IB – MUST have IELTS: 6.5 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DDM. Please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.  

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably English, humanities or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

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Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



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Explore how typeface and image can be used to interpret and promote a publication, while gaining skills in professional image and page formatting software.

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Find out more about why you should study English degrees with Plymouth University.

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Our teaching is driven by research which in 2014 was rated among the best in the UK by the nationwide Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. Our staff have published extensively and internationally across a diverse range of fields in literary criticism and creative writing.

For example, Senior Lecturer Peter Hinds, author of The Horrid Popish Plot, teaches and publishes on early modern literature and Professor Anthony Caleshu, prize winning poet, leads the Contemporary Poetry module.

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*The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.