School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) History with English

Explore how our past has shaped our future through the investigation of five centuries of human history. Combine this with the study of both modern and historical literature, deepening your knowledge of critical and creative writing. Not only will you have the opportunity to study these two fascinating and complementary subjects, you will also develop analytical and communication skills highly sought after by employers.

You will expand your critical and creative writing skills, with the option to focus on modules that align with your interests. You will have the opportunity gain workplace experience with local public history and heritage sites so you can kick-start your career as soon as you graduate. Our international exchange programme also gives you the opportunity to travel and spend either a semester or an entire year exploring history with one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe.

Key features

  • Enhance your career options with a degree that helps you develop highly sought-after analytical and communication skills while you home in on your passion. 
  • Expand your critical and creative writing skills, with the option to focus on modules that align with your interests.  
  • Gain workplace experience with local public history and heritage sites so you can kick-start your career as soon as you graduate.
  • Plot your own course through the centuries as you take the lead in your research projects and choose areas of study from our flexible range of modules, creating a tailor-made degree.
  • Our international exchange programme gives you the opportunity to travel and spend either a semester or an entire year exploring history with one of our partner institutions in the US or Europe 
  • Study both modern and historical literature, building your knowledge of different periods and cultures.  
  • Explore history with your friends and course mates by joining the History Society, a lively and supportive community hosting educational and social events.  
  • Discover the most up-to-date ways of studying history through our history resources including a vast eBook library, and array of online lectures and resources.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll get to know the key concepts of history, studying four modules designed to give you a firm foundation in historical methodology while helping you develop practical skills. You’ll study a broad range of perspectives exploring developments in world, US, European and British history. Alongside this, you’ll learn about narrative and poetry, engage in creative writing exercises and study literary theory. You’ll also study literature in its historical and cultural contexts.
    Core modules
    • 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.

    • HIST401 What is History?

      What is History? ¿ provides an overview of how the discipline of history operates, and looks at some of the key skills associated with the subject.

    • HIST402 Making History: Revolutions Causes and Processes

      This module provides an induction to the subject of history at degree level.

    • 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.

    • HIST403PP Re-making History

      Student will study a specific topic in history in small groups through problem based learning with an assessment geared towards public engagement. This module introduces students to historical primary sources. It directs attention to how historians do history for an external audience.  It aims to explore the actual materials they use and the methodologies they apply to read and interpret these materials.

    Optional modules
    • HIST406 America from settlement to Empire

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural evolution of the United States from 1492 to the end of the Nineteenth Century.

    • HIST407 World History since 1850

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world beyond Europe.

  • Year 2
  • Choose from a range of modules as you develop your historical knowledge and skills. Experience visual, oral, material and archival research – undertaking interviews with living witnesses, examining visual sources and delving into original sources. You’ll combine romantic and Victorian literature with your own module choices, allowing you to focus on creative writing, autobiography, travel writing and more. You can also take the opportunity to study in the USA for up to a year. Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

    Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.
    Core modules
    • HIST502 Preparing for Dissertation Research

      This module is designed to prepare students for Level 6 research in History by lectures and workshops that explore key approaches to sources, and practical and theoretical aspects to research in history, before carrying out a small project in independent research. Lectures in the period of the research project will entail an element of choice and also student-generated lectures, based on selection of topics at start of module: with subjects geared to doing research in archives / local studies/ digital resources.

    • HIST522 Talking History, Seeing History: Research Methods in Visual and Oral History

      This module investigates the use of oral, material & visual sources as a means of investigating the past. Also, the contextualisation of historical sources and questions in the wider historiographical literature.

    Optional modules
    • ENGL516 American Novel

    • 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.

    • HIST503 American Popular Culture Since 1945

      This module is an introduction to major themes in American Popular Culture since 1945.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • HIST506 The European Reformations

      This module is an examination of causes, processes and results of the religious Reformations, Protestant and Catholic, in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe, including the British Isles. Emphasis will be on the evaluation of primary sources and on historiographical debate.

    • HIST509 America Since 1900

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social, economic, business and cultural history of the United States since 1900.

    • HIST515 Other Voices - Marginalisation in Early Modern Europe

      This course explores the ways in which early modern society confronted difference, and constructed its norms and mores. We will consider the role of religion, race, class, and gender in early modern Europe through the study of those groups who found themselves on the outside.

    • HIST517 The Longest War: Britain, Ireland & the Troubles 1949-2006

      This module looks at the complex relationship between Britain and Ireland in the later part of the twentieth century up to present day. It has a special focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland. Students will look the impact of the Troubles on both societies; and study in depth the peace process.

    • HIST513 Royal Navy in the Age of Sail, 1545-1815

      This module examines the royal navy and the development of British naval power between 1545 and 1815. Beginning with the sinking of the Mary Rose in 1545 this module explores changing role of the navy and sea power in defence to the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. This module also investigates the logistics, technological changes and social history of the navy in this period.

    • HIST514 Victorian Sites

      This module is designed to introduce students to important themes in the social, cultural, political, intellectual history of Britain in the nineteenth century through the perspective of the built environment including representative or `iconic¿ public sites such as the new Palace of Westminster, the Royal Courts of Justice, St Pancras railway station, the Crystal Palace, and others which include nonconformist chapels, town halls, penitentiaries, seaside architecture and domestic architecture such as terraced housing or planned `social¿ housing. The architectural history in terms of production and `aesthetic intentions¿, as well as the social consumption of the sites, will be examined.

    • HIST505 Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (China, India, Japan, and/or Korea)

      This module introduces themes in early modern Asian history (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the Mughal Empire, the Qing Empire, Tokugawa Japan, and/or the Joseon Kingdom. Building on these questions, it then develops a comparative analysis of selected topics from a trans-regional perspective, an example of early globalisation emanating from Asia's middle kingdoms.

    • 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.

    • HIST511 Heritage and Public History

      The module content will examine the theory and practice of the presentation of the past to public audiences. In it, students will examine the creation, nature, use and understanding of heritage and public history, nationally and internationally. They will examine these issues in case studies of historical `sites¿ of different types, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of the theories and controversies surrounding heritage and public history. This is a work facing module, where students will consider the theory and practice of `using¿ `sites¿ of heritage and public history from the point of view of a range of stake holders.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • HIST520 Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society

      This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

    • HIST521 Regimes and Dictatorships in Twentieth Century Europe

      This module is an examination of major themes in the political, social and cultural history of modern Europe. It will examine political ideologies which have dominated modern European history and how new political and social institutions have arisen in Europe since the late 19th century.

    • HIST523 The Peculiar Institution: Enslavement in North America, 1619-1865

      This module will examine the ways in which Africans and their descendants responded to their enslavement in British North America and the United States. It will do this through analysing a variety of primary sources and examining key historiographical debates

    • HIST519 Tudor and Stuart Britain

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Britain from 1485 to 1660, a vibrant and exciting period that witnessed significant developments: the growth of the state; major religious and political upheavals; increased education and literacy; the advent of print and popular politics; exploration and new ways of understanding the world.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll continue to advance your skills working alongside our expert historians in their areas of specialism. With one-to-one support, you’ll benefit from your tutor’s experience and knowledge as you create a piece of independent research on a subject of your choice based on original research and primary resources. As well as a core module on modernism, you’ll be able to choose from modules including contemporary poetry, gender and writing and literature and psychoanalysis. Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.

    Optional modules are available this year, but may be subject to change in subsequent years.
    Core modules
    • HIST601 History Dissertation

      In this module students prepare the ground and complete a Dissertation of 10-12,000 words on a subject of their own choosing, making extensive use wherever possible of primary historical sources. Lecturing staff provide tutorial support and assistance with research and writing.

    Optional modules
    • 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'.

    • 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.

    • ENGL604 `The World Turned Upside Down': Literature and Politics, 1640-1700

      This module will engage with literature, politics and religion in mid-to late-seventeenth-century England, and will consider the diverse ways in which writers contributed to political and religious debate.

    • HIST605 African-American Experience 1890-1954

      Examining the experience of African Americans from Emancipation at the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Civil Rights movement at the end of WWII.

    • HIST612 Empire of Law. Ruling the British Empire 1760-1960

      The module introduces the methodology of using law as a window to political and social history. It will deal with legal governance in the British Empire, examining how laws were created, applied, resisted and recast; how law related to powerful ideas and how legal disputes can be used as windows to social changes. The empirical content will focus on the British empire in south and south-east Asia, with frequent comparisons made with Africa and Australia.

    • HIST606 The Civil Rights Movement

      Examining the African American struggle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.

    • HIST604 Piracy and Privateering, c 1560 - 1816

      This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

    • ENGL605 Criticism and Culture: Modern Life and Literature 1880 - present

      This module aims to serve as an introduction to a number of key theoretical texts relating to the culture of modernity including, for example, consumption, the city, desire and discipline, and the ways these issues inform readings of literature.

    • ENGL606 The Short Story

      In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant 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.

    • HIST603 Britain in the Sixties

      This module introduces the cultural transformation which Britain experienced in the long 1960s. Through a mix of social history, cultural history, and religious history, it surveys the key changes of an explosive decade. These include: the arrival of affluence, the rise of youth culture, the collapse of Christianity, the assault on authority, the sexual revolution, the student uprisings, the advent of anti-racism, and the questioning of gender roles. These changes provide essential context for understanding Britain today.

    • HIST609 The French Wars of Religion 1558 - 1598

      The module will examine the causes, progress and termination of the French Wars of Religion after 1558. The main topics will be the relationships between Catholic and Protestant, the impact of war on royal authority, the experiences of confessional groups, towns, nobles and peasants, and the resolution of conflict under Henri IV.

    • HIST610 The Irish Revolution 1912-37

      This module examines the political, social and cultural history of Ireland during the period 1890-1937 with particular focus on causes and effects of partition and the nature what is known as the `Irish revolution¿.

    • HIST614 Culture and Society in Britain c. 1760-1901

      The module content will examine key selected themes in the culture and society of Britain c.1760 ¿ 1901. In it, students will examine primary sources such as pamphlets, books and visual material, to gain a critical awareness and understanding of aspects of British culture and society in this period which may include the duel, capital punishment, mourning cultures, Sunday Schools, culinary cultures, race and xenophobia.

    • 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.

    • HIST608 Postwar Japan

      This module introduces key themes in the history of Japan from the end of the Second World War through its rise as a global economic and cultural power to its lost decade at the end of the twentieth century. In its attempt to define the postwar, this module explores the often fraught debates on Japanese identity with an emphasis on Japan's domestic, regional, and globalised cultural presence and projections.

    • HIST616 America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present

      This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

    • ENGL611 Laughing Matters: Cruelty and Comedy of Literary Satire

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

    • HIST619 From Unification to Reunification: Key Themes in Modern German History

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Germany, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Themes include nineteenth century revolution and unification, Imperialism and WW1, from the Weimar Republic to Dictatorship, WW2, the FRG and the GDR; and revolution and reunification

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 History with English 1519

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

112

A levels
A minimum of 2 A levels, including grade B in History, Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government and Politics, or Law. General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM.

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 history, 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

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
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.



Study overseas

Uncover a whole world of history, discover your future.

Connect with an international network of study, research and summer school opportunities to expand your experience of history in context beyond the UK

Discover more about the resources available to you

The student experience

As part of your studies, we offer a variety of benefits that will enhance your student experience, and promote active engagement with history and heritage teaching and learning.

Learn more about our benefits

History research with the Arts Institute

Learn more about our internationally, nationally and locally recognised research. We have a vibrant research community with cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Visit the Arts Institute website

English

Love to read? Engage with the diversity of English literature across six centuries, from Shakespearean drama to the graphic novel, and explore literature in relation to history.

Our teaching is driven by research and is rated among the best in the nation.

View the BA (Hons) English course

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