School of Society and Culture

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.

2020 NSS results for University of Plymouth's History courses

  • 94.72% overall student satisfaction rating.
  • Ranked 2 out of 90 universities for students feeling part of a community of historians.
  • 98% of students say that their history course enabled them to explore ideas in depth (ranked 4 out of 90 universities).  
  • Ranked 5 out of 90 universities for quality of teaching, academic support, assessment and feedback.
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Key features
  • We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2020 return showing 91% expressed overall satisfaction with the course. 96% agreed the course is intellectually stimulating and staff are good at explaining things. 98% agreed that staff have made the subject interesting.*
  • 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 an 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

    • Writing the Modern World, 1600-1700 (ENGL402)

      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.

    • Critical Theory (ENGL404)

      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.

    • What is History? (HIST401)

      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.

    • America from settlement to Empire (HIST406)

      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.

    • Fractured Isles: Britain and Ireland 1640-1990 (HIST409)

      The module is an introduction to the major themes in political, social nd cultural history of Britain in the period 1640-1900.

    • History and Heritage (HIST412)

      This module introduces students to the field of heritage studies. It directs attention to how historians do heritage (and history) for an external audience. It aims to explore the materials and methods used and how they apply to how we understand, interpret and shape how we live with the past today. Students will study a specific topic in history and heritage individually and/or in small groups through problem based learning with an assessment geared towards public engagement.

  • 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

    • Preparing for Dissertation Research (HIST502)

      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.

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

      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

    • Romanticism (ENGL501)

      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.

    • Gothic Fictions: Villains, Virgins, Vampires (ENGL502)

      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.

    • Victorian Literature and Culture (ENGL506)

      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.

    • Apocalypse and the Modern Novel (ENGL511)

      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.

    • American Novel (ENGL516)

    • Working with Literature (ENGL519)

      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.

    • Creative Nonfiction (ENGL520)

      This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

    • Dramatic Writing for Stage, Screen, and Beyond (ENGL522)

      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.

    • Genre Writing (ENGL523)

      This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

    • Burning Issues: Interdisciplinary Writing Project (ENGL524)

      This module asks students to engage with the 'burning issues' of our times, by thinking outside of their own discipline and engaging with research taking place in other departments, schools and faculties around the university, or even the country and the world. Students select a topic from outside their discipline and then, through research and communication with experts in the chosen field, devise a writing project to communicate and explore their chosen issue. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

    • Writing to Commission (ENGL525)

      In the context of this module, Professional Writing refers to commercial content for a variety of media outlets including advertising and marketing, as well as other 'businesses' which students have imagined and created themselves. Students will experiment with creative formats such as posters, reviews, reports, 'copy', interviews, the op-ed (opinion-editorial). The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

    • 'Hurt Minds': Madness and Mental Illness in Literature (ENGL526)

      This module considers changing attitudes towards, and a variety of theories of, the mind, examining how different cultures have understood ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ mental states. It will look at how the experience and treatment of mental illness has been represented in fiction. The mind is at its most fascinating when it behaves outside of expected social norms. By considering a variety of literary texts over several centuries, this module explores shifts in the definition, understanding, evaluation, and management of exceptional mental states.

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

      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.

    • America Since 1900 (HIST509)

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

    • Heritage and Public History (HIST511)

      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.

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

      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.

    • Other Voices - Marginalisation in Early Modern Europe (HIST515)

      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.

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

      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.

    • Tudor and Stuart Britain (HIST519)

      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.

    • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIST520)

      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.

    • Culture and Society. Britain c.1760 -1914 (HIST525)

      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, gambling, popular science, culinary cultures, race.

    • Dunkirk to D-Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIST526)

      The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944

  • 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

    • History Dissertation (HIST601)

      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

    • Modernism (ENGL603)

      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.

    • Reading Jane Austen - then and now (ENGL610)

      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'.

    • Laughing Matters: Cruelty and Comedy of Literary Satire (ENGL611)

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

    • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENGL616)

      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 short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

    • Advanced Poetry Workshop (ENGL617)

      In this final year module we will examine a range of contemporary poetry and poetic theory as a way for students to advance their own composition of poems. Class time will be divided between seminar discussions of published poetry/theory, writing exercises, and workshops of student poetry.

    • Features Journalism Workshop (ENGL618)

      This module offers students an in-depth experience of 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.

    • Black Atlantic Literature and Culture: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENGL621)

      This module explores a range of black writing and cultural formations in transatlantic contexts. Adopting the critical paradigm of the 'Black Atlantic', the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from nineteenth-century abolitionist texts through to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods of the Black Atlantic, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

    • Brave New Worlds: Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Politics (ENGL622)

      Science Fiction seems to be a field or mode that is particularly difficult to define, in part because it crosses over with many other forms. But it is also one of the most popular types of literature easily ranging from the highbrow to the low. This module will explore SF writing since 1960, with a particular focus on the hybridity of the field and the ways in which it intersects with fantasy writing, to explore a range of political issues in the contemporary world. SF is ‘a wide-ranging, multivalent and endlessly cross-fertilizing cultural idiom.’ (Roberts, 2006, 2) But is it really concerned with the future, or in fact, driven by nostalgia to engage with the ways in which the past has constructed the present? The module will be thematically structured and will concentrate on Anglophone writing.

    • Piracy and Privateering, c 1560 - 1816 (HIST604)

      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.

    • The Civil Rights Movement (HIST606)

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

    • The French Wars of Religion 1558 - 1598 (HIST609)

      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.

    • The Irish Revolution 1912-37 (HIST610)

      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.

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

      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.

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

      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

    • Inter-War Britain 1919-40 (HIST621)

      The module examines Britain in the period 1919-40 with an emphasis on Government and politics. The social, economic and foreign challenges facing Britain are examined for their ability to impact on policy and politics.

    • Modern Japan: Transforming Empire and Identity at the Edge (HIST624)

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Japan, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century

    • Anglo-American Relations in Maritime Perspective (HIST625)

      This module introduces students to the major themes of the history of British and American maritime strategy, naval competition, and international co-operation between 1775 and 1991. It challenges students to rethink the so-called ‘special relationship’ through a maritime lens, while providing an exploration of naval history and international relations since the beginning of the American Revolution.

    • Filth and the Victorians (HIST626)

      In this module students study the Victorian era from the perspective of environment, public hygiene, cultural values of cleanliness and fear of physical, moral and other forms of contamination. Drawing on urban histories, histories of medicine and science, the module also uses a range of literary and artistic sources.

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 programme specification_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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

A levels
A typical offer will be 104 points from a minimum of 2 A levels including a grade B in History, Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government & Politics or Law.

International Baccalaureate
26-28 points overall. A typical offer will be 26 points overall including three subjects at Higher Level and grade 5 at Higher Level in a relevant subject such as History, Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government & Politics or Law or equivalent. If overseas and not studying English within IB – you must have IELTS: 6.5 overall with 5.5 in all elements

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM. 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 History, Humanities or Combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction to include 12 credits in History (or Art History, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Economics, Government & Politics or Law).

GCSE
Mathematics and English language grade C/4. If you do meet these criteria please seek further advice with the admission team on admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.
Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

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.

 

About History - modules, experiences and opportunities

People

No more heroes anymore? 

‘Scott of the Antarctic’ is one of Plymouth’s most famous sons. Many view Scott as a hero and a true pioneer. While some have since viewed him as a man who was ill-organised and displayed faulty judgement. Effectively with historical revisionism, we have to accept both sides of this story are true.

"If we only focus on their good points, we are only telling half the story. When we focus on the negatives as well, achievements become so much greater."

Dr Harry Bennett talks about the two sides of Robert Scott and connecting Plymouth’s history to the history of the world.

Where will your journey lead you?

A passion for history

Danielle Dafter, a final year BA (Hons) History student loves to explore Plymouth's historical past. 

Watch her story and discover her passion for history. 


Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum? Exploring the truth behind the pirate stereotype

From wooden legs to walking the plank, Dr Elaine Murphy unpacks the myths which have influenced our representation of the classic pirate.

"If you were an adventurer, a place like Plymouth with its perceived streets glistering with gold, was a place to come down to and sign-up for a voyage. Perhaps to go out and attack the Spanish, or to the Caribbean, but with the ultimate end goal of coming back rich."

Read the full story

 

About English- modules, experiences and opportunities

Meet the team

INK journal

Published by the University of Plymouth Press, and supported by English and creative writing staff, INK is entirely edited and produced by our students.

The process of producing INK is as important as the end product. It’s the chance for you to publish your creative work in a literary magazine.

Discover INK

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

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.

** Career stats from the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18.