English Literature and German BA (Hons) – 2017 entry

The English Literature programme offers an extensive range of texts – from Geoffrey Chaucer to David Mitchell – and you focus on prose, poetry, drama and film adaptations.

What you'll study

This programme combines the study of English literature with the study of German.

As in all our language degrees, you will develop your language skills in order to be able to communicate in a range of professional contexts.

Programme overview

The English literature element of the degree is taught in an innovative and interdisciplinary way and covers a range of literary themes, genres and theories.

The foreign language component is taught almost exclusively in German and provides high-­level language training, as well as an understanding of the cultures and societies of German-speaking countries. The two elements of this programme give you unique insights into language, literature and culture.

You will spend your third year on placement in a country where German is spoken.

Our placement team works with you to help you make the most of this year: you will have the opportunity to study English literature in one of our partner institutions across Europe, work in one of the many companies with which we have links, or opt for a combination of work and study.

The two elements of this programme complement each other and give you unique insights into language, literature and culture.

You will develop language skills that allow you to communicate in a range of professional contexts using enhanced knowledge and understanding. At the end of the programme, you will have a high level of linguistic and cultural competence and will be well prepared for the professional world.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, you will study language modules, developing the full range of language skills in an academic, professional and international context. Depending on your programme choice, you also attend introductory modules covering relevant aspects of translation, culture and society, and history.

Your English Literature modules will provide you with a broad understanding of the history of literature in English, from the earliest classical authors to contemporary writers. This introduces you to a variety of theoretical approaches that will enhance and develop your critical and conceptual skills.

In addition to language and culture-specific modules, all students take the module Skills for Language Specialists, taught in English. This allows a deeper understanding of essential themes in language study and of your own foreign-language acquisition.

Compulsory Language modules:

English Literature modules may include:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In Year 2, you will build on the language modules studied in Year 1 to enhance your linguistic skills and deepen your understanding of the cultures and political and economic systems in the countries where the relevant language is spoken.

There is also an optional non-language-specific module, Languages in Education, which offers an insight into the teaching profession while allowing you to participate in the National Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme.

For English Literature, you will take compulsory modules that further explore English literature through the lens of selfhood, identity and subjectivity. In addition, you are able to choose from a range of optional modules that allow you to develop your own interests.

Compulsory Language modules:

Optional Language modules:

Compulsory English Literature modules:

Optional English Literature modules:

Professional Training placement

In your third year, you are given the opportunity to practise and develop your linguistic, intercultural and transferable skills while working and/or studying abroad. Our placement team will help you organise a placement that fits your needs.

Where you go, and how many placements you do, depends on your degree programme. Whether you do a study or work placement depends on your interests and skills. The majority of our students spend their third year working abroad, gaining valuable international work experience.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In your final year, you will combine the knowledge, skills and experience you have acquired during the previous levels and whilst on placement.

You will specialise in a research topic of your choice and can write a dissertation (either in the relevant language or in English) where you will be encouraged to bring the two parts of your programme together through comparative work.

At this high level of linguistic competency, you are able to choose from a range of options covering topics such as the arts, sociolinguistics and professional communication, all of which are designed to cover varied academic and professional interests and to prepare you for your future career.

In English, the options you can choose from are taught by expert staff on their research specialism.

Optional Language modules:

Optional English Literature modules:

Professional Training placements

We believe that the acquisition of academic knowledge should be coupled with a strong and continuous professional training so that our students graduate with a wider range of skills that will make them more employable.

The Professional Training placement is one of the reasons for our very high employment rates in the School of English and Languages.

The Professional Training placement is compulsory, be it in the form of a work placement or a study period abroad.

We acknowledge its essential role in our degrees by awarding 120 credits for it, which (while not counting towards your final degree classification) appear in the final university transcript alongside your academic module marks.

During your first year

The Professional Training placement cycle begins right from your first year, when you learn about the cultures and societies related to your chosen languages and practise CV­ writing and presentation techniques.

During your second year

In the second year, students take a module called Preparation for the Professional Training Year. This includes one­to­one meetings with an experienced team of placement tutors (one for each language), who can advise you on a placement that suits your abilities, interests and future career plans.

The preparation also includes sessions on CV and cover-­letter writing, finances while on placement, health and safety in the workplace, insurance, accommodation, and so on, as well as talks by current placement providers, employers or experts in a particular industry.

In the past, guest speakers have included representatives from Microsoft UK, Hilton Spain and Vifor Pharma Switzerland.

During your placement year

The Professional Training placement starts when you have secured a work placement or a study exchange. Our students make excellent candidates for placements in areas such as marketing, international relations, sales, PR, translation and even finance.

We have a wide range of links with internationally­ renowned companies such as Volkswagen, Mazda Motor Europe, Enst & Young and German Academic Exchange Group, who send their competitive placement offers for distribution among our students.

If you opt for a study exchange, you can choose from a number of partner universities in Europe with which we have Erasmus bilateral agreements.

During your year abroad, you will receive at least two visits from your placement tutors. The purpose of this unique approach to placements is to support you in your transition to a new language, a new country and a new work environment.

They also serve the purpose of assessing your performance at work and mediating between you and your placement organisation, as well as preparing you for your final year back at university.

At the end of your Professional Training placement our goal is for you to be able to reflect upon and articulate your experience so that you can discuss it in a future job interview upon graduation.

To this end, we ask you to update your CV, write a placement report and give a presentation to first­ and second­-year students about your experience.


We are committed to supporting you in becoming an independent language learner and confident communicator, and place great emphasis on the teaching of study skills. The teaching style is innovative and highly engaging, in both lectures and seminars.

You are taught mostly in small groups and almost always in the target language.

Our teaching in English Literature is both stimulating and encouraging. You experience a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

Tutors encourage you to participate in discussions. Individual module tutors happily discuss academic concerns and personal tutors are always ready to advise and assist you if any issues, personal or academic, should arise.


We operate a modular system, and you are required to achieve 120 credits per year. You are normally assessed throughout and at the end of each semester, which enables you to track your progress.

Most modules are assessed through a combination of examination and coursework, which may involve essay writing, presentations, short language assignments and class tests.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 16 per cent medium group teaching
  • 4 per cent large group teaching
  • 80 per cent studying and revising in your own time


Our language teaching facilities include digital language labs, a multimedia lab, state-of-the-art interpreting facilities, our own virtual learning environment and an e-portfolio system that appeals to the most creative amongst you.

Between classes, you can use our Language Study Area, designed for independent language learning, in the University’s purpose-built Learning Centre, which is open 24/6 and most of Sunday during semester times.

Here, you can work at your own speed and concentrate on aspects of the language that are most important to you. Practice and confidence-building are crucial to successful language learning.

We have a computer network of 28 PCs offering the latest in language learning technology, including specialist software to practise subtitling and audio description, and interactive programs in 18 different languages to develop your language skills.

You can read the international press and choose from a range of books and audio materials which are graded and colour-coded for easy access to your language and level.

If you prefer film or video as a means of learning, you can access our media store of programmes and films and watch online, live satellite TV from five countries, or choose a foreign film from our world cinema collection.

Career opportunities

Our graduates do exceptionally well in the employment market as a result of their academic excellence and their experience abroad.

Our students’ proficiency in languages, combined with their significant understanding of intercultural processes and socio-political contexts, gives them a distinct advantage in an increasingly competitive international employment market.

Our emphasis on transferable skills such as presentation and research techniques, and communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries, ensures that our graduate profile fits the expectations of prospective employers.

Language graduates from the University of Surrey have gone into a wide range of careers. Some examples of companies in which our graduates have found employment in recent years include:

  • Electricité de France
  • Santander
  • Bouygues UK
  • Crédit Lyonnais
  • Eurosport
  • Goldman Sachs
  • BMW
  • Siemens
  • Mazda Motors Europe
  • BAE Systems
  • BT
  • Eurotexte (translation company)
  • L’Oréal
  • LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy)
  • JP Morgan

Many students go on to further study across Europe. Examples include:

  • MSc in Development Studies at SOAS
  • ESCPEAP (Madrid/Berlin)
  • MBA European Business, University of Reutlingen, Germany
  • MBA International Marketing, Sorbonne, Paris
  • MA European Studies, Cambridge/Sorbonne

Our own Department offers a broad range of postgraduate degree programmes in Translation Studies. Graduates of our internationally recognised programmes are well prepared for the professional market, as well as for further research.

We are proud that the MA Translation programme has been selected to join the European Commission’s European Masters Network (EMT).

The Global Graduate Award in Languages

This programme gives you the opportunity to study an additional foreign language alongside your degree programme. You can start a new language, brush up a half-forgotten one or continue a language you have learned previously.

The programme is open to all Surrey students free of charge, and students from departments across the University are brought together by their mutual interest in foreign languages and cultures.

All language modules are accredited for undergraduate students. While these credits do not count towards your degree, they are recorded on your transcript as the Global Graduate Award in Languages. You may opt for a language module in each year of your undergraduate studies.

We offer ten languages at different levels:

  • Arabic
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • English (Advanced)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

The teaching is communicative and student-centred. Special emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills, and the programme materials are authentic and related to real-life contexts. We have a team of about 30 dedicated and experienced tutors, all of whom are native speakers or of native-speaker qualification.

This programme comprises one two-hour session per week for 19 weeks over two semesters.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language at Grade C/4 or above and GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). 

English, English Literature or English Language and Literature A-level and German A-level are required. 

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 4 Years QR3C View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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