English Literature with Sociology BA (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for English literature and sociology, with our English literature and creative writing courses ranked in the top 10 in the Complete University Guide 2019 and top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
The academic disciplines of Sociology and Literature share a common goal to further our understanding of society.
One may do this through measurement while the other favours depiction, but this shared analytical aim makes this Major/Minor combination a particularly well-balanced choice for anyone who wishes to master a wide range of methods, theories and critical skills while gaining greater insight into both subjects.
What you will study
English Literature as your Major
As an English Literature Major you will spend much of your time acquiring formidable knowledge of literary texts and discourses, learning the critical skills to analyse these works and developing the cultural vocabulary to communicate your ideas about them.
By investigating the deeper social, cultural, historical and geographical contexts of different literary genres (from early English to the contemporary) you'll gain the precious ability to understand the roots of contemporary issues and address them from a position of unusual knowledge and eloquence.
The lively and creative atmosphere in the School of Literature and Languages will harness your enthusiasm for literature, and our renowned passion for imparting professional skills will prepare you for a range of careers.
Integrative module for English Literature Majors
Literature is by nature a collaborative discipline, for a literary work that does not engage with wider ideas can barely be called literature at all. Nor can literature be meaningfully understood in isolation from the contexts in which it is created and experienced.
Whether examining the influence of great literature on your Minor subject or using new ideas from it to gain more insight into your favourite texts, the integrative tutorials will place your love of literature at the heart of your personal and professional development.
With careful prompting from your tutor, you will engage in discussion and debate to share the personal experiences and interdisciplinary insights deriving from each individual's own background and their study of their Minor subject.
Reflective essays and group presentations will give you the opportunity to crystallise your thoughts, communicate what you have learned and demonstrate your understanding of literature from a more complete perspective.
Sociology as your Minor
This Minor will give you a sound footing in the concepts, theories and principles of sociology, and their application. It will enable you to use a range of analytical tools in order to evaluate and conduct sociological research on contemporary society and culture.
On graduating, you will understand the relationships between social systems, social institutions and social groups, and the quantitative and qualitative means of investigating them.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||CCA7||View KIS data set|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||MH64||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
English Literature with Sociology placement
Unusually for an English literature degree programme, we offer the opportunity to undertake a Professional Training placement.
A placement will help to enhance your employability by giving you experience in degree-related professions such as publishing, marketing, the media industries, teaching, creative writing or arts administration.
A Professional Training placement will give you the opportunity to develop valuable transferable skills in analysis, reflection, communication and organisation.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our English literature courses provide you with a range of valuable skills to prepare you for a variety of careers.
Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:
- Editorial assistant
- Commercial graduate
- HR assistant
- Junior project manager
- English teacher
- Account manager
- Social media account manager
- Purchasing assistant.
Should you wish to pursue further study, our courses will provide you with essential knowledge and skills, as well as offering informed support and guidance to assist you in your studies.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
It is possible to spend a semester or a full academic year abroad while earning credits which contribute to your degree. We operate Erasmus+ exchanges in Europe with the following universities:
- Bamberg University
- Freiburg University
- Aarhus University
- Lyon III University.
We also have exchanges with:
- Nanyang Technological University
- Seoul National University
- Cincinnati University
- North Carolina State University
- University of Central Florida
- Northern Arizona University
- Texas Tech
- North Texas
- Monash University
- La Trobe University
- University of Sydney
- University of Wollongong
- University of Queensland
- Universidade de São Paulo
- University of Victoria, Wellington.
If you choose to study at one of the European partners you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.
In addition to the amazing time you will have, you will be exposed to new cultures, practices and approaches that will strengthen your academic performance for the successful continuation of your studies. This will also enhance your employment opportunities and add a bonus to your CV.
Arts and culture at Surrey
As an English literature student at Surrey, you will be introduced to an exciting and challenging environment that combines conventional teaching with a wide range of opportunities for you to engage with a vibrant research culture and arts activities.
Regular visiting guest speakers and research seminars will enhance your study in the specialist areas covered by the course and encourage you to consider areas for further study.
English at Surrey enjoys connections with contemporary writers through its Distinguished Writer in Residence (currently the acclaimed novelist Monica Ali), the Poet in Residence, and the annual Morag Morris Poetry Lecture. Each year the School of Literature and Languages also runs the Surrey Poetry Festival and the Surrey New Writers Festival, and is a partner of the Guildford Book Festival.
The University of Surrey has close ties with the charity English PEN, which campaigns to protect freedom of speech and human rights for writers around the world. English PEN regularly hosts talks by prominent writers and other events at the University.
Guildford itself provides considerable access to arts activities, including the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which puts on new and canonical plays, the Guildford Book Festival, and a host of galleries, libraries and archives that will stimulate and support your independent studies.
Above all, the University is only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres.
You will have opportunities to see plays at the National Theatre, the Barbican and the Globe Theatre. You will be able to watch new films in the major West End cinemas and classics at the National Film Theatre.
This wide choice of activities will complement your studies in English literature at Surrey, and you will be encouraged to draw inspiration from them in your work for your degree.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course, you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students choose at least one module from ELI2037 and ELI2039
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students choose 3 SOC modules and 2 ELI modules
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Teaching on our English literature courses is both stimulating and encouraging. You will experience a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Our academics produce internationally excellent research and are skilled and dedicated teachers who convey ideas enthusiastically and accessibly.
In Year 1, in addition to lectures, you will work closely with tutors and your fellow students in smaller seminar groups. During years 2 and 3, you will become increasingly independent, working on your dissertation, and eventually contributing to student-led sessions in Year 3.
Critical essays and group presentations will give you opportunities to crystallise your thoughts, communicate what you have learned and demonstrate your understanding of literature from a more complete perspective.
All learning is fully supported by the University’s virtual learning environment, and you will acquire a range of computing skills through the programme. You are also encouraged to supplement classroom work with participation in activities outside the University, such as theatre visits and trips to regional festivals such as the renowned Guildford Book Festival.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
PALMER BL Dr (Lit & Langs)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||£9,250||£15,800||Not applicable|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||£9,250||£15,800||£1,850|
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.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
"Doing a year on placement has given me so much perspective about the world of work, the different fields that exist and most importantly, my personal strengths and weaknesses."
"I think Surrey has something for everyone, there’s an ever-growing number of societies and sport clubs. There’s a lot of places to go to in town with friends, not just the night life but shopping and even ice skating at Guildford Spectrum."