English Literature with Politics BA (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
Are all great works of literature also political documents? Can political texts also be literary? Whatever your answers to these questions, it's beyond doubt that politics and literature have always been very close companions.
This combination is a great choice if you wish to examine the historical and international political movements that have fuelled the literary canon.
With incisive critical and analytical tools from two intellectual fields, you'll be in prime position for careers that favour the ability to understand complex ideas, spot vital details and communicate with a range of audiences.
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.
Politics as your Minor
Politics is all about people and power. Taking Politics as your Minor subject will introduce you to a range of concepts, approaches and methods for political analysis that will be applicable to other disciplines too.
You will also develop an understanding of the problematic nature of political, social and economic enquiry. This fundamental basis of analytical ability (together with increased knowledge of contemporary international affairs) will enhance your capacity to think critically about events, ideas, people and institutions.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||P908||View KIS data set|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||X2J8||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 Politics placements
Unusually for an English literature degree programme, we offer the opportunity to undertake a Professional Training placement.
A placement will 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.
Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:
- Editorial assistant
- Commercial graduate
- 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:
- Heidelberg University
- Freiburg University
- Aarhus University
- Lyon 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 will 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 should strengthen your academic performance for the successful continuation of your studies. This will also enhance your employment opportunities and add a bonus on 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 inject a specialised interest into the course and encourage you to consider areas for further study.
English at Surrey enjoys connections with contemporary writers through the poets-in-residence scheme, the annual Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the Surrey Poetry Festival and the Surrey New Writers 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 classic movies 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.
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. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students choose 2 POL modules and 3 ELI modules
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students choose 2 ELI modules and 3 POL 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.
Teaching on our English Literature programmes is both stimulating and encouraging. You will experience a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.
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, participating in seminars in Year 2 and contributing to student-led sessions in Year 3.
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.
Policies and regulations
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||£1,800|
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.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Scholarship for Pioneers of Tomorrow 2018 entry
Find out more
The Full Surrey Award 2018 entry
Find out more
Surrey Prestige Scholarship 2018 entry
Find out more
"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."