Why choose this course
Surrey is one of the UK’s leading universities for English literature. We are ranked in the top 10 for creative writing in The Complete University Guide 2020 and The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
The academic disciplines of literature and sociology share a common goal to further our understanding of society. This course is 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
On the English literature part of this course you’ll study some of the most vital and influential works of literature from the medieval period to the present day. You’ll analyse classic works, including Shakespeare, George Eliot, and Margaret Atwood, as well as innovative texts and genres, such as travel writing, nineteenth-century theatre, and beat writing.
You’ll be introduced to a range of thought-provoking critical and theoretical approaches to literature, including historical, social and psychological perspectives.
Your sociology modules will give you a sound grounding in the concepts, theories and principles of sociology, and their application. They will enable you to use a range of analytical tools in order to evaluate and conduct sociological research on contemporary society and culture.
Arts and culture at Surrey
As an English literature student at Surrey, you’ll be introduced to an exciting and thought-provoking cultural environment. We combine 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 literature students at Surrey enjoy connections with contemporary writers through its Distinguished Writer in Residence scheme (currently the acclaimed writer, Iain Sinclair), 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.
In addition, the University is only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres.
You’ll have opportunities to see plays at the National Theatre, the Barbican and the Globe Theatre. You’ll also 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’ll be encouraged to draw inspiration from them in your work for your course.
The Department of Sociology at Surrey also has a rich and varied programme of extra-curricular events which enable students to further explore sociological issues currently in the news. The department runs regular 'Showcasing Sociology' weeks and book launch events, and hosts talks by visiting academics and public figures.
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.
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. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
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.
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:
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 addition to lectures in your first year, you’ll work closely with tutors and fellow students in smaller seminar groups. During your second and third year, you’ll 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 define 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 gain a range of computing skills throughout the course. 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.
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
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.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
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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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other 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.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.
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.
UK and EU £9,250
BA (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU £9,250
Professional training To be confirmed
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
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.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
Professional Training placement fees
If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.
See the information about 2019/20 academic year Professional Training placement fee.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Application Deadline: 19.01.20
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Application Deadline: 30.09.20
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You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
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 placements
Unusually for an English literature course, we offer students the opportunity to take 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
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out about more about the application process.
Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies 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.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
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.
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 (PDF) 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.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.