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BA (Hons) English

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UCAS code: 
Q300
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

2018 entry only.

Typical Offer: 

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Also see Entry Requirements below.

  • Focus on the areas you enjoy by combining core strands in literature, language and writing.
  • Develop industry knowledge through our partnerships with arts organisations, theatre companies, community groups and more.
  • Take part in exclusive writing competitions such as the Student New Angle Prize and learn from practitioners and best-selling authors.
  • Enjoy Suffolk’s thriving cultural scene and many literary events.
  • Work experience is available with prestigious publishing houses.

Introduction

Students of English at the University of Suffolk develop academic, creative and professional writing skills in a unique and stimulating environment.

Our undergraduates gain valuable work experience through professional practice modules and benefit from established course partnerships with the region's arts organisations, publishers, theatre companies and community groups.

These partnerships offer exclusive writing competitions such as the Student New Angle Prize and enable students to gain professional recognition from some of the county's most prestigious employers. Study guidance and support are available from highly qualified lecturers, internationally best-selling authors and acclaimed visiting practitioners.


The flexible BA (Hons) English programme combines cutting-edge modules in digital textuality, autobiography and contemporary writing with traditional studies of canonical writers such as Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and T. S. Eliot. Students have the opportunity to analyse a broad range of dramatic and literary texts in English, from the classical Greek plays by Sophocles to the contemporary novels of Jeanette Winterson.

Language enthusiasts can explore linguistics, phonology and semantics, while modules in the short story, scriptwriting, and poetry offer a practice-based approach to students interested in creative writing. 

Undergraduates are invited to question traditional subject boundaries through interdisciplinary modules which explore film, digital platforms, and multimedia communications.

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Course modules

Full-time students typically take three twelve-week modules each term during the first two years of their studies for increased diversity and subject flexibility. In the final year, students complete a literature or language dissertation in an area of their choosing, along with four other selected modules.

Part-time students may negotiate their programme of study with their tutors to suit their own individual needs and requirements. 

For more information on the course, find out what our graduates say about studying English at the University of Suffolk.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Literary Criticism

‘There is nothing outside the text’  - Jacques Derrida

This module enables students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills of analysis and criticism on which to base the rest of their undergraduate work in English. Students will explore various methodologies in the study of literary texts and consider the purpose of literary criticism and its relationship with culture, philosophy and politics. 

Exploring Drama

‘Every performance is like a ghost – it’s there and then it’s gone' - Maggie Smith

Exploring Drama introduces students to the study of Western drama, covering both its historical and literary development from the classical era through the Renaissance and up to the twenty-first century. It focuses on a wide selection of dramatic works and guides students to act as implied audience as well as readers of the performance text. 

Academic Writing

‘Writing is a way to work yourself into a subject and make it your own’ - William Zinsser

Academic Writing enables students to develop the skills they require to successfully write essays in the areas of literature and linguistics. Students will choose and assimilate source material, learn to construct arguments, and practise self-editing to achieve a good level of written style. Presentation skills will be developed, while accurate referencing and principles of academic honesty will be stressed throughout.

Narrative

'Never trust the teller, trust the tale' - D. H. Lawrence

Theoretical approaches to the study of narrative are applied to a broad variety of literary texts, including novels, fables, works of children’s literature and flash fiction. The module also provides the necessary foundations for more advanced theoretical work on narrative and adaptation studies in Year 2. 

Reading and Writing Poetry

‘In this gorgeous mess of our own gravity’ - Jo Shapcott

This module introduces students to the complexity and pleasure of this literary form. It is designed to help students engage with poetry in a creative and active manner. Students examine a wide range of poetic forms, from canonical texts of the English tradition to digital and performance poetry, including poems in translation. 

Introduction to Linguistics

'Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols' - Edward Sapir

This module equips students with the tools and terminology required for describing language and helps to develop analytical skills. Students explore the basic frameworks of phonology, grammar and semantics, and learn about the development of the English language. The module is of particular use to those wishing to become teachers or to enter language-based fields.

Critical Theory (Mandatory)

‘Welcome to the desert of the real’ - Slavoj Žižek

Students examine a range of theoretical approaches to texts, including Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminism, postcolonial theory and postmodernism. They are encouraged to engage with theory as an intellectual activity that develops multiple perspectives on a variety of topics such as language, reality, subjectivity, gender, race, and sexuality.

Page to Screen (Optional)

‘An adaptation may come second, but that doesn’t make it secondary' - Linda Hutcheon

Students consider filmic rewritings of major literary forms including drama, the novel and short fiction and engage in the debate about the 'fidelity' of adaptation. The module combines a theoretical approach to the study of adaptation with contextual approaches to specific films, presented as case studies. 

The Short Story (Optional)

'Something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing' - V. S. Pritchett

This module allows students to gain an historical overview of the form; to read critical and theoretical works; to practise techniques of close literary analysis, considering the aesthetic and constructed qualities of texts. Creative activities are used as a way of seeing the process of writing from a new perspective. 

Language Development and Disorders (Optional)

'Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they're all a projection of you' - Deepak Chopra

The module examines three major frameworks of language: acquisition, production and comprehension. These are examined and analysed through a range of case studies and linguistic data. In addition, Learning English presents and discusses theories and data relating to the acquisition of conversational skills in English, as well as a variety of language disorders. 

Shakespeare, Power and Authority (Optional)

'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown' - Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II

This module enables students to undertake a thematic study of a selection of Shakespeare's dramatic works. It is based on the detailed study of four plays, each from a different genre: the history play, the problem comedy, tragedy, and romance. Plays are studied both as responses to the political, social and cultural changes of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and as works of continuing relevance in a range of performance contexts. 

The Novel (Optional)

'People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple: it is merely that the novel is more true than they are' - G. K. Chesterton

The novel is one of the most frequently read literary genres and occupies a central place in the literary consciousness of the English-speaking world. This module provides the opportunity to study in detail a range of novels and to examine the economic, technological, social and cultural factors that shaped and developed the novel form.

Romanticism (Optional)

'If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awoke - Aye! and what then?' - Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Romantic movement was a complex and sometimes contradictory response to shaping forces of the time such as revolution, war, urbanisation and imperialism; it was also the origin of concepts of creativity and authorship that have influenced subsequent writing. 

Seventeenth-Century Poetry (Optional)

'That in yourself which you knew not before' - Lady Mary Wroth

The critical and theoretical investigation of a selection of writings by female and male poets offers students the opportunity to consider the discourses that intersect in the poems and reflect on the role of power, ideology, gender and sexuality in their composition and circulation.

Critical Language Studies (Optional)

'The exercise of power, in modern society, is increasingly achieved through ideology, and more particularly through the ideological workings of language' - Norman Fairclough

This module represents a more theoretical consideration of textuality, providing preparation for students' own independent research. Students consider core topics and approaches in language study such as language variation, creativity in language use, stylistics, cognitive poetics and critical discourse analysis.

Modernism (Optional)

'Do I dare Disturb the universe?' - T. S. Eliot

This module introduces students to literary modernism through the study of poems, short stories and novels from the period between 1900-1930. Students explore the radical experiments of modernist writing and critically evaluate how these texts break with conventional representations of reality. They also create short films and text for an online resource about modernism.

Dissertation in English (Mandatory)

'Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose' - Zora Neale Hurston

This module provides an opportunity for final year students to design and carry out an extensive or significant piece of independent research, examining a particular area of scholarship. The study may have a literary, language, or media (including digital) focus and should in each case draw on the appropriate methodological approaches introduced earlier in the degree. 
Professional Writing Practice (Optional)
 
'Any positive emotion that you're infusing into a workplace needs to be grounded in reality. If it's not realistic, sincere, meaningful, and individualised, it won't do much good' - Tom Rath  
 
Students undertake student-centred learning based on a placement, which will build on their knowledge from language and creative writing modules, along with subject specific writing and IT skills. Moreover, students gain knowledge about professional writing from seminars with professional writers.
English Education Practice (Optional)
'The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery' - Mark Van Doren
 
This module blends formal instruction with practical experience. Seminars take place on alternate weeks and cover topics such as Pedagogy and Learning Theories, Differentiation and Special Needs, and Reflective Practice. In the second semester, students undertake placements in educational settings, such as primary, secondary and adult education, including EAL and ESOL learning. 
Autobiography (Optional)

'I believe in my mask. The man I made up is me' - Sam Shepard

Autobiography considers authorial perspective and reliability, and how the first person narrator is both ‘author’ and ‘character’. Students study the ambiguous relationship between autobiography and fiction, looking at authority, memory and self-censorship. The ethics of writing about others as part of the autobiographical process is also considered. 

Digital Textuality (Optional)

'The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing' - Douglas Engelbart

With recent developments in communication technologies, critically analysing digital texts and understanding issues surrounding these texts is integral to the study of English.. Students explore genres produced for digital media, analysing the texts themselves as well as critical writings on these emerging media.

Contemporary Writing (Optional)

'There is no god and we are his prophets' - Cormac McCarthy

The module enables students to evaluate the complex and thought-provoking forms of contemporary texts which transgress genre boundaries and solicit a speculative exploration of contemporary issues, such as transcultural identities, queer sexualities, dystopian spaces, and technological and post-humanist approaches to reality. 

Scriptwriting (Optional)
'Before I write down one word, I have to have the character in my mind [...]   I must penetrate into the last wrinkle of his soul' - Henrik Ibsen
 
Scriptwriting enables students to write their own scripts for stage or film. The module focuses on a variety of dramatic texts and performances and encourages students to undertake wider critical reading in relation to a particular play script or screenplay. Students also attend stage performances and talks from visiting practitioners.
Researching Spoken Language (Optional)
'Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations' - Edward Sapir
 
Research has shown that variations found in spontaneous speech aren’t, as once thought, random and unstructured, but, instead, systemic/ meaningful. This course will examine the theory behind variation as it occurs in natural, face-to-face communication, and how we model variation according to social constructs, such as age, gender and style.
 
Drama, 1660-1780 (Optional)

'Variety is the soul of pleasure' - Aphra Behn

This module offers a detailed study of Enlightenment dramatic texts as products of this context. Other aspects explored include the progression from the expressive flowering of the Restoration to the sentiment of Classicism, the composition of audiences, theories of performativity and the restoration of identity.

Career opportunities

The English programme offers two professional practice modules: English Education and Professional Writing. Students may undertake these modules in their final year of study to enhance their employability skills and build effective relationships with local schools, businesses, arts organisations and writing practitioners.

They also offer talks and seminars led by industry experts and provide further opportunities for professional recognition, such as the EADT Award for Professional Writing and the Steve Ransom Award for English Education.

What our students say

‘I did my work experience at Full Circle Editions, an independent publishing house in Suffolk. I expected paperwork, but instead I got Liz Calder who co-founded Bloomsbury. It was a surprising and insightful opportunity that I’m glad I didn’t miss!’ Christina Green, BA (Hons) English Graduate.

‘My work has taken me to the BBC, Heart Radio and more recently Official PlayStation Magazine and I believe my experience has profoundly influenced my success.’ Andrew Smith, BA (Hons) English Graduate.
 
Previous student placements have included Suffolk Magazine, Ipswich Community Radio, Tilston Phillips Magazines, the FlipSide Arts Festival, Diva Magazine, the New Wolsey Theatre, the University News Office and Full Circle Editions. 
 
For regular course updates, visit the BA (Hons) English Facebook page

Student profiles

When applying for university, I wanted to stay close to home but also receive the best education and quality of teaching that I could get. I certainly got all this and more at the University of Suffolk. My lecturers are incredibly intelligent, inspiring and always very supportive. I...

Fees and finance

2017-18

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £10,080 p.a.

2018-19         

Subject to approval of maximum fee by parliament                    

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £11,500 p.a.

Further Information                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Applicants must have at least grade C or above in A-Level English.

Also see How to Apply.

International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.             

Staff

Lecturer in English and Course Leader

Visiting Fellow

Lecturer in English

Lecturer in English

Lecturer in English Literature

Visiting Professor of Literature

Visiting Senior Fellow in Linguistics

Course Administrator

Facilities and Resources

The English course is taught at the beautiful Waterfront Campus in Ipswich, a unique location offering spectacular views and a vibrant space for study and socialising. Teaching and learning takes place in the Waterfront Building, the Arts Building and the new Atrium Building, providing access to the campus’ best facilities including purpose-built seminar rooms and state-of-the-art screening theatres. 

Suffolk is an inspirational place to study English. The county's coastal villages and towns attract writers and artists from all over the world and feature in classic novels by Charles Dickens, George Orwell and Arthur Ransome, as well as recent fictional works by authors such as Marcus Sedgwick, Esther Freud and P. D. James.

Suffolk celebrates the literary arts every year with events such as the Halesworth Arts Festival, the FlipSide Festival, the award-winning Latitude Festival and the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.

Ipswich has a thriving theatre scene including the New Wolsey, Regent, East Anglia’s largest theatre, and Red Rose Chain, an award-winning, community-driven theatre company working in partnership with TV presenter Jimmy Doherty to stage outdoor summer productions of Shakespeare’s plays for over 10,000 spectators. Sir Trevor Nunn, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, schooled in Ipswich and is patron of the New Wolsey Theatre, a vibrant performance space at the heart of the region’s cultural life.

The county is also home to a number of prestigious publishing houses including Full Circle Editions, set up by Bloomsbury co-founder and Harry Potter discoverer-in-chief, Liz Calder.