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BA (Hons) English and History

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UCAS code: 
QV31 BA/EHist
Institution code: 
West Suffolk College


Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

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


This course is delivered at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds.



English and History are natural complements for each other.  History provides a vital framework for understanding literary texts in relation to their cultural context; the written word, in its many forms and varieties, provides a substantial part of the material with which historians work.  To study the subjects in combination provides the student with both subject-specific knowledge and the additional intellectual enrichment that comes from an inter-disciplinary approach.  We have developed a strong philosophy of encouraging appreciation of the contemporary relevance of  both subjects and of supporting students with a wide range of abilities, needs and interests. 

English on this course is designed to represent literature from as wide a range of periods, cultural contexts and global varieties as possible, providing a stimulating, engaging and diverse experience of literature to include a comparable balance of poetry, prose and drama.  We have developed a very strong philosophy of encouraging enthusiasm for literature and supporting students with a wide range of abilities, needs and interests.  The History on this course is designed to develop students’ understanding of historical processes through the study of a range of periods and geographical contexts, promoting awareness of continuity and change.  Modules span the early modern period to the present and embrace three identifiable strands: British Social and Cultural History, Family and Community History and Comparative European and Imperial History.  Over the course of study, students experience key varieties of history with their distinctive focus, theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches.

Assessments are varied encompassing site and field studies, research projects as in the oral history module ‘Listening to the Past’, as well as more traditional essay and report based assessments. As a whole the module and assessment diet is designed to foster advanced skills of critical engagement with both the raw materials of history i.e. a range of documentary, visual and literary sources as well as key works of historical scholarship.   

Highly qualified staff with a real passion for English and History and teaching deliver all modules and offer students considerable personal attention and support throughout the course.  A key advantage of studying with us is that class sizes are smaller than in many other institutions.  This facilitates varied and innovative teaching methods include lectures, seminars, workshops, group projects, trips, oral history and one-to-one discussion.

Course aims:

  • to provide an intellectually satisfying and worthwhile experience of studying and learning within the distinctive frameworks of English and History
  • to encourage the development of intellectual maturity, openness of mind and an imaginative and creative approach to problem-solving;
  • to enable students to develop a capacity for sophisticated analytical thinking and judgement;
  • to enable students to develop a range of subject specific and transferable skills of value in employment including high-order skills in oral and written communication and in the gathering, interpretation and presentation of information;
  • to provide the opportunity for students to gain confidence in working both independently and as a member or leader of a group or team;
  • to prepare students to undertake further study in English, History and in related disciplines.

Extra-curricular activities                                                                                                                           

Students’ experience is enriched by organised visits to the theatre and to museums, galleries and conferences when appropriate.  There is an annual trip to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and there are occasional foreign residential visits.  These have included trips to Berlin, Madrid and Athens in recent years.  We also run an annual English and History conference at which students can enjoy and benefit from lectures by a variety of guest speakers. 

Visiting speakers

Enrichment is also provided by academics from other universities who are regularly invited to give guest lectures.  This is enormously stimulating for students who gain new perspectives on the theme or period being studied. 

Among comments from students are the following:

‘A brilliant experience all round; it has really changed my life by giving me confidence in my abilities as well as introducing me to some fascinating books.’

‘The course is very interesting and challenging.  The lecturers are always enthusiastic and very well-informed about their subjects.  There is always a lot of very helpful feedback on essays.’


Teaching is by lecture, seminar and academic tutorial. The tuition is enhanced by appearances from guest speakers and by visits to museums, theatre productions and art galleries. All class-based tuition is delivered at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College.

A Module Booklet containing materials on analysing prose fiction, short stories, essays/secondary critical materials will be supplied by tutors.

Academic Tutorials
Academic tutorials enable you to meet with tutors to discuss questions arising from subject matter in general or specific questions related to your academic work. They may take place on a one-to-one basis or in small groups and they assume particular importance during the preparation of assessed coursework and when reflecting on marked coursework after it has been returned to you.

Personal tutorials
Personal tutorials i.e. support and/or advice about non-academic matters affecting your study, can be arranged with the HE Support Tutor. A range of confidential specialist welfare support services are available:

  • Finance 
  • Counselling 
  • Personal matters affecting your study 
  • Liaison point for access to specialist university Ipswich Student Support services such as careers information and guidance, academic appeals

Study Skills Support
Study skills support can help you to gain or improve the underpinning skills you need to succeed in your university studies. The university West Suffolk College campus provides workshops in the following subjects: Academic writing, Dissertation skills, Library skills for HE, avoiding plagiarism, Harvard referencing, Information Technology, Mathematics & Statistics, Exam preparation and using e-resources effectively.

Course modules

This is a joint Honours degree and modules in both English and History have to be taken throughout the course.

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 the Study of Drama
From Cradle to Grave in England 1560-1720
Introduction to Political Ideas
Approaches to Fiction
Reading Poetry
Introduction to Historical Studies
Dissertation/Project Preparation

This is a mandatory module and will count towards one of your combined subjects.

For the remaining modules at Level 5, choose two modules from one subject and three modules from the other.

Weird Fiction: The Gothic Genre: 1760-1897
Late Victorian Literature
Challenging Shakespeare
Mentalities of Empire:1750-1950
Listening to the Past
Britain in the Nineteenth Century

For Dissertation in History choose one History module and all three English modules

For Dissertation in English choose one English module and all three History modules

For Interdisciplinary Dissertation choose two English modules and two History modules.

Modernism and the City
Writing Rebellion: Literature 1956-70
Monsters, Madness and Modernity
Aspects of East Anglian History and Heritage
The Spanish Civil War
Families in England:1800-2000

Career opportunities

The skills you will acquire during the course include high-level written and oral communication skills, the ability to understand complex text, research and information-management skills, time-management and organisational skills.  These are applicable in a range of employment categories including teaching, management, journalism and the media, law, administration and others.  Teaching, either in the school or tertiary sector, is a popular progression route but students have also found work with local museums, charities, businesses and government organizations.   Suitably qualified students also progress to postgraduate study at MA or PhD level.

Student profiles

Fees and finance


  • 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: £11,790 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Tuition Fees
  • Financial Support
  • 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 your course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements


Subject Leader Access and Combined Routes

Route Leader History

Facilities and Resources

Students have access to physical libraries both at West Suffolk College and at the University in Ipswich in addition to a vast resource of materials online. Benefit from support both from academic staff and the HE Support Tutor. Students have space to work both in the library and in the common room.