English Language and English Literature BA(Hons)


English language and linguistics at the University of Brighton. Quotation by Edmund Spenser

The English Language and English Literature degree at the University of Brighton is an innovative and exciting course that will engage you in a variety of texts from around the world and help you to examine how the English language works in different social, political and cultural contexts. You will develop professional writing and expressive skills, working with experienced and passionate staff who are committed to engaging you in your course of study and supporting you through your time here in Brighton.

You will analyse and practise writing for different purposes and audiences, learn how the English language developed and became one of the most powerful languages in the world. Your English Literature work will look at various genres - drama, poetry, the novel - and on different ways of reading texts and writing for different audiences. You will also explore historical, contextual and cross-cultural approaches to literature, literature in translation as well as writings from the 'New World' and the former colonies.

Students are encouraged to consider the place of their discipline in the world beyond the classroom and to explicitly link the skills they are acquiring on their degree with their individual professional and personal development. There are volunteering placements available in partnership with local community projects and city schools and students are encouraged to become actively engaged in local events. Students are also asked to submit work and ideas for the student literary journal brightONLINE  and subject-related student societies such as the Literature Society and BUDS (Brighton University Drama Society:http://www.brightonunidrama.co.uk). The degree offers unique opportunities for students to apply their skills to real life scenarios and reflect on how their degree will effect and enhance their employability. The course also offers students exciting opportunities to take part in a collaborative anthology and a graduate show.

The lecturers have a diverse range of research skills and expertise and are also committed to outstanding teaching.  Several of the team have been awarded Teaching Excellence awards and the seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials are dynamic, challenging and supportive spaces in which to learn and grow. There is also a series of guest speaker sessions including the bestselling novelist Peter James http://www.peterjames.com/ and the writer Graham Duff http://www.grahamduff.co.uk/, a graduate of the University of Brighton, who writes and performs in the award winning series Ideal.  



Key facts

UCAS code Q390

Duration Help

Full-time: 3 years (max 7 years)

Part-time: 6 years (max 7 years)

With placement year Optional

Typical entry requirements Help
individual offers may vary

Location Help Falmer

BBC which must include English literature or combined English language and literature.


International Baccalaureate:
28 points, specified subjects.

Access to HE Diploma
pass with at least 45 credits at level 3. Humanities, History or Politics courses preferred

GCSE (minimum grade C) or Access Equivalent
at least three subjects including English language and mathematics or a science.

Foundation degree/HND
may enable you to start the course in year 2.

For non-native speakers of English:
IELTS 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in the other elements.



The fees listed here are for full-time courses for the upcoming academic year only. Further fees are payable for subsequent years of study.

The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, whether you study full- or part-time and whether or not you already have a higher education qualification. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take. Different rules apply to research degrees - contact the course team for up-to-date information.

Visit www.brighton.ac.uk/money for more information, including advice on international and island fee paying status, and the government's Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) policy.

BA(Hons) English Language and English Literature

UK/EU (FT) - 9,000 GBP

Island Students (FT) - 9,000 GBP

International (FT) - 13,220 GBP



English literature Brighton: James Joyce 

English Literature at Brighton is characterised by a commitment to the study of texts in contexts, by an attention to the debates and theories that all contemporary students of literature must engage with, and by an emphasis on writing - critical or creative - as practice. Students are encouraged to develop a sense of themselves as autonomous critical and analytical readers and writers in a diverse range of forms from their first year, and to build on their strengths as they negotiate a pathway through the degree.

English Literature offers a distinctive merging of an analytical focus on the differing roles the written word plays across cultures with the opportunities for applying that knowledge and reading through the practice of developing critical and creative work as an integral part of the programme.

Our literature students are encouraged to become actively engaged in producing and practising creative work in a variety of modes through many modules, through community work and a volunteering programme in partnership with local schools, through participation in local events, through the student literary journal brightONLINE and subject-related student societies such as the Literature Society and BUDS (Brighton University Drama Society: http://www.brightonunidrama.co.uk).

We study texts generically (for instance, narrative), within critical disciplines (for instance, sexuality and gender), multi-culturally and historically, within appropriate historical contexts and with an awareness of how older texts speak and have spoken differently over time. We feature earlier literature not because of a belief that old books are good because they’re old, but because we feel students are entitled to explore earlier texts in the light of current preoccupations and, even more so, within their original and urgent historical moments – such as the literature of the ferment that was England in the 1640s and 1650s; or Shakespeare’s highly charged notions of what constituted ‘Venice’ and the ‘other’; or late 19th century texts entangled in the ‘woman question’.

English Literature is arguably the ideal subject to study as part of a joint honours programme since the subject marries a range of key interdisciplinary practices and perspectives. As part of your joint honours degree, the study of English Literature offers unique opportunities to access new approaches to a diverse range of topics. Studying Literature alongside another academic discipline will help you develop a range of skills and foster critical and analytical skills. Illuminating relationships across as well as distinct differences between your subject areas, your joint honours degree will open up interests and connections that complement and enliven your studies here at Brighton.


English Language

Language studies at University of Brighton Faculty of ArtsImages (right to left): Text of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf; our students explore medieval language on a field trip to Canterbury; Victorian advertising language

If you are considering English Language at university it may be because you have a particular interest in the structure of the language, in how it is constantly changing and developing and in how we may understand, describe and understand these changes.

It may be that you want to look more closely at how literary and popular texts are constructed depending on their intended audience and purpose. Perhaps you would like to learn more about how the historical and current changes and developments in English reflect a wide range of social and political events and issues. Or is it because you are fascinated by this language which has global importance as a means of communication but means so many different things to different people? Each of us has our own relationship with the English we speak and write and share with the many different communities that we live in both physically and virtually and this is just one of the many issues that you can explore further in your studies.

At Brighton you can study English Language as part of a joint honours degree with Linguistics, Literature or Media and it is the symbiotic nature of these four subjects which is valued by our teaching team. The strength of studying English alongside another subject is highlighted in the latest English Language Subject Benchmark Statement  by a national group of English Language scholars and coordinated by the University of Brighton.

“The responsive nature of the discipline and its intellectual range and diversity of approach open it up to the knowledge and procedures of other subjects. English Language encourages inter- and multidisciplinary procedures’ English Language Subject Benchmark Statement , June 2011, (page 4)

Committed to the value of excellent teaching, members of the English Language team in Brighton have been nominated by their students for both the Excellence in Teaching Scheme, and the Brighton Students’ Union Excellence Awards. Recently one of our team received the Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning (University of Brighton) Award and was one of the two tutors nominated by the University for the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme run by The Higher Education Academy.

Team members’ current research interests reflect this commitment to teaching and include working on developing students’ advanced academic writing skills in collaborative groups, feedback practices, and pedagogical grammars of English Language. We deliver course content through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops and regularly offer small group and individual tutorials, and all modules are supported by active use of the university’s online learning environment.

Some of the wideranging texts for our English Language degree courses


Course details

The creativity centre at the University of Brighton provides space for students to work in a relaxed environmentImage: Students make use of the University of Brighton creativity centre for writing groups


The English Language and Literature degree at the University of Brighton is defined by the symbiotic relationship between language use and Literature within different social, cultural and historical and political contexts.

Whether we are considering particular periods in Literature, practices of writing or variation in language use, we look for and explore those connections between the cultural contexts and the ‘texts’ which arise out of those socio-historical moments.

We also believe firmly in the strengths of combining theoretical study with opportunities for creative practice. There is a strong emphasis on linking the skills you are acquiring at undergraduate level, and how they will be relevant one you graduate. Your personal, vocational and academic development is embedded throughout the degree programme.  You will also be able to enhance your creative processes, with opportunities to produce visual and written pieces in a dynamic workshop environment. In this way, you are able to place your own creative work under the constructive critical gaze of your peers and share in the feedback process. The English Language strand gives you the tools to be able to analyse language critically and develop your skills in writing different genres and to explore self-expression through creative writing.

Course structure

The content and structure of the English Language and Literature BA(Hons) at the University of Brighton reflect the course’s aims and ethos. The English Language strand provides you with a strong understanding of the fundamentals of the English Language. This includes the meta language used to describe language features, the historical and continuing development and social aspect of the English Language. The Literature strand engages students in a comprehensive range of dynamic and powerful texts and offers critical and creative approaches to writing that will help you to develop key analytical skills and a deep theoretical knowledge of genres and styles. In the final year you will be expected to pursue your individual research and practice interests.

An important design of the curriculum is to give you more choice in specific subject areas as you proceed through the course. In your first year you study six core modules, three in English Language and three in Literature. In your second year you choose two options besides the four core modules in English Language and Literature. In your third year you study two core modules, one in literature and one in English Language and two options. You also undertake your major piece of work in a subject or subjects of your choice either as a dissertation or as a creative project. This enables you to use your option choices to forge a unique individual pathway. For example, you might take more practice based modules such as documentary making or creative writing to shape your degree to have a more creative edge. You may choose, however, to pursue a more theoretical pathway or even a combination of the two.

In year 1, you will study a diverse range of genres and approaches that will introduce you to the study of Literature at degree level. You will develop the critical and theoretical tools that will help you to enhance your analytical reading and practical writing skills. Your first year will also engage you in the principal concepts that are relevant to your study of English Language. The core English Language modules will enable you to develop the meta language to describe language features and their use in different genres. You will also explore the historical perspective of the development of the English Language.

In year 2, you study Literature from the sixteenth century to the present, with a strong emphasis on the historical and cultural contexts. The second year also provides an essential grounding in understanding language in society and how it varies according to both context and the user. The focus of several year 2 modules is also on enabling independent study and research in preparation for the skills required in your year 3 dissertation or creative project.

In year 3, you will study postcolonial Literature, with a particular emphasis on Literature from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Building on the knowledge developed over the first and second year, you will study different approaches to analysing how different types of discourse are constructed. You will also identify a topic for your self-motivated research project – a critical dissertation or a creative and analytical piece.

Year 1

Poetry in Cultural History
Narrative and Narratives
Literature, Criticism, and Theory

Structure and Grammar of English

Text Design: Genre and Style

Perspectives of the History of the English Language

Year 2

The Nineteenth Century in Literature
Early Modern Literature

Language, Identity and Power

Researching variation in Language

Two options from:

Introduction to Journalism


British Literature and 20th Century History

Creative Writing

Linguistics and Grammar: Concepts and Analyses

Second Language Acquisition


Signs, Genres and Representation

Life Online: Contemporary Media & Society

Videogames Cultures

American Literature 1850-1960

Studying Travel Writing

Writing and Social Purpose

Spoken and Written Language

Documentary project

Film Noir

Community and Personal Development Project

UCML – (French, German, Spanish) – NB this module runs over 2 semesters

Year 3

Analysing Discourse

Post Colonial Literatures

Dissertation or Creative Project

Two options from:

Reading British Narrative Texts

Writing for the Screen

Creative Writing Project

Kerpow! Language of Graphic Novels

English Language Teaching

Women's Writing, Feminist Theory

Approaches to the Study of Meaning

Film, Culture and Language

French, German, Spanish

Journalism and Media Communication

Literary Adaptations

Performing Gender

Victorian Sexualities

Brighton Rocks

Approaches to the Study of Meaning

Images of War

Children’s Screen Cultures

Screen Comedy

Literature and Film as Philosophy

Community Participation and Development


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