BA (Hons) English

Our BA degree in English is a respected and long-running programme in the Northwest, taught by supportive, highly qualified tutors in the field of literature. We’ll work to cultivate your interests in the exciting worlds of fiction, poetry, and drama and help you to develop your written and oral communication skills.

BA (Hons) English

Course details

The study of literature is the study of the representation of life, a metaphor for understanding how the world works. Our BA in English aims to broaden your life experience, by introducing you to a wide variety of literary texts – fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, historical, contemporary, from near and far. Through close study, you’ll develop your critical skills, and learn to consider texts from many different perspectives.

We want foremost to expand your understanding of literature and its relation to society – how books have informed, persuaded, shocked and delighted their readers over the centuries and up to the modern day. We’ll support you as you develop your written, oral and critical abilities in a challenging and supportive study environment.

We offer small classes full of big ideas. Our lecturers are renowned scholars and award-winning teachers, who will work to meet your individual learning needs. Through research, discussion, argument and analysis, we offer opportunities for you to learn about the workings of the world around you and to use language effectively and powerfully to achieve your goals.

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: Q300
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Course highlights:

  • Our English and Creative Writing courses are ranked second in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 also ranks our English subject area as top in the UK for student experience and second in the UK for teaching quality.
  • You can benefit from our strong links with external creative organisations, including the nationally acclaimed Octagon Theatre, Bolton, where you can gain behind-the-scenes access and workshop experience.
  • You’ll have access to reduced-price tickets for Octagon performances and other events related to your course, including poetry readings.
  • We’ll encourage you to submit your work to our recognised literary magazine The Bolton Review so you can gain publishing experience.

Key features:

  • We offer popular options in women’s writing, Gothic fiction, children’s literature, film adaptation and contemporary poetry, in addition to a range of exciting core modules that build on our close links with the Creative Writing team.
  • Our English tutors actively research the three core areas of poetry, prose and drama, feeding their knowledge back into the curriculum so you can benefit from the latest thinking and discoveries.
  • We work to help you develop a range of skills that are highly valued by employers, such as written and verbal communication, presenting information and ideas, argument and persuasion, working to deadlines, research and critical analysis, listening, IT, cultural awareness, and lifelong learning.
  • You’ll be encouraged to attend guest lectures from literary scholars, and to hear contemporary writers read at the University’s regular, well-established “Live Literature” events.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: Q300
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Your Level 3 subjects should normally include English; for instance, A-level English Language and Literature or Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject.

You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English.

If you don't have the above qualifications but have a strong portfolio of relevant work then we encourage you to apply.

You may be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.

If English isn't your first language you'll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). Find out more

Career opportunities

The skills you gain by undertaking an English degree are marketable in most career areas. As an English student you’ll be encouraged to lead and participate in discussions, work with others when presenting information and ideas, and effectively convey arguments and opinions, using your judgement to weigh up different options and perspectives. In addition, you’ll be encouraged to develop comprehensive written and spoken communication skills.

As English is a non-vocational course, extracurricular skills are vital in developing your employability. Many undergraduates write for student newspapers or volunteer in a range of different areas to enhance their transferable skills.

What can I do with this qualification?

English graduates are found in most industries, filling a variety of roles. They are often found where strong communication and written English skills are top priorities; for example, in media, publishing, journalism, teaching, advertising, marketing and PR. These roles combine high levels of creativity with excellent communication skills.

As one of the principal humanities subjects on the National Curriculum an English degree is an excellent starting point for entry into the teaching profession. To teach at primary or secondary level you’ll need a professional teaching qualification and experience of working with young people. To work at University level you’ll be required to gain at least a Master’s degree (in the field in which you wish to teach) and often a PhD.

Some English graduates choose to continue their academic studies by doing more vocational postgraduate courses in areas such as journalism, librarianship or law.

Alternative career options

  • Libraries
  • Information, research and records management
  • Police and Fire Service
  • Market Research
  • Housing
  • Events management
  • Careers guidance
  • Local and national government
  • Heritage and culture
  • Arts administration
  • Teaching abroad
  • Research and consultancy
  • Voluntary and charitable organisations
  • Tourism

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Scholarship
  • Off the Page
  • Stories and Narrative
  • Classics of American Literature
  • Introduction to Literature: Form and Genre
  • Introduction to Literature: Text and Context
  • Future Directions
  • Critical Dialogues
  • The Literature of Love
  • Perspectives on Poetry
  • Aspects of Prose Fiction
  • Approaches to Drama
  • Gothic Narratives
  • Adaptation
  • Ambivalent Intimacies: Reading Contemporary British Fiction
  • Virtual Victorians
  • Children's Literature
  • Narrative Representations of Female Desire
  • Special Authors
  • Renaissance Drama
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Dissertation and Research Skills

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential. Lectures are used to introduce the literary works being studied. Here we open up concepts and make connections to critical, theoretical and historical information to help enrich your understanding of the texts. Seminars allow you to explore subjects in greater detail and incorporate small group work and whole group discussion.

One-to-one tutorials offer space for you to ask any questions you have, ensuring you understand the topics covered in the lectures and seminars. You can discuss assignments and receive feedback on your work. You’ll also undertake guided independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities and working on assignments.

The University’s e-learning portal Moodle will support your learning online by offering additional resources for each module. Guest lectures and readings by a variety of visiting speakers from the literary and theatre worlds will offer you the chance to further develop your knowledge and understanding.

In terms of formal assessment, you can expect essays of varying lengths, notebooks, reviews, presentations, portfolios and exams. These contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes.

We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these do not count towards your final module mark. You’ll also receive feedback on assessment drafts. This will help to identify any areas which would benefit from extra attention on your part, or where you need more support from your tutor.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (91%), Practical exams (9%)
Level Two Coursework (74%), Practical exams (9%), Written exams (17%)
Level Three Coursework (87%), Practical exams (13%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (66%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (34%)
Level Two Guided independent study (75%), Placement/study abroad (3%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (22%)
Level Three Guided independent study (80%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (20%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    4.5 years

Contact us

Jill Marsden
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903238

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903