BA English Language and Literature: modules and course structure

The below information is relevant to both our single honours English Language and Literature course (Q304) and our dual honours English Language and Sociology course (QL33).

Links back to the current course listings are at the bottom of this page.

Modules

Over the course of each academic year at Sheffield, you will need to study modules that equate to the value of 120 credits. Some of these credits will be taken up by our core modules, which are designed to give you the breadth of knowledge and ways of thinking necessary to the degree being awarded. For your remaining credits, you will be able to choose from an extensive range of optional modules, allowing you to shape your degree to the topics that interest you.

Year 1

You will take the following core modules in year one:

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
Practical Stylistics 20 Core
The Sounds of English 10 Core
The Structure of English 10 Core
+ 20 credits of Literature modules 20 Core

You will also take a minimum of 20 credits from the following list:

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
Varieties of English 20 Optional
History of English 20 Optional
Celtic Languages and Literatures: an Introduction 20 Optional
Early Englishes 20 Optional
Linguistics Theory 20 Optional
Early American Literature 20 Optional
Introduction to Creative Writing 20 Optional
Hollywood Cinema 20 Optional
Contemporary Literature 20 Optional
Foundations in Literary Study: Biblical and Classical Sources in English Literature 20 Optional
Shakespeare 20 Optional
Reviewing Theatre 20 Optional
Studying Theatre 20 Optional
Introduction to Cinema 20 Optional
Renaissance to Revolution (students wishing to take this module must begin it in the Autumn semester) 20 Optional

For your remaining 40 credits, you may choose modules from the above list, or you can take up to 40 credits of unrestricted modules from across the University of Sheffield. 

Year 2

In the second year, you take two core English Language and Literature modules, one in each semester. These modules continue the work that you began in Practical Stylistics, exploring the language of literary and non-literary texts.

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
History of Persuasion 20 Core
Writing the Real 20 Core

You will then choose at least one module from English Language, and one from English Literature.

For your remaining 40 credits, you will take at least 20 credits within the School of English, which may be within English Language or English Literature. For a list of the optional modules you may be able to choose from in your second year, see our English Literature and English Language and Linguistics modules pages. 

Year 3

In the third year, you take at least two specialist modules that bring language and literature together. These modules allow you to specialise a little as you come to the end of your course, and work with a member of staff on an area that is closely related to his or her own research. The modules on offer change from year to year, but could include some or all of the following: Dialect in Film and Literature, Narrative Style in the Contemporary Novel, Cognitive Poetics, Researching Real Readers. You may also take a Language and Literature dissertation.

You will then choose at least one module from English Language, and one from English Literature.

For your remaining 40 credits, you will take at least 20 credits within the School of English which may be within English Language or English Literature. For a list of the optional modules you may be able to choose from in your third year, see our English Literature and English Language and Linguistics modules pages. 

Teaching

Throughout your degree, you will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars. Lectures are designed to give you a grounding in a particular topic and to introduce you to the surrounding theories, concepts and ideas. Seminars give you the chance to explore these topics in greater depth, to develop your own ideas and to share these through discussion with your tutors and fellow students.

Assessment

The essay is the staple of assessment for Language and Literature students, allowing you to develop your writing skills through a continual process of practice and feedback. There are also a small number of traditional timed exams. Depending on the modules you choose, you’ll also experience a range of other assessment methods such as creating websites, group presentations, completing learning journals or designing posters.


Course content: The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.


Related information

BA English Language and Literature (2019 entry)

BA English Language and Literature (2020 entry)

Single honours courses

Dual honours courses