BA English Literature: modules and course structure

The below information is relevant for both our single honours English Literature course (Q306) and any dual honours courses with English Literature (QR50, QV31, QW33 and QV35).

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


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

In your first year all students (single and dual honours) take the core module: Renaissance to Revolution (40 credits). Remaining credits can be chosen from the list of optional English modules listed below (all 20 credits) or you can take up to 80 credits in unrestricted modules from across the University. Dual students must also fulfil the core requirement for their other subject.

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
Renaissance to Revolution 40 Core

You will also choose up to 80 credits from:

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
Early Englishes 20 Optional
Contemporary Literature 20 Optional
Introduction to Creative Writing 20 Optional
Early American Literature 20 Optional
Shakespeare 20 Optional
History of English 20 Optional
Practical Stylistics 20 Optional
Studying Theatre 20 Optional
Foundations in Literary Study: Biblical and Classical Sources 20 Optional
Celtic Languages and Literature 20 Optional
Introduction to Cinema 20 Optional
Reviewing Theatre 20 Optional
Hollywood Cinema 20 Optional
Year 2

In your second year, if you are a single honours student, you will take the following core modules worth 40 credits each. If you are a dual honours student, you will take a minimum of 40 core credits within the School of English. (You might choose to take one or both of the following core modules in its entirety, or you might take 20 credits from each core module in the Autumn semester.)

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
Romanticism to Modernism 40 Core/Optional for Dual Honours
Literature and Critical Thought 40 Core/Optional for Dual Honours

Here is a list of some of the optional modules currently being offered in English Literature for second year students:

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
Road Narratives in American Culture 20 Optional
John Donne 20 Optional
Shakespeare on Film 20 Optional
Literature and Nonsense 20 Optional
Creating Fiction 20 Optional
Literature, Ecology, Capital 20 Optional
New Realisms: Contemporary British Cinema 20 Optional
European Gothic 20 Optional
Representing the Holocaust 20 Optional
Adaptation: Theory and Practice 20 Optional
Storying Sheffield 20 Optional
Good Books: Intertextual Approaches to Literature and the Bible 20 Optional
Satire and Print in Eighteenth-Century Literature 20 Optional
Year 3

In your third year, there are no core requirements. You will choose from a wide range of options: from short, intensive topics to year-long modules (including an optional dissertation). If you are a dual honours student, you will choose a minimum of 40 credits within the School of English.

All the optional modules available in your third year reflect areas of research by our world-leading academics and may include:

Module title Credits Core/ Optional
The Invention of Romanticism: Pride, Persuasion and the Modern Mind 20/40 Optional
Strange Forms: Diaries, Letters, Memoirs and Other Peculiar Genres 20/40 Optional
Radical Theory 20/40 Optional
Stories at the End of the World: From the Beginning of the End to Apocalypse Now 20/40 Optional
Textual Materialities: Archives, Editing and Literary Artefacts 20/40 Optional
What it Means Not to be Human: Animals, Ecology, Technology, Literature 20/40 Optional
Immodest Women: Lives and Lines 20/40 Optional
Creative, Experimental, Destructive (Writing) 20/40 Optional
Chivalry and Romance in the Middle Ages 20/40 Optional
Middlemarch 20/40 Optional
Power, Knowledge and Sexuality on Stage, 1580 -1700 20/40 Optional
Searching Selves: Voicing the Early Modern ‘I’ 20/40 Optional
Dissertation 20/40 Optional


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. Our academic staff are experts in their field and use their cutting-edge research to inform their teaching and the content of the modules you will study.


The essay is the staple of assessment for English 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 will also experience a range of other assessment methods such as group presentations and poster design.

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 Literature (2019 entry)

BA English Literature (2020 entry)

Single honours courses

Dual honours courses