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English and History BA

School of English

Department of History

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

History students in a seminar

English and history is a natural combination, uniquely positioning you to understand and interrogate diverse texts and media from all over the world and place them within their historical, social and political contexts.

You'll explore literary and historical cultures from the medieval to the present day, all the while developing your skills as a critical, creative and independent thinker.

As a dual honours student, you'll divide your studies between the School of English and the Department of History. Choice and flexibility are at the heart of our teaching, which means you can pursue and develop your own interests. At every level, there is a wide variety of modules to choose from. You will be taught by world-leading experts from both departments.

You'll be required to take a minimum number of credits within both departments each year, but how you choose to divide your modules after this is up to you: split your modules evenly between English and History, or choose to weight your degree in favour of one subject or the other.

For the English side of your course, you can pursue either an English Literature or an English Language pathway, or take modules from both areas.

Research is central to the student experience here in Sheffield. All our teaching is informed by the latest findings, and all our students have the opportunity to carry out their own research project as part of their degree. Outside of your degree, there are many opportunities to develop your interests, insights and critical faculties.

Dual and combined honours degrees

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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.

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Title: English and History BA course structure
UCAS code: QV31
Years: 2021

For English, all first year students 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 from guided modules from across the University. Dual students must also fulfil the core requirement for their other subject.

For history, the first year programme is designed to help you to make the transition from studying History at school or college to studying it at degree level. Building your confidence and broadening your knowledge.

It introduces you to core academic skills and provides a solid grounding in historical study and research, giving you the foundations you'll need to deepen your understanding of historical events and processes throughout your degree and setting you off on the path to becoming an independent historian.

Our first year history option modules introduce you to our main areas of teaching and research and give you insight into what you can study in the coming years, so that you can better shape your degree to your individual interests.

You will take one core module and have 40 credits available to use on option modules.

English core module:

Renaissance to Revolution

This module surveys the poetry and prose from the early modern period in England, i.e., that written between the beginnings of the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century to the late eighteenth century. We will look at different genres, from court complaint to sonnets, prose fiction, erotic verse, restoration drama and the works of writers such as Donne, Herbert, Spenser, Marlowe, Dyrden, Milton and Pope. The texts studied will be related to critical methods that help us understand the relationships between literature and the culture, society, and politics of the period in which it was produced.

40 credits

English optional modules:

Contemporary Literature

This module introduces students to a diverse range of texts in English (prose, poetry, and film) with a focus on texts published since 2000. Texts will be chosen to provoke thinking and debate on urgent and controversial topics that might include: globalisation and neoliberalism; ecology and animal lives; artificial intelligence and the posthuman; political activism and social justice; migration and displacement; state violence and armed conflict. We will discuss formally and conceptually challenging works, raise ethical and philosophical questions and begin to discover how current critical and theoretical approaches can help us to engage with contemporary texts.

20 credits
Early Englishes

Early Englishes works backward over a whole millennium of English, 1600 to 600. Each week's lectures and seminar focus on one century and one text representative of that century (for example, Beowulf and Piers Plowman). We will use a variety of techniques , literary, linguistic, anthropological, cultural historical, to analyse each text, thereby opening up discussion of the issues that preoccupied the English of the time, from glorious monster-slaying to the slow surrender of pagan belief to terror at the imminent arrival of Antichrist and on to the first expressions of love and desire. Texts will initially be studied in translation so no prior knowledge of Old or Middle English is necessary, but students will also be given the opportunity to examine texts in the original language.

20 credits
Introduction to Creative Writing

The aim of this unit is to help students to develop their expressive and technical skills in writing poetry and prose and to improve their abilities as an editor and critic of their own and other people's writing. Students will be guided in the production of new work and encouraged to develop an analytical awareness of both the craft elements and the wider cultural and theoretical contexts of writing. This module explores poetic techniques for creating new poems and narrative techniques for generating some prose work through the critical study of published examples, imaginative exercises, discussion and feedback on students' own writing. This exploration will help students to develop their own creative work while sharpening critical appreciation of published poetry and modern and contemporary fiction. The course is designed to give students the expereince of being workshopped as well as to establish basic creative writing techniques on Level 1 to preparing students for the challenges of Creative Writing Level 2.

20 credits
Shakespeare

This unit introduces students to the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare. Students will read a wide range of his works and will analyse them in the context of the cultural and historical energies of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. We will consider the range of dramatic styles and genres that he engages, alongside the conditions of performance, kinds of publication, and the characteristics of the language in which he worked. We shall also relate the texts to critical methods that help illuminate the relationships between drama and the culture, politics, and religion of the period.

20 credits
History of English

This module traces the history of the English language of the Fifth century AD through to the present day. Students will learn about the development of English over this period, looking at the factors which have shaped the language, and learning a variety of techniques for studying the language. The module will also introduce students to the range and variety of the English language at all periods, and to the ways in which English influences, and is influenced by, other languages.

20 credits
Practical Stylistics

How are literary effects created through language? How can we describe these effects? This course will aim to provide literature students with a gentle introduction to language, and provide language students with experience of applying linguistic analysis to literary texts. The emphasis will be upon a practical hands-on approach, and topics covered will include sentence structure, lexical choice, cohesion, narrative structure, discourse analysis (with reference to drama and dialogue) and point of view in narrative fiction. The texts studied will be predominantly literary and twentieth century, and will include extracts from novels, plays, poetry and short stories.

20 credits
Introduction to Cinema

This module aims to study a cross-section of the most important American films up to the present day and to develop both a formalist and an institutional analysis of these works. Its intention is to study the growth of the classical Hollywood style, a matter of a sophisticated range of technical stratagems as well as of a genre-based cinema, and of the institution of Hollywood itself, the most significant force in cinema to-day.

20 credits
Studying Theatre: A History of Dramatic Texts in Performance

Covering classical, contemporary and popular texts, Studying Theatre; A History of Dramatic Text in Performance aims to turn an interest in theatre and theatre-going into a more thorough appreciation of the ways in which playwriting, acting, design and performance have shaped theatre's development. Each week students will study a particular play and the historical context that informed its first performances and its theatrical afterlife. The course emphasis is on theatre as a social practice and practical discipline. Seminars and lectures will focus on the play in performance, and the processes that underlie production. Students do not need previous knowledge or experience, but should be prepared to try some new approaches to texts, for example through practical workshops.

20 credits

History core module:

History Workshop

What does it take to be a historian? In this module, students study the process of historical research, learning discipline-specific methods and essential study and writing skills through close engagement with a historical monograph linked to their tutor¿s research interests. Students will develop skills in critical reading, historiography, essay writing, bibliographic techniques, and oral communication. Assessment consists of independent work (completing tasks on the online learning environment and producing a critical analysis of the secondary source), and group work (oral presentation on a related historical topic).

20 credits

History optional modules:

Empire: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages

Covering the period from the 4th century BC to the 15th century AD, this module invites students to explore the ancient and medieval worlds through the lens of 'empire'. It provides an introduction to ancient and medieval types of empire, their contacts with and legacies to each other, and the connectedness between East and West in this period. Using a wealth of primary evidence and drawing on corresponding historiographical debates, students explore what it meant to live in ancient and medieval empires, what kind of social, cultural and religious encounters they engendered, and whether there was any space for resistance.

20 credits
Land of Liberty? Rights in the USA, 1776-2016

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that men were created with ‘certain unalienable rights’. Yet the new United States denied those rights to large swathes of its people. Examining themes which resonate powerfully today, this module explores American history as a struggle over how rights have been defined and debated, expanded and contracted, and secured and denied. Linking the history of ideas to the efforts of ordinary people, we will look at debates over liberty and slavery, democracy and disenfranchisement, capital and labour, integration and segregation, gender and sexuality, nationalism and internationalism, and conservatism and liberalism.

20 credits
Paths from Antiquity to Modernity

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the broad structures of Western history from the end of the Roman Empire to the present day. It provides students intending to take History Single or Dual Honours degree modules with a common framework for the more detailed modules that you will be studying at Levels Two and Three. At the same time, it provides non-historians with a fundamental appraisal of the shape of the past, to which courses in other departments will readily relate. Our aim is to equip you with an understanding of the periodisation of western history and of the major transitions in the process of modernisation. In the process, you will become more critically aware of the essential conceptual tools that modern historians readily use to analyse the past. The module aims to provide the essential training in the skills and methods needed for University level historical study.

20 credits
The 'Disenchantment' of Early Modern Europe, c. 1570-1770

This module explores the fundamental shifts in mental attitudes and public behaviour that occurred in Europe between the age of the Reformation and the age of the Enlightenment. The central focus of the course will be the examination of the supernatural - religious beliefs, but also witchcraft and magic. You will explore the changing ways in which beliefs impinged on people's lives at various social levels. You will also have an opportunity to study the impact on people's world views of such changes as rising literacy, urbanisation, state formation and new discoveries about the natural world. All these will be investigated in the institutional contexts of state and church and the ways in which they sought to channel and mould beliefs and behaviour. This module enables you to understand how the early modern period is distinctive from and links medieval and later modern historical studies.

20 credits
The Making of the Twentieth Century

This course looks back at key developments in the political, social and cultural history of the twentieth century. Its aim is to broaden students' views of twentieth-century history by highlighting the ways in which barbarism and civilising forces went hand in hand in forging twentieth-century history. Rather than proceeding purely chronologically, this module focuses on a series of key themes that have shaped twentieth-century history, such as, for example, globalisation and fragmentation; revolutions; the political, social and cultural history of war; and democracy and mass politics. Each topic is introduced by a series of four lectures given by a subject specialist. An accompanying seminar programme allows for the in-depth discussion of specific issues and case studies.

20 credits
The Transformation of the United Kingdom, 1800 to the Present

This module explores the central political, social, economic, cultural and diplomatic developments that have transformed Britain since 1800. Unlike most of its European neighbours, Britain did not experience dramatic moments of revolution, constitution-building, invasion or military defeat; indeed the belief that the nation was set on a course of gradual evolutionary progress was central to many versions of British identity. This course examines how, when and why change occurred in Britain. Key themes include the transition to mass democracy; the impact of industrialisation; shifts in social relationships based on class, gender and ethnicity; and the rise and fall of Britain as an imperial power.

20 credits

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You will learn through a mix of lectures and smaller group seminars. We keep seminar groups small because we believe that's the best way to stimulate discussion and debate. All students are assigned a personal tutor with whom they have regular meetings, and you are welcome to see any of the academic staff in their regular office hours if there's anything you want to ask.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

You'll be taught by world-leading experts in both departments. School of English staff are researchers, critics, and writers. They're also passionate, dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students are inspired. In the Department of History, our internationally renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents, allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents and remarkable people.

Assessment

In addition to writing essays and more traditional exams, our modules use a range of innovative assessments that can include designing websites, writing blog posts, delivering presentations and working with publishing software.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
AAB
typically including History or Classical Civilisation

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB
typically including History or Classical Civilisation

A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB, typically including History or Classical Civilisation + B in a relevant EPQ ABB, typically including History or Classical Civilisation + B in a relevant EPQ

International Baccalaureate | 34, typically with 5 in Higher Level History or Classical Civilisation 33 typically including 5 in Higher Level History

BTEC | DD in a relevant subject, typically in combination with grade A History or Classical Civilisation DD in a relevant subject, typically in combination with grade A History or Classical Civilisation

Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher | AAABB + B, typically including History or Classical Civilisation AABBB + B, typically including an Arts and Humanities subject

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA, typically including History or Classical Civilisation B + AB, typically including History or Classical Civilisation

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall with 45 at level 3 including Distinctions in 36credits including History credits + Merits in 9 credits . 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at level 3 including Distinctions in 30 credits including History credits + Merits in 15 credits .

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • General Studies is accepted

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

School of English

We're a research-intensive school with an international perspective on English studies. Students can specialise in their chosen subject, whilst taking modules from other programmes, forging interdisciplinary connections. We are famous for our pioneering work with communities, locally and internationally. We encourage our students to get involved and to apply their academic learning, working in partnership with external organisations both within the city of Sheffield and beyond.

Our staff are researchers, critics, and writers. They're also passionate, dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students are inspired.

We keep seminar groups small because we believe that's the best way to stimulate discussion and debate. Our modules use a range of innovative assessments and can include designing websites, writing blog posts, and working with publishing software, in addition to writing essays and delivering presentations.

We're committed to providing our students with the pastoral support they need in order to thrive on their degree. All students are assigned a personal tutor with whom they have regular meetings. You are welcome to see any of the academic staff in their regular student consultations if there's anything you want to ask.

The School of English is based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the university campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the Department of History and the School of Languages and Cultures.

School of English

Department of History

As a history student at Sheffield, you'll develop your understanding of the past in a friendly and supportive environment.

Our internationally-renowned tutors offer modules spanning four thousand years and criss-crossing continents - allowing you to explore great events, extraordinary documents, remarkable people, and long-lasting transformations, from the ancient period to the modern day and across the globe.

You can tailor your course to suit you, discovering the areas of history that most inspire you most while preparing for the future you want with opportunities like studying abroad, work placements and volunteering.

Department of History students are based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the university campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the School of English and the School of Languages and Cultures.

Department of History

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


School of English

1st for research environment

Research Excellence Framework 2014


Department of History

Top 5 in the UK for History

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

3rd in the UK for world-leading research

Research Excellence Framework 2014


Graduate careers

School of English

The academic aptitude and personal skills that you develop on your degree will make you highly prized by employers, whatever your chosen career path after university:

  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Independent working
  • Time management and organisation
  • Planning and researching written work
  • Articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories
  • Leading and participating in discussions
  • Negotiation and teamwork
  • Effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively
  • Critical reasoning and analysis

Our graduates are confident and articulate. They have highly developed communication skills, equipping them for a wide range of careers in journalism, the charity sector, marketing and communications, theatre and television production, PR, copywriting, publishing, teaching, web development, accountancy, and speech and language therapy, among other fields.

Many of our students go on to postgraduate study, research, and an academic career.

Department of History

Our history graduates are highly skilled in research, critical reasoning and communication. You'll be able to think and write coherently, to put specific matters in a broader context, and to summarise complex ideas in a discerning and creative way.

Our graduates have gone on to become successful lawyers, marketing executives, civil servants, accountants, management consultants, university lecturers, archivists, librarians and workers in museums, tourism and the heritage industry.

So, however you choose to use your degree, the combination of academic excellence and personal skills developed and demonstrated on your course will make you stand out in an increasingly competitive graduate world.

Companies that have employed our graduates include Accenture, Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and DLA Piper. You'll also find our graduates in organisations ranging from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the Imperial War Museum and the National Archives, to BBC online and The Guardian.

Placement/study abroad

Work experience

You can study our courses with the Degree with Employment Experience option. This allows you to apply for a placement year during your degree where you'll gain valuable experience and improve your employability.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad, for a semester or a year, as part of a three or four year degree programme. We have exchange agreements with universities in the USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore and throughout Europe.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022