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.

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



4.5 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


UCAS code:


Start date:

25/01/2021, 20/09/2021

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.

  • 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.
Professional recognition

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

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

Graduates can use their qualification in English to enter a range of other careers including law, business, accountancy and finance, retail management, youth work, probation work, recruitment and sales. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and postgraduate study is required. Other possible options include:

  • 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

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £6,000 for the academic year 2020/21.

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 2021/2022.

For 2021/2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021/2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

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.

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

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 modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown 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
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 91%, Practical exams 9%
Level twoCoursework 74%, Practical exams 9%, Written exams 17%
Level threeCoursework 87%, Practical exams 13%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 75%, Placement/study abroad 3%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 22%
Level threeGuided independent study 80%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%


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. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. 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.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Jill Marsden
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903238

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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