University undergraduates studying in the Monica Partridge building. Friday November 5th 2021.Sara Bintey Kabir (yellow top)and Zoe Markham-Lee (ponytail).

English and History BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Everything has a story. And this course is perfect if you love finding new interpretations. Whether this is through literature, or looking to the past to discover the secrets of the people, places and events of our ancestors, it is these stories which give us our sense of place in the world.

This course combines studying the history of Europe and beyond with English language, literature and drama from Old English to the present. You will study a choice of themes, ranging from American Civil Rights, to the Crusades, to Colonial India. You can also tailor your degree to what you enjoy most, choosing from a huge range of optional modules covering historical figures, events and themes from the 6th century CE to the present day.

As a joint honours student, you will benefit from skills development and assessment methods from both subjects. Each subject is taught separately, but you can choose a uniting theme for your final year dissertation.

 

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Learning History

Optional

Year 1

Studying Language

Optional

Year 1

Studying Literature

Optional

Year 1

Beginnings of English

Optional

Year 1

Drama, Theatre, Performance

Optional

Year 1

Making the Middle Ages, 500-1500

Optional

Year 1

From Reformation to Revolution: An Introduction to Early Modern Europe c.1500-1800

Optional

Year 1

Making of Modern Asia

Optional

Year 1

Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1750-1945

Optional

Year 1

Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1750-1945 (Part 2)

Optional

Year 1

The Contemporary World since 1945

Optional

Year 1

The Contemporary World Since 1945 (Part 2)

Optional

Year 1

History of Philosophy: Ancient to Modern

Optional

Year 2

Victorian and Fin de Siècle Literature: 1830-1910

Optional

Year 2

From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries: Literature 1700-1830

Optional

Year 2

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Page

Optional

Year 2

Literature and Popular Culture

Optional

Year 2

Modern and Contemporary Literature

Optional

Year 2

Texts Across Time

Optional

Year 2

Language in Society

Optional

Year 2

The Psychology of Bilingualism and Language Learning

Optional

Year 2

Language Development

Optional

Year 2

Literary Linguistics

Optional

Year 2

Chaucer and his Contemporaries

Optional

Year 2

Old English: Reflection and Lament

Optional

Year 2

Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North

Optional

Year 2

Names and Identities

Optional

Year 2

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Stage

Optional

Year 2

From Stanislavski to Contemporary Performance

Optional

Year 2

Twentieth-Century Plays

Optional

Year 2

The Rise of Modern China

Optional

Year 2

The Second World War and Social Change in Britain, 1939-1951: Went The Day Well?

Optional

Year 2

The Stranger Next Door: Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages

Optional

Year 2

"Slaves of the Devil" and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Optional

Year 2

Environmental History: Nature and the Western World, 1800-2000

Optional

Year 2

Central European History: From Revolution to War, 1848-1914

Optional

Year 2

Soviet State and Society

Optional

Year 2

Heroes and Villains in the Middle Ages

Optional

Year 2

The Venetian Republic, 1450-1575

Optional

Year 2

Liberating Africa: Decolonisation, Development and the Cold War, 1919-1994

Optional

Year 2

De-industrialisation: A Social and Cultural History, c.1970-1990

Optional

Year 2

Poverty, Disease and Disability: Britain, 1795-1930

Optional

Year 2

Rule and Resistance in Colonial India, c.1757-1857

Optional

Year 2

Travel and Adventure in the Medieval World

Optional

Year 2

The Victorians: Life, Thought and Culture

Optional

Year 2

European Fascisms, 1900-1945

Optional

Year 2

From East India Company to West India Failure: The First British Empire

Optional

Year 2

Sexuality in Early Medieval Europe

Optional

Year 2

Kingship in Crisis: Politics, People and Power in Late-medieval England

Optional

Year 2

Imagining 'Britain': Decolonising Tolkien et al

Optional

Year 2

Germany and Europe in the Short 20th Century, 1918-1990

Optional

Year 2

International History of the Middle East and North Africa 1918-1995

Optional

Year 2

A Tale of Seven Kingdoms: Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age England from Bede to Alfred the Great

Optional

Year 2

Sex, Lies and Gossip? Women of Medieval England

Optional

Year 2

The British Empire from Emancipation to the Boer War

Optional

Year 2

Cultural Histories of Urban Modernity, 1840-1900

Optional

Year 2

The Tokugawa World: 1600-1868

Optional

Year 2

From the Tsar to the Emperor: Russia in the Early Modern Period 1547–1725

Optional

Year 2

British Foreign Policy and the Origins of the World Wars, 1895-1939

Optional

Year 2

Consumers & Citizens: Society & Culture in 18th Century England

Optional

Year 2

A Protestant Nation? Politics, Religion and Society in England, 1558-1640

Optional

Year 2

Communities, Crime and Punishment in England 1500-1700

Optional

Year 2

The Early Modern Global Spanish Empire (1450-1850)

Optional

Year 2

Rethinking the Tudors: Monarchy, Society and Religion in England, 1485-1603

Optional

Year 2

Gender, Empire, Selfhood: Transgender History in Global Context

Optional

Year 2

Commodities, Consumption and Connections the Global World of Things 1500-1800

Optional

Year 2

In the Heart of Europe: Histories of Modern Poland

Optional

Year 2

History and Politics: A Problem or a Solution?

Optional

Year 2

Villains or Victims: White Women and the British Empire c.1840-1980

Optional

Year 2

France and its Empire(s) 1815-1914

Optional

Year 2

From Imperial Downfall to Republican Crisis: Themes in Modern German History, 1888-1933

Optional

Year 2

Race, Rights and Propaganda: The Politics of Race and Identity in the Cold War Era 1945-1990

Optional

Year 2

The politics of memory in postwar Western Europe

Optional

Year 2

The US and the World in the American Century: US Foreign Policy 1898-2008

Optional

Year 2

African American History and Culture

Optional

Year 2

Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

Optional

Year 3

English Dissertation: Full Year

Optional

Year 3

The Self and the World: Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century

Optional

Year 3

Contemporary British Fiction

Optional

Year 3

Making Something Happen: Poetry and Politics

Optional

Year 3

Single-Author Study

Optional

Year 3

The Gothic Tradition

Optional

Year 3

Island and Empire

Optional

Year 3

Oscar Wilde and Henry James: British Aestheticism and Commodity Culture

Optional

Year 3

Reformation and Revolution: Early Modern literature and drama 1588-1688

Optional

Year 3

One and Unequal: World Literatures in English

Optional

Year 3

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

Optional

Year 3

Songs and Sonnets: Lyric poetry from Medieval Manuscript to Shakespeare and Donne

Optional

Year 3

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Optional

Year 3

Language and the Mind

Optional

Year 3

Advanced Stylistics

Optional

Year 3

Language and Feminism

Optional

Year 3

Discourses of Health and Work

Optional

Year 3

English Place-Names

Optional

Year 3

Dreaming the Middle Ages: Visionary Poetry in Scotland and England

Optional

Year 3

The Viking Mind

Optional

Year 3

Changing Stages: Theatre Industry and Theatre Art

Optional

Year 3

Theatre Making

Optional

Year 3

Overseas Exploration, European Diplomacy, and the Rise of Tudor England

Optional

Year 3

Global Histories of Labour and Capital: Perspectives from India

Optional

Year 3

The British Civil Wars c.1639-1652

Optional

Year 3

Sexuality and Society in Britain Since 1900

Optional

Year 3

Alternatives to War: Articulating Peace since 1815

Optional

Year 3

Windrush and the (Re)Making of a Nation: Myth and Memory

Optional

Year 3

Early Medieval England in the Age of Bede

Optional

Year 3

From Revelation to ISIS: Apocalyptic Thought from the 1st to 21st Century

Optional

Year 3

Transnationalising Italy: A History of Modern Italy in a Transnational Perspective

Optional

Year 3

Life During Wartime: Crisis, Decline and Transformation in 1970s America

Optional

Year 3

British Culture in the Age of Mass Production, 1920-1950

Optional

Year 3

After the Golden Age: The West in the 1970s & 1980s

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in History

Optional

Year 3

'Slaves of the Devil' and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Optional

Year 3

The Celtic Fringe: Scotland and Ireland, c.1066-1603

Optional

Year 3

European colonialism and the boundary of the human in the long eighteenth century

Optional

Year 3

China under socialism 1949-1989: society, politics and culture

Optional

Year 3

The Mongols and the West

Optional

Year 3

The 1960s and the West, 1958-1974

Optional

Year 3

Russia in Revolution 1905-21

Optional

Year 3

The Reign of Richard II

Optional

Year 3

The African Atlantic and the British Slave Trade c.1600-1897

Optional

Year 3

European Politics and Society 1848-1914

Optional

Year 3

'World wasting itself in blood': Europe and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

Optional

Year 3

The Politics of Thatcherism 1975 – 1992

Optional

Year 3

Rebels Against Empire: Anticolonialism and British Imperialism in the mid 20th Century

Optional

Year 3

Voices from North Africa: Resistance, Decolonisation and State-Building in the Twentieth Century

Optional

Year 3

Dark Age Masculinities

Optional

Year 3

The Great Plague and Great Fire of London: Society, Culture and Disaster

Optional

Year 3

From serf to proletarian?: Imperial Russia’s rural population, 1825-1932

Optional

Year 3

Remembering the Past in Late Medieval England

Optional

Year 3

The three faces of Eve: Jewish Christian and Muslim women in Medieval Iberia

Optional

Year 3

The Hundred Years War

Optional

Year 3

The Legacies of Slavery and Emancipation in the British Empire

Optional

Year 3

Pandemic: English Society after the Black Death, 1348-1520

Optional

Year 3

Cultures of Power and the Power of Culture in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Optional

Year 3

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Drugs for Pleasure and Pain in the History of Medicine

Optional

Year 3

Italy and the Second World War

Optional

Year 3

Saving Europe: Atrocity and Humanitarianism across twentieth century Europe

Optional

Year 3

Troubled Empire: The Projection of American Global Power from Pearl Harbor to Covid-19

Optional

Year 3

North American Film Adaptations

Optional

Year 3

Ethnic and New Immigrant Writing

Optional

Year 3

Feminist Thought in the US: 1970-the present

Optional

Year 3

American Magazine Culture: Journalism, Advertising and Fiction from Independence to the Internet Age

Optional

Year 3

Varieties of Classic American Film, Television and Literature since 1950

Optional

Year 3

The World of Orthodox Sainthood

Optional

Year 3

Brotherhood and Unity: Yugoslavia on Film

Optional

Year 3

Heritage and the Media

Optional

Year 3

Justinian and the end of Antiquity

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Thursday 14 March 2024.

When you begin studying at university, you will probably find that you cover material much more quickly than you did while studying for your A-levels. The key to success is preparing well for classes and then taking the ideas you encounter further in your own time.

Lectures – provide an overview of what you are studying, using a variety of audio and visual materials to support your learning.

Seminars and workshops – give you the chance to explore and interact with the material presented in lectures in a friendly and informal environment. You will be taught in a smaller group of students, with discussion focusing on a text or topic you've previously prepared.

Workshops are more practical, perhaps through exploring dramatic texts, working with digital materials, or developing presentations.

Tutorials – individual and small-group tutorials let you explore your work with your module tutor, perhaps discussing plans for an essay or presentation, or following up on an area of a module which has interested you.

eLearning – our virtual-learning system, Moodle, offers 24-hour access to teaching materials and resources.

Peer mentoring

All new undergraduate students can opt into our peer mentoring scheme. Your peer mentor will help you settle into life at Nottingham, provide advice on the transition to university-level study and help you access support if needed.

Teaching quality

  • Over 95% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification. Source: UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020.
  • Tutor's contributions to high quality teaching and learning are recognised through our annual Lord Dearing Awards. View the full list of recipients.

Teaching methods

  • Field trips
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Placements

Our courses are modular, with mainly full-year modules in the first year and mainly semester-long modules in the second and final years. Assessment for most modules takes place at two points, around the middle and end of the module.

Assessment methods – this is based on a combination of coursework, including essays, close-reading exercises, research projects and dissertation, oral and performance presentations, and formal examinations. The precise assessments vary from one module to another and across the years of your degree.

Project-based dissertation – on this course you can choose to do a project-based dissertation, for a more hands-on approach to your research.

More about the project-based dissertation.

Feedback – the opportunity to discuss ideas and coursework with your tutor is an integral part of your studies at Nottingham. Whether by giving feedback on an essay plan or discussing the results of an assessment, we help you work to the best of your ability. There are appointed days in each semester to get feedback from tutors, as well as other opportunities to discuss pieces of work.

Assessment methods

  • Commentary
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Written exam

You’ll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops, tutorials and supervisions.
  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours
  • Year two: minimum of 10 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours

Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. 

We reduce your contact hours as you work your way through the course. As you progress, we expect you to assume greater responsibility for your studies and work more independently.

Your tutors will all be qualified academics. You will have a personal tutor from the School of English and a joint honours adviser from the Department of History.

Outside of your contact hours, the rest of the time is yours to carry out independent work. This may mean time spent in the library, doing preparation work for seminars, reading books and journal articles from the reading list and researching your assignments.

As a guide, 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).

As an English and History graduate, you will have gained the following key transferable skills:

  • problem-solving and analysis
  • planning and researching written work
  • gaining evidence and communicating findings
  • objective thinking
  • communication, both oral and written
  • presenting ideas and information, including collaboratively
  • writing for different audiences

Read our School of English and Department of History student and alumni profiles. Find out more about the range of skills you will gain, as well as the careers which our graduates go into.

You can also learn more about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Service.

Average starting salary and career progression

78.8% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £23,974.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017 to 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Trent Building in sunshine  June 2nd 2020 by Lisa Gilligan-Lee

The main skills I've gained are debate and discussion. It urges you to step outside your comfort zone a bit more. Also research skills. I think my research ability has doubled! You have to go into depth when researching and creating your essays, and that’s definitely a skill that can help me going forward.

Devraj Jheet

English and History BA English and History BA

Course data

Open Day June 2022