Undergradute student studying in the George Green library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

English and Philosophy BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

English and Philosophy both explore and explain human existence. The great themes of literature and debates about language run together with the big issues of philosophy:

  • what are the struggles, conflicts, and challenges of human life?
  • how should we navigate the social, moral, and personal struggles that make up the drama of living?

 

Philosophy

You'll explore traditional topics such as ethics and philosophy of mind alongside emerging areas like environmental and social philosophy.

 

English

We cover the full range of English - language, literature, linguistics and drama from Old English to the present day

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Reasoning, Argument, and Logic

Mandatory

Year 1

Mind, Knowledge, and Ethics

Optional

Year 1

Metaphysics, Science, and Language

Optional

Year 1

Philosophy of Religions

Optional

Year 1

Philosophy and the Contemporary World

Optional

Year 1

Gender, Justice, and Society

Optional

Year 1

History of Politics: Ancient to Modern

Optional

Year 1

Drama, Theatre, Performance

Optional

Year 1

Studying Language

Optional

Year 1

Studying Literature

Optional

Year 1

Beginnings of English

Optional

Year 2

The Nature of Meaning

Optional

Year 2

Freedom and Obligation

Optional

Year 2

Mind and Consciousness

Optional

Year 2

Knowledge and Justification

Optional

Year 2

Normative Ethics

Optional

Year 2

Being, Becoming and Reality

Optional

Year 2

Topics in Asian Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Social Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Philosophy of Art

Optional

Year 2

Continental Philosophy

Optional

Year 2

Intermediate Logic

Optional

Year 2

An Introduction to Metaethics

Optional

Year 2

Buddhism and the World

Optional

Year 2

Space, Time and Motion

Optional

Year 2

From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries: Literature 1700-1830

Optional

Year 2

Literature and Popular Culture

Optional

Year 2

Modern and Contemporary Literature

Optional

Year 2

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Page

Optional

Year 2

Victorian and Fin de Siècle Literature: 1830-1910

Optional

Year 2

Language in Society

Optional

Year 2

Language Development

Optional

Year 2

Literary Linguistics

Optional

Year 2

The Psychology of Bilingualism and Language Learning

Optional

Year 2

Chaucer and his Contemporaries

Optional

Year 2

Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North

Optional

Year 2

Old English: Reflection and Lament

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

School of Humanities Work Placement

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in Philosophy

Optional

Year 3

Philosophy of Criminal Law

Optional

Year 3

Communicating Philosophy

Optional

Year 3

Marx

Optional

Year 3

Environmental Ethics

Optional

Year 3

Advanced Logic

Optional

Year 3

Philosophy and Mortality

Optional

Year 3

Play, Games and Recreation

Optional

Year 3

Taking Utilitarianism Seriously

Optional

Year 3

Knowledge, Ignorance and Democracy

Optional

Year 3

Dirty Talk: Feminist Philosophy of Language

Optional

Year 3

Buddhist Philosophy

Optional

Year 3

Buddhism in the world

Optional

Year 3

Marx

Optional

Year 3

Communicating Philosophy

Optional

Year 3

Mind, psychology and mental health

Optional

Year 3

Philosophy of Criminal Law

Optional

Year 3

Topic in the Philosophy of Science

Optional

Year 3

Authenticity, Freedom and Ethics

Optional

Year 3

Equality

Optional

Year 3

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

Optional

Year 3

Single-Author Study

Optional

Year 3

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

Optional

Year 3

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

Optional

Year 3

Contemporary British Fiction

Optional

Year 3

Making Something Happen: Poetry and Politics

Optional

Year 3

One and Unequal: World Literatures in English

Optional

Year 3

Oscar Wilde and Henry James: British Aestheticism and Commodity Culture

Optional

Year 3

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

Optional

Year 3

Island and Empire

Optional

Year 3

The Gothic Tradition

Optional

Year 3

Advanced Stylistics

Optional

Year 3

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Optional

Year 3

Language and Feminism

Optional

Year 3

Language and the Mind

Optional

Year 3

Discourses of Health and Work

Optional

Year 3

English Place-Names

Optional

Year 3

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

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

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

Optional

Year 3

Theatre Making

Optional

Year 3

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

Optional

Year 3

English Dissertation: Full Year

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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 Monday 29 January 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
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Placements
  • Workshops

A combination of essays and exams are the norm for most modules. Weekly reading summaries, oral and performance presentations, performances and online quizzes may also be used by individual lecturers depending on the module. 

Assessment methods

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

We provide a structure of lectures, seminars and tutorials around which you organise other study and commitments. Our minimum expected contact time with you is: 

  • Year one - at least 10 hours
  • Year two - at least 9 hours
  • Year three - at least 9 hours 

Your lecturers will also be available outside of these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. This can be in person and online. Weekly tutorial support and the accredited Nottingham Advantage Award provide further optional learning activities, on top of these class contact hours.

As well as your timetabled sessions you'll carry out extensive self-study. This will include course reading and seminar preparation. We also encourage lots of group activity - studying is more fun and more rewarding when done together.

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

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. A popular lecture may have up to 200 students attending while a specialised seminar may only contain 10 students.

Your lecturers will usually be from our academic staff in English and Philosophy many of whom are internationally recognised in their fields.

This joint honours degree will help you develop a wide range of skills that employers are looking for:

  • an eye for detail and close analysis
  • analytical reasoning
  • articulating complex arguments and lines of reasoning
  • constructive criticism and discussion
  • presenting and persuading
  • excellent communication ability

The skills you develop will make you:

  • resilient - as the nature of work changes you can adapt
  • flexible - you can choose across different sectors as you develop and grow and opportunities arise

Typical careers for our students include:

  • advertising and marketing
  • business, consultancy and management
  • journalism
  • law
  • education
  • publishing

We also have a good record of our undergraduates progressing to Masters and PhD study.

Find out more about about career pathways and opportunities for both English and Philosophy students.

Graduate profiles

"I left Nottingham with ways of thinking which have enabled me to thrive on a sought-after graduate scheme, and to secure an exciting job thereafter."Luke Gallimore, BA Philosophy 2015. Now Head of Product Management, Monstarlab

Meet more of our graduates and how they think Nottingham has equipped them for the future:

 

Key fact

Only 14% of employers state that specific degree subjects are a selection criterion. (Institute of Student Employers recruitment survey 2019)

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 lecturers are always really happy to engage with you on any topic you think is relevant and have a really in depth discussion. 

William Phillips

English and Philosophy BA

Course data

Open Day June 2022