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Course overview

¿Te encanta el idioma y la cultura hispana? If so, you’ll love the opportunity to immerse yourself in everything Hispanic on this joint honours course.

You’ll study English language and literature, alongside Spanish and Portuguese language and culture. This includes modules in history, culture, cinema and literature.

If you're a beginner at Spanish, an intensive beginners’ course will develop your language skills to degree level. If you already have A level standard Spanish then you'll add Portuguese to your language set.

The year abroad allows you to really live and become fluent in your language, studying at a university, or working in a school or on a work placement.

For the English side, you’ll take modules covering drama and performance, English language and applied linguistics, and literature (from 1500 to the present day) and medieval languages and literatures.

By the end of the course you’ll be fluent your chosen languages and have a broad understanding of English literature and language.

Find out more about the School of English and the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Why choose this course?

  • Don’t just study Spanish and/or Portuguese, live it, during the year abroad
  • Unleash your creativity in a UNESCO City of Literature, with opportunities both on campus and in the city
  • Benefit from the skills development and assessment methods of studying two subjects
  • Explore career options with our bespoke work placements and volunteering schemes

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer ABB. Open to both beginners and A level students of Spanish
Required subjects

English and Spanish, if applicable. No language qualification is required for the Hispanic beginners' pathway

IB score IB score of 32, including 5 in English at Higher Level, and 5 at Higher Level or 6 in Standard Level (B programme) in Spanish, if applicable.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Oral classes
  • Practical classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Spanish and Portuguese

Following your year abroad your language skills and cultural understanding are assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments upon their return to Nottingham.

Assessment methods

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

Contact time and study hours

An average week will have between 14 and 20 hours of classes. 

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

As well as scheduled teaching you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as preparation for seminars, assessments and language practice. As a guide 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).  

Your lecturers will usually be permanent academic staff from English and Modern Languages. Almost all our language teachers are native speakers. Some of our postgraduate students also support teaching after suitable training.

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. A lecture may have up to 300 students attending with seminar groups of up to 20. These are taught in English. Language classes are delivered in the relevant language.

Study abroad

Your third year is spent in Spain and/or Spanish America doing one of the following:

  • studying at a university
  • working as a language teaching assistant
  • doing a work placement

If you intend to carry on with Portuguese after year two you may also spend the year in Portugal and/or Brazil.

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.

Placements

Both English and Modern Languages have well developed work experience and volunteering opportunities. They help you develop skills and experience that allow you to stand out to potential employers and become 'workplace-ready'.

You also have access to a wide range of work experience and volunteering schemes through the:

Modules

Post-A level Spanish

You will study three core modules in Spanish and Portuguese language and Spanish literature.

Beginners' Spanish

You will take two core modules in Spanish language and literature.

English

Choose three core modules from four areas. They will give you a thorough grounding in the relevant areas and influence your studies in years two and three.

Post-A level Spanish modules

Spanish 1

This module builds on A level Spanish to consolidate your understanding of grammar, and your ability to comprehend both structures and meanings in a variety of written and aural texts.

You will be guided in using a broader range of discursive strategies in both written and spoken Spanish, and trained in the comprehension of broadcast items, on current affairs and culture, from across the Spanish-speaking world.

Portuguese 1 Beginners

This module aims to introduce you to the basic structures of Portuguese. By the end of the module, you should to be able to comprehend a range of texts on everyday life and current affairs in written Portuguese, conduct effectively a conversation in Portuguese on similar topics, produce written texts covering everyday issues, and understand and respond to spoken Portuguese in a wide variety of situations appropriate for learners at this stage.

Introduction to Literature in Spanish

This module is designed as a foundation for all later modules covering Spanish and Portuguese literatures.

Its main aims are to:

  • give a general introduction to literature and to the study of literature
  • provide a partial overview of literary writing in the Spanish language
  • introduce some of the key theoretical issues of literary study
  • instil good reading and critical habits.

The main skills tested on this module are:

  • close reading
  • textual analysis
  • seminar participation
  • the ability to write cogent and convincing commentaries and essays.

Beginners' Spanish modules

Spanish 1 Beginners

This module is designed to take students from ab initio level (absolute beginners) to a level of written and aural comprehension, writing and speaking skills roughly commensurate with A-level. At the end of the course, students should be able to comprehend and respond to written and aural texts over a comprehensive range of current affairs, cultural and every day topics, and be able to engage in everyday social conversation.

Introduction to Literature in Spanish

This module is designed as a foundation for all later modules covering Spanish and Portuguese literatures.

Its main aims are to:

  • give a general introduction to literature and to the study of literature
  • provide a partial overview of literary writing in the Spanish language
  • introduce some of the key theoretical issues of literary study
  • instil good reading and critical habits.

The main skills tested on this module are:

  • close reading
  • textual analysis
  • seminar participation
  • the ability to write cogent and convincing commentaries and essays.

English modules

Medieval Languages and Literatures

Beginnings of English

The module Beginnings of English introduces you to the varied languages, literatures and cultures of medieval England (c.500-1500). You will read a variety of medieval texts which were originally written in Old English, Middle English and Old Norse. We study some texts in translation, but we also introduce you to aspects of Old and Middle English language to enable you to enjoy the nuance and texture of English literary language in its earliest forms. 

We will read texts in a variety of genres, from epic and elegy, to saga, romance and fable. We will discuss ideas of Englishness and identity, and learn about the production and transmission of texts in the pre-modern period. 

Learning objectives:

  • To introduce you to linguistic vocabulary and terminology.
  • To enable you to become proficient in reading Old English and Middle English.
  • To give you an understanding of the complexities of English grammar, past and present.
  • To give you an understanding of the origins of English, and its development over the medieval period.
  • To familiarise you with the themes and genre of medieval English literature. 
English Language and Applied Linguistics

Studying Language

This module teaches you about the nature of language, as well as how to analyse it for a broad range of purposes, preparing you for studies across all sections of the school.

During the weekly workshops you will learn about levels of language analysis and description, from the sounds and structure of language, through to meaning and discourse. These can be applied to all areas of English study, and will prepare you for future modules. In the lectures you will see how the staff here in the School of English put these skills of analysis and description to use in their own research. This covers the study of language in relation to the mind, literature, culture, society, and more. The seminars will then give you a chance to think about and discuss these topics further.

Learning objectives:

  • To provide you with methods of language analysis and description for each linguistic level (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse)
  • To prepare you for conducting your own language research across your degree
  • To introduce you to the areas of research and study within the school, with particular focus on psycholinguistics, literary linguistics, and sociolinguistics
Literature 1500 to the Present

Studying Literature

The module Studying Literature introduces you to some of the core skills for literary studies, including skills in reading, writing, researching and presentation. The module addresses topics including close reading, constructing an argument, and handling critical material, as well as introducing you to key critical questions about literary form, production and reception. These elements are linked to readings of specific literary texts, focused on poetry and prose selected from the full range of the modern literary period (1500 to the present).

Across the year you will learn about different interpretive approaches and concepts, and will examine literary-historical movements and transitions.

Learning objectives:

  • To introduce you to selected literary texts, to deepen your imaginative engagement and analytic response.
  • To provide you with a basis of knowledge, working methods and appropriate terminology for subsequent work at university level.
  • To provide you with knowledge and understanding of the literary, cultural and historical contexts for literature from the period 1500 to the present, and the relationship between period and genre.
Drama and Performance

Depending on your module choices in your first and second year, you will choose three modules in your final year in English that cover at least two areas of study.

  • Theatre Making
  • Changing Stages: Theatre Industry and Theatre Art
  • Modern Irish Literature and Drama
  • Performing the Nation: British Theatre since 1980
  • Reformation and Revolution: Early Modern literature and drama 1588-1688
  • Writing for Performance
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Hispanic

Everyone will take a core Spanish module dedicated to giving you the fluency and confidence for work or study during the year abroad.

If you have already studied Portuguese in year one you can develop your language skills further.

The optional Hispanic modules expand your knowledge of these cultures and societies.

English

Depending on your module choices in your first year, you will choose three modules in your second year in English that cover at least two areas of study.

Spanish core module

Spanish 2

This module builds on grammatical knowledge and communication skills developed in Spanish 1, and aims to prepare you to function effectively in a university or work situation in a Spanish-speaking country.

Written classes focus on developing essay writing skills in Spanish, using a range of texts from Spanish and Spanish American sources as stimuli. Special attention is given to developing complex sentence structures and rhetorical devices. Laboratory classes use a full range of contemporary audio-visual materials to develop aural comprehension and conversational ability in Spanish.

Spanish optional modules

Portuguese 2 Beginners
This module aims to consolidate the achievements of Portuguese 1 – Beginners, and to prepare students to be able to function effectively in a university or work situation in a Portuguese-speaking country. On completion of the module, awareness of grammar and sentence structure is improved, and vocabulary broadened. Listening comprehension exercises develop the ability to comprehend Portuguese spoken at authentic speed, and oral classes enable students to build up fluency and confidence in spoken communication. There is also an emphasis on learning the language through the study of Portuguese and Brazilian cultures.
Modern Spanish and Spanish American Literature and Film

This module explores a cultural period in the Hispanic world characterised by profound social change and the emergence of major world-figures of modern art (e.g. Pablo Picasso). It is structured around key literary and artistic movements from Spain and Spanish America from the early nineteenth century to the late 20th century, such as Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism, the Avant-garde, and Modernism.

We focus on reading literary and visual texts of the period in relation to the socio-economic and political context of Spain’s and Spanish America’s rapid, but hugely uneven, modernisation. Individual novels, plays, films, paintings or poems are used to exemplify and explore particular movements and historical moments.

You will develop skills in close analysis of complex texts, an understanding of some of the major directions of Spain and Spanish American literature in the twentieth century, and the ability to relate texts studied to historico-cultural contexts.

Hispanic Visual Culture

This module will provide a general introduction to cinema in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds. The first semester will examine contemporary cinema from Spain and Latin America and the second semester will examine cinema from Portugal, Brazil and Lusophone Africa. The module will address questions of style, form, socio-historical context and narrative content. The films will be available with English subtitles.

Nation Building and National Identities in the Lusophone World

If you are studying Portuguese, this modules gives you an introduction to some of the major texts of the Portuguese-speaking world. The commonality of language derives from the colonial experiences of the Portuguese Empire, which resonate through the cultures from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century.

We will examine the ways in which ideas of nationhood and national identity have been expressed and constructed through the cultures of the Lusophone world. The texts studied explore the ways in which cultural production (through the arts) is embedded in the formation of nationhood and ideas about national identity. Culture is therefore examined through and in its political and historical context. The module will address questions of nationalism and identity as expressed through language, race and place, as well as issues relating to globalisation.

New World(s): Contacts, Conquests and Conflict

This module provides an introduction to art and culture in early modern Spain, Portugal and their Empires. It looks at painting from the mid-fifteenth century, beginning in Portugal where voyages of ‘discovery’ were well under way, and ending in late eighteenth-century Mexico.

The module also balances historical study of key events and developments with readings of political writings, travelogues, literature, and visual culture so as to broaden your understanding both of the history of political and cultural relations across the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds, and of the context of these in global geo-politics and the economy.

English modules

Literature, 1500 to the present

From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries: Literature 1700-1830

This module introduces you to a range of literature written between 1700-1830. This was a dramatic and turbulent period in literary history where anything was possible and many roles were reversed. Writers produced texts about contemporary issues such as class, poverty, sexuality, slavery, and the city, but also had their eyes firmly on the past. They took every available opportunity to promote their own agendas and to savage and ridicule those of their political and literary opponents. You’ll examine a wide-range of literature considering the political, social and cultural contexts of the period. 

Literature and Popular Culture

This module will give you an understanding of the relationship between literature and popular culture, as you explore works from across a range of genres and mediums such as prose fiction, poetry, comics, graphic novels, music, television and film. In addition to exploring topics such as aesthetics and adaptation, material will be situated within cultural, political and historical contexts allowing for the distinction between the literary and the popular. 

Modern and Contemporary Literature

This module will familiarise you with relevant aesthetic, generic, and literary-historical strategies for tracing formal and thematic transformations in 20th and 21st century literature. Moving between genres, the module will unfold chronologically from modernism, through the inter-war years, and into the 'contemporary scene' up to the present day.

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on Page
This module focuses on material written between 1580 and 1630 to provide you with an introduction to methods of reading early modern texts. Shakespeare’s poetry will be among the core texts; other canonical writers will include Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney and John Donne. You’ll explore the practice of historicised readings of early modern texts and you’ll consider the related challenges and limitations. You’ll have one hour of lectures and two hours of seminars each week.
Texts Across Time
This module will consider key issues in the study of English language and world literature, locate language and literature in time and place, and extend your knowledge of the intellectual, political, historical, and cultural developments in language and literature.
Victorian and Fin de Siècle Literature: 1830-1910

You will explore a wide variety of Victorian and fin-de-siècle literature, with examples from fiction, critical writing, poetry and drama. It will examine changes in literary forms and genres over this period, as well as looking at the contested transition between Victorianism and Modernism. The module is organised around a number of interrelated themes, to include empire and race, class and crime, identity and social mobility, gender and sexuality, and literature and consumerism.

English Language and Applied Linguistics

Language in Society
This module provides a broad introduction to sociolinguistic theory. You will investigate: the role that language has to play in constructing and reflecting cultural identities theories of language variation across and within communities the role of the English language in the world the specific role of Standard English within British contexts You will be introduced to both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of sociolinguistics, combining theoretical linguistics and practical methodological investigation. You’ll have a two-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar each week.
The Psychology of Bilingualism and Language Learning
This module will introduce you to theories and practice of second language learning, enabling you to develop an in-depth understanding of the process in various settings. Topics that are covered include: zone of proximal development, classroom interaction, collaborative learning, learning styles, and classroom methodology. You will spend around three hours in a workshop each week.
Texts Across Time
This module will consider key issues in the study of English language and world literature, locate language and literature in time and place, and extend your knowledge of the intellectual, political, historical, and cultural developments in language and literature.
Language Development

You’ll explore how English is learnt from making sounds as an infant through to adulthood. Topics relating to early speech development include: the biological foundations of language development, the stages of language acquisition and the influence of environment on development. Further topics which take into account later stages of development include humour and joke telling abilities, story-telling and conversational skills and bilingualism.

Literary Linguistics

Bridging the study of literature and language, this module offers training in the discipline of literary linguistics, also known as ‘stylistics’. There is a focus on the analysis of linguistic and narratological aspects of literary texts in order to show their linguistic patterns. You’ll also consider the effects of texts on the reader, including their significance, meaning and value. The module offers an opportunity for specialisation in preparation for year three modules in modern English language, particularly in the areas of stylistics, cognitive poetics and narratology.

History of the English Language

This module focuses on the development of the English language from before the arrival of Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century to the present day. It offers students a thorough grounding in the changes that the language has undergone over this time. We will look at topics such as the development of writing, language contact and standardisation. An important theme running through the module is the relationship between the historical record and the political power of those who produced and preserved that record.

Medieval languages and literatures

Chaucer and his Contemporaries
In this module you’ll be introduced to the exceptionally rich period of writing in English at the end of the fourteenth and turn of the fifteenth century. It will focus on the so-called ‘Ricardian’ poets, Chaucer (selected Canterbury Tales, Parliament of Fowls, Legend of Good Women), Langland (excerpts from Piers Plowman), Gower (excerpts from Confessio Amantis) and the Gawain-poet (Patience). You’ll also discuss Thomas Hoccleve’s early poems, and the prose works of the female mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. You’ll have an hour-long lecture and two one-hour seminars weekly for this module.
Old English: Reflection and Lament
This module explores the tradition that the poetry and prose of Old English often focuses on warfare and heroic action. You will study and analyse poems from the Exeter Book 'elegies' and also passages from Beowulf to explore this rich and rewarding genre. You'll have a two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar each week for this module.
Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North

In this module you will study and analyse the key texts of old Norse myth and legend from which popular stories come, along with pictorial versions in wood and stone from throughout the Viking world. You’ll explore the development of Norse myth and legend from the Viking Age, through medieval Christian Iceland, and into more recent times.

History of the English Language

This module focuses on the development of the English language from before the arrival of Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century to the present day. It offers students a thorough grounding in the changes that the language has undergone over this time. We will look at topics such as the development of writing, language contact and standardisation. An important theme running through the module is the relationship between the historical record and the political power of those who produced and preserved that record.

Names and Identities

What can given names, surnames and nicknames tell us about people in the past? What determines the choice of a name for a child? Where does our hereditary surname system come from? How have place, class and gender impacted upon naming through time? This module will help you answer all these questions and more. Interactive lectures and seminars, and a project based on primary material tailored to each participant, will introduce you to the many and varied, fascinating and extraordinary types of personal name and their origins.

Drama and Performance

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on Page
This module focuses on material written between 1580 and 1630 to provide you with an introduction to methods of reading early modern texts. Shakespeare’s poetry will be among the core texts; other canonical writers will include Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney and John Donne. You’ll explore the practice of historicised readings of early modern texts and you’ll consider the related challenges and limitations. You’ll have one hour of lectures and two hours of seminars each week.
Stanislavski to Stelarc: Performance Practice and Theory
This module helps you develop your understanding of the theory and practice of theatre and performance from the beginnings of the twentieth century through to the present day. Building on the work encountered in Introduction to Drama, you will move forward from naturalism to consider the work of influential theorists and practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht, Meyerhold, Barba, Schechner, Boal, Artaud, Berkoff, Grotowski, Jarry and the futurists, whose work has had a major impact on theatre and performance in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries . You’ll have a mix of lectures and workshops totalling three hours per week for this module.
Twentieth Century Plays

This module aims to provide you with an overview of key plays and performances from the 1890s to the present, placing those texts in their original political, social, and cultural contexts and considering their subsequent reception and afterlife. You’ll focus on the textual and performance effects created in those key texts, by writers such as Samuel Beckett and Edward Albee, and will be encouraged to situate those texts alongside the work of relevant theorists and practitioners.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Your third year is spent in Spain and/or Spanish America doing one of the following:

  • studying at a university
  • working as a language teaching assistant
  • doing a work placement

If you intend to carry on with Portuguese after year two you may also spend the year in Portugal and/or Brazil.

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.

Hispanic

This year is your opportunity to develop the language skills you built up on the Year Abroad. Beginners can reach the same degree standard as non-beginners. In addition, you'll take specialist modules based on current research.

English

You will choose optional modules across at least two areas.

Hispanic core module

Spanish 3

This module capitalises on the progress made in colloquial and informal language skills during your year abroad, and trains you in a more formal, sophisticated register of spoken and written Spanish.

It uses stimulus texts from a broad range of authentic sources to impart understanding of how texts are put together, and to build up your knowledge of, and confidence in, this register, thus enabling production of written and spoken Spanish of maximum clarity and strength of argumentation.

Hispanic optional modules

Portuguese 3
This module, like Spanish 3, capitalizes on the progress achieved during the Year Abroad. It enhances and reinforces grammatical competence, and emphasises use of a more formal and sophisticated register of vocabulary and idiom, and more advanced syntax. Students are expected to discuss a range of topics in written and spoken Portuguese employing complex sentence structure, vocabulary and intellectual content.
Spanish American Narrative

This module looks at key 20th-century Spanish American novels and short stories and considers issues such as race, gender, sexuality and the conflict of cultures. You will be trained in using a broad range of tools of narrative and rhetorical analysis so as to engage in debates about literary representation and aesthetics, and will hone their use of these through a programme of research tasks, seminar presentations, group discussions, and written assignments.

Brazilian Slave Society

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the centrality of the history of slavery in the study of Brazil, and of the significance of Brazilian slavery in both the transatlantic slave systems, and slave societies across the Americas.

In the process, you will learn to recognise and use the different historical approaches, tools and skills employed in the historiography of slavery studies, and in social history in general, and to incorporate them into their own analyses of aspects of Brazilian slave society.

Comparative Modern Literature and Film

This module examines the roles of literature and cinema in relation to the emergence and evolution of socio-political ‘modernity’ in 20th century Europe and Latin America. You explore the treatment of such preoccupations as subjectivity, identity and representation, political philosophy, technology, race and gender in the work of poets and filmmakers of various nationalities, languages and cultures (with translations/subtitles provided where necessary).

By considering these topics, you should develop a critical understanding not only of the revolutionary formal and stylistic innovations of diverse ‘modernisms’, but also of the social and political movements that shaped Iberia, Brazil and Latin America. You will also build your skills in research, critical thinking, and the formulation of written and oral presentations.

Literature and Film under Franco

This module aims to further develop your knowledge of 20th century Spanish history, literature and film gained at levels 1 and 2. It familiarizes you with the context and circumstances in which filmic and literary texts were produced under Franco, thereby developing awareness of generic conventions in both literature and film, and perfecting skills in close textual analysis.

The module imparts a solid knowledge of the Francoist régime and of the literature and film produced at this time, plus an understanding of the conditions for cultural production under the Dictatorship.

By the module’s conclusion, you will have gained a good command of the concepts and vocabulary required to analyse literary and filmic texts, a capacity for close reading and textual analysis, as well as seminar-presentation skills and research and essay-writing skills.

Politics and Literature in Contemporary Spain

The module aims to impart understanding of the interfaces between literature and politics, by studying the articulation of key social and political issues and aesthetics in contemporary Spanish cultural artefacts.

We discuss the status of literary writing in late capitalism, concentrating on how contemporary ‘Hispanic’ authors have dealt with issues of language, identity, culture, society, nationhood, gender, class, memory, time and writing.

We also explore debates regarding the consistency of the categories of ‘Spain’ and ‘Spanishness’ when analysing cultural production in contemporary Iberia, and assesses the competing discursive practices involved in remapping the notion of Spanish canonical literature at the beginning of the new millennium.

Thinking the Revolution: Ideology, Education and Culture in Cuba

This module assesses Cuba’s revolutionary change since 1959, through an examination of its evolving ideology. The module is structured both chronologically and thematically so as to review the critical factors – nationalism, dependency, radicalism and leadership – shaping developments from the original rebellion up to the present day.

We focus on the role of education policies, and the ways in which a ‘cultural revolution’ was fundamental to the socialisation process of, and popular participation in (or dissent from) the Revolution. This study will inform conclusions about both the meaning of ‘ideology’ within the context of the Revolution, and the international geo-political significance of Cuba's self-definition and evolution.

Lusophone Identities, Culture, and Modernity in Portugal and Africa

This module uses readings of film, poetry, fiction, and popular music to trace the modern cultural and social history of Portuguese-speaking communities, from Europe and Brazil to Africa and India. While consolidating the knowledge and skills developed on modules in year one and two, and your Year Abroad experience, it offers a more in-depth engagement with key twentieth-century cultural and political trends, and, particularly, with changing conceptions of being human, and the growth of ‘identity politics’.

Guided reading and research introduces you to key streams of contemporary critical theory - from psychoanalysis and feminism to post-colonial theory and memory studies – which are applied, in class discussions, presentations, and written assignments, both to texts ranging from ‘combat poetry’ to film musicals, and to the political and social struggles and transformations that those texts were shaped by and helped shape.

Dissertation in Hispanic Studies

This module aims to provide you with the training necessary to be able to engage independently, under the guidance of a supervisor, in self-directed research on a topic that the student selects on the basis of an aspect of your Year Abroad experience.

Through a series of one-on-one tutorials, and the submission of a proposal, a literary review, and chapter draft, the student is advised on how to sustain an argument over up to 7,000 words, and how to underpin this argument with appropriate and innovative research.

Spanish Theatre and Society, 1930-Present

This module concentrates on dramaturgy in Spain, examining how playwrights and theatre companies have responded to the changing social panorama since the Spanish Civil War, through the political transition from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy and up to the present day.

The aim is to understand the role of playwrights and theatre practitioners within society and the strategies deployed to comment on the prevalent social conditions under which particular plays or performances take place.

We will not just look at play texts, but also consider how to read performance and deal with the ‘liveness’ of theatre and the two-way process of actor-audience communication.

Business and Society in Spain

In this module you will learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the age and ability group they are working with. The module enables you to gain confidence in communicating your subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and to understand how to address the needs of individuals.

Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

In this module students learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the age and ability group they are working with. The module enables students to gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and to understand how to address the needs of individuals.

English optional modules

Literature, 1500 to the present

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

The years from 1660 to 1830 are enormously important, especially in terms of the representation of the self in literature: Milton promoted the idea of the poet inspired by God; Pope and Swift mocked the possibility of anyone truly knowing their self; Wordsworth used poetry to explore his own life; and Byron and Austen provided ironic commentaries on the self-obsessions of their peers. This period also saw the rise of the novel (a form that relies upon telling the story of lives), a flourishing trade in biography, and the emergence of new genre, autobiography. This module will look at some of the most significant works of the period with particular reference to the relationship between writers and their worlds. Topics might include: the emergence, importance and limitations of life-writing; self- fashioning; the construction – and deconstruction - of the ‘Romantic’ author’; transmission and revision; translation and imitation; ideas of the self and gender; intertextuality, adaptation, and rewriting; creating and destroying the past; and writing revolution. Texts studied will range across poems, novels and prose.

Making Something Happen: Twentieth Century Poetry and Politics

This module introduces participants to key modern and contemporary poets, equipping them with a detailed understanding of how various poetic forms manifest themselves in particular historical moments. Unifying the module is an attention to poets’ responses to the political and ideological upheavals of the twentieth century.

Beginning with Yeats and Eliot, the module will include such (primarily) British and Irish poets as W.B. Yeats, W. H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Wislawa Szymborska, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Adrienne Rich, Geoffrey Hill, Jo Shapcott, Patience Agbabi and Alice Oswald. Some of the forms examined will include: the elegy, the pastoral (and anti-pastoral), the ode, the sonnet (and sonnet sequence), the ekphrastic poem, the version or retelling, the villanelle, the parable and the sestina.

In order to develop a more complete perspective on each poet’s engagement with twentieth-century formal and political problems, we will also examine these figures’ writings in other modes – critical essays, manifestos, speeches and, where permitted, primary archival materials such as letters and manuscript drafts. Grounding each week will be readings on poetry and the category of the ‘political’ from an international group of critics, including such thinkers as Theodor Adorno, Charles Bernstein, Claudia Rankine, Peter McDonald, Angela Leighton, Christopher Ricks and Marjorie Perloff. 

Single-Author Study

This stranded module provides students with a detailed introduction to the major works of a single author (e.g. James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence). Students will select one author to study from a range on offer. They will then have the opportunity to consider in detail important thematic and stylistic aspects of their chosen author’s work, taking account of the chronological development of his/her writing practice (if relevant), and his/her relationship to key historical and literary contexts.

Dystopian and Gothic Fiction

This module focuses on the diverse connections between literary texts, politics, and relevant historical / cultural contexts in texts from the dystopian and gothic traditions. Poetry, novels, graphic novels, and films may be covered, and there is potential to examine works in other media as well. The goal of the module is to consider the extent to which a range of texts from two exciting and interrelated traditions intervene in diverse political, philosophical, and theological debates. Students will also explore various critical and theoretical approaches to literature, film, comics, adaptation, and popular culture.

Island and Empire
While the vexed questions of British identity and its relationship to empire have been at the forefront of political debate in the last decade, they have also been integral to literary production for many centuries. This module interrogates English and British representations of colonisation and empire, within Great Britain and Ireland and with particular reference to India. Well known writers such as Edmund Spenser, Jonathan Swift, Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Salman Rushdie, will be set against less familiar voices, to consider the ways in which dominant narratives come about and can be challenged.
Oscar Wilde and Henry James: British Aestheticism and Commodity Culture

This module will use the writings of Oscar Wilde and Henry James and some of their contemporaries to examine changes which took place in literary culture and the practices of literary composition in the late 19th century. Topics to be explored will include: the role of new technology in literary creativity; the growth of mass and 'celebrity' culture, the development of consumerism and consequent commodification of literary art; the changing relationship of art to politics; anxieties about artistic originality and its obverse, plagiarism; and attempts (via censorship) to police literary expressivity. Students will study a range of texts by Wilde and James (drama, fiction and criticism), and these will be compared with pieces by a number of their contemporaries (including Walter Pater and William Morris) with a view to assessing both the modernity and radicalism of their writings.

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

This module will consider Irish literature and drama produced in the twentieth century. Taking the Irish Literary Revival as a starting-point we will consider authors in their Irish and European context: W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Lady Gregory, James Joyce, Seán O'Casey, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, and Marina Carr. The focus throughout will be upon reading texts in relation to their social, historical, and political contexts, tracking significant literary and cultural responses to Irish experiences of colonial occupation, nationalist uprising and civil war, partition and independence, socio-economic modernisation, and the protracted period of violent conflict in Northern Ireland.

World Literature

This module is currently under development and will be updated in due course with a module description.

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

Literature and Drama across the early modern period contributed to, and was often caught up in, dramatic changes in social, political, and religious culture which changed the way that people experienced their lives and the world around them. This module gives students the opportunity to read a wide range of texts in a multitude of genres (from drama, to prose fiction, pamphlets and poetry) in their immediate contexts, both cultural and intellectual. This module will situate the poetry, prose and drama between 1580 and 1700 against the backdrops of civil war and political revolution, scientific experimentation, and colonial expansion; in doing so, it will ask how the seventeenth century forms our current understandings of the world. Students will be encouraged to read widely, to develop a specific and sophisticated understanding of historical period, and to see connections and changes in literary and dramatic culture in a period which stretches from the Spanish Armada of 1588 to the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.

Songs and Sonnets

Through the exploration of lyric poetry, this module examines cultural and literary change from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. It will consider the rise of ‘named poet’, the interaction of print and manuscript culture, the representation of love, and the use of the female voice. It will develop further students’ confidence in handling formal poetic terminology and reading poetry from this period. It will also enable students to think pragmatically about the transmission of lyric in modern editions, and about how best to represent the form.

Contemporary Fiction

The focus of the module is the novel from the late twentieth century onwards, in Britain and beyond. Discussion will concentrate on the formal operations and innovations of selected novelists, and will be underpinned by a consideration of how the contemporary socio-historical context influences these questions of form. Indicative topics include: an interrogation of the ‘post-consensus novel’; an exploration of postcolonial texts which seek to represent the transatlantic slave trade; and the cultural politics of late twentieth-century and twenty-first century Scottish literature.Contemporary Fiction is focused on writing emergent from Britain and closely-related contexts in the post-war period. The module offers strands structured around a number of political, social and cultural frameworks in Britain. These include, but are not limited to:              

  • Formal analysis and literary innovations in Britain
  • Temporalities and the representation of time
  • Issues of gender, race and class
  • Histories of colonialism and slavery
  • National traditions and politics of state
  • The country and the city
  • Postmodernism

This module is particularly attentive to the network of relationships between context, content and form, supported by related literary and cultural theory and philosophy.

English language and applied linguistics

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the process of English Language Teaching (ELT) and of the theoretical underpinnings of this practice. In this module students will learn the principles behind the learning and teaching of key aspects and skills of English, including:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking
  • listening
  • intercultural communicative skills

Students will also learn how to apply these theoretical principles to the development of teaching materials. This module will therefore be of interest to students who want to pursue a teaching career, and in particular to those interested in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

Language and the Mind

Speaking, listening, reading, and writing are a complex set of behaviors that are a fundamental part of our daily lives, yet they remain difficult to fully explain. In an attempt to explain them, this module will look at:

  • how people understand written and spoken language;
  • how people produce language; and
  • how language (both a first and a second language) is acquired.
Advanced Stylistics

This is an advanced course in the linguistic analysis of literary texts and reading. Building on the revised Level 2 'Literary Linguistics' course, the module bridges the gap between literary and linguistics aspects of the BA degrees. The course emphasises in particular aspects of literary style, from a readerly, perspective as well as adding a historical dimension to the study of style. There is also an emphasis on the practical application of literary linguistic pedagogy, in accordance with the educational and applied linguistic traditions of the discipline.

Discourses of Health and Work

This module explores the vital role that discourse plays in various communicative domains in healthcare and workplace settings. Students will explore these domains through a variety of contemporary frameworks for examining discourse and communication, including critical discourse analysis, multi-modal discourse analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics.The module offers the opportunity to analyse and reflect on the discourses of healthcare and the workplace, as two crucially important domains of social and professional life. To this end, professional and healthcare discourses will be investigated through a range of genres and communicative modes, including face-to face communication advertising, media discourse and digital interactions. The module offers a rich resource for discourse-based studies of language in professional and social life and enables students to examine the strategic uses of communicative strategies in specific social settings.

Language and Feminism

This module provides students with comprehensive knowledge of feminist theory as applied to a series of language and linguistic contexts. Students will engage with a range of analytical approaches to language, including conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics. Students will respond to and critically engage with contemporary real-world problems associated with gender and sexuality through the consideration of discourse-based texts. Topics will include gender and sexual identity construction in a range of interactive contexts, as well as sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and heteronormative representations in texts. Students will engage with feminist theory from the 1970s to the current day, with particular focus on contemporary approaches to gender theory.

Medieval languages and literatures

English Place-Names

The module employs the study of place-names to illustrate the various languages - British, Latin, French, Norse and English - that have been spoken in England over the last 2000 years. You will learn in particular how place-name evidence can be used as a source for the history of English: its interaction with the other languages, its regional and dialectal patterns, and its changing vocabulary. The interdisciplinary contribution that place-names offer to historians and geographers is also considered. Part of the module's assessment can be directed at a geographical area of particular interest to the student.

Old English Heroic Poetry
This module gives an opportunity to those who already have a basic knowledge of Old English language and literature to explore some of the astonishing range of texts from the earliest stages of English literature. The texts studied are heroic and Christian. Themes include Germanic myth and legend, heroic endeavour, Christian passion. A study of the epic poem Beowulf — its characters, its themes, its ‘meaning’ — is essential to the module. Texts are read in Old English (with plenty of help given).
Dreaming the Middle Ages: Visionary Poetry in Scotland and England

The genre of dream-vision inspired work by all the major poets of the Middle Ages, including William Langland, the Pearl-Poet, and Geoffrey Chaucer. The course will aim to give you a detailed knowledge of a number of canonical texts in this genre, as well as ranging widely into the alliterative revival, and chronologically into the work of John Skelton in the early sixteenth century. The course will depend upon close, detailed reading of medieval literary texts, as well as focusing on the variety and urgency of issues with which dream poetry is concerned: literary, intellectual, social, religious and political.

Songs and Sonnets

Through the exploration of lyric poetry, this module examines cultural and literary change from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. It will consider the rise of ‘named poet’, the interaction of print and manuscript culture, the representation of love, and the use of the female voice. It will develop further students’ confidence in handling formal poetic terminology and reading poetry from this period. It will also enable students to think pragmatically about the transmission of lyric in modern editions, and about how best to represent the form.

The Viking Mind

The module will explore various aspects of Norse and Viking cultural history using an interdisciplinary approach grounded in the study of texts. Topics covered will include Gender and Status, Migration and Diaspora, Religion and Belief(s), The Supernatural, Orality and Literacy, Geography and the Other.1-hour lectures will provide the evidence base for discussion of these topics in 2-hour student-led seminars. The seminars will also include some language work.Assessment will be by a 1-hour exam of comment and analysis and a 3000-word project on a topic devised by the student in consultation with a tutor.

Drama and performance

Contemporary Performance and Theatre Making

This module focuses on the creative process of making theatre as an ensemble. The first half of the module introduces a range of practical and theoretical approaches, including Stanislavski, Lecoq, Laban, Meyerhold, along with approaches to devised and physical theatre influenced by companies such as Frantic Assembly and Gecko. This work builds on the understanding of performance conventions developed through practical workshops begun in the first year Drama, Theatre, Performance module, and the performance theory through practice approach of the second year Stanislavski to Stelarc module. For the second half of the module, students assess which of these practical and theoretical models they wish to draw on through rehearsal practice and discussion as they develop a short , assessed, ensemble piece(s) for public performance.

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

This module will consider Irish literature and drama produced in the twentieth century. Taking the Irish Literary Revival as a starting-point we will consider authors in their Irish and European context: W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Lady Gregory, James Joyce, Seán O'Casey, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, and Marina Carr. The focus throughout will be upon reading texts in relation to their social, historical, and political contexts, tracking significant literary and cultural responses to Irish experiences of colonial occupation, nationalist uprising and civil war, partition and independence, socio-economic modernisation, and the protracted period of violent conflict in Northern Ireland.

Performing the Nation: British Theatre since 1980

This module introduces a range of new plays and performances staged in the British Isles between 1980 and the present day, with a particular focus on the ways in which the theatre of the period has engaged with questions of nation and identity in the period which saw the fall of Thatcher and the rise of New Labour, the peace process in Northern Ireland, increasing devolution in Wales and Scotland, and the London 7/7 attacks as well as the celebrations of the 2012 London Olympics. Most recently of all the UK's EU referendum of 2016 has prompted reflection on our national, regional and local identities across and within the UK, and we finish the module by looking at how theatre makers and practitioners have begun to respond to these challenges.

Changing Stages: Theatre Industry and Theatre Art

The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen major changes in the way theatre is financed, produced, and presented, on stage and on screen. This module delves into the fascinating world of theatre production, beginning with late nineteenth-century actor-managers and the development of long-running, commercial productions and moving through subsidised theatre, touring and national theatre companies, reviewing and disseminating cultures, and the advent of the mega-musical. Attending to the mainstream and the fringes, the module utilises case studies including Shakespeare in production, new plays, revivals and international hits such as Les Miserables and Hamilton, to illustrate how theatre responds to changing contexts and audiences. 

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

Literature and Drama across the early modern period contributed to, and was often caught up in, dramatic changes in social, political, and religious culture which changed the way that people experienced their lives and the world around them. This module gives students the opportunity to read a wide range of texts in a multitude of genres (from drama, to prose fiction, pamphlets and poetry) in their immediate contexts, both cultural and intellectual. This module will situate the poetry, prose and drama between 1580 and 1700 against the backdrops of civil war and political revolution, scientific experimentation, and colonial expansion; in doing so, it will ask how the seventeenth century forms our current understandings of the world. Students will be encouraged to read widely, to develop a specific and sophisticated understanding of historical period, and to see connections and changes in literary and dramatic culture in a period which stretches from the Spanish Armada of 1588 to the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.

English Dissertation

Joint Honours students have the option of writing an individual research project in their final year in the School of English.

This will give you the chance to work on a one-to-one basis with a supervisor on an agreed area of study to produce a detailed and sustained piece of writing.

This can be on a topic of language, literature or performance, or there is the option of undertaking a project-based dissertation, which will suit those students interested in applied or 'hands on' aspects of English as a discipline.

The topics available build on the School’s engagement with local theatres and literacy projects.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This prospectus may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

Confirmed July 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

EU tuition fees and funding options for courses starting in 2021/22 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

For voluntary placements (such as work experience or teaching in schools) you will need to pay your own travel and subsistence.

Year Abroad

The current tuition fees to be paid to the university during the Year Abroad stand at £1,385.

You will continue to receive a maintenance loan from Student Finance throughout the Year Abroad and may well receive other means of income. Depending on what you choose to do (i.e. study, work, or teach English) throughout the year, you may also receive a fixed income from your employer.

Costs incurred during the year abroad include travel and accommodation, though some funding may be available to support travel costs exceeding £300 (check Year Abroad team).

Scholarships and bursaries

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

You will have developed a range of transferable skills including the ability to:

  • communicate effectively in both Spanish and English (and Portuguese if taken)
  • construct a logical argument and to think independently

You will also have a sophisticated understanding of Anglophone and Hispanic literatures.

Your command of Spanish and/or Portuguese will allow you to work comfortably in a variety of complex linguistic environments and through your year abroad you will demonstrate that you're adaptable and independent.

Find out more about career development and opportunities for Hispanic and English students.

Average starting salary and career progression

94% of undergraduates from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £21,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £60,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

93.1% of undergraduates from the School of English secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £17,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £27,500.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment 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).

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" I’ve never met so many people, both students and teachers, with such passion for the subject. "
Tom Dineen, BA English

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.