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English BA

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Overview

Our dynamic English BA degree offers you the chance to study in the heart of London and engage with its literary history. You’ll be able to select from a wide array of exciting areas of study – with world-class lecturers working on everything from contemporary poetry to medieval performance, from South Asian fiction to creative writing. During the degree, you will discover a range of theoretical and historical approaches to literary study and develop essential skills in critical thinking, expression and research.

 

Key benefits

  • One of the oldest English departments in the country, with an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and research.
  • Central London location offers opportunities to work with Shakespeare’s Globe as well as an exciting range of other sites and archives.
  • Ours is a department committed to teaching English literatures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries written in America, Anglophone Africa, Australia, Ireland and South Asia as well as within the UK.
  • Personal attention is given to each student, creating a vibrant intellectual atmosphere and a network of support.
  • Graduates develop transferable analytical and communications skills making them highly desirable to employers across a range of sectors.
  • With several research centres at King’s, including the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture, Queer @ King’s and the London Shakespeare Centre, you will be working alongside cutting-edge research across a range of fields.

Key information

UCAS code Q300

Duration Three years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of English

Locations

 

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English BA

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Course detail

Description

Studying English at King’s you will encounter literature that stretches back through the centuries and reaches out across the globe. We pride ourselves on the range and diversity of the modules we offer, ranging across genre, period and place and including creative writing. We embrace diverse approaches, combining contemporary literary theory, close textual examination and historical scholarship. Our aim is to offer open and imaginative approaches to classic English texts together with newer and less familiar developments in the discipline.

The Department has an international reputation for the quality of its scholarship and all members of staff are actively involved in research. We aim to connect research and teaching, both in the classroom and at the many extra activities and  events we offer.

Teaching 

Our effective personal tutor system means you will benefit from individual attention. All modules involve seminars, and on a typical module your time will be divided equally between these and more formal lectures.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written examinations. Forms of assessment may typically include essays, exams (unseen, open book and prior disclosure), critical commentaries, creative work (e.g. fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction), translations, reports, seminar presentations and reader-response exercises.

Location

London is a city of words and images. We are fortunate to be located at the heart of its arts and media district, and close to historic literary locations, offering exciting possibilities for the study of film, theatre, literature and other art-forms. Within 20 minutes’ walk of the Department of English at King’s Strand Campus are Shakespeare’s Globe and the site of the Tabard Inn, where Chaucer’s pilgrims started out on their journey. Even closer at hand are the Inns of Court, Covent Garden, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (London’s oldest working theatre) and countless other sites and buildings with literary associations. Just across Waterloo Bridge is the South Bank arts complex, including the IMAX Cinema, as well as the new BFI Southbank (three screens), which contains the BFI Mediatheque, a studio cinema, and a gallery among other facilities.

Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.

Special notes

All students are offered the opportunity to study abroad – in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and other locations – during the second year of their English degree at King’s. Recent popular destinations include the University of California, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the University of Toronto, Humbolt University, Berlin, and the University of Hong Kong.

Structure

Year 1

This is a three-year degree course in which you will take a combination of required and optional modules to total 120 credits.

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

  • Classical & Biblical Contexts of English Literature (15 credits)
  • Early Modern Literary Culture (15 credits)
  • Introducing Literary Theories (15 credits)
  • Introduction to American Literature (15 credits)
  • Medieval Literary Culture (15 credits)
  • Reading Poetry (15 credits)
  • Writing London (15 credits)
Optional Modules

In addition, you will take sufficient credits to bring your total for the year to 120, from either a list of English Department electives, or from one of the following departments, depending on availability:

  • Classics (15 credits) 
  • Digital Humanities (15 credits)
  • French (15 credits)
  • Comparative Literature (15 credits)
  • Film Studies (15 credits)
  • Modern Language Centre (15 credits)
  • Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies (15 credits)
  • Theology & Religious Studies (15 credits)

Year 2

Required Modules

The department operates a banding system in the second year, to broaden horizons and ensure a balanced programme.

  • Band 1: Literature up to 1800
  • Band 2: Literature 1800 - present

You are required to take a minimum of four Band 1 modules during your second year. At least one of these must be a Band 1 Medieval option.

Optional Modules

You will take sufficient credits to bring your total for the year to 120, from a range of optional modules within these bands which may typically include:

 Band 1 examples
  • A Mad World, My Masters: Performing Culture in Jacobean England (15 credits)
  • Comedy and Identity (15 credits)
  • Cultural Encounters: Literature and Language in the Anglo-Saxon Period (15 credits)
  • Early American Literature (15 credits)
  • Family, Authorship and Romanticism (15 Credits)
  • The Film of the Play (15 credits)
  • History, Politics and the Elizabethan Imagination (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Literature: Gothic (15 credits)
  • Language on the Edge (15 credits)
  • London Literature 1380-1450 (15 credits)
  • Medieval Science Fiction (15 credits)
  • Performance in Medieval Culture (15 credits)
  • The Poetry of Revolution (15 credits)
  • The Rise of the Novel (15 Credits)
  • Renaissance Wordplay (15 credits)
  • Subjects of Desire in Medieval Literature (15 credits)
Band 2 examples
  • American Popular Culture (15 credits)
  • Australian Literature and Film (15 credits)
  • The Colonial Novel and British India (15 credits)
  • Contemporary Global Novels (15 credits)
  • Creative Non-Fiction (Creative Writing) (15 credits)
  • Experimental Theatre (15 credits)
  • Fin de Siècle (15 credits)
  • Forms of Engagement: Poetic Learning and Poetic Making
  • Gender and Performance (15 credits)
  • Mapping Modernism (15 credits)
  • The Mind of the Novel (15 credits)
  • Modern Poetry and the Place of Writing (15 credits)
  • Modern Theatre (15 credits)
  • Moments of Culture (15 credits)
  • Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture (15 credits)
  • Post/colonial Pirates (15 credits)
  • Prose Fiction (Creative Writing) (15 credits)
  • Shocks of the New (15 credits)
  • Theatre Capital (15 credits)
  • Theory, Culture and Politics After the 1960s (15 credits)
  • US Slavery and the Literary Imagination (15 credits)
  • Twentieth-Century American Fiction (15 credits)
  • Victorians and Social Change (15 credits)
  • Writing Africa (15 credits)

You also have the opportunity to study abroad in the second semester of the second year. Our partner universities currently include:

  • Humboldt zu Berlin (basic German language required despite teaching in English)
  • National University of Singapore
  • University of California
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Hong Kong University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of British Columbia

Year 3

Required Modules

There are no required modules in Year 3.

Optional Modules

You are required to choose either eight 15-credit modules or six 15-credit modules plus a dissertation from a wide range of optional English modules which may typically include:

  • Activist Texts: Literature and Politics, 1910-1938 (15 credits)
  • Alternative Americas: The Other Nineteenth Century (15 credits)
  • Austen in Context (15 credits)
  • Autobiography (15 credits)
  • Beowulf (15 credits)
  • Chaucer’s Books (15 credits)
  • Critically Queer (15 credits)
  • Figurations of Conspiracy (15 credits)
  • Gender, Culture and Power at the Court of Elizabeth I (15 credits)
  • Identity in Contemporary Britain (15 credits)
  • Imagining Britain: Medieval Places, Journeys, Maps (15 credits)
  • James Joyce and Ulysses (15 credits)
  • Late Shakespeare (15 credits)
  • Literature and Media (15 credits)
  • The Life of the Sonnet (15 credits)
  • Multi-Ethnic American Modernisms (15 credits)
  • Performance Philosophy (15 credits)
  • Romantic Lyric, Philosophy and The Senses (15 credits)
  • Shakespeare’s London (15 credits)
  • Science, Nature and Performance (15 credits)
  • Testimony: The Holocaust and Rwanda (15 credits)
  • Vernacular Theory (15 credits)
  • Virginia Woolf and the Politics of Reading (15 credits)

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to- date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. 

Entry requirements

 

Required grades

AAA

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A-levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer.

Required grades

35 points overall (including TOK/EE) and three Higher Level subjects at 666

Required grades

45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades

D3 D3 D3

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) will be considered

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

85% overall

Required grades

Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements and English language entry requirements.

Required subjects

English Literature, or combined English Language and Literature

Preferred subjects

English Literature and another arts subject

 

Further information and other requirements

Entry requirements
A-Level  AAA 

Must include grade A in English Literature, or combined English Language and Literature.

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer.

Access to HE Diploma 

D: 36 credits

M: 9 credits

P: 0 credits

Access to English Literature/Arts/Humanities Diploma (or similar subject) with 45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit. 

Level 3 study must focus on English Literature. Preferred other subjects: Literature and another arts subject at Level 3

Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 D3

Must include grade D3 in Literature in English.

Preferred other subjects: Literature and another arts subject as a Principal Subject.

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including grade A in either English Literature or Combined English Language & Literature.

Preferred other subjects: Another arts subject at A-level.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including grade A in either English Literature or Combined English Language & Literature.

Preferred other subjects: Another arts subject at A-level.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AA, including grade A in either English Literature or Combined English Language & Literature.

Preferred other subjects: Another arts subject at A-level.

Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers

AAB at Highers

and

AA at Advanced Highers

Must include grade A in Advanced Higher in English.

Must be a combination of three Scottish Highers and two Scottish Advanced Highers. We do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject.

Preferred other subjects: Literature and another arts subject at Advanced Higher/Higher.

International Baccalaureate 35 points

Including 666 at Higher Level, and including grade 6 at Higher Level in English Literature or Combined English Language & Literature. Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE. 

Other International Qualifications   Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Non academic requirements

Scholastic activities (Very Desirable): We look for applicants with an enthusiasm for scholastic activities such as reading, drama, philosophical interests, debating or writing which shows signs of an enquiring and critical attitude in the appreciation of literature and the arts. Participation will be valued but achievement in these areas of interest will also be recognised. We also look for signs of breadth of applicant's reading - especially reading that goes beyond the scope of school syllabus (eg reading that extends beyond A level set texts).

Community activities (Desirable): We look for applicants who have participated as fully as possible in school, college or community life, making the most of the opportunities available to them. Artistic and literary interests, achievements, and contributions to the school and broader community are taken into account, eg membership of writing or literary appreciation clubs, and participation in theatrical productions, poetry readings and literary festivals and exhibitions.

General (Desirable): We look for applicants who have varied extra-curricular interests and enjoy active participation in areas such as sport, travelling, outdoor activities, crafts and community work. Participation will be valued but any achievement in extra-curricular activities will also be recognised. We hope to attract applicants who enjoy reading and analysing literature and poetry in their leisure time, and also those who enjoy writing, be it poetry, plays, books or journalistic articles. King's aspires to recruit applicants who will continue with their personal interests and contribute to the vitality of the College community.

Paid or voluntary work (Desirable): Although we do not require applicants to have been in paid or voluntary employment, we welcome applications from those who can demonstrate tenacity and an ability to prioritise by being employed in work alongside their studies.

Selection procedure

Application deadline: January 15th 2020

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees EU:

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 (September 2020) who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees International:

The International tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is £19,800 per year.

Please note that the International tuition fee is subject to annual increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.

 

Additional costs/expenses

If you study abroad as part of your course, you will not be charged tuition fees by the host university (although some partners do charge a small administration fee for applying). Please see the Study Abroad webpages for details of the relevant partner universities.

King’s will continue to invoice for a proportion of King's tuition fees  At present these are as follows: 

  • Home students studying for a semester abroad will receive an invoice for £6,000 for King’s tuition fees for the year.
  • Overseas students studying for a semester abroad will receive an invoice for two thirds of the King's tuition fees for the year. 

You should also budget to pay for the associated subsistence costs, such as travel, visas, accommodation and food as well as any vaccination/immunisations required by the country to which you are travelling. 

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

 

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

English is a flexible and adaptable subject that equips you with a wide range of transferable skills appropriate to many different occupations. Graduates from our English BA possess skills in written and spoken communication, independent thought and judgement, and critical thinking and research, all of which are highly valued by employers. Our students are often interested in a career in the creative and cultural  industries, and in education and research. Equally, many of our graduates also go into general management, consultancy and the public services, or take conversion courses to begins careers in professions such as law.

Career destinations

Recent graduates have found employment as…

  • Librarian, London Borough of Barnet
  • Marketing Executive, Ensphere
  • Charity Fundraiser, Gogen
  • Content Editor, Thomson Reuters UK Professional
  • Corporate Affairs Intern, Cadbury Plc
  • English Teacher, St Giles College
  • Graduate Management Trainee, Sotheby’s
  • Junior Script Reader, Altered Image
  • National Events Executive, Fundraising & Marketing, Cancer Research UK
  • Recruitment Consultant, Michael Page International
  • Website Administrator, Walkopedia.ne
  • Lecturer, King’s College London and other UK universities

Testimonials

Next steps

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