This programme builds on our international reputation in creative writing, journalism and publishing.
You will study the written word across time and space, from Shakespeare to social media, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to comic books.
By the end of the degree you will have produced your own creative and professional writing.
You will also have developed critical and analytical skills needed to understand how the written word shapes, and is shaped by, the world we live in.
- Immerse yourself in world literature and engage with current debates in literary scholarship
- Write creatively, professionally and analytically in a range of different forms, via a range of different media
- Learn from a team of expert lecturers who are passionate about engaging with the written word in all its forms
- Develop employability skills with a placement module in a relevant business, like publishing, teaching, journalism and the arts
- Or spend a full year on work placement – there are amazing opportunities on your doorstep in London’s exciting Knowledge Quarter
- Access awe inspiring library collections – including the Senate House Library, with millions of books and beautiful study spaces, and nearby British Library.
Immerse yourself in the diverse, evolving and endlessly fascinating subject of English with this three-year degree.
Develop a thorough grounding in the study of literature, literary forms and literary theory. Encounter a range of texts from the British Isles and beyond as you delve into the rich history of writing in English.
Fundamentals of Analysis and Criticism (30 credits)
This module develops your understanding of the key theoretical and research debates in English studies, and of how to apply insights from current scholarship to the analysis of literary texts.
Literature in Historical Context (30 credits)
This module will give you a deep understanding of the development of British literature from the early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period, as well as the historical-social and political developments that shaped it.
Forms and Performances of Creative Writing (15 credits)
This module provides an introduction to performance main concepts and principles of performance theory and how they can be applied to different forms of creative writing, including drama, poetry and film.
Storytelling (15 credits)
This module introduces key concepts and theories of storytelling, and will provide you with a range of critical and creative tools to start working with narrative both as a writer and as a critical reader.
The Novel, Authorship and Creativity (15 credits)
In this module you will consider what we mean by the term ‘creative’ in ‘creative writing’ by exploring how the concepts, practices and uses of creativity relate to the contemporary novel and its context.
Postcolonialism (15 credits)
This module introduces you to postcolonial literary studies. You will gain an understanding of the ways colonialism and its legacies have shaped and continue to shape English writing and discourse.
Deepen your knowledge and understanding of scholarly content with a range of modules covering different authors, genres and approaches. Choose from a range of theoretical, analytical and practical modules including a Work Placement module.
Shakespeare: Authorship, dramatic texts and audiences (30 credits)
This module enables you to explore advances in literary scholarship in relation to the work of Shakespeare. You will develop a critical understanding of Shakespeare’s use of genre, form and language, and trace the core elements of dramatic form.
21st Century English and Digital Writing (15 credits)
This module provides a) an understanding of the changes that have taken place in the last 20 years in how texts are produced and consumed b) tools to analyse digital texts and social media c) foundation skills for creating high-quality born-digital texts.
Creative Writing Workshop (15 credits)
In this module you will explore the practice of creative writing in a variety of genres. Through developing your own writing portfolio, you will develop an understanding of the practices of the creative writer.
Contemporary Genre Fictions (15 credits)
This module serves as an introduction to the scope and variety of contemporary genre fiction. Genres considered may include, but are not limited to, Gothic, crime, science fiction, romance and young adult writing.
Romanticism (15 credits)
The Romantic period, commonly defined as about 1780 to 1830, was one of dramatic social, political, industrial, technological and cultural change in Britain. This module aims to give you a rich encounter with this turbulent and productive period of literature.
Reading the City: Victorian and Early Twentieth-Century London (15 credits)
This module explores the relationship between the physical London and the fictional city. Concentrating the middle to late Victorian period, until the early twentieth century, you will explore and analyse the varied environments in which writing about London was produced.
Reading the City: London after World War and Empire (15 credits)
This module explores the relationship between the physical, built London and textual representations of the city, with particular emphasis on works written in or about London between World War Two and the twenty-first century.
Work Placement (15 credits)
This module offers an opportunity to work towards future employment and reflect critically on your readiness for the 21st century workplace. It permits you to build on skills and knowledge gained on your degree course, as well as transferable skills.
Web Creation and Digital Storytelling (15 credits)
This module enables you to develop your own multimedia blog project and populate it with narrative content tailored to a specified target audience. You will learn about the history of online media and become familiar with the current digital landscape.
Visual Journalism (15 credits)
This module aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge to enable you to take photographs as part of your job, and the knowledge and critical ability to be able to select good photographs for publication.
Humanitarian Reporting (15 credits)
In this module you will examine how we understand faraway disasters. You will look at the background to foreign reporting, the way that the western media covers the developing world and then assess how the nature of this has changed.
Sports Journalism (15 credits)
The module will investigate the changing face of sports journalism and the way that the industry has had to evolve. You will be equipped with writing and editing skills that will prove effective across a broad range of sports.
Music Journalism (15 credits)
This module introduces you to concepts and practices in contemporary music journalism, across different types of writing about music. You will explore various forms of journalism, including writing for print media and blogs, alongside academic writing, advertising, fiction and more.
Choose from a broad selection of elective modules, which reflect current trends in literary scholarship and in applied disciplines such as journalism and publishing. Complete at least one 30-credit major project module.
Major Project: Dissertation (30 credits)
You will identify, plan, research, and write up a substantial project related to the study of English which reflects your interests. This will allow you to apply and further develop the knowledge and skills gained through the other modules.
Major Project: Professional Portfolio (30 credits)
You will identify, complete, write-up and analyse a substantial project related to the application of English within an applied or professional context.
Major Project: Creative Writing (30 credits)
You will plan, develop and complete a substantial piece of creative writing which will demonstrate your understanding of the features of successful creative writing, broadly defined, to be presented in a format appropriate to your chosen genre and readership.
Literary Journalism (15 credits)
This module will support you to read, study and write non-fiction prose in a format that is appropriate to literary journalism. With reference to communication and narrative scholarship, you will analyse examples of long-form narrative journalism.
Publishing in the Digital Age (15 credits)
This module aims to introduce you to the ways in which digitalisation is transforming the publishing process. You will explore the historical and cultural development of publishing, and learn about current conditions of the global publishing industry.
Global English and English Language Teaching (15 credits)
This module explores the role of English as a global language and the different forms it takes in communication for business, government, education and leisure, and enhances your own applied skill in English as taught in ELT and EFL contexts.
Intercultural Studies: Writing the Global City (15 credits)
This module explores exchanges between cultures and their relationship to ideas and debates about identity, migration and belonging, by examining writing within or about cities situated beyond the borders of modern Britain.
American Screenwriters (15 credits)
This module explores screenwriting in American cinema since the early 1970s as both a creative and cultural practice, by analysing a number of iconic film scripts and the films into which they were made.
Writing Women (15 credits)
This module focuses on the role women writers have played in defining and developing literary forms and traditions. You will study women’s strategies for articulating female experience and the role of women’s writing as a reflection of social reality.
Place and Space (15 credits)
This module links the study of writing to the ways people organize and understand space. You will develop an understanding of the techniques writers have used and the role ideas of place, space and landscape play in the wider culture.
Music Journalism (15 credits)
This module introduces you to concepts and practices in contemporary music journalism, and across different types of writing about music. You will explore various forms of journalism, including writing for print media and blogs, alongside academic writing, advertising, fiction and more.
You can apply to take a sandwich year working in a real-world work placement between years two and three of your degree.
Download course specification:
The English BA (Hons) here at City has been developed to broaden your horizons. Reflecting our commitment to teaching English literature on a global scale, the department has partnerships with many international institutions. If you perform well in your first year, then you may have the opportunity to spend your third year studying abroad. We have strong links with universities such as:
- Northeastern University, USA (Boston)
- University of Queensland, Australia (Brisbane)
- Queensland University of Technology, Australia (Brisbane)
- Koc University, Turkey (Istanbul)
These partnerships and their programmes may be subject to change.
Teaching and assessment
Your modules will be delivered using a combination of:
- Practical Workshops
- Interactive sessions
- Small seminars
- Personal tutorials
Lectures will provide you with commentary and explanation of key content areas. Most modules also offer small seminars and workshops, where you can develop your understanding of key texts and ideas through discussion and debate as well as hone your practical and professional skills. This versatility of approach will not only facilitate discussion but allow you to generate your own content, with different readerships, forms and functions in mind.
Your programme assignments will be assessed via a mix of coursework and unseen written examinations to assess your knowledge of the academic subjects and key concepts.
Your coursework will be assessed through:
- Professional, reflective and creative portfolios
- Reading diaries
- Group assignments, including projects and presentations
- Live showcase events.
The assessment weighting for year one is 10%, year two is 30% and year three is 60%.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The balance of assessment by coursework (assessed essays and assignments) unseen examinations and a final year project will to some extent depend on the optional modules you choose.
The approximate percentage of the course assessment, based on 2018/19 entry is as follows:
Most contact hours will take the form of lectures, seminars and practical workshops, supported by a personal tutorial system.
Approximate study time based on 2018/19 entry is as follows:
Fees and funding
Fees for year 2021/22
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/ 22 academic year only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase, which is normally 2%.
- Fee waivers are available for this course.
- Means tested support is available for 2021/22 entry.
Future finance loans
Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit our finance pages.
You will graduate with a unique blend of intellectual and creative skills.
Our employability-focused curriculum places a strong emphasis of the practical application of your skills in a professional context, including the opportunity to take a work placement module or year.
Delivered through world-class, research-informed teaching, this course prepares you for a range of possible career options, including:
- creative writing
- advertising and marketing
- library science
- digital media
- English language teaching
As an English student at City, you will have the opportunity to take a second-year elective module, ‘Work Placement’. Previous students have taken their placements in a wide range of sectors, including publishing (Penguin) and teaching as well as theatre work (Chickenshed) and charity work (Oxfam books).
You may also apply to take a sandwich year between years two and three of your degree. Our careers team will help you secure a placement in the areas that meet your future ambitions, such as:
- Publishing and literary agencies
- Digital media companies and agencies
- Cultural organisations
- English Language Teaching and mentoring.
How to apply
Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.
You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City, University of London is C60.
Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.
UCAS has implemented an 'invisibility of choices' policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.
You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £23 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £12.
For general enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.
Telephone lines are currently open between 10am - 3pm.
If your enquiry is about admission to a particular course, please use the contact details provided on the course page.
When to apply
Your application for entry in September 2021 should arrive at UCAS between September 2020 and 29th January 2021. Applications that arrive after 29th January 2021 will be considered only at City's discretion.
Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
- from inside the UK 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468
For callers with hearing difficulties:
- from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.
As an English student at City, you will have access to a wide range of facilities to support your study, including a brand new staff and student common room with a kitchen and lounge area.
Our three campus libraries consist of around 250,000 books with over 25,000 online journal titles and over 1600 study places available.
Students can book private library spaces for academic work within City Library.
As part of the University of London, City students have access to Senate House Library. Senate House offers Arts, Humanities and Social Science Special Collections and Research Collections.