This distinctive, diverse and challenging programme provides a strong English Literature core to your degree, whilst offering options in English Language throughout.
- English at Derby has been ranked No.1 in the UK for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2022
- English and Creative Writing at Derby has been ranked Top 30 in the Guardian University Guide 2023
- The programme’s distinctive core of engagement with literary, critical and cultural theory will enable you to develop a highly nuanced and sophisticated approach to the analysis of literature, language and culture.
- You will explore fascinating aspects of the subject, including the evolution of fantasy, the representation of crime, the legacy of Empire, cultural politics, existentialist writing, classical myth and the 19th-century realist novel. Alongside the literature modules, you can also explore key areas in linguistics, including sociolinguistics, psycholingistics and the relationship between language and identity.
- This degree will change the way that you think: you will encounter a wide range of literature from across the globe, studied in the context of perspective-altering theories concerning identity, desire, cultural politics and the nature of reality itself.
- The course equips you with the skills and knowledge you need for excellent career prospects in fields which include (though are not limited to) teaching, journalism, publishing and arts administration.
- Our teaching team is made up of experts who are passionate about the subject and dedicated to your success.
- There is the opportunity to broaden your experience with work-based learning projects, study visits to cultural and heritage institutions, as well as lectures and seminars delivered by guest speakers.
- Our assessment strategy is designed to produce confident, articulate and independent graduates. There are no exams. As well as essays, you will be assessed on your participation in seminars and your ability to lead them. We also place great emphasis on developing your research skills, with conference papers and independent projects forming a key part of the second and third year.
- You can choose to study for a semester in one of our American partner universities.
English - your questions answered
In the below video, Senior Lecturer, Dr Paul Whickman, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about English at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
A broad perspective
You will be introduced to a range of cultural expression from across the globe and from diverse historical periods, broadening your understanding of the variety of human experience and the different literary modes which capture this.
The course covers literatures from the ancient past to the present day; from Africa and the Caribbean, America and continental Europe as well as from Britain and Ireland. It includes detailed surveys of early modern literature, the Enlightenment, the nineteenth-century realist novel and the modernist experiments of the early twentieth century.
You will be taught by an enthusiastic team with research expertise covering a broad range of literary interests.
You will also benefit from guest seminars and lectures, including those given by our Visiting Professor, Catherine Belsey, an internationally-recognised scholar whose work has profoundly influenced the way English is studied and taught.
Tailored to suit you
The flexibility of the English degree means you can choose from a wide range of thought-provoking options in stages two and three so that you can focus on your own literary interests.
The ideal setting
You could not have a better backdrop to your studies than Derbyshire. One of the centres of the British Enlightenment during the eighteenth century, the county has a strong literary heritage and inspired many great writers including Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Charlotte Brontё, George Eliot and Henry James.
A career focused degree
An English degree will open up a range of career options. However, we also recognise the importance of supporting you to develop the skills sought by employers to maximise your employability.
You will have personal development planning (PDP) interviews with your Year Tutor throughout your degree. Your tutor will help you explore career aspirations, review your PDP file and advise you on developing transferable skills.
We offer the opportunity for applied study through our work-based learning modules, which can be taken as options and where you can undertake projects and placements at cultural institutions There is also a programme of employability workshops and talks.
Not just lectures and classrooms
You will take part in trips and study visits to cinemas, film festivals, theatres, museums, galleries and heritage centres where you can observe, broaden your cultural knowledge and also apply what you are learning in practice.
We also work closely with the Derby-based 1623 Theatre Company so you have the opportunity to try your hand at directing play scenes, and with Writing East Midlands so you can contribute to writing-related events,Our innovative conference module, Literature in Society, enables you to collaboratively produce and market a paper to be delivered to an invited audience at a public conference.
Study in America
You can choose to spend part of your degree studying at one of our partner universities in America:
- Eastern Michigan University
- Keene State College in New Hampshire
- Longwood University in Virginia
- Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
During your foundation year you will be assessed mainly by coursework, and with some in-class tests.
For the rest of your degree the assessment strategy is designed to produce confident, articulate graduates with a broad set of skills. There are no exams and forms of assessment include seminar debates, group presentations and conference papers alongside essays and longer research projects. We place great emphasis on developing your research skills, with independent projects playing a key part in stages two and three.
Who you will meet
You will be taught by our team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts.
Dr Robin Sims is the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) English. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia before completing a Masters and PhD at Cardiff University’s Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory. His specialisms include literary theory, modernism and postmodernism, and he has published on psychoanalytic approaches to literature and on the construction of the Green Man in twentieth-century culture.
Dr David Holloway is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies. His research interests include American visual cultures, narratives of apocalypse in American culture and the “war on terror”. His book on Cormac McCarthy was published in 2002 and 9/11 and the War on Terror was published in 2008. He is also the co-editor of American Visual Cultures (2005).
Professor Samuel Kasule is a Professor of Post-colonial Theatre and Performance. He studied Drama and English at Makerere University (Kampala) before completing an MA in Theatre Studies and a PhD in English at Leeds University. His specialisms include drama, postcolonial literatures and postcolonial theory. He has published on Black British theatre, postcolonial writing, and postcolonial performance and drama.
Dr Paul Whickman is a Lecturer in English. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2013. He specialises in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, particularly the Romantic period and the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Having published on Byron and Shelley, Paul’s particular research interests are in literary blasphemy, eighteenth-century conceptions of press freedom, copyright and the aesthetics of dissent.
Dr Aled Williams is a Senior Lecturer in English. He was awarded a PhD in English at the University of Warwick in 2001. His specialisms include Romanticism, nineteenth-century literature, and modern and contemporary poetry. He has published on Romantic-period literature, contemporary poetry, and on student writing development in higher education.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2|
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£9,250 per year
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
A head start in your career
You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to give you excellent career prospects when you graduate. There are exciting opportunities in fields such as teaching, publishing, journalism, librarianship and arts administration, as well as roles in art galleries, media centres and museums.
Ensuring you are ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure that you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you will also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.
This support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- Your fee includes any mandatory study visits and some social events
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Purchase of set texts and copies of core text books; costs will vary depending on the source
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Printing and binding of one copy of dissertation, approx. cost £6
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.