TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a Subject > University Courses > English Degree


Contents

Course Overview

University course guides

English at Cambridge
English at De Montfort
English at Oxford

Admissions

Academic Requirements

Entrance to undergraduate programmes is frequently very competitive, in particular for English Literature, where grades are largely stated as AAB-ABB; various universities such as Sussex and Exeter will often ask for AAA, and many others such as Bristol have introduced the A* grade into their typical conditional offer. Many will accept the combined English Language & Literature A Level (especially where the straight course is not offered by the school) for entrance to English Literature courses. For English Language or combined linguistics courses, it is generally necessary to offer one of these courses at A Level.

First of all, I'm going to offer instructions on where to look for course requirements if they aren’t included in the list I will provide shortly - I’m unlikely to get everything, sorry! I don’t mean to patronise at all either, as I’m sure many of you have already done this kind of thing, but I wouldn’t want people to waste an application place by applying to Warwick with Combined English A-Level or something similar. Anyway, here’s my guide.

1. If you have a university in mind, google their website. We’ll use the example of Reading whose website, google tells me, is here. Like most, the address ends in .ac.uk - that’ll tell you, if you’re unsure, that it’s definitely the official website.

2. Next step, seek out the prospective undergraduate section. Most of these websites are relatively easy to navigate. For Reading, you need to head for Prospective Students, Full-time Undergraduate Degrees, A-Z of Subjects, English and then BA English which brings up a factfile.

3. Then, just check out the requirements. To study English (Q300) at Reading you’ll need either 320 points from 3 A-levels or 340 points from 3 A-levels and 1AS. They do not accept General Studies.

Alternatively, you can check through UCAS! Just head to UCAS website and click Course Search, then 2006, Subject Search, E, English, select the type of English you want and then play around - you’ll find out that they offer.

Onto to choosing the right universities to fill your six spaces. I always found that a good starting point were various University league tables - now they’re not the letter of the law or anything, but they can give you some good ideas, so my advice would be that - if you haven’t already - you should take a look.

The Times Good University Guide for English and The Guardian’s University Guide for English are just two examples which offer different information and points of view.

NB: Candidates for English courses are rarely interviewed. As such, the subject of interviews will only be mentioned in the guides below if they are a common occurrence at that university. If there is no mention of interviews in the guide for a particular university, you may assume that interviews are almost exclusively reserved for mature students and other exceptional cases.


Aberdeen

RAE 2008: #5

Aberystwyth

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level
Desirable: Critical Thinking at AS or A2
Standard Offer: 300 Points
RAE 2008: #13

Anglia Ruskin

RAE 2008: #8

Bangor

RAE 2008: #11

Bath Spa

RAE 2008: #19

Bedfordshire

RAE 2008: #20

Birkbeck College

RAE 2008: #7

Bishop Grosseteste University College

RAE 2008: #28

Birmingham

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level
Desirable: Critical Thinking at AS or A2
Standard Offer: AAB
RAE 2008: #7

Birmingham City

RAE 2008: #21

Bolton

RAE 2008: #30

Brighton

Course: BA English Literature Q320; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAB with an B in English Literature, not including General Studies or Critical Thinking

Bristol

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level.
Standard Offer: A*AA with an A in English Literature or combined English Literature and Language.
Contextual Offer: AAB with an A in English Literature or combined English Literature and Language.
Other: Written work may be requested of candidates before a final decision is made. No candidates are interviewed.
RAE 2008: #6

Brunel

RAE 2008: #12

Cambridge

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level
Standard Offer: A*AA
Other: Most candidates will be required to submit 1-4 pieces of written work (it depends on the college); most candidates are interviewed
RAE 2008: #4

Canterbury Christ Church

RAE 2008: #28

Cardiff

Course: BA English Literature Q306; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAA with an A in English, not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #6

Central Lancashire

Course: BA English Literature Q306; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: 220 Points from qualifications with the volume and depth of A-level or equivalent
RAE 2008: #23

Chester

RAE 2008: #23

Chichester

RAE 2008: #22

Cumbria

RAE 2008: #29

De Montfort

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level
Standard Offer: 260 Points from a minimum of two full A Levels, to include a B in English (Language or Literature)
Other: If successful at application stage you may be invited to an interview
RAE 2008: #4

Dundee

RAE 2008: #13

Durham

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level
Standard Offer: A*AA with an A in English, not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #7

East Anglia

RAE 2008: #7

Edinburgh

Course: MA English Literature Q306; 4 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level
Standard Offer: BBB with a B in English (you do not need to be predicted AAA just to be considered!) not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #2

Edge Hill

RAE 2008: #27

Essex

RAE 2008: #10

Exeter

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level at grade A
Standard Offer: A*AA-AAB with an A in English, not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #3

Glamorgan

RAE 2008: #14

Glasgow

Course: MA English Literature Q301; 4 years
Essential: English Literature A Level/Higher/Advanced Higher.
Standard Offer: AAB at A Level, including English. AAAA AAABB at Higher, including English.
Other : General Studies is accepted. Students with exceptional grades may be offered second year entry.
RAE 2008: #4

Gloucestershire

RAE 2008: #19

Goldsmiths College

RAE 2008: #9

Greenwich

RAE 2008: #26

Herefordshire

RAE 2008: #14

Huddersfield

RAE 2008: #22

Hull

RAE 2008: #11

Kent

RAE 2008: #6

Keele

RAE 2008: #11

King's College

Course: BA English Language and Literature Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language/Literature A-level at grade A
Standard Offer: AAB with an A in English, not including General Studies
Other: GCSE Modern Foreign Language preferred. If you don't have one, you or preferably your referee should state why on your reference.
RAE 2008: #7

Kingston

RAE 2008: #14

Lancaster

RAE 2008: #8

Leicester

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature, English Language or English Language/Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAB
RAE 2008: #8

Leeds Trinity & All Saints

RAE 2008: #23

Liverpool

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature or English Language at A-level
Standard Offer: AAB
RAE 2008: #5

Liverpool Hope

RAE 2008: #29

Liverpool John Moores

RAE 2008: #20

Loughborough

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature, English Language or English Language/Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAB
RAE 2008: #12

Manchester

RAE 2008: #2

Manchester Metropolitan

RAE 2008: #15

Middlesex

RAE 2008: #17

Napier

RAE 2008: #22

Newcastle

RAE 2008: #5

Northampton

RAE 2008: #24

Northumbria

RAE 2008: #20

Nottingham

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAB with an A in English, not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #3

Nottingham Trent

RAE 2008: #12

Open

RAE 2008: #8

Oxford

Course: BA English Language and Literature Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature, English Language or English Language/Literature A-level
Helpful: A language, or History
Standard Offer: AAA with an A in English, not including General Studies
Other: All candidates will be required to submit at least one piece of written work; all applicants must sit the ELAT admissions test; a large number of candidates are interviewed
RAE 2008: #3

Oxford Brookes

RAE 2008: #14

Plymouth

RAE 2008: #21

Queen Mary

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level or English Language and Literature A-level
Standard Offer: 360 UCAS points from 3 A2s, with an A in English
Other: According to the department's website, applicants who meet the entry requirements are then invited for a short interview.
RAE 2008: #2

Queen's University Belfast

RAE 2008: #5

Reading

RAE 2008: #7

Roehampton

RAE 2008: #16

Royal Holloway

RAE 2008: #6

Salford

RAE 2008: #15

Sheffield

RAE 2008: #7

Course: BA English Literature Q306; 3 Years

Essential: A in English Literature or English Language & Literature at A-Level

Standard Offer: AAB with A in English Literature or English Language and Literature

Sheffield Hallam

RAE 2008: #18

Southampton

RAE 2008: #7

St. Andrews

Course: MA English Q300; 4 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAA with an A in English, not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #4

St. Mary's University College

RAE 2008: #26

Stirling

RAE 2008: #11

Strathclyde

RAE 2008: #12

Sunderland

RAE 2008: #14

Sussex

Course:BA English: 3 years
Essential:English Literature A-Level
Standard Offer:AAA with an A in English
Other: General Studies is accepted as a third A-Level.
RAE 2008: #8

Swansea

RAE 2008: #10

Ulster

RAE 2008: #17

University College London

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAA to include grade A in English Literature or combined English Language and Literature. A GCSE in a foreign language is required if not offered at AS or A level. A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent
Other: At least one other AS-level is required in addition to the standard A-level offer; approximately one third of candidates are interviewed
RAE 2008: #6

University College Plymouth

RAE 2008: #32

Wales

RAE 2008: #28

Warwick

Course: BA English Literature Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AABb with an A in English, not including General Studies
Other: Warwick almost always interviews candidates before making an offer
RAE 2008: #4

West of England

RAE 2008: #18

Westminster

RAE 2008: #25

Worcester

RAE 2008: #24

York

Course: BA English Q300; 3 years
Essential: English Literature A-level
Standard Offer: AAA with an A in English, not including General Studies
RAE 2008: #1

York St. John

RAE 2008: #31

UCAS Form & Personal Statement

Course Structure

Life as an English Student

Graduate Destinations and Career Prospects

A degree in English encourages proficient skills in writing, communication and analysis. Graduates find employment in a diversity of areas, particularly law, journalism, the media, teaching, publishing, finance and consultancy. Of course, a proportion go on to study postgraduate research degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need English Literature or Language at A Level?

Yes. You will most often be required to have taken A Level English Literature or combined English Language and Literature. English Language on its own is not sufficient for the study of English Literature at University Level.

Realistically, what sort of grades will I need to get into a top university for English?

The standard offer now for an English degree at a "top university" is around the AAA/AAB level. Some applicants have been successful in gaining a place despite obtaining ABB in their final exams, as the university may still consider you if they have not filled all of their places yet.

English degrees are notoriously competitive to get onto. Do not assume that although a university you have applied for is lower down the league tables or less known for the subject, that you will get a place regardless of obtaining the conditions of your offer. E.g. The University of Sussex, although currently 34th in the latest league tables for English, asks for AAA at A Level and a lot of people have been unsuccessful in obtaining a place, even with AAB.

Is general studies accepted as a third or fourth A Level subject for English?

Every University has its own specific requirements. Lots of new universities welcome the qualification, however most traditional or "old" universities tend to only accept general studies if you have missed the conditions of your offer. There are, however, some respectable universities which do welcome General Studies as part of the conditional offer, such as Sussex and Liverpool.

Will I have to work hard?

Yes. And no. If you find reading the political essays of Marxist theorists tedious, comparing Jane Austen to Stephen King just silly, and if male, would feel shocked that you write with the phallic pen of female oppression. Then maybe this degree is not for you and you will find it hard to grasp the various theories and concepts that make up the study of literature. However, you may find this all incredibly interesting and the work will be a joy for you.

Either way, you will have to write many essays, read a LOT of books and remain enthusiastic for the subject in order to succeed. (Like any other subject you may take!)

Is English a "blagging" degree?

Definitely not. Many people have found that they come to University, believing that they can just read the texts and achieve top marks in the exam the next day like in A Level, however this is not the case. Many people choose an English degree because they did well in English at A Level through "blagging". You will be very disappointed when you realise you cannot do this anymore! University Level essays and exams require a much broader and deeper knowledge and grasp of the subject. Yes you may get away with the odd essay or two where you didn't really bother but managed to achieve a 2.1, but for those of you looking for top marks, you will need to work a lot, read widely around the subject and be prepared to undertake a lot of extra research, time management and self-discipline in order to succeed.


Will I enjoy English?

Yes! English is a fascinating and diverse subject, allowing you to explore your interests in other interdisciplinary areas such as psychology, philosophy, history or media. If you attend a university that offers a flexible combined honours (Durham, De Montfort, Exeter) you will be able to combine a wide range of subjects into your degree, whether it be English and Maths, or English and International Relations, you will be able to find the course that most satisfies your interests.

Try Learn together, TSR's study area

183,209
essays

17,062
mindmaps

22,949
revision notes

11,008
quizzes

create
a study planner

thousands
of discussions


Article updates