BA English Literature and Theatre Studies
- UCAS code
- Modes of study and duration of the course
- 3 Years Full Time
- Contact for further information
Undergraduate Admissions Officer for the School of English,
Faculty of Arts Admissions Office, 2.29 Michael Sadcler Building, University of Leeds, LEEDS, LS2 9JT
Tel: 113 343 4759,
Fax: 113 343 4774,
- Why study?
This is one of the country's most prestigious degrees in English Literature and Theatre Studies, in one of the top-rated English departments. Judged ‘excellent’ in its teaching, and amongst the top 10 English departments in the country for research (RAE2008, GPA 2.95; RAE2001, 5*A), the School of English has a distinguished history. With over forty members of academic staff, it teaches across the whole spread of English studies. Our English programmes are distinguished by this outstanding range of activity.
All undergraduate teaching is informed by the active research of our staff. Our expertise covers all periods of English Literature (from Anglo-Saxon to contemporary), American and postcolonial literatures, literary theory, Theatre Studies, and English Language. This breadth of expertise allows us to provide expert teaching in all aspects of the subject and to offer students a huge range of modules. The structure of the degree and the variety of modules on offer allows students to maintain a breadth of coverage while also developing a more specialised focus in areas of particular interest.
Leeds students of English study in a large and exciting department which offers many opportunities for academic, personal, and professional development. Across the degree you will gain a thorough historical, critical, theoretical, and practical grounding in the study of literature and theatre. You will develop a wide range of subject-specific and transferable skills, equipping you to succeed in a wide range of careers.
Find out what some of our current students think to this course.
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- Entry requirements
Currently A-level AAB with A in English (Literature, Language, or Language & Literature), not GS or Critical Thinking. Theatre Studies or Drama at GCSE and/or A-level is an advantage but not essential. Candidates must have a firm commitment to theatre and some practical experience.
International Baccalaureate: 36 points overall, including 17 Higher Level points and 6 in Higher level English.
European Baccalaureate: 80% overall and at least 80% in English or on the numerical scale, 16/20 overall with at least 16 in English.
Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB - including an A at English
Scottish Highers: AAAAB in Highers. Alternatively, AAB at Advanced Higher, including A in English
BTEC: DDM English A level grade A
Access to Higher Education courses: Interview + a piece of written work plus pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3 - of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. The Access course must follow a Humanities pathway and/or include English modules.
Applications welcome from mature students with Access qualifications and from students with international or other non-A-level qualifications.
- How to apply
- Applications should be made via UCAS (www.ucas.com). Please note that due to the popularity of the course, we cannot consider applications that arrive at UCAS after 15th January.
- Entry / admissions tests
- All applicants for English Literature & Theatre Studies whom, on the basis of the written application, we wish to consider further are invited to interview. We prefer candidates to attend the interview day in person; however, we understand that if you live overseas this may not be possible. Alternative arrangements can be made in this situation.
- Selection principles
Please see our Undergraduate Admissions Policy (pdf) for our selection processes. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and are keen to support those who have the potential to succeed but whose personal circumstances may have affected their levels of achievement. For this reason, we encourage participation in the Access to Leeds scheme - enter the phrase 'Access to Leeds' into our search engine for details.
There are normally 36 places available on this course. The School of English reserves the right to adjust final admissions numbers.
- What you study
This programme is particularly designed for those students who wish to combine an interest in English Literature with the study of theatre in workshop conditions. Students take modules in English Literature as well as Theatre Studies modules – workshop-based courses which combine seminar discussion with practical exploration of the topics being studied.
In level (year) 1 core modules introduce you to all aspects of the subject and equip you with the skills you will need for the rest of your degree. You take the Theatre Studies module ‘Approaches to Theatre’, which introduces key strategies for exploring and analysing contemporary theatre practice. You also choose from a group of literature core modules exploring each of the major genres (prose, poetry, and drama), and the field of literary theory and criticism. Drawing on texts from a range of historical periods, these modules establish the main principles of analysing text and performance. Students become familiar with key critical, theoretical and practical approaches to the subject, and develop their own skills in analysis, oral discussion, and essay-writing. You also complete the online module ‘Studying and Researching English’, which enhances study and research skills.
Alongside these core modules students take elective modules in a subject outside the School of English.
In level (Year) 2 core and option modules allow you to develop your understanding of literary and dramatic texts in varied historical contexts and to begin pursuing areas of particular interest. You take two Theatre Studies core modules: ‘Performing the Past’, a practically-oriented module which looks at dramatic texts in historical context and explores what these texts might mean to us now; and ‘Theatre, Society, Self’, which examines the methodologies, effectiveness and ethics of a range of theatre forms with social and political agendas. You also choose from a group of period-based and generically wide-ranging literature core modules: ‘Medieval Literature', ‘Renaissance Literature’, ‘Civil War & Restoration Literature’, ‘Eighteenth-Century Literature’, ‘Literature of the Romantic Period’, and 'Victorian Literature'.
Alongside core modules you can choose from a huge range of option modules, allowing you to specialise in whatever areas of literature and theatre most interest you. You may also choose to continue to take elective modules in a subject outside the School of English.
In level (year) 3 core and option modules give you the opportunity to explore contemporary theatre practice and literature, to broaden your focus beyond British and Irish literature, and to specialise further. You take two Theatre Studies core modules, ‘Issues in Contemporary Theatre’ and ‘The Practical Essay’, which provide practical and theoretical insights into debates around contemporary theatre practice and the chance to work as critical practitioners in the creation of a short theatre piece. You also choose from a group of literature core modules covering later periods (‘Modern Literature’ and ‘Contemporary Literature’), literatures in English from other countries (‘Postcolonial Literature’ and ‘American Words, American Worlds, 1900-present’), and one of the most globally important English writers, Shakespeare. These modules allow you to consider the place of theatre and literature in the modern world.
Alongside core modules you may choose further option modules or undertake a literature dissertation, allowing you to pursue particular interests further. You may also choose to continue to take elective modules in a subject outside the School of English.
Students learn in a variety of learning environments including seminars, workshops, and lectures; one-to-one tutorials and supervisions; group work with peers; our Virtual Learning Environment (podcasts, wikis, discussion boards, etc); libraries and other research and study environments. Students participating in the work placement scheme also benefit from workplace-based learning.
Scheduled teaching time takes a variety of forms but centres on our commitment to small group teaching. All literature modules involve weekly seminars in groups of no more than 10 students. Leeds is unusual is being able to offer these small class sizes, which allow all students to participate in discussion and gain feedback and support from peers and tutors. Literature core modules also include lectures (usually two per week) which bring together all students on the module (up to c. 290 students). Some option modules also feature lectures (up to 5 per semester) with groups of up to 40 students. Theatre Studies modules are taught through a combination of seminars of up to 12 students and practical workshops of c.18 students. ‘The Practical Essay’ also includes one-to-one supervision. All Theatre Studies teaching emphasises the complementary relationship between creative and critical approaches to drama and theatre. Literature dissertation supervision consists of one-to-one tutorials, shared tutorials (3-5 students), and whole group workshops (c. 100 students). Outside of this scheduled teaching time, there are other important points of face-to-face contact with academic staff: essay feedback sessions, drop-in support sessions, and meetings with Personal Tutors. The independent study and research that all modules require is guided and supported.
Modules are assessed in a range of ways encouraging students to develop a broad set of skills and competencies. Level 1 core modules introduce students to a variety of modes of assessment, including short pieces of writing (c. 500 words), essays and exams. Level 1 work does not count directly towards the final class of your degree. At levels 2 and 3 literature core modules are assessed by a combination of assessed work and examination. Theatre Studies core modules are assessed through essays, group presentations, and performance work. Option modules are mainly assessed by essays, but some incorporate a range of assessment modes, including online exercises such as creating wikis or podcasts, library exercises, and presentations in seminars and workshops. Students taking creative writing develop a portfolio and a learning journal.
- Study abroad opportunities
- A year abroad scheme gives you the chance to study at partner universities in North America, Australasia and Europe during your third year. Please visit the Study Abroad webpages for more information.
- Current modules taught
- Module Catalogue
- Who do I contact to visit the department?
Undergraduate Admissions Officer for the School of English,
Faculty of Arts Admissions Office, 2.29 Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds, LEEDS, LS2 9JT
Tel: 113 343 4759,
Fax: 113 343 4774,
- Learning and assessment
Studying at university is different from school or college in that you will benefit from a variety of teaching and learning styles. These include lectures, small-group seminars or tutorials and, in some subjects, workshops. Your lecturers are all experts in their fields. There is greater emphasis on independent learning. You will prepare for lectures and seminars by doing some research, which means reading in the libraries, checking sources and discovering more information or new ideas related to your subject. Often you will do this on your own but you may also work in groups; whichever the case, your lecturer or tutor will always be on hand to help. In your first year of study you will cover the core elements of your subject(s) in detail, so that by the end of the year you will have acquired a sound knowledge base. After your first year you will be able to choose from a wide range of option modules – your tutors will advise you on making your choices. You will continue to be taught via lectures, seminars and tutorials throughout your degree. In your final year you will undertake a supervised research project or dissertation on a favourite topic. This type of extended, research-based project showcases many of the attributes – critical thinking, advanced research and literacy skills, the assimilation and organisation of complex ideas – that we know are highly valued by employers.
We use different types of assessment. Normally it is a mixture of examinations and course essays, but some modules include oral presentations or group work as assessed components. In preparation for your assessments, you will receive written and verbal feedback on practice essays and take part in exam revision sessions. You will also be able to attend extra classes on topics such as exam writing technique, how to conduct research in your subject, how to structure an essay, and public speaking. This additional support will be available throughout your time at Leeds.
In seminars, in the School of English, you will have the opportunity to discuss texts and ideas with a small group of students and your module tutor. Seminars provide a friendly, informal environment where you can present and develop your thoughts about a poem, play, novel, short-story, or other kind of cultural text. You will have been offered guidance about how to prepare for seminars, and you will enjoy unique, informative and fascinating lectures on topics that relate to the content of the modules you have chosen to study. Your Personal Tutor, as well as module tutors, will be available to discuss with you the content and modes of assessment of modules that interest you, helping you to make informed study choices. You will also be able to discuss the written and verbal feedback that you receive with your Personal Tutor (your Personal Tutor is a member of academic staff in your ‘parent’ School who oversees your academic development throughout your time at the University).
Lectures are offered in one of the many well-equipped lecture theatres around the University. You can choose to take notes or just listen as experts in their field introduce and develop key ideas, contexts and methodologies relating to your discipline, and to specific modules. Additional material from lectures is uploaded to the VLE (the Virtual Learning Environment) which supports our teaching activities.
- What facilities are available
Our research and study facilities are outstanding. The Brotherton Library, with three million books, is recognised as one of the country’s major research libraries and has extensive holdings in all areas of English study. The Edward Boyle Library has multiple copies of course texts as part of its special undergraduate collection. The School of English has its own Student Learning Area (a workspace with reference books and free wireless internet access), and a computer cluster. Modules in the School are also supported by online resources. Other facilities include extensive theatre resources: we have four performance/rehearsal spaces, all fully equipped with lighting and sound. These are also used for teaching and group work on Theatre Studies modules. The School provides informal meeting and social spaces.
- For information about our fees and details of the financial support that may be available to you please visit www.leeds.ac.uk/yourfinances
- Scholarships and bursaries
- Further information is available here http://scholarships.leeds.ac.uk/
- Career opportunities
The study of English cultivates a range of competencies which augment and promote students’ personal and professional development. Students quickly develop critical, interpretive and analytical skills, and achieve high levels of proficiency in independent learning and research. Students quickly become acquainted with digital and paper-based resources that supplement reading and guided study. Through the constituent levels of each programme they build on and extend foundational skills to the point of developing and progressing individual initiatives and projects in an environment that supports research-led learning. Students have numerous opportunities to develop and refine their aptitude for written and oral communication, as well as engaging positively and productively with peers in groups, in contexts which extend their interpersonal skills and ability to work with others. Employers speak highly of the self-motivated professionalism of our English graduates.
Our graduates succeed in a variety of careers, within and beyond the arts. In recent years graduates from the School have entered careers in areas including administration, advertising and marketing, business and finance, charity work, the Civil Service, the creative industries, education, journalism, law, management and management consultancy, publishing, radio and television, social welfare, and theatre. Many of our graduates go on to further study.
You can find out more about how we support your employability and career prospects on the School website.
- Work placement opportunities
The work placement scheme provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience and important skills through working in a graduate-level job, enhancing your employability after graduation.
Whilst the University endeavours to ensure that the information contained in this document is accurate at the date of publication the University does not accept liability for any inaccuracies contained within it. Where circumstances change outside of the reasonable control of the University, the University reserves the right to change or cancel parts of, or entire, programmes of study or services at any time without liability, even after students have registered at the University. Where students have registered at the University, if changes or cancellations are made, the University will look to provide satisfactory alternative arrangements.
Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336