English and History BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABB including A in English at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.
Full entry requirements

Course overview


This exciting degree allows you to explore the human experience from the medieval period to contemporary times, from the perspectives of both History and English.

This joint honours course provides a unique insight into the development of the world in which we live, combining the study of prose, poetry, and drama with specialist British, European and global history modules across a variety of periods and themes. The course will allow you to develop your own areas of specialism and a skillset that will be appealing to employers.

Core modules provide you with the foundations for studying both English and History, enabling you to flourish as a Leeds undergraduate. You’ll also choose from a wide variety of optional modules, giving you the chance to tailor the course to your own interests.

You could specialise in a range of literature, from Old English and Arthurian legends to the novels of Jane Austen and postcolonial fiction, while also getting hands-on experience setting type and using the printing presses in our print rooms.

Our expertise in History ranges from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present day, and our cutting-edge curriculum has been designed to prioritise the study of voices that have traditionally been overlooked in historical narratives.


The University of Leeds has world-class facilities and resources to study both English and History.

The School of English supports a vibrant community of researchers and creative practitioners. It’s home to the Leeds Poetry Centre, which regularly host readings and talks by well-known and emerging contemporary writers. It also produces a literary magazine, Stand, and publishes the best in new creative writing. You’ll also have opportunities to learn traditional printing and typesetting techniques using our period printing presses and learn more about print and publishing history.

The School of History has its own academic journal, Northern History, and has dedicated research clusters in key areas of the past, including Health, Medicine and Society, Women, Gender and Sexuality, War and Peace, and Global History. You’ll also benefit from the School’s partnerships and collaborations with local and national archives, museums and galleries, including the West Yorkshire Archive Service, the Royal Armouries, Thackray Museum of Medicine, and the Migration Museum.

The University’s own libraries house one of the largest collections of printed and manuscript collections in the UK.

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Skills@Library offers training courses to help you make the most of the library’s collections, digital resources and databases. In addition, it can provide one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing, research skills, and data analysis.

The Brotherton’s Library’s manuscripts are held in the Special Collections Research Centre, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and extension, after a generous bequest from the John Victor Bedford Will Trust.

This provides new working spaces for individuals or groups, and new teaching spaces that feature visualisers and projectors, enabling you to engage with sources using the latest techniques.

Prominent Special Collections include letters by Charles Dickens, manuscripts by the Brontës, a Shakespeare First Folio, the extensive archives of prominent contemporary poets including Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison, manorial records from the 13th-16th centuries, the Leeds Russian Archive (a resource for the study of Anglo-Russian relations into the 20th century), the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma collection, Feminist Archive North, and the Liddle Collection of personal papers from thousands of people who lived through the First and Second World Wars.

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Course details

Year 1

In Year 1, you’ll lay the foundations for your degree. Core modules will guide you through the transition to university study, helping you to read critically and develop your historical skills and awareness.

A further core module on Race, Writing and Decolonization draws upon the School of English’s long history of teaching and research on postcolonialism, Black writing, and African-American studies. You’ll also have the chance to take innovative optional modules in medieval, modern or global history that showcase the latest in inclusive historical scholarship.

Year 2

In Year 2, you’ll take two core modules on the literatures of the environment and human embodiment, and a core module that focuses on different aspects of History in Practice. You’ll also choose from a range of optional History and English modules spanning the early medieval period to the present day. This will allow you pursue your interests across optional modules in both subjects with wide geographic coverage and strong thematic coherence.

Year 3

In Year 3, you’ll specialise in the History and English that interests you the most. Working closely with a tutor on a research-based Special Subject module, you’ll focus on a specific topic and engage closely with primary sources. Optional History and English modules with more advanced thematic content can be taken to further hone your skills. Throughout the course, you’ll develop valuable interpretative and analytical skills, as well as becoming a confident researcher. These qualities will be demonstrated when you undertake a Final Year Project on a topic of your choice in either English or History.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Reading Between the Lines (20 credits) –How do we read, and how might we read at university? This module equips you with the tools for sophisticated literary study, introducing the creative, exciting discipline of English Studies. Through close analysis of texts across a range of periods and forms, you’ll encounter some of the theories that have shaped and continue to underpin the discipline. You’ll discover how reading critically can change the way we see the world and engage with others.

Writing Matters (20 credits) - Writing and communication skills are vital to most professional careers, but they are especially valuable in the field of English studies. This module explores debates around a canonical literary text, examining theoretical approaches and rhetorical strategies used to write about literature. Students will hone their own writing skills by engaging ethically with the text and the ideas of others, developing structured arguments, expressing ideas clearly and concisely, working with feedback, and practising writing as a process. As a result, students will cultivate a deeper understanding of how writing works, learn how to share insights with greater efficacy and sophistication, and practice how to transfer this knowledge to future workplace contexts.

Exploring History (20 credits) – This module equips you with the fundamental skills, techniques, and knowledge to be able to flourish as an undergraduate student of history. You'll discover the range of ways that the past is researched, analysed, and presented. You'll have the opportunity to explore different approaches to researching the past as well as historical concepts, themes, and debates. This module provides you with the foundation for your historical studies throughout your entire degree. It supports your transition to university-level study through opportunities to engage in the development of the practical skills necessary to study history.

Diverse Histories of Britain (20 Credits) – This module provides you with the opportunity to explore the history of Britain afresh. It is an opening into the rich and diverse history of the places, people, and cultures that make up Britain and how they have changed from the medieval to modern periods. Drawing upon the skills and awareness you developed in the first semester, you'll explore overarching 'national narratives', considering who they include and exclude, and why.

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Modern Fictions in English: Conflict, Liminality, Translation 20
Prose: Reading and Interpretation 20
Poetry: Reading and Interpretation 20
Drama: Reading and Interpretation 20
Keynotes in English Studies 20
Faith, Knowledge and Power, 1500-1750 20
The Medieval World in Ten Objects 20
Medieval Lives: Identities, Cultures and Beliefs 20
Global Empires 20
Global Decolonization 20
The Making of the Twentieth Century 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Writing Environments: Literature, Nature, Culture (20 credits) – This module examines what it means to live on a more-than-human planet. You’ll investigate how literary texts from different times and places have understood the relationship between nature and culture. You'll address human impacts on the environment in relation to historical phenomena such as colonialism, and explore the insights that literature can offer at a time of concern about climate change and other environmental issues.

Body Language: Literature and Embodiment (20 credits) – What does it mean to be ‘human’? Can technology change who we are? How do we navigate the relationship between the body and the mind? This module explores the relationship between embodiment, language and representation across literary forms, genres, and periods. You'll examine how creative writers and critical theorists have imagined this relationship between material bodies and literary representation, in order to better understand the possibilities and limitations of literary expression.

History in Practice (20 credits) – Through this core module you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of how history is made and communicated, such as working with archival material, learning digital humanities skills, or exploring heritage and the public face of history. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research project that presents your work to a wider audience or to apply what you have learnt across a range of innovative assessment tasks.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Medieval and Tudor Literature 20
Renaissance Literature 20
The Tudors: Princes, Politics, and Piety, 1485-1603 20
Sin in Spanish America, 1571-1700 20
Hands on Heritage 20
Modern Literature 20
Postcolonial Literature 20
The World Before Us: Literature 1660-1830 20
Other Voices Spoke: Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Literature 20
Histories of Black Britain 20
Australia and the World 20
Communist Eastern Europe, 1945-89 20
Race, Gender and Cultural Protest in the US since 1865 20
Mao Zedong and Modern China, 1949-Present 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Final Year Project, choose either:

English Dissertation (40 credits) –This module encourages independent, self-directed learning, providing a culmination to the research strand emphasised in other modules. It fosters a wide variety of responses to the challenges it offers students, since any final year project might take one of a number of forms. Most importantly, it promotes academic creativity and the exploration of individual intellectual interests.

History Dissertation (40 credits) – Addressing a historical problem in-depth, you’ll write a dissertation of 12,000 words based on your own research, utilising primary and secondary sources according to a research method and programme designed in consultation with the supervisor. The dissertation can be written on a topic of your choice, provided it can be supervised by a member of staff from the School of History.

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Arthurian Legend: Chivalry and Violence 20
Gender, Culture and Politics: Readings of Jane Austen 20
Sex and Suffering in the Eighteenth-Century Novel 20
Trial Discourse - The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674 - 1913 20
American Words, American Worlds, 1900-Present 20
Victoria's Secrets: Secrecy in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture 20
Writing and Gender in Seventeenth-Century England 20
Dividing India: The Road to Democracy in South Asia, 1939-1952 40
The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 40
Body, Mind and Senses: The Social and Cultural History of Disability in Britain, 1833-1998 40
Black British Culture and Black British Cultural Studies 40
The Soviet Sixties: Politics and Society in the USSR, 1953-1968 40
The Photographic Age: Photography, Society and Culture in Britain, 1839-1945 40
The Body in Australian History, 1788-2007 20
Early Modern Media: Printing and the People in Europe c.1500-c.1800 40
White Africans: Intimacy, Race and Power 40
Georgians at War 40
The Later Elizabethan Age: Politics and Empire 40
The Korean War 40
Nazism, Stalinism and the Rise of the Total State 20
Apartheid in South Africa: Origins, Impact and Legacy 20
In the Shadow of Franco: Terror and its Legacy in Spain, 1936-Present Day 20
'Parasites' and 'Cockroaches': Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in the Modern World 20
Doomed to Failure? European Great Power Politics from Bismarck to the Outbreak of World War I 20

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research. We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, connecting you with the latest research in English and History.

Our vision for teaching revolves around safe learning spaces and inclusive curricula, ensuring that everyone can participate. You’ll learn in lectures, seminars, one-to-one tutorials, online discussions, and by creating and sharing content (including presentations, posters, blogs, and reviews). As well as meeting other students in lectures and seminars, you’ll also work with each other on field trips, and in archive visits and museum handling sessions.

These activities are underpinned by digital technologies that structure your learning and intellectual development. You’ll have the opportunity to produce podcasts, digital exhibitions and storyboards, network graphs, text analyses, timelines, maps, and bibliographies using the latest digital tools and platforms.

Our online spaces are integrated with in-person teaching activities, allowing you to review lectures, ask questions, and record and reflect upon your learning. Independent learning is also central to the development of your skills in research and analysis, and you’ll apply these skills in a Final Year Project on a topic of your own choice.


During your time studying English and History at the University of Leeds, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in research outside the classroom, including in archives and museums (the University’s Special Collections, the on-campus M&S Archives, the West Yorkshire Archives Service, Leeds Museums and Galleries, and the Royal Amouries). Students will also have the opportunity present their own research at the University of Leeds Undergraduate Research Conference.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


The assessments used in the degree course are designed to develop your academic and career skills. ‘Take-home’ exams and essays are just two of the modes of assessments used. Some modules may also include group work, oral presentations, source commentaries, annotated bibliographies, book/literature reviews, blog posts, wikis, podcasts, digital exhibitions and self-directed heritage trails as part of the assessment mix.

We offer plenty of support, including the chance to attend extra classes on issues such as exam technique, public speaking and structuring essays if you need them. We use this variety of assessment methods to help you develop a range of transferable skills needed in professional life.

Throughout your degree, you’ll be presented with choices about your assignments, whether it be selecting an essay question, choosing primary sources to analyse, or developing you own lines of inquiry in your Final Year Project.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA including A in English (Literature, Language or Language and Literature).

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAB at A Level including A in English and grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

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. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. The Access course must include English modules. This course has additional subject specific requirements for History. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.


We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2 including D3 in English

International Baccalaureate

35 overall (17 higher including 6 in Higher level English)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 including H2 in English

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Please contact Admissions Office for more information.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 85% with 8.5 in English

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABB including A in English and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of English admissions team.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of History
School of English

Contact us

School of History Undergraduate Admissions

Email: historyug@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

Your degree in English and History will give you transferable skills that can help you succeed in a wide range of careers.

The course will equip you with strong research skills and the confidence to work independently or within a team. You’ll be able to analyse information from different texts and sources, forming your own conclusions and presenting them clearly, both verbally and in writing. The degree will help you develop the time management and organisational skills needed to manage two demanding subjects.

Graduates have pursued careers in fields such as publishing, law, journalism, business and finance, advertising and marketing, the civil service, education and the charity sector. Many others have progressed to postgraduate study.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.