English and History BA

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
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 and varied degree allows you to explore the full range of literature in English – whether prose, poetry, or drama, across different literary periods – whilst also gaining an understanding of the diversity of British, European and world history through a variety of periods and themes.

Core modules will provide you with the foundations for studying both English and History so you can flourish as a Leeds undergraduate whatever you have studied before. You'll also choose from a wide variety of optional modules, giving you the chance to tailor your course to your own interests.

You could specialise in a range of literature from Old English and the Arthurian legends to crime fiction and post-Apartheid narratives, and get hands-on experience setting type and using the printing presses in our Print Rooms. Our expertise in History ranges from medieval society, early modern monarchies, to decolonisation, allowing you to focus on periods and themes which interest you.

The School of English supports a vibrant community of researchers and creative practitioners. It is home to the Leeds Poetry Centre, and we regularly host readings and talks by well-known and emerging contemporary writers. 

The School also produces a literary magazine, Stand, and publishes the best in new creative writing.


Leeds has excellent resources to study both English literature and history. The world-class Brotherton Library has an array of archive, manuscript and early printed material in its Special Collections, including letters by Charles Dickens, manuscripts by the Brontës, a Shakespeare First Folio, and extensive archives of prominent contemporary poets including Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison. 

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.

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Course details

Core modules in your first year will introduce you to the foundations of English studies and provide you with opportunities to develop and broaden your historical skills, as well as exploring different approaches to the past. You’ll also have the chance to take optional modules in medieval, modern or global history.

You’ll build on this knowledge over the next two years. You’ll choose from core English modules spanning from the medieval period to today, and study at least one history module in the modern period and one from earlier times. You’ll then pursue your interests across optional modules in both subjects, from medieval and early modern societies to African or American history, and from folklore to disability and sexuality in contemporary literature.

Throughout the course, you’ll develop valuable interpretative and analytical skills, as well as becoming a confident researcher. You’ll demonstrate these qualities in your final year, when you undertake an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Foundations of English Studies 20
Exploring History 20

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 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Power of Language 20
Language in Society 20
Medieval Literature 20
Eighteenth Century Literature 20
Medieval Poetry: Translation and Creative Rewriting 20
Forming Victorian Fiction 20
Sex and Suffering in the Eighteenth-Century Novel 20
Queens, Vikings, poets and dragons: Old English and early medieval Britain 20
Australia and the World 20
The Crusades and the Crusader States in the 12th Century 20
Transformations of the Roman World 20
Material Legacies: Objects and British Cultural Heritage, c. 1783-1851 20
The Tudors: Princes, Politics, and Piety, 1485-1603 20
Most Christian Kings: France, 1515-1715 20
Sin in Spanish America, 1571-1700 20

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

Module Name Credits
Postcolonial Literature 20
Contemporary Literature 20
Current Practice in Creative Writing 20
Final Year Project 40
Arthurian Legend: Chivalry and Violence 20
American Words, American Worlds, 1900-Present 20
Victoria's Secrets: Secrecy in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture 20
Conquest, Convivencia and Conflict: Christian and Muslim Spain, 711-1212 40
Back to School in the Middle Ages: Schools, Teachers and Pupils in north-western Europe 700-1200 40
Dividing India: The Road to Democracy in South Asia, 1939-1952 40
Twentieth Century Southeast Asia: From Empire to Independence 20
Europe in an Age of Total Warfare 40
The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 40
The Body in Australian History, 1788-2007 20
Consumer Society in Historical Perspective 20
Early Modern Media: Printing and the People in Europe c.1500-c.1800 40
History Dissertation 40
Apartheid in South Africa: Origins, Impact and Legacy 20
The Iron Lady Abroad: Margaret Thatcher and UK Foreign Policy from 1979 40

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

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, including lectures, seminars, tutorials or occasionally workshops. However, independent study is also central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You will be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year research project on a topic of your own choice.

Academic staff have bookable office hours for advice and feedback, and you’ll also benefit from working closely with your tutors during one-to-one supervision sessions, our personal tutoring schemes, on field trips (such as archive and museum visits).

The University offers a variety of tailored support for historians and philosophers; the University Library runs free classes and workshops so you can learn how to use them.

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.


Assessment methods may vary, depending on the modules you choose. Exams and essays are the most common, but some modules may also include group work, oral presentations, source commentaries, annotated bibliographies, book/literature/historiographical reviews, blog post, Wikis, podcasts, and other methods. We offer plenty of support, including the chance to attend extra classes on issues such as exam technique, public speaking and structuring an essay if you need them.

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 an alternative 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 alternative 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: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

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 about additional costs.

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 2023

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.

You’ll have strong research skills and be confident working independently or within a team. You’ll be able to analyse information from a number of different sources and form your own conclusions about them. Then you’ll be able to communicate and present those views clearly, both verbally and in writing. You’ll also have 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.

We’re committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. You could boost your CV with one of the internship opportunities offered by the School of History and the School of English each year, become a peer mentor or take any of our employability-related modules during your degree.

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 at the Careers website.

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.