English and Philosophy BA

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

Register your interest to be notified when bookings open. Register your interest

UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB including English (Language, Literature or Language and Literature) at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview


Engage with some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers with this wide-ranging degree, which will allow you to explore the rich heritage of literature in English while considering important questions about how we see and understand the world.

From metaphysics to children’s literature, feminist philosophy to American fiction and aesthetics to the language of the media, this degree offers a great opportunity to understand the development of human thought as well as an important form of cultural expression – and how the two can inform each other.


Leeds has great facilities for students of philosophy and English. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections which will be valuable assets for your independent research. Our other library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Take a look around our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Course details

A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you'll take fewer optional and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects. 

In the Philosophy half of your course, you'll spend your first year studying modules which will introduce you to key aspects of philosophy, from the nature of knowledge, the self, and ethics, to logical reasoning. 

Over the next two years, you'll be able to focus on various areas of philosophy by choosing modules on topics such as the mind, knowledge, language, logic, ethics, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, continental philosophy, or aesthetics. 

In English, the modules will help you explore rich and diverse literary texts across different genres, historical periods, places and cultures. We will consider how and why these texts are produced, read, and understood, the societal contexts that shape them, their creativity and power. 

What can the study of literature and other kinds of writing tell us about ourselves, our world, and why does it matter?

Core and optional English modules are currently in the process of revision, but the list of current modules demonstrates those that are currently being studied by our students and will give you a flavour of what will be available on this course. 

Throughout your studies, you'll be developing critical, independent research, interpretation, and analysis skills. You'll also have the chance to showcase all of these when you undertake your final year research project, allowing you to specialise and conduct research on a topic of your choice. You can choose to pursue a project in either English or Philosophy. 

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
How to Think Clearly and Argue Well 20
Strategies of Reading 20
Race, Writing & Decolonisation 20

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

Module Name Credits
Poetry: Reading and Interpretation 20
Drama: Reading and Interpretation 20
The Mind 10
Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 10
The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong 20
Knowledge, Self and Reality 20
Introduction to the History of Western Philosophy 20
Modern Fictions in English 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Natural Histories: Culture & Context 20
Mind, Body, Self: Critical Approaches 20

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

Module Name Credits
Political Philosophy 20
Moral Philosophy 20
Introduction to Epistemology 20
Introduction to Metaphysics 20
History of Modern Philosophy 20
Philosophy of Science 20
Philosophy of Religion 20
Pre-1750 literature 20
International literature 20
1750-1900 literature 20
Post-1900 literature 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Final Year Project in English 40
Final Year Project in Philosophy 40

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

Optional modules in English are currently being revised. They will be designed to intersect with the research of members of academic staff. The below is a flavour of the kinds of topics that academic staff may offer.

Module Name Credits
Medieval Literature 20
Eighteenth Century Literature 20
Literature of the Romantic Period 20
Renaissance Literature 20
Modern Literature 20
Postcolonial Literature 20
Contemporary Literature 20
Shakespeare 20
Contemporary Postcolonial Texts 20
The Poetry of Wordsworth 20
Folklore and Mythology 20
Romantic Lyric Poetry 20
Tragedy: Classical to Neo-Classical 20
Imagining Posthuman Futures 20
Women Writing the 1960s 20
Modernist Sexualities 20
Postcolonial London 20
Kant 20
Metaethics 20
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art 20
Philosophy of Mind 20
Feminist Philosophy 20
War, Terror and Justice 20
Philosophical Issues in Technology 20
Existentialism and Phenomenology 20
Religion, Belief and Ethics 20

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

The Schools of English and Philosophy, Religion and History of Science are home to tutors who are at the forefront of research in their fields.

To enable you to benefit from their knowledge and experience, we use a range of teaching methods. Normally these will include lectures, seminars, and tutorials, but workshops may occasionally be used as well. However, independent study is central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis as well as giving you space to form your own ideas.

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.


We also use different types of assessment, usually a mixture of exams and essays. However, some modules may also assess you on oral presentations and group work. You will typically have the opportunity to gain 'feed-forward' on ungraded formative work midway through our modules that serves as a stepping stone towards your final graded assessment for the module. 

There will also be support on hand; for example, our Library Skills Team provides exam skills training and module-specific sessions on essay writing. Plus, your teaching staff will be available throughout term time to talk to you one-on-one about how to get the most out of your assessments. New students will have a suite of study skills modules to help transition to university-level teaching and assessment. 

Assessment is not just a way of testing you but a pivotal way to consolidate your learning on the degree. 

We always design assessments to reflect the most valuable skills our subject can teach you: how to construct a well-developed argument, for instance, or explain complicated ideas clearly, or critically evaluate a passage of text while at the same time interpreting it in a way that allows you to get the most out of it. Not only will these skills enable you to perform well in your degree, but they will also help you excel in your future lives and careers. 

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including A in English (Language, Literature 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 ABB at A Level including A in English (Language, Literature, or Language and Literature) and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

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. The Access course must follow a Humanities pathway and include English modules. An interview and a piece of written work may be required.


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, M1, M2 including D3 in English

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in English at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 in English

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers (including A in English) and AABBB in Highers, or A in English Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers

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: 80% 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: BBB including English (Language, Literature or Language and Literature) at A Level and pass Access to Leeds

EPQ and Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level including B in English (Language, Literature or Language and Literature) and A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate 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 Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of English

Contact us

School of English Undergraduate Admissions

Email: undergrad-english@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

A degree in English and Philosophy will equip you with a wide range of transferable skills which are looked for by employers across many sectors and industries.

You’ll have strong research skills and be able to analyse complex information from multiple sources. You’ll also be able to construct effective arguments and present and defend your views clearly, either verbally or in writing. In addition, you’ll be confident working independently or in a team, and you’ll have good organisational skills from juggling two different subjects.

Graduates have progressed into a wide range of careers as a result, including publishing, law, journalism, education, advertising and marketing, the civil service and business and finance. You could also go onto 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 at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

All University of Leeds students can apply to spend a year studying abroad. It’s a great way to gain an insight into another culture, as well as gaining valuable experience that will look great on your CV.

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science also has exclusive exchange links with universities in Denmark, France and Spain – language classes are available before you go to prepare you for the experience.

Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

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.