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English and Environment BA (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    Our BA English and Environment is a course unique in the UK that pairs the study of English literature and cultural studies with issues facing the environment, such as sustainability and climate change, and is taught jointly by the School of English and the School of Earth and Environment. The course is part of the University’s commitment to problem-solving cross-disciplinary research that combines methods drawn from the sciences with those more usually associated with the arts.

    This course allows you to explore the often surprisingly deep relationship between English literature on the one hand, and historical and contemporary environmental issues and debates on the other.

    You will combine skills derived from the study of both literature and environmental studies, developing a unique and valuable skill set.

    In Year 1 you will gain insights into key issues and debates while working on the critical and analytical skills needed to address them.

    In Year 2 you will sharpen these skills by applying them to issues such as wildness/wilderness, climate change, or biodiversity) in which both qualitative (interpretative) and quantitative forms of analysis are required.

    In Year 3, you will undertake an autonomous research project while also honing pre-professional skills in such environmentally oriented areas as environmental journalism and consultancy, biodiversity management and work with non-profit organisations (NGOs).

    Specialist facilities

    The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections– valuable assets for your independent research. Our additional library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

    If you’re choosing to study a language as part of your Joint Honours degree, our fully equipped Language Centre, including digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). We also have our Electronic Resource Information Centre, which features specialised computing facilities for translation studies, and Interpreter Training Suites offering you the chance to explore a career in interpreting.

  • Course content

    This course combines specialist environmental humanities modules in the School of English with modules in environmental social science in the School of Earth & Environment.

    You will get to choose from a wide range of modules from across the two schools. Modules in English include ecocriticism, animal studies and posthumanist thought, while Earth & Environment offer modules on, for example, sustainable development and environmental policy. Linking these, a range of cross-cutting themes, including principles of sustainability, perceptions of the wild, and concepts of biodiversity, ensures that the history of environmental ideas and theories is mapped against contemporary environmental actions and practices.

    This course is distinctive in bringing two sets of knowledge and techniques to bear on contemporary environmental issues and problems, using arts- as well as science-based methods and approaches to explore the cultural, historical and ethical dimensions of the environmental crisis.

    You will graduate with a refined critical understanding of contemporary environmental issues and debates, but also of the ethical, cultural and historical forces that inform them, and a range of techniques for responding to them. These distinctive critical and analytical skills are relevant to a variety of both culturally and environmentally oriented professional careers.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Studying and Researching English 5 credits
    • Environment, Crisis and Creativity: Contemporary Nature Writing 20 credits
    • Foundations of English Studies 20 credits
    • Sustainable Development: Concepts and Case Studies 20 credits
    • Skills for Environmental Social Science 10 credits
    • Environmental Politics and Policy 10 credits

    Year 2

    Optional modules

    • Literature of the Romantic Period 20 credits
    • The Wild: Literature and the Environment 20 credits
    • Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions 10 credits
    • People, Sustainability, and the Environment 20 credits
    • Research in the Environmental Social Sciences 30 credits
    • Environmental Impact Assessment 10 credits
    • Managing Biodiversity 10 credits

    Year 3

    Optional modules

    • Final Year Project 40 credits
    • America, Inundated: Floods and other Scourges in US Fiction, 1935-1998 20 credits
    • Where the Wild Things Are: Animals in Children's Literature 20 credits
    • Imagining Posthuman Futures 20 credits
    • Environmental Research Project 40 credits
    • Environmental Risk: Science, Policy and Management 10 credits
    • Sustainable Consumption 10 credits
    • Earth and Environmental Sciences into Schools 10 credits
    • Sustainable Futures 20 credits
    • Sustainable Development in Practice 10 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read English and Environment BA in the course catalogue


    A wide variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course. These involve traditional essays and exams but also fieldwork reports, in-class project work and public poster presentations.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB including Grade A in English Language and/or Literature, or equivalent qualifications.

    • 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 be required. The Access course must include English modules.

    • BTEC

      We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      D3, D3, M1 including D3 in English.

    • International Baccalaureate

      35 overall with 17 at Higher Level including 6 in English at Higher Level

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

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

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      AA in Advanced Highers including an A in English and AABBB in Highers, or A in English in Advanced Highers and AAABB 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 at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

    • Other Qualifications

      European Baccalaureate: 85% with 85% 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 (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking) at A Level 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 Programme

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

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU 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

    School of English Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £19,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    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.

    Additional cost information

    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

    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.

  • Career opportunities

    Career opportunities opened up by the programme include green business and consultancy, environmental management, not-for-profit work (e.g. environmental NGOs), policy work (e.g. at national/regional think tanks, the European Commission and UN-based organisations), and a range of culturally oriented professions, e.g. journalism, cultural management, and public relations.

    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. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities 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.

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