English Language and Literature BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
Start date
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

A male student sits in the Brotherton Library and smiles towards the camera. In the background other students can be seen working in the library.

Explore the English language, its linguistic and literary heritage, significance and future in a diverse and research-intensive learning environment. Learn how words work to shape the world around us and express human experience. 

Throughout this course, you’ll explore richly diverse literary texts across different literary and non-literary genres, including fiction, poetry, drama, speeches, advertising, news, and different discourse types, and will see these in the context of a variety of historical periods, places and cultures. You’ll consider how and why these texts are produced, read, and understood and analyse the impact of their creativity and power. 

You’ll select topics from various modules covering language and literary topics in English from the Middle Ages to today. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to work with expert tutors with a wide range of research interests and develop your digital and communication skills. 

Our expertise

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

The School hosts an annual English language lecture from a prominent langauge scholar.

We also regularly host readings and talks by well-known and emerging contemporary writers and you’ll have access to a vibrant community of researchers and creative practitioners. The highly respected literary magazine, Stand, is produced in the School, and publishes the best in new and established creative writing.


The world-class Brotherton Library has an array of archive, manuscript and early printed material in its Special Collections, including extensive archives of original materials from writers old and new, from the Brontë family to Tony Harrison and to the Survey of English dialects, which contains documents and recordings of the dialects of English.

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

The University also has four performance and rehearsal spaces, fully equipped with lighting and sound, as part of our impressive theatre offering.

Explore the Workshop Theatre

Course details

In your first year, core modules will allow you to develop the skills you need to study language and literature at a university level. You’ll cover the foundations of literary studies, learn to think about the English language in its historical and social contexts and choose from a range of modules, including Discovery options in other Schools. 

You’ll build your knowledge and skills from this foundation in the following year, and study modules that will give you a sense of how literature in English has evolved and how it varies between writers and cultures. You’ll also explore the function and power of language and its role in society. In addition, you have to opportunity to tailor your degree to your interests by choosing from an extensive range of optional and Discovery modules (detailed below).

In your third year, alongside a choice of modules, you’ll start work on your final year project. Based on a topic of your design, this individual project will showcase your development as a critical thinker and researcher and demonstrate your ability to manage a large project and communicate effectively. 

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

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information please read BA English Language and Literature in the course catalogue.

Year 1 compulsory modules

English Structure, Style and Genre (20 credits) - This module provides an exciting introduction to the study of the English language from the smallest element of sound, through syntax and style, to the analysis of different text types, including, for example, newspaper articles, advertising, poetry, narrative, and courtroom discourse. Students are introduced to a wide range of ways of approaching the description, analysis, and interpretation of texts, including use of the IPA, quantitative, qualitative, and computational approaches, and transcription of speeches. It gives students opportunities for formative feedback on their analytical skills and oral presentation of their ideas, as well as group discussion and live lectures. In this module students are given access to a range of issues and approaches developed in English Language modules available at Levels 2 and 3. The module is founded on the individual expertise of colleagues in English language and builds on the tradition of excellence at Leeds.

English Variation, Creativity and Use (20 credits) - This module introduces the fascinating breadth and diversity to be found within the English language. It offers insights into different geographic, historical, social and stylistic variations – where they come from, their characteristics, how and why they are used. The module is founded on the individual expertise of colleagues in English language and builds on the tradition of excellence at Leeds.

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.

Reading Between the Lines (20 credits) - This module equips students with a critical vocabulary for sophisticated literary study, introducing the creative, argumentative and exciting discipline of ‘English Studies’. Through close analysis of specific texts across a range of periods and forms, students will encounter some of the varied theories that have shaped and continue to underpin the discipline. Students will find out how an English degree might change the way we read and see the world, while developing their academic skills through guided critical reading, collaboration with peers in group presentations and seminar discussions, and a variety of assignments designed to introduce them to the different formats of assessment required throughout the degree.

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

Poetry: Reading and Interpretation (20 credits)
Drama: Text and Performance (20 credits)
Modern Fictions in English: Conflict, Liminality, Translation (20 credits)
Race, Writing and Decolonization (20 credits)
Language Projects (20 credits)
Language: Meaning and Use (20 credits)

Year 2 compulsory modules

Power of Language (20 credits) - This module aims to familiarise students with the linguistic means by which a whole range of persuasive texts can be analysed. We will also be considering the use of English language as a powerful tool in itself. We will investigate a range of discourse types and theoretical approaches including but not restricted to analysis of: advertising, journalistic and political texts, consideration of stylistic and rhetorical features, examination of linguistic creativity and language 'play', techniques for revealing a text's underlying ideological stance and bias, sociolinguistic examination of power relationships and the effect this has on language.

Language in Society (20 credits) - In this module students will engage critically with topics, theories and research methodologies in the field of sociolinguistics, which is concerned with the complex relationship between language and society. Focusing on language in its social context, we will ask about linguistic variation (how small scale patterns of language use correlate with social categories such as class, gender and age) and the role of language in social life (including its relationships to power, national identity and ideology).

Writing Environments: Literature, Nature, Culture (20 credits) - This module examines what it means to live as human beings on a more-than-human planet. We’ll investigate how literary texts from different times and places have understood the relationship between nature and culture. We’ll address human impacts on the environment in relation to historical phenomena such as colonialism. And we’ll 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) - This module explores the relationship between embodiment, language and representation across a range of literary forms, genres, and periods, addressing questions such as: 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? It examines how critical theorists and creative writers and life writers have treated and imagined this relationship between material bodies and literary representation, in order to better understand both the possibilities and limitations of literary expression.

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

Prose Fiction Stylistics and the Mind (20 credits)
Forensic Approaches to Language (20 credits)
Keywords: The Words We Use and The Ways We Use Them (20 credits)
Style and Authorship (20 credits)
Dialect and Heritage (20 credits)
Contemporary Literature (20 credits)
Renaissance Literature (20 credits)
Medieval and Tudor Literature (20 credits)
Modern Literature (20 credits)
Postcolonial Literature (20 credits)
The World Before Us: Literature 1660-1830 (20 credits)
Other Voices: Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Literature (20 credits)
American Words, American Worlds (20 credits)

Year 3 compulsory modules

Final Year Project (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.

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

Crime Fiction Stylistics: Crossing Languages, Cultures, Media (20 credits)
Children, Talk and Learning (20 credits)
Trial Discourse - The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913 (20 credits)
'Global English': Colonialism, Postcolonialsm, and Decolonisation (20 credits)
American Words, American Worlds, 1900-Present (20 credits)
Victoria's Secrets: Secrecy in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture (20 credits)
The Politics of Language (20 credits)
Tragedy: Classical to Neo-Classical (20 credits)
Imagining Posthuman Futures (20 credits)
Angry Young Men and Women: Literature of the Mid-Twentieth Century (20 credits)
Lost in Fiction: The Metafictional Novel from 'Don Quixote' to 'House of Leaves' (20 credits)
Millennial Fictions (20 credits)
Theatricalities: Beckett, Pinter, Kane (20 credits)
Telling Lives: Reading and Writing Family Memoir (20 credits)
Fictions of the End: Apocalypse and After (20 credits)
Medical Humanities: Representing Illness, Disability, and Care (20 credits)

Learning and teaching

We use various teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from our tutors’ expertise. 

Group seminars are at the heart of this degree, but you’ll also encounter: 

  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • One-to-one tutorials and supervisions
  • Group work
  • Online learning through Minerva, our Virtual Learning Environment. 

In addition, independent study is a vital element of this course since it enables you to develop your research and critical skills and form your ideas. 

Our globally recognised research feeds directly into your course and shapes what you learn at Leeds with the latest thinking. You’ll be taught by inspirational academics who are experts in their field and share your passion for your subject. Some may even have written textbooks and research articles you’ll use on your course.

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.


English Language and Literature modules are assessed using various methods, including essays and shorter written assignments.

Some modules will also include wikis, podcasts, research exercises or oral presentations.

This range of assessments will help you develop your communication skills, improve your digital literacy, and enhance your ability to deliver different projects. 

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including 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 English (Language, Literature, or Language and Literature) 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. The Access course must follow a Humanities pathway and/or 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 English.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including minimum of 5 in English at Higher Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3 including English.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers including grade A in English and AABBB in Highers or A in English in Advanced Higher 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: 85% including 8.0 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: BBB including English (Language, Literature or Language and Literature) at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year


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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

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 Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of English

Contact us

School of English Undergraduate Admissions

Email: undergrad-english@leeds.ac.uk

Career opportunities

A degree in English Language and Literature gives you a range of valuable skills and attributes. Our graduates have gone on to find success in areas such as the creative industries, marketing, education, journalism, law, publishing, media, business charity work, civil service, management consultancy and leadership. 

Many have also progressed to postgraduate study. On this course, you’ll develop your abilities as an excellent communicator who can present well-reasoned arguments and conclusions.

Learning in groups with others and reading about human problems and social situations will develop your interpersonal skills and understanding of ethical and cultural complexities. You’ll have strong organisational and time management skills. 

You’ll be able to conduct research, interpret complex information, think critically and express yourself clearly. Employers are always looking out for people with these critical skills. 

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.

Student profile: Noah Hughes

My personal tutor is a valuable source of wisdom on all things academic and personal - my module leaders/seminar tutors have also always been interested and willing to help in any situation they can.
Find out more about Noah Hughes's time at Leeds