BA English (Joint Honours)

English - BA (Joint Honours)

Key Facts

UCAS Codes:

QP33: BA (Hons) English & Media

QW38: BA (Hons) English & Creative Writing

QW34: BA (Hons) English & Drama

XQ33: BA (Hons) Education Studies​ and English 

853R: BA (Hons) English Language Teaching (ELT) & English

Place of Study: 
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education

Course Length:
Three years full-time.


Course Overview

​​T​​he study of English at Cardiff Met forms part of the ​BA Humanities and Education Joint Honours programme​ within​​ the Cardiff School of Education.​

The subject will engage with your enthusiasm for reading and literature and introduce you to advanced critical thinking in the form of theoretical practice. You will analyse a wide range of texts (including film and digital narratives) to explore the cutting edge of English as well as its canonical texts.​

A mixture of thematic and chronological modules ensures a good grounding in genre, context and period. You will challenge assumptions about the production of narratives and their relationship to questions of authority and identity. The degree has a strong contemporary focus and provides highly valued employability skills.

Modules are taught by a research active team (including Dr Carmen CasaliggiDr Dimitra FimiDr Elizabeth English, Dr Kathryn Simpson, and Professor Jeff Wallace) who have research interests in Romanticism, Modernism and Contemporary Literature, gender and sexuality, women's writing, children's literature, fantasy literature, science and literature, with specialisms in the work of John Ruskin, DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and J. R. R. Tolkien.

You can combine English with the following subjects and graduate with the following named degree:

*Our BA (Hons) English & Media degree scored 100% overall satisfaction in the 2015 National Student Survey.

Course information on this page relates to September 2017 entry.

Course Content

In addition to the specialist English​ modules all students also undertake core modules. These are designed to help you develop academic and research skills required for successful study within higher education, and to help you both to explore future options for employment and to develop employability skills.

Year One:​​

The English modules are:

Critical Approaches (20 credits)

​The main aim of the module is to sharpen and develop skills in analysis and critical reading through the introduction and application of key theoretical approaches. Selected texts are chosen from a variety of historical periods and include different forms and genres, including poetry, drama, and novel.The module also focuses on several plays by Shakespeare and consideration is given to the ways in which contemporary theory can be a valuable tool in interpreting these plays and also in assessing the value of Shakespeare in our contemporary society. 

What our students say: 
‘Very interesting and informative.’
‘A diversity of teaching approaches.’
‘Good and enjoyable selection of course materials and focus’.
‘Links to other fields of knowledge.’
‘Develops skills for in-depth analysis of texts.’ 

Reading Literature (30 credits)

Reading Literature examines the importance of genre in the study of literature and considers the main characteristics of poetry, fiction and drama. With a focus on 20th and 21st-century texts, it also invites questions about the definition of these genres as it explores ‘new genres’ informed and influenced by digital media and other cultural developments. The module proposes that genre shapes ‘literature’ as much as authors and texts do, and it looks at the complex relationships between genres, authors and texts.

What our students say: 
‘During my first year at University, I have really enjoyed the variety of things Reading Literature has to offer. It allows you to explore different texts, whether that be Drama, Poetry, Hybrid narratives or the Novel. The flexibility within the course means that you aren't limited within your studies.’ 

‘I have enjoyed everything we have studied in the Reading Literature module, particularly the novel and new genres. I genuinely feel that this module has been one of my favourites in first year and I will be sad to leave it.’ 

Core Modules:

Skills for Success in Higher Education (10 credits)

This module will help you develop an awareness of the essential skills required for successful academic engagement, including the skills of writing for different audiences, presenting, referencing and accessing/using online resources. You will be encouraged to develop critical self-reflection skills which will enable you to set targets for further academic development.

Developing work-based skills (10 credits)

Using lectures, e-lectures and workshops you will be introduced to the knowledge and skills required for graduate level employment, including self-employment and entrepreneurship. You will evaluate your own skills and related career intentions and investigate opportunities and challenges with respect to employability.​

Year Two: 

​English modules:

Monsters, Cyborgs and Imaginary Worlds (20 credits)

This module traces continuities and overlaps between three popular genres: the Gothic, Science Fiction and Fantasy. You will explore monstrous beings (from vampires to aliens), hybrid creatures (from centaurs to cyborgs), and alternative worlds (from pseudo-medieval settings to parallel universes). You will gain an understanding of the ways in which myth, folklore, and the supernatural intersect with science and technology to create some of the most memorable literary and cinematic texts of the last two centuries. Readings include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea cycle and The Left Hand of Darkness, and Philp K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Films and TV texts include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.

What our students say: 

‘The set texts are interesting and enjoyable and the lectures and seminars are very well taught.’
‘Amazing! Probably my favourite module this term. I love Tolkien so I was more than happy when I saw we were studying him.’ 
‘Well-structured, engaging, interesting.’

Romanticism and its Legacies (20 credits)

Beginning in the 1790s and moving through the nineteenth century to the fin-de-siècle, the module invites you to consider poetry, fiction and non-fiction as generic responses to some of the century’s most pressing social questions. Furthermore, the module allows you to study nineteenth-century plays by writers such as G.B. Shaw, inviting you to compare the aims and agendas of social realism and naturalism with those expressed by proponents of fin-de-siècle aestheticism. Alongside the formal aspects of these texts, you will examine important themes and debates of the period, such as the role of the Imagination, the Nation, urbanisation and industrialisation and the Romantic legacy into the Victorian age.You will study Romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Byron and Keats, as well as the work of nineteenth-century novelists such as Anne Brontë, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.

What our students say: 
‘I like the range of authors we study, especially the exploration of women writers in the period.’ 
‘I really enjoy the way the module is taught – discussing the historical context of the writers is so interesting.’ 

Children's Literature (10 credits)

We all remember fondly our childhood readings, but we tend to think of our adult selves as having "grown out of" childish things. This module aims to get you to think again about some of the "classics" of children's literature, not in order to take you down memory lane, but to address a series of important questions: What is childhood? Is it a biological stage or a social construct? What is children's literature and what is it for? To entertain? To educate? And who decides about these matters? Are picturebooks for the very young as simple as they look? And what about the disturbing themes of much teenage fiction? We will explore this question via different critical and theoretical lenses to uncover the connections of children's literature with power and ideology. Texts include Alice in Wonderland, the Harry Potter series, Anthony Browne's Voices in the Park, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

What our students say: 
“It helps me to think in a different way; it changed my point of view about childhood.” 
“I love this module. It deals with many different subjects including history and gender studies, and it is taught incredibly well and made entertaining at the same time.” 

Core Modules:

Work-related placement: managing yourself and others (10 credits)

Linked to a week-long placement in a work setting, this module aims to develop key employability skills. You will develop key communication skills relevant to employment in relevant professional contexts.  The placement takes place in a setting of your choice where possible, you will also have the opportunity to extend your placement by mutual agreement with providers.

An introduction to academic research (10 credits)

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of key concepts relating to academic research and the research process so that you will have the requisite knowledge to enable you to conduct the extended independent project in your final year. In addition to generic content relevant to all students, you will receive support tailored toward your chosen subject. ​

Year Three: 

​English modules:

Narratives, Identities and Place (20 credits)

This module invites an exploration of literature from the point of view of engagement with place and what this tells us about identity. Topics include the idea of the traveller and tourist from the Grand Tour to the present, representations of local and global identities, and the consideration of literary tourism in diverse contemporary contexts. There is a wide selection of texts ranging from Romantic poetry, nineteeth-century Art critique, to twentieth-century experimental fiction and contemporary postcolonial fiction drawn from a number of national and cultural contexts.

Modern and Contemporary Literature (20 credits)

This module explores the expanded role of the writer as an intellectual and activist from the beginning of the twentieth-century to the present. Building on the concepts of modernism and postmodernism, the module examines the ways in which the literary imagination relates to wider concerns around cultural value, social change and political commitment. Authors studied, from T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf to Jeanette Winterson and Haruki Murakami, all intervene in the public sphere in a variety of ways. Thus, alongside literary texts, the module draws on a range of materials and forms of expression – essays, reviews and journalism, letters, blogs and journals.​

Core Modules:

Independent Project (40 credits)

You will complete an independent research or enquiry-based project of a practical or theoretical nature. This will enable you to demonstrate independence in your approach to research and enhance your project planning experience. You will receive guidance and support from a supervisor.​

Learning & Teaching

​We utilise a range of teaching environments to best fit your learning needs. Delivery includes workshops, seminars, research seminars, lectures, virtual learning environments, away days, field trips and visits. Wherever possible, the emphasis is placed upon small group work and individual learning needs identified through your Personal and Professional Development plan. You'll be allocated a personal tutor who will support you throughout each year.

Throughout the years, you will be invited to attend theatre trips, films and other cultural events held in Cardiff. The Department also regularly invites external speakers to give presentations and readings.

The degree is enhanced by the use of the university's virtual learning system.


We're committed to innovative assessment practices that match identified learning outcomes for your module and degree. This means assessment, wherever possible, is linked to enhancing not only your subject knowledge but also skills vital in developing your employment opportunities. Examples of assessment include research portfolios, group work, creative writing portfolios, critical and reflective practice, reviews, poster presentations, annotated bibliographies and so on​.

Employability & Careers

This degree provides students with strong communication and analytical skills that are highly valued in today's employment market. These skills ar​e reinforced by the opportunity for student work placements. Graduates from the course have pursued careers in a variety of industries, including: media, publishing, journalism, education, public relations, marketing and heritage. A proportion of students advance to postgraduate study at either Master's or PhD level.

Employability Skills and Graduate Attributes:
Many of the skills you will obtain as part of this degree are also useful in industries beyond those listed above.  We ensure that our curriculum develops you as a graduate so that you demonstrate the following skills and attributes:

  • Problem solving & analytical abilities
  • Inter-personal and networking skills
  • Global citizen (with knowledge of diversity & sustainability)
  • Flexibility & Adaptability (life long learning)
  • Effective Communication skills
  • Creative & Innovative
  • Digital Literacy
  • Reflective practice.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

For further information on entry requirements and how to apply for the joint honours programme, please refer to the Joint Honours Course Overview.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth English
Tel: 029 2041 5634​

Paul Brooks
Tel: 029 2041 5976


Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting