- What is the relationship between a text and its context?
- How are writers affected by the circumstances in which they live?
- What influence do literary texts have on social, cultural and political life?
A degree in English and History at QMUL gives you the chance to reflect on these questions, and to consider how these disciplines relate to and inform one another. You will be trained
in the key skills needed to study both subjects at degree level, and examine the interaction between writing and society in the periods that interest you most.
As a student of English you will look at imaginative writings in their cultural and historical contexts. It may mean walking through the London of Defoe, Dickens, Virginia Woolf or Monica Ali. It may mean discovering the impact of the French Revolution on English art or the impact of the colonial experience on colonisers and colonised.
English students learn about the history of critical and theoretical approaches to literary texts and question the notion of ‘literature’ itself. You’ll discover how history, philosophy and psychology shape literary criticism and theory and how literature itself is taken on board by those disciplines.
As a student of History, you will have the opportunity to explore the medieval, early modern and modern periods. You will be able to choose from political, cultural, religious, social and economic themes drawn from the School’s strength in British, European, Middle-Eastern and American history.
This particular degree meets a growing demand from students for a programme that links the social and political history of a period with its literary texts, and provides theoretical and skill-related tools for understanding the relationship between two disciplinary approaches.
For full information about life in the School and the programmes we offer, please see the School of English and Drama Website.
You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary).
While there are no extra tuition fees associated with these placements abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation.
Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL.
This list gives some general guidance on which modules you will study during your degree, although these may vary from year to year. Visit our website to read fuller descriptions of these modules.
You will take one compulsory English module and one compulsory History module:
- Reading Theory and Interpretation
- English in Practice
- History in Practice
You will also select one optional English module, either:
- Shakespeare, OR
- Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Centuries
You will also select one or more History modules from the following list:
- The Foundations of Modern Thought: Introduction to Intellectual History
- Screening History: Representing the past in the contemporary historical film
- Unravelling Britain: 1800 to the present
- Europe in a Global Context: 1800 to the Present
- From Reformation to Revolution: Europe 1500-1800
- Europe 1000-1500: The Middle Ages and their Legacy
- Building the American Nation
From 2017 we are introducing the QMUL Model to all our degrees. In your first year, you’ll meet the requirements of the QMUL Model through the compulsory module Reading, Theory and Interpretation: approaches to the study of English Literature, and History in Practice. In your second and final year, you’ll be able to choose modules from the School of English and Drama, and the School of History, and elsewhere at Queen Mary. These modules will provide you with opportunities to develop skills related to networking, interdisciplinarity, global perspectives, and entrepreneurship. For further information on this initiative please visit QMUL Model.
In your second year in English, you will select one module from Lists 1 and 2 below, and another module or modules from Lists 3 and 4.
Arthurian Literature: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones (ESH283) [30 credits]
Renaissance Literary Culture (ESH267) [30 credits]
Renaissance Drama (ESH280) [30 credits]
Representing London: Writing the Eighteenth Century City (ESH288) [30 credits]
Romantics and Revolutionaries (ESH286) [30 credits]
Victorian Fictions (ESH279) [30 credits]
Architexts (ESH243) [30 credits]
Modernism (ESH213) [30 credits]
Postcolonial and Global Literatures (ESH285) [30 credits]
List 4 comprises of a wide range of optional modules. You can get a sense of what might be on offer by viewing our English module directory.
In your final year you take the English Dissertation or History Special Subject.
The remainder of the modules in your second and final years are optional, and you can choose from a list of optional modules which reflect your own particular interests.
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades ABB at A-Level. This must include grade A or above in A-Level English Literature or English Language and Literature. This must include grade B or above in A-Level History. Excludes General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include a minimum of 6 in Higher Level English A. This must include a minimum of 5 in Higher Level History.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. This must include at least 6 Level 3 credits in English Literature or Literacy modules at Distinction. This must also include at least 6 Level 3 credits in History modules at Distinction.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English at grade C or 4.|
|EPQ||Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
2017 Entry requirements
Typical grades required: At least 3 A-levels at AAB-ABB grades. A typical offer would be made to a student with AAB grades with at least a B in History although we review every application carefully to consider whether we think our course is suitable for you.
Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking.
Subjects and grades: 32 points overall, with 6,6,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include 6 in Higher Level English and 5 in Higher Level History.
Vocational and other qualifications:
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our further information page below.
Further information on our entry requirements.
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (email@example.com) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teachingLearning and Teaching:
We teach our programmes in a variety of ways, some traditional, some new. In your first year you will spend some of your time in lectures, which are always followed by smaller seminar groups. Increasingly, we are making lectures available by video podcast so that you can refresh your memory of what was said and shown. All your teachers have weekly office hours and you are encouraged to make use of these for advice.
We try to vary our teaching as much as possible so that you learn by encountering different situations and points of view. Many of our modules feature guest lecturers (professional writers and publishers, for example). Others make use of the unrivalled resources that London offers by taking you out of the classroom.
As you progress, you’ll spend more time in smaller classes where you’ll be expected to take more responsibility for your learning as you develop confidence and skills. But whatever the format, you’ll be taught by experts in their field who are passionate about their subject and committed to good teaching.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
You will be assessed in a variety of ways. Some modules will be assessed by traditional exams, but the majority are assessed by coursework.
Coursework can mean essays, projects, individual or group presentations, log books, oral or memorisation tests. All coursework is compulsory because each piece of coursework contributes towards the final mark for a module.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, heritage and charity.
The national 2014 destination survey confirmed that 92% of graduates from the School were in employment or study six months after graduation, with 71% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Queen Mary undergraduates have an average earning power of £23,000 six months after graduation.
The broad range of skills gained through undergraduate courses in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as:
- Junior Producer - ITN
- Actor - Self employed
- Script Reader - Writers Avenue
- Editorial Assistant - Dazed & Confused Magazine
- Associate Producer - Idle Motion
- PR Assistant - Proud Gallery
- Research Assistant - Tatler
- Programme Compiler - Channel 4
- Market Researcher - Maritz
- Global Mobility Project Assistant - Diageo
- Marketing Coordinator - News Quest Ltd
Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent events include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, Careers in Law for non-law students and Start Up Stand up for those aspiring to start their own social enterprise or business.
Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.
Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities, including a chance to volunteer for QMedia (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union).
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.
Name: Samuel Stensland
Studied: BA English
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
The English Department seemed to allow lots of choice as to which path of interest you want to follow; this was hugely different at other universities.
What was the highlight of your time at Queen Mary?
Some of the relationships with staff and fellow students have been really warm and rewarding, making the days and the pressure easier.
What surprised you most about your course?
It has been incredibly intellectually stimulating, varied in approach, and there has been lots of open discussion.
Which of the modules you studied was your favourite?
Either ‘Samuel Beckett’ or ‘Art Histories’. ‘Beckett’ because of a close interaction with one another and also a subverting of my preconceptions. ‘Art Histories’ because it opened my eyes to the idea that everything is a text, everything is written, and the joy and skills of literature analysis can be applied everywhere.