BA (Hons) English with Cultural Studies

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BA (Hons) English With Cultural Studies has been tailored to meet the career expectations of prospective graduates.  We attract students from varied backgrounds and encourage them to reach their full potential.  Academic standards are high and pastoral support is excellent.

This course develops literary skills while exploring and deconstructing the novel, the script, and other works of literature/popular culture.  You will have the opportunity to look at language and literature in the context of contemporary cultural issues.

Course Code: 
Course Length: 
Three Years
Entry Requirements: 

A minimum of 160 tariff points is usually required but we have no standard offer as we take into account your reference, motivation and commitment to the course, as well as any projected or actual A Level grades or qualifications.We welcome students from Access Diplomas

Core Skills: 

You will develop a range of analytical and research skills, the ability to think independently and you will acquire a range of written and oral presentation skills.


When you complete each module you will be assessed by a combination of assignments, examinations, projects and seminars.

Academic Progression: 

Students have moved on to PGCE or other Teacher Training courses.  Others have gone on complete Masters degrees and Doctorates.

Career Progression: 

Graduates may wish to move into teaching, journalism, public relations, marketing or publishing.

Full Description: 

Introduction to the Programme

Whether this is the first time you have studied with us, or whether you have taken other courses within the college, we hope that you will thoroughly enjoy the programme on which you are about to embark.

On your course you will be supported in your learning by module leaders who are enthusiastic about their subjects, a personal tutor, regular assessments, feedback to aid your progress, and high quality teaching materials.  These will give you the best possible chance of achieving your goal.

The programme is designed to: 

  • enable students to demonstrate increasing levels of autonomy in learning
  • enable students to acquire and develop comprehensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of chosen academic discipline(s) while recognising the provisional nature of all knowledge
  • encourage awareness of personal responsibility, professional codes of conduct and the ability to incorporate a critical ethical dimension
  • enable students to acquire and use, in an independent manner, analytical techniques appropriate to the chosen fields
  • enable students to transform abstract data and/or concepts and demonstrate creativity and imagination
  • encourage students to demonstrate skills in critical thinking and an ability to review and evaluate evidence in order to identify reasons for contradictions and to support conclusions
  • enable students to acquire and use investigative skills as appropriate to the chosen award
  • encourage students to develop confidence in their ability to identify and define complex problems and a flexible approach to the application of appropriate knowledge and skills in order to find solutions 
  • prepare students for employment or further academic study eg PGCE 

Generic Objectives

The programme seeks to ensure that on graduation you should be able to:

  • Work with confidence both independently and as a member of a group or team
  • Demonstrate a capacity for systematic, conceptual and critical thinking
  • Show flexible and creative approaches to problem solving 
  • Communicate clearly and appropriately, demonstrating a sense of audience
  • Manage information effectively in a range of media
  • Act in an ethical manner demonstrating political, social and cultural awareness
  • Produce output that is literate, numerate and coherent

The course scheme enables the student to achieve the objectives by providing a range of teaching and learning strategies, and evaluation is by means of appropriate assessment methods. 

Qualification Structure 

While you are on the course you will acquire breadth and depth of subject knowledge and understanding.  You will be encouraged to develop and use the appropriate investigative, analytical and practical skills that employers expect of graduates.  These are the transferable intellectual and personal skills related to your personal and working lives and to your future career intentions and aspirations.  Examples include the ability to communicate effectively, to use IT, to work in a group and to solve problems.

All of the courses offered by the scheme are modular and credit based.  Each unit of study (we call them modules) is normally taught, assessed and finished within a semester lasting 15 weeks.  Every module is assigned a credit value and most modules are 'worth' 10 or 20 credits. 

In order to achieve an honours degree, you must accumulate 360 credits.

Each 10 credit HE  module involves a total of about 100 hours of study which may be divided as follows:

  • Up to 14 teaching weeks of each semester plus
  • 70 hours independent study eg writing up class notes, reading, working on assignments etc.

Some time in class is spent in formal lectures, but seminars, workshops, group work, practical activities, visiting speakers and visits all play a part in the modules.  The amount of time individual students spend studying also depends on their experience of the subject and their use of study skills.  


The Course Scheme is based on modules, each of which lasts 15 weeks (a semester).  Some modules are double modules (worth 20 credits) and the Dissertation/Project module is worth 40 credits.  At the beginning of each module the module leader should  provide you with a scheme of work, a reading list for the module and a guide to the assessment. 

Directed Study

This is the time that is organised by the module leader(s) so it may be spent in lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, on practical work in the laboratory, out on field trips and visits or in other forms of work that are related to the subject.  Teaching provides important sources of information and a forum for debate through lectures, tutorials and small group work.  However, it is important to recognise that these are only some of the sources that you should draw on when you are writing essays etc and preparing other forms of assignment.  On any HE course, it is very important to explore a wide variety of reading material and to engage in discussion with as many people as possible, as often as possible.  All of this will help you to develop both your ideas and your ability to extend and defend them. 

Private Study 

During this time, for private study, you will be expected to take responsibility for your own learning.  This might involve writing up lecture notes or laboratory/field reports, preparing assignments, researching future seminar topics or general reading around the subject.  Of course, the amount of time that this takes varies between modules and between students.  Some have told us that they spend at least the same amount of time again outside the College in supporting study for each module.  Others spend much less than that.  The 20 or so weeks every year that you are not in College can be a time for intensive reading, too. 

Credit Accumulation

The credits you gain when you successfully complete a module are added together to qualify for awards.  You have been enrolled on a programme leading to an Honours Degree for which you need 360 credits - usually 120 at each level.  You can leave earlier if circumstances make it necessary and you will then be awarded the highest immediate award for which you have sufficient credits.  Each programme is divided into 3 stages (equivalent to the three years of a conventional full-time course).  Your final degree classification will be based on the marks/grades you achieve at Levels 2 and 3 (including the Dissertation/Project module). 

Course Timetable 

Your individual timetable will depend upon the course that you take during an academic year. Modules are timetabled in one of three blocks:

  • morning: 0900 – 1200
  • afternoon: 1300 – 1600 or 14.30 – 17.00
  • twilight: 1600 – 1900

The module leader will determine how the timetabled sessions will be utilised but you will normally have a break at some stage.  Module leaders provide you with a course outline for their modules at an early stage.  Some sessions may be used for individual academic tutorials or as research time.  If you are unclear then please ask your module leader.

Approaches to Teaching and Learning

The objectives of the scheme will be achieved by:

  • an approach which emphasises the quality of teaching and learning and encourages the pursuit of excellence
  • a learning experience which, through application of appropriate and varied approaches, fosters the development of the autonomy and confidence of the individual
  • the provision of a modular curriculum which will provide for flexibility and choice on the one hand, and coherence and continuity on the other.

While you are studying on this course you will be taught by a team of committed lecturers who are all enthusiastic about their specialist subjects.  We hope that we can pass on some of that enthusiasm to you!

All of the staff take their teaching seriously; we aim to provide you with opportunities to develop more than just basic knowledge and understanding of one subject area.  Module leaders will normally try to create a balance of activity in your timetabled sessions.

However, learning to study at degree level is not a simple, passive process.  We expect you to be an active participant in class sessions.

Lectures, seminars and tutorials will usually form the base of your studies.  Additionally, laboratory work, field trips and workshops may be a significant, and often compulsory, portion of your course.  Visits to historical sites, the museums in London and elsewhere can be an important part of the courses.  Where possible, we also invite guest speakers to talk about their interests.

Lectures have traditionally been the main mode of teaching in higher education and continue to be an important means of passing across information - but don’t expect to be solely passive.  Note-taking is an important skill and a good set of notes will give you a firm foundation for exploring the subject by your own reading.  Lectures can involve anything up to 40 students. 

Small group work or seminars will provide opportunities to promote exchange of ideas.  Sometimes you will be given reading matter beforehand and you will be expected to contribute to a class discussion.  The session might be used for a problem-solving workshop.  At other times, you might be asked to prepare and deliver a presentation to the other members of your group.  This type of session should help you to develop a range of transferable skills that are valued by employers.  Normally seminar groups comprise 16-20 students. 

Tutorials are when students work with a tutor on a one-to-one basis (or with a very small group of maybe 3 students) eg to discuss your progress during the module or to work on an assignment or other assessment activity.

Workshops might involve working on study guides or problem-solving exercises or perhaps a discussion of directed reading.  They might involve hands-on time on computers to learn a new software package or explore reresources. 

Laboratory sessions and field work enable you to develop practical and observational skills - particularly important for those students who are following science pathways. 

Assessment  The Course team use a range of assessment methods to establish that you have achieved both the specific learning outcomes for modules (as detailed on the module reference sheets) and, through those outcomes, the overall aims and objectives of the course. 

Examinations  Because the possession of a suitable knowledge base is seen as a very important element of the course, a significant number of modules will be partially or entirely assessed by examination.  These may be open book or closed, but, mindful of the student load, will not normally be of more than 2 hours' duration each.  In the case of open book examinations your module leader will advise you about the materials you will be allowed to use for reference during the examination. 

Assignments  Assignments allow for the assessment of many different learning outcomes.  The course team makes use of a variety of assessment methods which will be described as an assignment by the module leader.  Thus, an assignment might be an essay, a written-up seminar paper, exercises involving the interpretation of data or of pieces of text, mathematical or statistical exercises, a presentation, a case study report, laboratory report(s) or a project dissertation - it will depend on the module.  Your module leader should inform you of the nature of the assignment(s) for each module in the first three weeks of the semester in which it runs.  S/he should also tell you when the deadline for submission will be. 

In Class Assessments  These will involve work that is carried out in class time.  They may include practical work, report writing and problem solving, seminar presentation, participation in seminar discussion or the more general assessment of learning outcomes and objectives that cannot be assessed by written work, such as the ability to work in a team and oral communication skills.   The choice of these assessments will be at the discretion of the individual module leader and will be detailed on module reference sheets. 

Innovative Assessments  Individual module leaders have discretion to introduce other modes of assessment, as seems appropriate for any particular module.  These might include student self-assessment or peer group assessment, in addition to one of the more traditional methods.  Any assessments of this type will be detailed on the module reference sheet and should be described in more detail by the module leader concerned. 

Dissertations/Projects   If you are aiming for an Honours degree you will be required to take and pass a dissertation or project module (worth a minimum of 40 credits) normally in the final stage of your programme.  The Course Team regards your dissertation or project as the culmination of your undergraduate programme and as such is an extremely important module.   

Example of  Programme Structure and Modules


LEVEL 4 Modules

Module Title:   Higher Learning Skills
Credit value:  20
Brief description:  Designed to enable students to identify and develop HE study skills in order to undertake successful study at HE level and to identify and develop “softer” transferable skills relevant to the workplace
Principal assessment methods:  PDP Presentation
Status:  C
Module Title:    Introduction to Cultural Studies
Credit value:  20
Brief description:  An introduction to the central theoretical concepts in Cultural Studies:– an introduction to: structuralism, feminism, Marxism, postmodernism, post-colonialism, carnivalisation and reception/ethnography
Principal assessment methods:  Close analysis - essay
Status:  C-
Module Title:    Introduction to Visual Culture Credit value:   20
Brief description:  To provide sufficient underpinning knowledge of the study of visual texts in order to undertake modules in the second and third year.  Key concepts and the vocabulary of the visual arts will be introduced.
Principal assessment methods:  Close readying - essay
Status:  C
Module Title:   Introduction to Drama  Credit value:   10
Brief description:  An introduction to one of the three main literary genres,  Drama, through the study of two  plays and a range of critical/theoretical issues
Principal assessment methods:  Essay Status: C
Module Title:    A History of Children’s Literature
Credit value:   10
Brief description:  This module will look at the history of children’s literature from the 18C to the present day.
Principal assessment methods:  Passage analysis, examination (closed book)
Status:  DO
Module Title:    Individual Study
Credit value:   10
Brief description:  This module gives students the opportunity to delve more deeply into texts and theories and to gain familiarity with research methods.
Principal assessment methods:  Essay
Status:  DO
Module Title:    Introduction to Poetry
Credit value:   10
Brief description:  This module continues to pursue, within the genre of poetry, the issues raised in Semester 1
Principal assessment methods:  Production of texts and commentary.  Examination (open book)
Status:  C
Module Title:   Introduction to the Novel     Credit value:   10
Brief description:  This core module introduces students to one of the three main literary genres, the Novel (the most successful modern prose sub genre) through the study of two major novels and a range of critical/theoretical issues.   
Principal assessment methods:  Essay /Open book examination Status: C


Module Title;     Introduction to Myth  Credit Value; 10

Brief description; This module aims to consolidate an understanding of classical and religious literature by introducing students to a range of texts relating to myth and mythology in a variety of media and genres, from the Bible to present day writing

Principal assesment methods; Essay/Exam  Status; C

LEVEL 5 Modules 

Module Title:   Researching Popular Cultures
Credit value:   20
Brief description:  To develop skills in critical approaches to specific case study texts.
Principal assessment methods:  Presentation & commentary.  Examination (closed book)
Status:  C
Module Title:  Medieval Life and Literature    Credit value:   20
Brief description:  This  module  focuses  on  medieval  literature  and  the  cultural  conditions  which  contributed  to  produce  specific  medieval texts.  Students  will  be  encouraged  to  make  links  between  different  genres  -  both  narrative  and  lyrical  poetry  and  plays  -  using  overarching  themes,  such  as  the  role  of  women,  courtly  love  and  the  impact  of  religion.  
Principal assessment methods:  Examination (open book). Essay
Status:  C

Module Title:    Satire     Credit value:   10
Brief description:  An introduction to a range of satiric texts in a variety of media and genres, from the Renaissance to the present day.
Principal assessment methods:   Essay
Status:  Do

Module Title:   The Short Story Credit value:   10
Brief description:   The purpose of this module is to examine a traditional literary form which shares many characteristics with the novel, but which also displays some characteristics of poetry.  
Principal assessment methods:  Essay or Short Story Status:  DO

Module Title:   The Renaissance
Credit value:   20
Brief description:  This module will allow students to engage with significant texts produced between 1582 and 1621, to include poetry, drama, music and the visual arts.
Principal assessment methods:  Examination (open book), Anthology, Essay
Status:  C

Module Title:    Dissertation Preparation Credit value:   10
Brief description: The module aims to prepare second year students for work on the Dissertation module offered in Year Three.  
Principal assessment methods:  Outline proposal/Literature search/ oral presentation Status:  D


Module Title:    The Novel   Credit value:   20
Brief description: This module will provide an opportunity for detailed study of a particular aspect of the novel, which may change from year to year. 
Principal assessment methods:   Essay. Status:  DO


Module Title: Revolution and Reaction  Credit Value; 20

Brief description; This module will provide an opportunity for students to engage in detailed study of key themes in literature from 1700 to 1830. 

Principal assessment methods:   Essay  Status; C


LEVEL 6 Modules

Module Title:  Modernism Credit value:   20
Brief description: This module focuses on the excitement generated by literary texts of the twentieth century and the critical debate that surrounds them. Students are invited to read a range of significant Modernist texts in close critical detail. 

Principal assessment methods:  Exam – closed passage.  Essay
Status:  C
Module Title:   Textual Transformations
Credit value:   10
Brief description:   A study of the relationship between a canonical base text and its subsequent textual transformations.
Principal assessment methods:   Examinations (open book). Essay
Status:  C
Module Title:   Cultures in Revolution Credit value:   10
Brief description: The aim of the module is to develop students’ theoretical understanding of cultural forms by examining them in historical moments when they are under most tension – social and political revolution.  
Principal assessment methods:  Essay
Status:  D
Module Title:   Postmodernism
Credit value:   20
Brief description:   A study of contemporary forms and artefacts within a framework of a range of theoretical accounts of postmodernism.
Principal assessment methods:  Close analysis. Examination
Status:  C
 Module Title:   Victorians and Victorianism
Credit value:   20
Brief description:  This module will allow students to engage with significant texts produced between 1830 and 1900.

Principal assessment methods:  Examination, Presentation & write-up
Status:  C
Module Title:   Dissertation
Credit value:   40
Brief description:  Academic research project/essay using appropriate research tools.
Principal assessment methods:  Report/Essay, Log book
Status:  C


Support Material

While on the course you will receive reading lists and study guides.  You will also be expected to be an active user of “Blackboard”, the college’s virtual learning environment.  There will be a wide range of workshops during the first few weeks of your programme that you will need to attend.  These will form a crucial part of your personal development plan.  Whilst on the course your tutor is always your first point of call.  If there are issues that you do not wish to discuss with your tutor you can contact either the course rep or the Head of School.  Please be aware that classes may be delivered across any one of City College Norwich campus sites and that timetables can change throughout semesters.  We will always give students notice of this.

Please contact the Advice Shop for details of costs and start dates.

Please note that although the information given is believed to be correct at the time of publication, course information, costs where applicable and attendance details may change.

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