English Literature with Media Studies BA (Hons)

English Literature and Media student using library tables
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019


Portsmouth is the perfect place to study literature. Charles Dickens was born here, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called these streets home, and Rudyard Kipling’s work was inspired by his early years in the city. If you're interested in how literature and media influences individuals and societies, from fiction, newspapers and television, to social networks, this degree is ideal.

On this BA (Hons) English Literature and Media Studies degree, you’ll examine classic and contemporary literature along with television and social media, and become an expert in reading, analysing and discussing the written works and media that inspire you.

You’ll emerge with a skill set that’s sought after in careers in the arts, publishing and media. The critical thinking, reading and analytical abilities you'll develop will also set you up for postgraduate study or roles in areas like teaching and politics. 

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Build your knowledge of literature, from Shakespeare to the present day, and across genres from crime writing to magical realism
  • Learn from expert staff and published media experts, who are doing the latest research in this field
  • Work with local and national media companies to further your learning in a practical way and test your skills
  • Grapple with current issues in literature and engage in lively critical debates
  • Tailor your studies to the areas of literature and media that excite you the most, choosing units that match your interests
  • Develop analytical reading, presentation and team-work skills that will serve you in your future career
  • Get plenty of one-on-one sessions with your personal tutor

You can also:

  • Create your own film script, write a TV drama and learn video production skills
  • Help to create and present programmes for the University’s TV and radio stations
  • Develop personal and professional contacts locally and further afield through our work-related units
  • Choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities, such as Ghent University, University of Gdańsk, Kiel University, University of Luxembourg and the University of Malaga
  • Meet high-profile figures in the literary world and attend a reception at our annual Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim event

Careers and opportunities

A degree in English literature and media is a great foundation for a career in the arts, broadcasting or publishing. Graduate employers also value the sophisticated analytical and presentational skills you'll develop on this course.

After the course, you could work in areas such as:

  • advertising
  • journalism
  • arts and media
  • public relations
  • copywriting
  • teaching and research

You could also study at postgraduate level.

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job or course that puts your skills to work. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • The Short Story: Murder, Madness and Experimentation
  • Popular Culture: Spies, Dragons, Time Machines
  • Unpacking Texts: Introducing Critical Theory
  • Global Identities
  • Body Politics

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Current Approaches to Literature
  • Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Bloody Shakespeare: Shakespeare's History Plays
  • Crime Writing
  • Dystopian and Apocalyptic Environments: Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination
  • Institution Wide language Programme
  • Learning from Experience
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Literary Heritage
  • Media Culture and National Identity
  • Mortals and Immortals: Man, God and the Devil in Early Modern Literature
  • Neo-Historical Fiction
  • Print Media
  • Puritans to Postmodernists: American Literature
  • Screen Media
  • Space, Place and Being
  • The Media and Propaganda
  • Women's Writing in the Americas

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year:

  • Dissertation

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • British TV Drama and Society
  • Comedy Culture and Form
  • Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
  • Cultures of Consumption
  • Dangerous Desires: Renaissance Revenge Drama
  • Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity
  • Holocaust Literatures
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Magical Realism
  • Media Fan Cultures
  • News, War and Peace
  • Representing Science in the Media
  • Researching Animation
  • TV Talk Shows
  • Time, Temporality, Contemporary Fiction
  • US Masculinities

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have been on placements to:

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

You can also use many of the facilities and get support from Faculty staff in the evenings and weekends.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • textual analysis
  • presentations
  • a dissertation
  • practical performance sessions
  • simulation
  • real-world projects
  • creative assignments

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Entry requirements​

To do this degree, you need to apply for the BA (Hons) English Literature course. This is because it's a 'pathway' degree.

You’ll study English Literature in depth and add Media Studies as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll graduate with a BA (Hons) English Literature with Media Studies degree when you finish the course.

These are the entry requirements for the BA (Hons) English Literature course.

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You will have to read several set texts for each unit.

You're expected to have your own copies of the set texts so you can make notes in them. If you buy these, you should expect to spend around £30-£40 per unit. 

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50 to £1000.


You need to choose BA (Hons) English Literature when you apply for this course, because this is a ‘pathway’ course. This is where you study English Literature in depth and add Media Studies as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) English Literature with Media Studies degree when you complete the course. 

If you change your mind after you apply, you can choose not to study Media Studies in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) English Literature degree when you complete the course. 
How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – Q301
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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Subject area
English and creative writing
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