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English BA (International Honours) 2022 entry

The BA (International Hons) in English will provide you with the opportunity to explore a range of historical periods and critical approaches to literature, across a wide variety of genres. Through this course, you will develop your writing skills, sensitivity to language, awareness of the intellectual challenges and aesthetic pleasures offered by literature, as well as understanding the cultural values it reflects. You can also choose to take creative writing classes.

The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.

How to apply Register your interest

Key information

Course type

Bachelor of Arts (International Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 June 2026

Entry requirements

Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.

Find out more about Standard and Minimum entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

    • Standard entry grades: AAAAB, with an A in English
    • Minimum entry grades: AABB, with an A in English
    • Standard entry grades: AAA, with an A in English or English Literature
    • Minimum entry grades: ABB, with an A in English or English Literature
    • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), with an HL6 in English
    • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), with an HL6 in English

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at the University of St Andrews, you can apply through the St Andrews direct application form or the Common Application form.

If you wish to begin your studies at William & Mary, you should apply through the William & Mary Common Application form.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Students must have studied English or English Literature at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or equivalent.

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Course information

The BA (International Hons) in English is a four-year course run jointly by the School of English at St Andrews and the Department of English at the College of William & Mary

You will study for two years at both St Andrews and William & Mary, spending the first year of the programme at one institution and the second year at the other. You will then be able to choose where you wish to spend your third and fourth years of study and graduate from either university.

You will apply to the university where you intend to spend your first year, and then you will transfer to the other institution for your second year.

What you will study

If you study the BA (International Honours) in English, you will learn to:

  • read, discuss, and reflect with clarity on a wide variety of texts
  • develop analytical, descriptive and evaluative skills
  • communicate more fluently and persuasively
  • write creatively and engage critically with a wide range of English-language texts, including plays, novels, poems and short stories.

The BA (International Honours) is a single Honours degree, and other combinations – such as joint Honours degrees – are not available with this programme. However, during the programme you will have opportunities to study a range of other subjects alongside your major at both institutions. Find out more about the St Andrews – William & Mary joint degree.

The coat of arms for the BA (International Honours) programme which features crossed keys, gold diamonds, a rising sun, an open book, a griffin, and a lion rampant
The BA International Honours coat of arms represents each university's unique heraldry and symbols. Find out more about the coat of arms.

About the BA (International Honours) programme

The BA (International Honours) is a four-year undergraduate degree that combines the best of the Scottish and American educational experience.

Teaching in the School of English at St Andrews covers writing in poetry, prose, and drama from Old English up to the present day, as well as creative writing.

While the St Andrews degree shares many interests with William & Mary, such as Romantic and Victorian literature, Shakespeare and Jane Austen, the emphases of the two departments differ. William & Mary has particular strengths in American literature and offers specialist strands, for example, on African American literature. St Andrews, meanwhile, has expertise in Scottish and Irish writing and offers research-led teaching on a broad range of classic and innovative topics. In general, the American side of the degree has more general components while the British side offers more in-depth study in the latter two years of the programme.

At both universities, the International Honours degree in English offers students a comprehensive introduction to literary study, teaches effective writing, and develops skills in critical analysis. At St Andrews, these aims are supplemented by a range of other activities and events, including:


Students studying the English BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.

The following modules are those offered at St Andrews. Find out more about module requirements at William & Mary.

At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in first year are:

  • Culture and Conflict: An Introduction to Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature: introduces a small number of texts, in prose and verse, from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Empires and Revolutions: Literature 1680 - 1830: examines travel, colonialism, and different constructions of 'man’s natural estate' in the 18th century.

At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in second year are:

  • Medieval and Renaissance Texts: introduces early forms of English language and literature, using specially edited texts from Old English, Middle English and Older Scots.
  • Drama: Reading and Performance: introduces a number of representative plays from the Renaissance period to the 21st century. Emphasis is placed upon the context in which these plays were first created and those in which they are now received.

Students will spend either their third or fourth year in St Andrews. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of advanced options.

Here is a sample of Honours modules that have been offered at St Andrews in recent years:

  • Beowulf
  • Black and Asian British Writing
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Literature and Culture of Sport
  • Literature and Ecology
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Poetry and Cinema
  • Reading Popular Music
  • The Novels of Jane Austen in Context
  • The Younger Romantics: Poetry and Prose (1810 - 1830).

For more examples, see a full list of Honours modules offered in the previous year: Honours choices handbook 2021-2022 (PDF)

All English majors in the joint programme have the opportunity to work on an independent research project as part of their degree. You will either write a dissertation at St Andrews or take a senior research seminar at William & Mary.

The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.


Teaching format

At St Andrews, modules are delivered through lectures which are supported by smaller seminar groups or tutorials.

Typical English class sizes at St Andrews are:

  • First year: lectures – 240, tutorials – 5 to 9
  • Second year: lectures – 150, tutorials – 5 to 9
  • Honours: classes generally have no more than 20.

Though a good deal of the study of English involves individual effort, group work provides a sense of confirmation, fruitful disagreement, and community to complement the sometimes solitary business of reading and writing.

In addition to these classes, students at St Andrews are expected to undertake substantial independent, but guided, work outside of the classroom. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

At St Andrews, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of English. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of classes and seminars under the supervision of the module coordinator.

You can find contact information for all English staff on the School of English website.

In addition to your studies in the School, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page


Modules in English at St Andrews are assessed by a balanced combination of coursework and written exams. In each compulsory sub-honours module, there are two essays and two examination questions, each worth 25%. Assessment at Honours level varies, although essays and examinations remain a central component.

Coursework takes the form of essays, along with other kinds of assessed work including oral presentations, electronic projects and creative writing portfolios.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

Several Honours-level modules involve creative coursework, such as:

  • literary journal keeping
  • writing a short play
  • medieval forgery. 

The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students.

Virtual visiting days


Our online autumn visiting days will take place on:

  • Wednesday 6 October 2021
  • Wednesday 20 October 2021


Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Home-funded Tuition fees for Scottish applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
RUK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland) and Republic of Ireland Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
Islands (Channel Islands, Isle of Man) Tuition fees for Islands applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
EU and overseas Tuition fees for EU and overseas applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Students on this degree programme also have the opportunity to apply for the BA (International Honours) Scholarship for Excellence.


The skills you gain through studying English are marketable in many career areas, and recent graduates in English have pursued a wide variety of career paths.

Perhaps the major strength of all English graduates is communication skills, both in speech and in writing. Other skills you will develop during your degree include:

  • critical analysis
  • structuring information
  • organisation of time and workload
  • effective IT skills.

Career destinations for recent St Andrews English graduates include:

  • internships with the United Nations
  • writers and editors for various publishing houses and magazines
  • sales for Waterstones and WHSmith
  • charitable organisations
  • teaching
  • public policy
  • the financial sector.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills. 

Student life

Students are fully involved in student life at both universities. Find out more about the student experience at William & Mary.

The University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first-year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions, and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from, ensure a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of English may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • Book Club holds regular meetings to discuss books and create a welcoming society. Social events include board games and pub quizzes. 
  • Inklight is a creative writing society which runs poetry slams, open mic nights, workshops and an annual journal of student writing.

The School of English is situated in Castle House and Kennedy Hall, beautiful Victorian buildings located directly in front of the St Andrews Castle ruins on the coast. English students will usually attend seminars and tutorials here.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings, parks and beaches, providing a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. Find out more about the town of St Andrews.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews. 


School of English
University of St Andrews
Castle House
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2666

School of English website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online.

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online.