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English MA (Hons) 2022 entry

Closely read literary works from across a range of genres and historical eras, from medieval texts in Old English and Older Scots to Renaissance plays, contemporary poetry, revolutionary 19th-century novels and more. You will engage with and consider the ideas, human values and historical forces that have helped shape literature.

UCAS code
Q300
Start date
5 September 2022
End date
30 June 2026
Duration
4 years
Study mode
Full time
Two women in an office with books

In the first two years of this course, you will read and reflect on a broad range of topics across literary genres from the Middle Ages to the present day.

At St Andrews, you are encouraged to develop a breadth of knowledge and perspectives. As such, you will take at least one module in each of the following areas:

  • medieval literature
  • early modern literature
  • 18th or 19th-century literature.

This will equip you with the range of literary experience and critical skills necessary for more in-depth study of specialist subject areas in your third and fourth years (known as Honours years). Specialist subject areas at St Andrews include (but are not limited to):

  • Old English literature
  • literature and ecology
  • Renaissance bodies
  • literature and gender
  • Victorian culture
  • creative writing
  • Cold War writing
  • world literature.

In your final year, you will complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with teaching staff at the School of English.

By the time you graduate, you will:

  • have a highly developed sense of independent critical thinking and judgement
  • be alert to the possibilities of expressive language
  • have developed both a broad, and - in some areas - a deep knowledge of literature in English.

“I chose to study English here partly due to the excellent reputation of the School and partly for the opportunity to study both well-known and obscure pieces of literature. The small group tutorials are invaluable in sounding out ideas for essays, learning how better to build an argument, and gaining confidence in literary analysis.”

Callum
Callum
- Derbyshire, England

Entry requirements

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

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

The grades below are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.

For applicants in the UK, there are three categories of entry requirements: Standard, Minimum and Gateway. The category you should look at depends on your contextual data. If you are unsure which category you fall under, please use our academic entry qualification indicator and see academic entry explained for more information.

  • Standard entry grades
    AAAAB
    including A in English
    Minimum entry grades
    AABB
    including A in English
    Gateway entry grades
    BBBB
  • Standard entry grades
    AAA
    including A in English or English Literature
    Minimum entry grades
    ABB
    including A in English or English Literature
  • Standard entry grades
    38 (HL 6,6,6)
    including HL6 in English
    Minimum entry grades
    36 (HL 6,5,5)
    including HL6 in English

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications. If you do not have an SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or International Baccalaureate, please see entry requirements by country.

University entry requirements

In addition to meeting the specific entry requirements for this course, you will also need to meet the University’s general entry requirements.

  • 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.

English language requirements for international applicants

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

Course details

Modules

The module links below provide information about the module for the current year of entry. Module details may change for 2022 entry.

In your first year, you must take the following two modules:

In second year, you must take the following modules:

  • 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.

  • Medieval and Renaissance Texts

    Introduces early forms of English language and literature, using specially edited texts from Old English, Middle English and Older Scots.

If you decide to take English in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including:

  • contemporary fiction
  • creative writing
  • literary theory
  • Old English
  • playwriting
  • Renaissance literature
  • Restoration drama
  • Romanticism
  • Scottish verse
  • Shakespeare
  • the Victorian novel.

The School of English offers between 40 and 50 Honours modules in each academic year. Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Beowulf
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • 'Loose Baggy Monsters': The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Novel
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Reading Popular Music
  • Romantic Gothic
  • 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 2021-2022 (PDF)

In fourth year, you will undertake a substantial dissertation on a topic of your choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

Taking other subjects

In addition to English, you will be required to study an additional two subjects in your first year. This allows you to explore other courses of interest. In your second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects. Find out more about the Honours degree structure.

You can also take English as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules in two or three subjects. See more information on joint options below.

Teaching format

English modules are taught through a combination of:

  • Lectures – these larger classes provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Typical lecture sizes are around 240 students in first year and 150 students in second year.
  • Seminars and tutorials - these smaller classes allow you to actively work together with your tutors and your peers to discuss topics from lectures, present papers and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course. Typical tutorial sizes are between 5 to 9 students in first and second year.

In third and fourth year, modules are taught in much smaller classes of no more than 20 students.

Outside of class, you will be expected to undertake independent work and study. This may involve, for example:

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

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.

Coursework and grades

For your first and second year, you will complete two essays and two examination questions for each of your modules. These are each worth 25% of your total grade.

For your third and fourth year, assessment for modules varies, although essays and examinations remain a central component.

Coursework may include:

  • essays
  • oral presentations
  • electronic projects
  • creative writing portfolios.

Several Honours-level modules involve creative coursework such as:

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

The School of English aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Most examinations are held at the end of the semester during a dedicated exam period. There is a dedicated revision week before exams which provides you time to prepare.

Study abroad

Students taking English may apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme or in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.

Fees

Home-funded
Tuition fees for Scottish applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
Rest of the UK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland) and Republic of Ireland
£9250
Islands (Channel Islands, Isle of Man)
£9250
EU and overseas
£26350

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

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year. See an estimated cost of attendance.

Funding and scholarships

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

Joint Honours degrees

You can also take English as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules in your chosen subjects.

Course name UCAS code
Arabic and English TQ63
Art History and English QV33
Biblical Studies and English QVH6
Classical Studies and English QQ38
Classics and English QP6T
Comparative Literature and English Q290
Economics and English LQ13
English and Film Studies PQ33
English and French QR31
English and French (with Integrated Year Abroad) QRH1
English and German QR32
English and German (with Integrated Year Abroad) QRH2
English and Greek QQ37
English and Hebrew QQ34
English and International Relations LQ23
English and Italian QR33
English and Italian (with Integrated Year Abroad) RQ33
English and Latin QQ36
English and Management QN32
English and Mathematics Q3G1
English and Medieval History QVH1
English and Middle East Studies QT36
English and Modern History QV31
English and Persian QT25
English and Philosophy QV35
English and Psychology (with optional British Psychological Society accreditation) CQ83
English and Russian QR37
English and Russian (with Integrated Year Abroad) QRH7
English and Scottish History QVH2
English and Social Anthropology QL36
English and Spanish QR34
English and Spanish (with Integrated Year Abroad) QRH4
English and Sustainable Development SEN1
English and Theological Studies QV36
Modern Languages (Arabic and French) and English T66H
Modern Languages (Arabic and French) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) TQ6I
Modern Languages (Arabic and German) and English TRQ3
Modern Languages (Arabic and German) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) TRQ2
Modern Languages (Arabic and Italian) and English TRQJ
Modern Languages (Arabic and Persian) and English 9Q12
Modern Languages (Arabic and Russian) and English TQ6H
Modern Languages (Arabic and Russian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) TQPJ
Modern Languages (Arabic and Spanish) and English TS6L
Modern Languages (Arabic and Spanish) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) TRQL
Modern Languages (French and German) and English RR1F
Modern Languages (French and German) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRDG
Modern Languages (French and Italian) and English RRDJ
Modern Languages (French and Italian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRC3
Modern Languages (French and Persian) and English 7610
Modern Languages (French and Persian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) 98Q5
Modern Languages (French and Russian) and English RR1T
Modern Languages (French and Russian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRCR
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) and English RR41
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RR4C
Modern Languages (German and Italian) and English RR3G
Modern Languages (German and Italian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRF3
Modern Languages (German and Persian) and English 73Q0
Modern Languages (German and Persian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) 63T6
Modern Languages (German and Russian) and English RRT2
Modern Languages (German and Russian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RR2T
Modern Languages (German and Spanish) and English RRGL
Modern Languages (German and Spanish) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RR42
Modern Languages (Italian and Persian) and English 8003
Modern Languages (Italian and Persian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) 9Q30
Modern Languages (Italian and Russian) and English RRHR
Modern Languages (Italian and Russian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRH7
Modern Languages (Italian and Spanish) and English RRJL
Modern Languages (Italian and Spanish) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRH4
Modern Languages (Persian and Russian) and English 8030
Modern Languages (Persian and Russian) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) 9030
Modern Languages (Persian and Spanish) and English 83Q1
Modern Languages (Persian and Spanish) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) 84T5
Modern Languages (Russian and Spanish) and English RR74
Modern Languages (Russian and Spanish) and English (with Integrated Year Abroad) RRR4

What is a joint Honours degree?

Careers

English graduates at St Andrews have found careers as:

  • art administration (the Barbican Centre and Sotheby's)
  • charitable organisations
  • internships with the United Nations
  • public policy (Scottish Executive and the British Council)
  • sales (Waterstones and WHSmith)
  • the financial sector (KPMG and Santander)
  • writers and editors (Oxford University Press, Penguin Books, Harper Collins and more).

The University has a dedicated Careers Centre which can provide advice and support throughout your degree and beyond to help you build your employability skills.


62%
of graduates in full-time employment or full-time further study.

Graduate destinations


Progressing to postgraduate study

Many graduates choose to continue their studies by taking a taught Masters course or by pursuing a research degree (such as a PhD).

Postgraduate courses in English at St Andrews

Contact us

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 2666
Email
english@st-andrews.ac.uk
Address
School of English
University of St Andrews
Castle House
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

School of English website

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