English and American Literatures (2016 Entry)

Course type: Single Honours,
Entry requirements: Read more about entry requirements
Typical offer:BBB or ABC
Tuition fees: Read more about tuition fees
Duration and mode of study: 3 years, Full time
Location of study:Keele University campus
Subject Area: English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Course Overview

Keele’s programme was a national first in the UK in 2001, and is no widely recognised as the leading course of its type in the country.

Combining the distinctive strengths of English and American Studies, this course explores the contrasts and connections between two major national literary traditions. You’ll develop your critical arguments and technical analysis as you engage imaginatively and intellectually with literary texts from medieval literature to contemporary American graphic novels. You’ll examine the full chronological range of English and American literature, considering their direct intersections from the nineteenth century onwards. You could spend a semester or a whole additional year at a partner university abroad – which might include the USA, Australia, the Netherlands or Canada.

Single Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of single honours English and American Literatures. 

First year 

Core modules: 

  • Reading Literature 
  • Starting Out: An Introduction to American Literature 
  • Becoming a Critic 
  • Transatlantic Gothic: Studies in Nineteenth-Century English and American Literatures 

Elective modules: 

  • Telling Tales: An Introduction to Narrative Fiction 
  • Poetry Through Practice 
  • Reading Film 
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Contemporary America 
  • Playing Parts: Studying Drama and Poetry 
  • Fiction Through Practice
  • Approaches to Film
  • New York, New York: An Introduction to American Culture 
  • The American Past: Explorations in US History 

Second year 

Core modules: 

  • The Romance of Fiction: History and Society in Nineteenth-Century American Literature 
  • Romanticisms
  • The Age of Shakespeare and Donne 
  • From Modernity to Counterculture: Literature and Social Criticism in Twentieth-Century American Literature
  • Victorian Performances 
  • Post-War British Fiction and Poetry 

Elective modules: 

  • Burning Crosses: Religion and American Culture 
  • Twentieth Century Novels into Films
  • Aspects of the Novel 1740-1930
  • Lyrics and the Popular Song
  • Alfred Hitchcock’s America
  • The Detective and the American City
  • Creative Writing: Poetry and Prose
  • French Cinema
  • Postwar British Fiction and Poetry 
  • Gender and the Cinematic Gaze
  • Teenage Dreams: Youth Subcultures in Fiction, Film and Theory 
  • Seoul Summer School: South Korean Film
  • Writing for the Screen
  • Satire
  • Medieval Literature
  • Film Genre, Narrative, and the Star

Third year 

Core modules: 

  • Dissertation 
  • Creative Writing Portfolio 

Elective modules: 

  • Silence, Strength and Sentiment: Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century American Literature 
  • Words and Pictures: The Contemporary American Graphic Novel
  • Film Noir: The Dark Side of America
  • Postcolonial and World Literature in English 
  • Sex, Scandal and Society: Eighteenth-Century Writing
  • Miners, Monetarism and Movements: Literature, Culture and Politics in the 1980s
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • The Writer as Psychologist: The Great Russian Realists
  • Shakespeare on Film: Adaptation and Appropriation
  • Dickens, Collins and Detection
  • Wild Woods and Wide Worlds: British and American Children’s Fiction
  • Seoul Summer School: South Korean Film
  • High Culture: Drink, Drugs, and the American Dream
  • Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory
  • The Two Cultures of the Arts and the Sciences
  • Romantic Voices
  • The Canadian Metropolis
  • Shakespearean Stages: Making and Re-Making the Plays of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
  • Contemporary American Fiction
  • James Joyce’s Ulysses
  • Writingscapes
  • The Alcohol Question
  • Cinematic Modernisms 

Course workload

This contact time measure is intended to provide you with an indication of the type of activity you are likely to undertake during your programme. The data is compiled based on module choices and learning patterns of students on similar programmes in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure this data is a realistic representation of what you are likely to experience, but changes to programmes, teaching methods and assessment methods mean this data is representative and not specific.

Undergraduate courses at Keele contain an element of module choice; therefore, you will experience a different mix of contact time and assessment types dependent upon your own individual choice of modules. The figures below are an example of activities that you may expect on your chosen course by year/stage of study. Contact time includes scheduled activities such as: lecture, seminar, tutorial, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and labs, supervised time in labs/workshop, fieldwork and external visits. The figures are based on 1,200 hours of student effort each year for full-time students.

First year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 20%
  • Guided independent study – 80%

Second year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 13%
  • Guided independent study – 37% 
  • Placements - 50% 

Third year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 17%
  • Guided independent study – 83% 

Skills and Careers

What will this mean for my future?

English and American Literatures at Keele will provide you with a wide range of skills with real appeal to employers. Some careers may require further study or training, but you might work as a teacher, journalist, editor, librarian, advertising copywriter, solicitor, arts administrator or writer. You could go into marketing, research, broadcasting, publishing, the compiling of dictionaries, or teaching English as a foreign language.

Visit our Careers pages (new window)

Codes and Combinations

Codes and Combinations

can be combined with:

Students are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) (BA Hons).

Single Honours, Major and Foundation course information

English and American Literatures with Foundation Year: Q3V0 View KIS Stats

Full Unistats data is available at unistats.direct.gov.uk (opens new window)

Study abroad

On the English and American Literatures programme you have the potential opportunity to spend a semester abroad in your second year studying at one of Keele’s international partner universities. Exactly which countries are available depends on your choice of degree subjects. An indicative list of countries is on the website Partner Universities however this does not guarantee the availability of study in a specific country as this is subject to the university’s application process for studying abroad. 

No additional tuition fees are payable for studying abroad but you do have to bear the costs of travelling to and from their destination university, accommodation, food and personal costs. Depending on the destination you are studying at additional costs may include visas, study permits, residence permits, and compulsory health checks. You should expect the total costs of studying abroad to be greater than if they study in the UK, information is made available from the Global Education Team throughout the process, as costs will vary depending on destination.

Find out more about the course

Our Course Information Documents (CIDs) are designed to give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision about what and where to study.

Single Honours Course Information Document (PDF)

2017 Entry details

Our full course information for 2017 entry is yet to be finalised. We may make changes to our course content from year to year in order to keep pace with current research and innovation.

Our typical offer for 2017 entry is ABB.

Here is a list of indicative modules for 2017 entry:

First year

  • Reading Literature 
  • Starting Out: An Introduction to American Literature 
  • Becoming a Critic 
  • Transatlantic Gothic: Studies in 19th Century English and American Literatures

Second year

  • The Romance of Fiction: History and Society in 19th Century American Literature 
  • From Modernity to Counterculture: Literature and Social Criticism in 20th Century American Literature 
  • Romanticisms
  • The Age of Shakespeare and Donne
  • Victorian Performances 
  • Post-War British Fiction and Poetry

Third year

  • Dissertation

It is important that you read the information at Terms and Conditions which explains how and why we might need to make changes to the educational services that we provide.

Hannah Bailey

Hannah Bailey

"The small seminar groups allow for such interesting conversation which really helps you get a good understanding of the texts and their contexts. "

English and American Literatures student (2010)

Christopher Lockwood

Christopher Lockwood

"The course can be as specific or as generic as you want it to be: for instance, you can study courses based upon a particular theme or time period, or courses that span the whole of American literature from the very earliest writings of the settlers to books published last week! "

English and American Literatures student (2009)

Aidan Jones

Aidan Jones

"The study of American literature, which was largely new to me, also meant I was learning new things from the beginning and learning to look at literature in a different way."

English and American Literatures student (2010)

Harriet Earle

Harriet Earle

"Because of the size of the course there are less students per tutor – so more interaction with the members of staffs and a good student-tutor relationship."

English and American Literatures student (2010)