English Literature and International Relations 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both English Literature and International Relations. Studying English Literature at Keele, you’ll explore the significance of texts within their originating cultures and historical periods and explore a range of approaches to literary study.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: LQF3

View entry requirements

Course Overview

You’ll consider the historical, sociopolitical, economic, gender and geographical contexts of fiction, poetry and drama from the medieval period to the present day. You might explore links between literature and film, or engage with exciting new genres such as the graphic novel. You’ll become an imaginative and critical thinker as you explore subjects such as the importance of story, the novel, writing for the screen, post-colonialism, depictions of maternity and scandal. You may be able to choose to spend a semester or a whole additional year at a partner university abroad (dependant on subject scheduling).

International Relations is not merely the study of current affairs or foreign places: it is a distinctive way of looking at the world that will enable you to understand complex global political events. The study of International Relations covers key issues of conflict, human rights, environmental change and globalisation, and provides a solid understanding of international organisations such as the UN and the European Union. It also develops a range of analytical skills to help you interpret and explain the processes at work in unfolding current events. In a world of complex interdependence, such skills are of increasing relevance to many areas of business, industry and government.

What will this mean for my future?

Study English at Keele and you’ll graduate with a wide range of skills – in research, oral and written communication, presentation – as well as excellent opportunities for the future. 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.

Keele has long been known as a pioneering centre of International Relations scholarship, as it was one of the first universities in the UK to offer a degree in the subject in the 1970s. Today, you will find one of the principal concentrations of International Relations specialists in the UK, and our current staff have internationally recognised teaching and research expertise in the areas of security studies, international history, international political economy and development, regional politics of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, feminist and postcolonial approaches to global politics, and political and International Relations theory and regional politics of Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa.This course provides an invaluable lens through which to see and approach the world, which appeals to many employers. You might work in journalism, the civil service or the European Parliament or as a political researcher for an MP or thinktank. You might join international organisations such as aid and development agencies, charity foundations or businesses.

Some of our well-known graduates include Laurence Mann, the political private secretary to David Cameron, Farah Faisal, Higher Commissioner for the Maldives, and Paul Rimmer, Director at the Ministry of Defence.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Composition
  • Reading Literature
  • Telling Tales
  • Playing Parts
  • Starting Out: An Introduction to American Literature
  • Reading Film
  • Poetry Through Practice
  • Transatlantic Gothic
  • Fiction Through Practice"
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Securing Global Order
  • Reading Literature
  • Telling Tales
  • Why Politics Matters
  • Introduction to American Literature
  • Poetry Through Practice
  • Modern Democracies

Second year

  • Romanticisms 
  • Victorian Performances 
  • Twentieth-Century British Fiction and Poetry 
  • The Renaissance: Shakespeare and Beyond 
  • Medieval Literature 
  • Revolution and Restoration 
  • International Organisation
  • Contemporary IR Theory
  • Post-War British Fiction and Poetry
  • Freedom and Equality
  • Revolution and Restoration
  • The Politics of the EU
  • The Renaissance
  • African Politics

Third year

  • "Dissertation in English Literature
  • Sex, Scandal and Society: Eighteenth-Century Writing
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Post-colonial and World Literature in English
  • Writingscapes"
  • Dissertation
  • The End of Empire
  • Britain During the Cold War
  • The Falklands War
  • Sex, Scandal and Society
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Politics of Development
  • Postcolonial and World Literature in English
  • Eighteenth-Century Writing
  • The Modern Middle East
  • Gendering Global Politics
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

International Relations Students may choose to study elective modules which are offered as part of other programmes in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the University. These include:

  • Modules in other subjects closely related to International Relations.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as  History
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for Academic Purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin).
  • Free standing modules related to the development of graduate attributes, student volunteering, and studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme.

Each year you MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in International Relations. In years 1 and 2 this is achieved by taking two compulsory modules and one optional module. You must also take a minimum of 45 credits in your other principal subject. Your remaining 30 credits may be selected from the list of International Relations optional modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of elective modules provided by other disciplines.

 

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

English Literature Year 1 (Level 4)

In Year 1 (Level 4), Combined Honours students take one compulsory module in each semester, plus one optional module, giving a minimum total of 45 credits in English modules. Students can choose to take further modules, which can but need not include English Literature optional modules.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Reading Literature

15

Telling Tales

15

Composition

15

Starting Out: An Introduction to American Literature

15

   

New York, New York

15

   

Poetry through Practice

15

   

Playing Parts

15

   

Fiction through Practice

15

   

Transatlantic Gothic

15

 

International Relations Year 1 (Level 4)

The two compulsory First year modules provide students with a thorough grounding in the study skills needed for International Relations and an introduction to the nature and scope of International Relations as a discipline. They expose students to the various traditions or schools of thought that have tried to make sense of international politics and familiarise them with many of the problems addressed by, and concepts employed in, the discipline of International Relations. These include war and peace, order and intervention, the balance of power, diplomacy and international organisation, territoriality and the sovereign state, equity and justice, territoriality and governmentality.  International Relations students may also learn about the workings of the global political economy, gain a solid background in the main developments in international history throughout and beyond the Cold War, or examine aspects of the study of Politics.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Introduction to International Relations

15

The Changing World: International Relations
Since 1945

15

Securing Global Order

15

Introduction to Global Political Economy

15

   

Why Politics Matters

15

   

Justice, Authority and Power

15

 

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

 

English Literature Year 2 (Level 5)

In Year 2 (Level 5), Combined Honours students take a minimum of 45 credits in English Literature approved optional modules. Students can choose further modules, which can but need not include English Literature optional modules.

Optional modules

Credits

Romanticisms, 1780-1830

15

Writing Genre and Mode

15

Victorian Performances

15

Twentieth-Century British Fiction and Poetry

15

Revolution and Restoration

15

Medieval Literature

15

The Renaissance: Shakespeare and Beyond

15

Creative Writing: Poetry and Prose

15

 

International Relations Year 2 (Level 5)

In the second year students build on the foundations laid in the first year. The two compulsory modules cover core aspects of contemporary international politics: the roles and functions of international institutions, organisations and regimes in mitigating anarchy; the contending perspectives on international relations and contemporary developments in theoretical approaches to the IR discipline. Students have the opportunity also to study a number of specialised aspects of International Relations such as the International Relations of Eurasia, the Modern Middle East, African Politics or the Politics of the European Union or to take modules offered in the Politics programme. They may also take the Work Experience module offered by the School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Contemporary International Relations
Theory

15

The International Relations of Eurasia

15

International Organisation: Mitigating
Anarchy

15

The Politics of the European Union

15

   

African Politics

15

   

The Modern Middle East

15

   

US Politics

15

   

Russian Politics and Society

15

   

Electors, Voters and Public Opinion

15

   

Environmental Politics and Policy

15

   

British Government and Politics

15

   

Freedom and Equality

15

   

Why Policy Changes

15

   

The Practice of Politics

15

   

Work Experience in Politics, International
Relations and Philosophy

15

 

 

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

English Literature Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3 (Level 6), students take either the English Literature Dissertation module, Creative Writing portfolio (or the dissertation module in their other subject), studied in both semesters and worth 30 credits. Students can choose further modules, which can but need not include English Literature optional modules.

Optional  modules

Credits

Optional  modules

Credits

Dissertation in English Literature (ISP)

30

Film Noir

15

Creative Writing Portfolio (ISP)

30

Freedom and Death

15

Literature and Society

15

Wild Woods and Wide Worlds: British and American Children’s Fiction

15

Postcolonial and World Literature in English

15

Shakespearean Stages

15

Contemporary British Fiction

15

Writing at the Borders

15

Shakespeare on Film: Adaptation and Appropriation

15

 Modernist Manifestos and Magazines

15

Sex, Scandal and Society: Eighteenth- Century Writing

15

High Culture: Drink, Drugs, and the American Dream

15

The Alcohol Question

15

Words and Pictures: The Contemporary American Graphic Novel

15

Writingscapes

15

That womb where you imprison’d were: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Maternity in the Early Modern Period

15

Gender and Power in Restoration Literature

15

   

Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory

15

   

The Canadian Metropolis

15

   

Modernist Manifestos and Magazines

15

   

 

International Relations Year 3 (Level 6)

In the third year students deepen their knowledge of selected topics in International Relations by choosing to study two or more modules in a range of subjects which vary from year to year but reflect the specialist expertise and active research interests of members of staff. Students taking Combined Honours International Relations may choose to write a research dissertation in International Relations, working under the guidance of a Supervisor who is a member of the academic staff of the School with expertise in the topic chosen by the student.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

None

 

Dissertation in Politics and International
Relations

30

   

The Northern Dimension

15

   

Proliferation

15

   

The Missing Dimension

15

   

Politics of Development

15

   

Israel-Palestine: Key Debates and Issue

15

   

Policing International Order

15

   

Britain and War since 1945: War, Cold War
and Society

15

   

Gendering Global Politics

15

   

Understanding Terrorism and Counter-
terrorism

15

   

Russia and Europe

15

   

The Extreme Right in Western Europe

15

   

The Left in Modern Politics

15

   

Debating the Future of the European Union

15

   

Environmental Politics in the USA

15

   

Modern Russia

15

   

Environmentalism, Environmental Movements and Protest

15

 

Modules - Year Four

If you choose to specialise in English Literature in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation in English Literature

30

Creative Writing Portfolio

30

Literature and Society

15

Film Noir

15

   

Wild Woods and Wide Words: British and American Children’s Fiction

15

Optional modules

Credits

Words and Pictures

15

Lyric Poetry Writing at the Borders

15

The Canadian Metropolis

15

Gender and Power in Restoration Literature

15

High Culture: Drink, Drugs, and the American Dream

15

Postcolonial and World Literature in English

15

   

Contemporary British Fiction

15

Writingscapes

15

That womb where you imprison’d were: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Maternity in the Early Modern Period

15

   

Shakespeare on Film: Adaptation and Appropriation

15

   

The Alcohol Question

15

   

Shakespearean Stages

15

   

Sex, Scandal and Society: Eighteenth- Century Writing

15

   

Modernist Manifestos and Magazines

15

   

 

Students may choose to study elective modules which are offered as part of other programmes in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the University. These include:

  • Modules in other subjects closely related to English Literature such as American Studies, Film Studies or History.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as Media, Culture and Creative Practice.
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for Academic Purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin).
  • Free standing modules related to the development of graduate attributes, student volunteering, and studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme.

 

If you choose to specialise in International Relations in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation in Politics and International
Relations

30

The Northern Dimension

15

   

The Missing Dimension

15

   

Politics of Development

15

   

Israel-Palestine: Key Debates and Issue

15

   

Policing International Order

15

   

Britain and War since 1945: War, Cold War
and Society

15

   

Gendering Global Politics

15

   

Understanding Terrorism and Counter-
terrorism

15

   

Russia and Europe

15

   

The Extreme Right in Western Europe

15

   

The Left in Modern Politics

15

   

Debating the Future of the European Union

15

   

Environmental Politics in the USA

15

   

Modern Russia

15

   

Environmentalism, Environmental Movements and Protest

15

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az