English Literature and Philosophy 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

English Literature and Philosophy interact and complement each other in many ways. Many literary texts, from Thomas More’s Utopia in the 16th century, to 20th-century and 21st-century science fiction, raise deep philosophical issues.

 

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: QV35

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Course Overview

Many philosophers – Ludwig Wittgenstein and Stanley Cavell, for example – have taken language or literature as the subject of their reflections.

Both subjects require students to consider the biggest questions for humankind, and to develop an alert awareness of the use of language, form and narrative in exploring these questions. Ethical and epistemological issues are central to great works of poetry and prose. This programme encourages complementary skills and sensitivities in language use and interpretation. It also offers you options in both Film Studies and Creative Writing. For these reasons, it is a classic and very popular Keele combination; the first student ever to graduate from Keele did so in Philosophy and English.

What will this mean for my future?

Studying English Literature and Philosophy will equip you with a wide range of skills, critical thinking and a superb grounding in understanding the way people think and approach problems, all of which are prized by employers and adaptable to a wide range of careers. You might go into education, the law, finance, government, publishing, the media or the arts, or information management for example.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Ten Problems of Philosophy
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Becoming a Critic
  • Telling Tales
  • Playing Parts

Second year

  • The Pursuit of the Good
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Victorian Performances
  • Post-War British Fiction
  • Age of Shakespeare and Donne
  • Revolution and Restoration
  • Aspects of the Novel

Third year

  • Epistemology and Metaphysics
  • Rorty and the Mirror of Nature
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Lyric Poetry
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Shakespeare on Film
  • Contemporary American Fiction

You can also research and write a dissertation in English Literature and/or Philosophy.

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

Philosophy -  Each year you MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in Philosophy. 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 Philosophy 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

 

Philosophy Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

10 Problems of Philosophy

15

Ancient Philosophy

15

How to Think

15

Continental Philosophy

15

   

Moral Philosophy

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

 

Philosophy Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

Pursuit of the Good

15

Philosophy of Religion

15

Epistemology and Metaphysics I

15

Philosophy of Mind

15

   

Philosophy of Science

15

   

Freedom and Equality

15

   

Work Experience in Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment

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

   

 

Philosophy Year 3 (Level 6)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

None

 

Dissertation in Philosophy

30

   

Philosophy of Art

15

   

Rorty and the Mirror of Nature

15

   

Epistemology and Metaphysics II

15

   

Great Philosophers of the 20th Century

15

   

Philosophy of Language

15

   

Metaphysics

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 Philosophy in your final year, you will study the following modules:

 

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

Dissertation in Philosophy

30

Philosophy of Art

15

   

Rorty and the Mirror of Nature

15

   

Epistemology and Metaphysics II

15

   

Great Philosophers of the 20th Century

15

   

Philosophy of Language

15

   

Metaphysics

15

 

In addition to the programme-approved elective modules listed in this table, students may choose to study modules that are offered as part of other programmes in SPIRE and across the University. These include:

 

  • Modules in other subjects related to Philosophy such as Psychology and Sociology.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as English, History, Politics, International Relations, or the Environment.
  • 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, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.
  • Elective modules related to student volunteering, studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme, employability skills and personal development.

 

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