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English and History

English and History

Why study English and History at Warwick?

Literature and History are vitally intertwined. On this course you'll think about, question, and blur the line between them: how history always involves modes of representation that are themselves literary, and how literature has imagined and influenced the political and social contours of history.

The subjects of history and literary studies share many common concerns. Both ask questions about how human experience is written and recorded – in the past and in the present – and both probe the relationship between what is real and what is represented. Taught across the Departments of History and English and Comparative Literary Studies, this innovative degree will allow you to address these issues from a variety of angles and through a wide range of option modules that span time and geography: from the medieval to the contemporary, and from Britain to America and the Caribbean.

You will become adept at reading in different ways, on the one hand assessing large quantities of information taken from historical sources (including texts, images, and film), and on the other hand carefully unpacking the details and techniques of just a few lines of a poem, play, or novel. First and foremost, we encourage you to develop your own ideas and arguments, to critically analyse what others say and write – and to reflect upon how the disciplines of history and literature might best speak to one another, today and in the future.

How will my degree be structured?

In your first year you'll take the core module History and Textuality, which will get you thinking about how the subjects of history and literature interact. In The Making of the Modern World, you'll tackle the major concepts of modern history, such as democracy, imperialism, and revolution. And by taking either Epic into Novel or Medieval to Renaissance English Literature you'll delve into classic texts and ask questions about the forms and genres we've used to tell stories across the centuries.

In your second year you’ll get to choose from amongst the modules on offer by the English and History departments as well as taking a further core module, Writing History: Truth, Memory, and Fiction, which considers the myriad ways in which history has been written, re-written, imagined, and staged.

Finally, in your third year you will write a specific English and History dissertation, with a main supervisor in one department and a nominated contact in the other department. Then you’ll have a free choice of modules offered by – or beyond – the Departments and will have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your strengths and interests.

If you'd like a more detailed overview of the degree's structure, you'll find one here.

How will I be taught?

At Warwick you will experience a varied combination of seminars, tutorials, lectures and workshops. Some of your modules might include field trips. In your first year you lay the foundations for your future studies, and you will study modules that give you a strong grounding in the different approaches and skills central to the study of English and History.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will usually take the form of both coursework and examination, but some of your modules might have creative options as well. Coursework will include essays, reports, data analysis, oral presentations, mini-projects and a final-year dissertation based on your own research.

Study abroad

If you wish to spend a year abroad (which we thoroughly recommend), this will take place in your third year, meaning that you will complete your degree in four years instead of three. All students have the opportunity to apply for a year abroad at one of our partner universities.

The Study Abroad Team offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance. If you prefer to organise a work placement for yourself, we will support you in this as much as we can.

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