(BA) Bachelor of Arts
English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
A-levels: ABB, including an essay based subject
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655, including a Higher Level essay based subject grade 5.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied -advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Doug Haynes
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture University of Sussex
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
- To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum focused on the study of comparative literature in theoretical contexts.
- To enable students to exercise their own judgements across a range of genres and literatures.
- To acquaint students with a range of theoretical and comparative frameworks.
- To enable students to think critically about their own reading and writing.
- To provide the knowledge and skills (creative and intellectual development, critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written and spoken communication and presentation) to stand students in good stead for more specialised academic study, as well as enhancing their graduate careers.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: A range of literatures, from the early modern to the present day, including the understanding of a variety of modes (poetry, fiction, drama)
A2: A range of key approaches to writing from Anglo-American to Caribbean to European.
A3: Major literary and theoretical figures in the field and major literary tendencies or movements
A4: The relationship between literature and culture and an awareness of the writers role in creating cultural change
A5: Key methods of literary analysis and research and writing skills
A6: The function of influence and diverse traditions in understanding comparative literature
A7: Specialised study in the final year in the form of an independent project
1-7 are acquired through lectures, classes, workshops and continually assessed coursework. Classes focus on textual examples and give emphasis to student discussion and/or presentation, preparing argumentative and analytical skills for formal assessment. In addition, students extend and enhance knowledge and understanding of writings they study in classes by independent research.
Formal assessment of student skills, knowledge and understanding (1-7) takes place through coursework essays, presentations, portfolios and group projects.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Show an ability to engage in the practice of comparative criticism and critical writing
B2: Show an ability to reflect critically on their own work and that of others
B3: Read complex texts and comment cogently on them
B4: Reason critically and argue coherently
B5: Think independently and creatively
Intellectual and cognitive skills are initiated through lectures, classes and workshops in year 1 and 2, as well as one-to-one tutorials where appropriate. The seminar- based work of year 3, like that of Years 1 and 2, encourages critical discussion arising from the analysis and interpretation of set texts with an emphasis on being able to reason cogently, argue coherently and present one's own viewpoint persuasively. Year 3 students are guided towards the acquisition of a reflective understanding of their comparative judgements, and the critical positions they and others employ. This is done through in situ feedback (formally and informally, as appropriate) in oral and written presentations, group based critical discussions and the analysis and interpretation of texts.
Assessment is by coursework essays, presentations, writing assignments, portfolios, and group projects.
C: Practical skills
C1: A vocabulary and a critical and analytical terminology for the analysis of writing
C2: An ability to write on a variety of literatures and modes and genres
C3: A capacity for working independently and under guidance
C4: The use of accepted conventions of presenting essays, references and bibliographies, and an ability to challenge these conventions
C5: An effective style or range of styles to convey a range of responses as readers of literary texts
C6: A range of methods to research projects
Practical writing skills are developed through practice in workshops, group activities and the development of writing skills through peer review and reflective practice and research
Assessment is by coursework essays, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects and capstone project
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focussed, relevant and effective written communication and oral communication
D2: Use appropriate IT to research and present material
D3: Basic grasp of numeracy as it relates to literary form eg. sestina
D4: Management of projects and timetables, finding, understanding, organising and creatively processing information
D5: Ability to read an argument in seminar discussion, engage in workshopping constructively, engage in collaborative projects, ability to work in group contexts
D6: Receptivity to feedback
The six relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree, and are supported in their development by seminar work, feedback on essays, and key skills packages
Key skills are assessed through coursework and through the participation mark