English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA Q212


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

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.

Additional Notes

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.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 29 January 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT111-4-FY-CO  Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama  Compulsory  30  30 
02  LT182-4-AU-CO  Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism  Compulsory  15  15 
03  LT705-4-SP-CO  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15  15 
04    LT151-4-AU or LT161-4-AU  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    LT109-4-SP or LT137-4-SP or LT171-4-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
06    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    LT210-5-AU or LT218-5-AU  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
02    LT267-5-SP or TH205-5-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
03    LT203-5-FY or option from list  Optional  30  30 
04  LT204-5-FY-CO  Criticism: Practice and Theory  Compulsory  30  30 
05    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT702-6-FY-CO  Placement Year  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
02    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04  LT831-6-FY-CO  Independent Literature Project  Compulsory  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • 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

Learning methods

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.

Assessment methods

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

Learning methods

Learning methods
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 methods

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

Learning methods

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 methods

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

Learning methods

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

Assessment methods

Key skills are assessed through coursework and through the participation mark


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.