English at Aston University was ranked top 5 for ‘spend per student’ (Guardian, 2023).
95.5% of students felt positive about teaching on their course (English Language and Literature; National Student Survey, 2023)
English at Aston University was ranked 12th in the UK for ‘graduate prospects’ (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2023).
English at Aston University was ranked 1st in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on-track’ (Complete University Guide, 2022).
Course outline and modules
What you’ll learn
The English Language and Literature programme has been designed with your future in mind, linking your studies to professionally relevant contexts with practical applications. It is directly informed by the research expertise of our staff, who specialise in disciplines including literary linguistics, forensic linguistics, language education, workplace communication, corpus linguistics, and contemporary and historical literature.
We study everything from poetry and plays to news reporting and social media, providing you with the opportunity to develop skills in linguistic analysis, while exploring literary genres from Shakespeare to post-apocalyptic science fiction, considering periods from the seventeenth century to the present day. You’ll study literacy as a social practice and explore how and why people read and write at all levels of society. You’ll develop theoretical knowledge, cutting-edge linguistic skills, and techniques in close reading and literary analysis, with applications in legal, educational, and business contexts and beyond. We will train you to critically engage with a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, and you’ll have the chance to develop your skills as a writer through our creative writing module.
We will equip you with the knowledge and analytical skills that will enable you to think critically and work independently. This includes how to design a research project, interrogate texts rigorously, collect and handle data and, most importantly, develop an advanced analytical mindset. This training will be essential for your final-year dissertation, during which you will carry out your own individual research project. This experience will provide you with a skillset that is highly desired in a wide range of industries and areas of work.
The integrated placement year offers the chance to apply your learning in a work or study placement in the UK or overseas. Whether you choose to study abroad, work for a company or to teach, Aston University’s links with employers, schools and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability.
- Information for international applicants
Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.
Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.
For more information on applying as an international student, visit our webpage: www.aston.ac.uk/international/students-applying
Post-study work visa
Graduate Immigration Route
Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics while group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.
For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS
- Year 1
- Introduction to Language Study
- Introduction to Discourse Analysis
- Language and Society
- The Novel through Time
- Reading Poetry
- Rewriting Shakespeare
- Year 2
- Reading and Society
- Writing and Ideology
- Written Text Analysis
- Spoken Discourse Analysis
- Post-apocalyptic Fiction
- Introduction to Corpus Linguistics
- Literature in Film
- Professional Communication
- English Language Teaching
- Language at Work
- The Language of the Law
- Language in the News Media
- Language and Style
- Crime Fiction
- Year 3
The Aston placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and is compulsory for all home students. International/EU students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.
- Final Year
- Cognition and Style
- Marriage in Literature: Class, Race, Gender and Money
- Language and Literature in Education
- Ghouls, Goths and Vampires
- Reading and Wellbeing
- Creative Writing
- Learning English
- Multimodal Communication
- Language as Evidence
- Leadership and Management Communication
- Advanced Leadership and Management Communication
- Language Contact and Globalisation
- Advanced Corpus Linguistics
- Child Language Development
Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.
- A Levels
BBC (standard offer)
BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
BCC (contextual offer*)
29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects.
Standard level Maths and English grade 4 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
- BTEC, Access & other
BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)
The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.
We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.
- T Levels
The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:
- T-Level - Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D
- T-Level - Digital Production, Design and Production Grade D
- T-Level – Education and Childcare Grade D
- T-Level – Onsite Construction Grade D
- T-Level – Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D
- T-Level – Digital Business Services Grade D
- T-Level – Digital Support Services Grade D
- T-Level – Health Grade D
- T-Level – Healthcare Science Grade D
- T-Level – Science Grade D
GCSE Maths – grade C/4
GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4
- Learn more about admission to this course
Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).
Entry onto our Foundation Programme may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved. Aston University welcomes applications from students with a wide range of qualifications from the UK and overseas, including combinations of qualifications. If your qualifications are not listed here and you wish to check whether they meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the university.
Please note that General Studies does not contribute towards the UCAS points requirement but is welcomed as an additional qualification.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.
For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.
Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. Find out more.
*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.
Learning, teaching and assessment
Learning and teaching
You will engage in a range of learning activities including lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, group work, project work, and independent study. Many of your modules will be taught in a seminar format, bridging theoretical input with practical activities, and allowing you to develop your understanding in discussion with your tutor and fellow students. You will complete a major piece of independent research (a dissertation) in the final year.
At university, there is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies.
To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in a standardised online learning environment, which provides full details of all modules, including week-by-week breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.
Assessment is through a combination of exams, coursework, essays, portfolios, presentations, and an extended dissertation in your Final Year. Exams take place in January and May/June.
The course will develop your communication, critical thinking, team working and presentation skills - all of which are in high demand by employers. What’s more, you’ll undertake an integrated placement year during the course to further boost your employability.
Dr Robbie Love (English)
Fees and scholarships
UK students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: £9,250
During placement year: £1,250
International/EU students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: TBC
During placement year: £2,500
The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.
Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.
At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.
The course will develop your communication, critical thinking, team working and presentation skills - all of which are in high demand by employers across a range of sectors and industries. What’s more, you’ll undertake an integrated placement year during the course to further boost your employability. English graduates go on to a variety of professions in industries including publishing, marketing, education, journalism, entertainment, politics, and law.
Our English Language and Literature graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers, with former Aston students now working at companies such as Bibby Financial Services, IBM, Interserve, CapGemini, Virgin Active and the BBC. Recent graduates have gone on to work in roles including: Analyst, Digital Marketer, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Project Manager, Recruitment Administrator, Senior Account Executive and Languages Teacher.
Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.
The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.
Frequently asked questions
- Why study English Language and Literature at Aston University?
You can pursue your interest in the English language alongside your passion for English literature, providing you with a great springboard for a wide range of careers. UK businesses say the most important skill they want to see in their workforce over the next 10 years is communication (LifeSkills by Barclays, 2019).
Employed Aston University English graduates earn £5,300 (23 per cent) more than the UK average, five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2021). English at Aston University was ranked 2nd in the UK for ‘graduate prospects’ (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021). A whole range of potential careers are available after graduating, across the public, private, and third sectors.
- Why do a placement year at Aston University?
The innovative Aston University placement year offers the chance to apply your learning in a work or study placement in the UK or overseas. Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work. Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.
- Why should international students choose Aston University?
Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study – it is also a great place to live.
Aston University's professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence, and opportunities, and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.
Choosing to start your Aston University journey with our Foundation Programme in Social Sciences will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.