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Level 6

UCAS Code: QV31
Institution Code: S82

English and History are natural complements for each other.  History provides a vital framework for understanding literary texts in relation to their cultural context; the written word, in its many forms and varieties, provides a substantial part of the material with which historians work.  To study the subjects in combination provides the student with both subject-specific knowledge and the additional intellectual enrichment that comes from an inter-disciplinary approach.  We have developed a strong philosophy of encouraging appreciation of the contemporary relevance of  both subjects and of supporting students with a wide range of abilities, needs and interests. 

English on this course is designed to represent literature from as wide a range of periods, cultural contexts and global varieties as possible, providing a stimulating, engaging and diverse experience of literature to include a comparable balance of poetry, prose and drama.  We have developed a very strong philosophy of encouraging enthusiasm for literature and supporting students with a wide range of abilities, needs and interests.  The History on this course is designed to develop students' understanding of historical processes through the study of a range of periods and geographical contexts, promoting awareness of continuity and change.  Modules span the early modern period to the present and embrace three identifiable strands: British Social and Cultural History, Family and Community History and Comparative European and Imperial History.  Over the course of study, students experience key varieties of history with their distinctive focus, theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches.

Assessments are varied encompassing site and field studies, research projects as in the oral history module 'Listening to the Past', as well as more traditional essay and report based assessments. As a whole the module and assessment diet is designed to foster advanced skills of critical engagement with both the raw materials of history i.e. a range of documentary, visual and literary sources as well as key works of historical scholarship.   

Highly qualified staff with a real passion for English and History and teaching deliver all modules and offer students considerable personal attention and support throughout the course.  A key advantage of studying with us is that class sizes are smaller than in many other institutions.  This facilitates varied and innovative teaching methods include lectures, seminars, workshops, group projects, trips, oral history and one-to-one discussion.


Course aims:


  • To provide an intellectually satisfying and worthwhile experience of studying and learning within the distinctive frameworks of English and History
  • To encourage the development of intellectual maturity, openness of mind and an imaginative and creative approach to problem-solving
  • To enable students to develop a capacity for sophisticated analytical thinking and judgement
  • To enable students to develop a range of subject specific and transferable skills of value in employment including high-order skills in oral and written communication and in the gathering, interpretation and presentation of information
  • To provide the opportunity for students to gain confidence in working both independently and as a member or leader of a group or team
  • To prepare students to undertake further study in English, History and in related disciplines.


Extra-curricular activities                                                                                                                           
Students' experience is enriched by organized visits to the theatre and to museums, galleries and conferences when appropriate.  There is an annual trip to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London and there are occasional foreign residential visits.  These have included trips to Berlin, Madrid and Athens in recent years.  We also run an annual English and History conference at which students can enjoy and benefit from lectures by a variety of guest speakers. 

Visiting speakers
Enrichment is also provided by academics from other universities who are regularly invited to give guest lectures.  This is enormously stimulating for students who gain new perspectives on the theme or period being studied. 

Among comments from students are the following:
'A brilliant experience all round; it has really changed my life by giving me confidence in my abilities as well as introducing me to some fascinating books.'

'The course is very interesting and challenging.  The lecturers are always enthusiastic and very well-informed about their subjects.  There is always a lot of very helpful feedback on essays.'

Teaching is by lecture, seminar and academic tutorial. The tuition is enhanced by appearances from guest speakers and by visits to museums, theatre productions and art galleries. All class-based tuition is delivered at Degree Studies at West Suffolk College.

A Module Booklet containing materials on analysing prose fiction, short stories, essays/secondary critical materials will be supplied by tutors.

Academic Tutorials

Academic tutorials enable you to meet with tutors to discuss questions arising from subject matter in general or specific questions related to your academic work. They may take place on a one-to-one basis or in small groups and they assume particular importance during the preparation of assessed coursework and when reflecting on marked coursework after it has been returned to you.

Personal tutorials 

Personal tutorials i.e. support and/or advice about non-academic matters affecting your study, can be arranged with the HE Support Tutor. A range of confidential specialist welfare support services are available:


  • Finance 
  • Counselling 
  • Personal matters affecting your study 
  • Liaison point for access to specialist university Ipswich Student Support services such as careers information and guidance, academic appeals


Study Skills Support
Study skills support can help you to gain or improve the underpinning skills you need to succeed in your degree studies. Degree Studies at West Suffolk College provides workshops in the following subjects: Academic writing, Dissertation skills, Library skills for HE, avoiding plagiarism, Harvard referencing, Information Technology, Mathematics & Statistics, Exam preparation and using e-resources effectively.


The skills you will acquire during the course include high-level written and oral communication skills, the ability to understand complex text, research and information-management skills, time-management and organisational skills.  These are applicable in a range of employment categories including teaching, management, journalism and the media, law, administration and others.  Teaching, either in the school or tertiary sector, is a popular progression route but students have also found work with local museums, charities, businesses and government organizations.   Suitably qualified students also progress to postgraduate study at MA or PhD level.


*Subject to validation

UCAS Code: VL33
Institution Code: S82

History and Sociology each have their own theoretical underpinning and academic conventions and the study of both disciplines provides a valuable opportunity to develop more versatile skills and perspectives as well as an appreciation of interdisciplinary connections. Applying ideas from one discipline should also enhance the student s understanding and enjoyment of the other. Combining the study of two subjects is both challenging and rewarding, increasingly appealing to self-motivated, independent-minded students who are intellectually and vocationally ambitious. In History you can study the social, cultural and economic development of modern society you can then want to explore victorian literature.

The course team have a commitment to high quality teaching and learning. They use a range of different assessment strategies to assess and facilitate student learning and include: unseen examinations; seen, open-book or take-away examinations; essays and reports; critical reviews, book reviews, workshop reports, analytical exercises; individual or group presentations; a dissertation, computer-based assessments and informed discussion and debate via module seminars and blogs.  


Graduates of combined honours degrees have the advantage of a broader academic viewpoint, having developed valuable transferable skills as well as sound knowledge of History and Sociology, providing excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Graduates are now far more likely to change jobs during their working life, so having two areas of expertise and skills can pay dividends. Employers are increasingly prioritising the need for people who have a range of subject knowledge and skills and are not necessarily looking for a particular discipline. As History is a recognised National Curriculum subject, a popular career route is in teaching after Post-graduate training.


*Subject to validation

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