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English BA Honours

English is so much more than just a language. Go beyond literature and learn to analyse the world a little differently
October 2022
3 years full-time
5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,700 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Anna Charalambidou

Our course expands on the traditional study of English, giving you the chance to put it into practice.

Explore English language and literature and their effects on the world

Our English degree looks to expand your understanding of what the subject is about through encounters with literary and non-literary texts. You’ll explore how English is used in theatre, poetry, professional and everyday conversations, media texts, non-verbal communication, your own writing, and, of course, novels. Your studies will also integrate language and writing alongside literature. You’ll develop skills in each of these areas and have the opportunity to create and pursue your own path that combines language, literature, and creative writing or focuses on two specifically.

Apply your theoretical and practical skills

Throughout your studies you’ll have plenty of opportunities to put your skills into practice. As part of your studies you’ll produce your own texts in a range of different styles, engage in critical and theoretical debates, explore the work of others, and develop your own investigations.

You can participate in a range of extracurricular activities, including (virtual) West End performances, library and gallery visits, the student-run North London Story Festival and the UK Linguistics Olympiad.

A whole host of different career paths are available after you graduate with a BA in English, as the excellent critical, communication, and creative skills gained on the course are in high demand with many employers. You’ll be able to join fields like publishing, advertising, civil service, politics, plus many more. Many graduates go on to do a PGCE in primary or secondary education with many becoming teachers.

Get the support you need

We know sometimes you’ll need assistance and support when it comes to your studies. During your time with us you will get assistance from a Personal Tutor. If you require a little extra help, we have Student Learning Assistants and Graduate Academic Assistants on hand to help.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the BA English degree?

You will develop an understanding of the global range of work in English by exploring linguistic, literary and creative approaches. You will focus on media, popular and professional texts alongside core literary and creative ones.

You will take four modules a year (if studied full time) over three years. Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to bring your own interests to the assignments and develop key skills and knowledge that will benefit not only your final independent project but also your ambitions and career goals beyond this course.

What skills will you gain?

You will learn how to write in different forms and for different purposes and to give a range of types of presentations. You will gain competence in penetrating communication, and the ability to engage in close reading and rapid analysis. You will develop the ability to draw creatively on your specialist knowledge and skills in English to work in diverse environments such as education, publishing, media and marketing. You will develop distinctive creative, investigative, theoretical and critical skills.


We’ve made temporary changes to some course modules for students starting in 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, there’s info on these updates below.

  • Year 1

    • Language, Literature and Writing (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces key topics and methods for work in English. It develops your ability to reflect on your own practice and personal development within and beyond this programme, and on your career plans. You also develop your ability to produce, interpret and evaluate texts in a range of media and genres, your understanding of methods and approaches used to explore texts and practices, and your understanding of the cultural and other contexts in which texts are produced and circulated.

    • Global Englishes (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores how the English language varies among geographical regions, different social groups and individuals. You will learn how to recognise and describe phonological and grammatical variation in language use and will track the development of English from a language of a small island in Europe to the global lingua franca it is today. You will develop your own empirical projects, investigating local, new and international Englishes.

    • Writing and the Contemporary World (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you explore different ways in which we make sense of the world and communicate with others through creative or professional writing. You will develop your reading and writing skills through exploration of a wide range of literary or journalistic forms and through writing practice in these forms. You will practise reflective evaluation of your own and other’s creative work through self and peer review.

    • Literary Analysis (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces you to the various methods of interpreting literature, and develops skills for personal critical analysis of prose, poetry and drama. You will learn about some classic texts and literary traditions from Shakespeare to the present, as well as examining how contemporary literature engages with and challenges past traditions. The module also examines one sub-genre such as fairy tale to explore how the form expands in relation to changing social and political contexts, looking at how texts are adapted and transformed by contemporary writers. Indicative writers studied include T. S. Eliot, Angela Carter and Zadie Smith.

  • Year 2

    • Research, Practice and Professional Communication (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you focus on the role of research and practice in English and connect this to professional contexts. You will create texts using particular techniques and critically appraise them for literary, creative and academic purposes. You will also develop your practical and collaborative research skills,, your ability to communicate in professional contexts, and prepare for your independent project in your final year.

  • Year 2 optional modules - choose three modules from the following:

    • Language Acquisition (30 credits) - Optional

      This module explores how humans learn to speak and how this differs from communication by other species. It introduces a range of methods used to explore this question and key theoretical approaches. You will explore work on the stages involved in language acquisition, and on how language and language acquisition interact with other aspects of cognition, with other kinds of communicative and non-communicative behaviour, and with environmental factors.

    • Language and Identities (30 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will explore the dynamic relationship between language and identities. You will examine how language shapes and is shaped by aspects of social identity, such as gender, sexuality, age, social class, culture, ethnicity, and institutional identities and roles. You will research identities in spoken, written, and electronic texts, applying key notions from interactional and critical approaches to linguistics.

    • Writing Short Scripts (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will help you to understand the particular demands, constraints and potentials of the short film form. It will help you to understand the significance of story structure, visual storytelling and characterisation in conveying meaning and affect and how screenplays are written on the page. You will conceive, research and develop a short screen story, write and rewrite a short dramatic script, taking account of and evaluating feedback, including peer group feedback, and evaluate the completed work critically and analytically, formatting your screenplay to industry standards.

    • Writing Short Fiction (30 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will develop your fiction-writing skills through medium of the short story. We'll explore a range of classic short stories, from Medieval tales, through canonical writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Anton Chekhov, to contemporary flash fiction and fantasy. Through work-shopped exercises, you will develop your skills in such key techniques of fiction as narrative voice, setting and atmosphere, pace and suspense, character and dialogue, and we will also learn about the distinctive and exciting publishing environment for short fiction.

    • Reality, Fantasy and Metafiction (30 credits) - Optional

      This module explores the literary modes of realism, the anti-real and the fantastic in literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, looking at how these forms developed and how they adapt to a changing world. It considers philosophical discussions of reality, literature as social commentary and the role of the imagination. You will continue the development of your expertise through critical readings and comparative analysis of mimesis, metafiction, magical realism and fantasy to develop an appreciation of their diverse purposes and manifestations. We will look at writers such as Samuel Beckett, Lewis Carroll, Jackie Kay and J. K. Rowling.

  • Year 3

    • Independent Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module you will design and carry out your own independent project, which can take the form of an investigative project and report; a critical and theoretical discussion; or a creative project with reflection. Workshops will help you to develop a proposal and you will then work independently with advice from a designated supervisor to complete your project.

  • Year 3 optional modules - choose three modules from the following:

    • Teaching Englishes (30 credits) - Optional

      This module explores issues around the teaching of varieties of English in first and second language contexts. You will consider pedagogical, practical and policy issues, explore theories of language teaching and learning, and develop aspects of your own teaching philosophy which you will put into practice in preparing lesson plans and delivering parts of lessons to other students.

    • Media Communication (30 credits) - Optional

      This module helps you to develop an understanding of contemporary multimodal communication. Focusing on media texts, you will explore the relationships between verbal and nonverbal modes and between different genres and different media. You will explore the variety of social and cultural forms and contexts of textual production, interpretation and communication. You will develop skills in textual analysis focusing on the roles of language, structure, form and reader in communication and interpretation. You will also explore the concept of mediation and a number of theories of media communication.

    • Writing Reality (30 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will develop your understanding of how close reading of nonfiction, including forms such as travel and history writing, biography and memoir, can help you to develop your own creative writing abilities within these genres. It explores the nature of the self, its presentation in text, and the depiction of other lives, helping you to adopt different narrative structures and styles in your own work. It explores the notion of place and voice in nonfiction writing and helps you to understand how research informs writing while developing an understanding of styles found within the various forms and your own practice.

    • Writing for Popular Markets (30 credits) - Optional

      This module explores the tropes and subjects of popular fiction, including such genres as fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, erotic fiction, historical fiction, and crime (The Whodunit and True Crime). It looks at genre-specific plot-shapes, settings, literary devices and characterisation, in addition to the variation offered by related sub-genres. It explores the contextualisation of new creative work within the marketplace and contemporary society, as well as analysing certain genre-defining classics. Taking all of the above on board, you will develop plot-outlines, write initial drafts, receive feedback from beta-readers and professional writers, and then produce final drafts.

    • Identities and Global Literature (30 credits) - Optional

      This module examines representations of identity in relation to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class and nationality in global literature. Texts will be analysed using gender theory,  critical race theory (CRT), Marxist literary theory and postcolonial theory, in order to appreciate the 'intersectionality', 'history' and 'politics' that define identity. The module also considers the impact of globalisation on literature in English, examining how classic and contemporary novels challenge established categories of nationality and identity, and how they represent the transnational movement of characters experiencing hybridity and multi-rootedness. Texts studied can include Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Indian and African poetry written in English. The first half of the module tends to focus on identity within the British Isles, while the second term tends to focus on identity beyond the British Isles.

    • Work Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      This module helps you to develop your skills and practices at an appropriate professional level in the workplace, in industries relevant to the rest of your work on the programme. It enables you to locate and reflect on your academic learning in the day-to-day operation of industries and institutions and to prepare for carrying forward the outcomes of your studies into professional life.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning in 2021/22
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

Throughout the year, our students produce, create and work on a multitude of projects.

Recently they have worked in partnership with Haringey Sixth Form Centre to produce Haringey Unchained - a magazine dedicated to showcasing the creative talents of the students.

Read some more examples of our student's work below.

  • Yvonne Alexander-Taylor

    First year English BA student

    My Dearest Pearl,

    Your name is as precious as you are dear to me. I desperately need your help. I'm afraid my past has caught up with me and now I have found myself in deep dung. I'm alone at the moment and I thought the best thing to do is write to you as it may help. You are the only one that has always helped me out of these kind of situations before.

    I am trapped. Trapped in the deepest darkest dungeon of desire. I don't know how to escape. I have tried each cell, each lock, each path and I seem to end up twisted in the wrath and tangles of this emotional wreckage. The forces are strong, I am weak. This is one demon that wants to take me under his wings but as I look I can see that the wings are different. One of hope and one of loss, however the loss seems so attached; attached to my being...

    Continue reading Yvonne's epistolary writing

  • Melissa Nabre

    First year English BA student

    Here, could you finish this for me? It’s her milk, but she’s finally cried herself to sleep and it would be a waste so just drink the rest, will you?

    No! Don’t try to take her from me, I’m finally able to hold her without wanting to throw her into a wall so I want to hold her for a little longer.

    She’s so cute, now that she’s quiet. I never realised how much I loved her until now.

    Even just moments ago, I hated her to the very bone, even though she was my own daughter.

    No matter what I did, she just wouldn’t stop crying.

    I gave her milk, I changed her diaper, I threw her, I played with her, I slapped her, I even tried to use my pillow to shut her up but she just wouldn’t stop crying.

    I hated it. I was so sick of it...

    Continue reading Melissa's short story

  • Zhengqing Li

    Exchange English BA student

    Affection between family members originates from blood ties and close relationships, but sometimes it is not related to bloodlines.

    My grandparents told me that Miss Liu came to my home soon after I was born and became a babysitter. She was born in Anhui, but her Mandarin was extremely good. At that time, she was slim and worked very well. Perhaps because we were her first employer, she always did everything to the best of her ability.

    At that time I was a crazy man and always acted up in front of others. I often stuck stickers on her clothes when she was doing laundry and chased her, to braid her long hair. Sometimes I pulled her hair hard. She was in pain but seldom lost her temper. All she did was to solemnly tell me not to treat others like that...

    Continue reading Zhengqing's non-fiction writing

How can the BA English support your career?

The excellent professional communication, critical and creative skills of English graduates are highly valued by all employers in the private and public sector. This course will leave you ideally placed for a range of employment opportunities in:

  • Teaching
  • Copywriting
  • Creative writing
  • Publishing
  • Marketing, branding, advertising, PR
  • Journalism
  • Creative industries
  • Civil service

Our recent graduates have forged successful careers in:

  • Primary, secondary and further education
  • English language teaching
  • Speech therapy
  • Advertising
  • Politics
  • Financial services
  • HR and recruitment
  • Business development planning

Dr Anna Charalambidou
Programme leader

Dr Charalambidou researches how the way we talk in everyday conversations is shaped by our age, gender, linguistic and sociocultural background. She is particularly interested in language and ageing, and in the concepts of tradition and authenticity in and through language. Her publications include a co-authored book on the construction of authenticity in national foods and drinks and papers on old-age and gender identities, joke-tellings, conversational recipe, and police-citizen encounters. She is currently leading a project on accent diversity in Higher Education. She enjoys teaching sociolinguistics and supporting students through their own investigative projects.

James Kenworth
Lecturer in Media Narrative

James is an acclaimed playwright. His writing includes ‘verse-prose’ plays, black comedy, issue-led plays (about elder abuse and dementia), plays for young people/schools and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays; When Chaplin Met GandhiRevolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie. His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award. James is currently working on his new play Alice in Canning Town, a contemporary, urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, reconfigured for the East End and performed site-specific in Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town. He is a PhD by Public Works candidate.

Professor Paul Cobley
Professor in Language and Media

Professor Cobley is interested in the way in which language and communication are distributed across a wide range of different forms. Being concerned with how texts appear in numerous different media, therefore, he has been particularly drawn to the study of popular narrative and genres. Because there are many such texts, he believes that we need to develop short-hand ways to recognise certain kinds of texts and how they operate. For him, this is precisely the work which enables humans to know their environment more precisely, to achieve more in life and advance as a species. His latest books include Cultural Implications of Biosemiotics (Springer, 2016), Narrative (Routledge, 2013) and The American Thriller: Generic Innovation and Social Change in the 1970s (Palgrave, 2000).

Dr Adam Lively
Lecturer in Creative Writing

Dr Lively has published four novels and two non-fiction books (including Masks: Blackness, Race and the Imagination (Chatto/Oxford University Press)), as well as short stories and journalism for the national press. He has worked as a writer/producer of television documentaries, including the multi award-winning Jihad: The Men and Ideas behind Al Qaeda (PBS/Channel 4). His doctorate, from the University of London, was for a thesis on philosophical and psychological approaches to narrative, and he continues to research and publish in that field. He is currently working on a collection of interlinked stories titled The Central Line, and he regularly reviews fiction for the Sunday Times.

Dr Pauline Madella
Academic in English Language’

Dr Madella is an applied linguist with expertise in cognitive pragmatics, the simultaneous use of intonation and gesture in the expression and interpretation of intentions. Her doctoral research explored how increased alertness to the speaker’s non-verbal communicative behaviours can foster more sophisticated interpretive abilities in Chinese second language listeners. She researches multimodality and teaching the sounds of English (as a second language) in digital environments. Pauline's broader interests include language variation and change, pragmatics and writing, corpus stylistics, and nonsense literature and the teaching of linguistics.


Dr Adam Dalton
Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing

Dr Dalton has previously taught at both Manchester Metropolitan University and Falmouth University. Under the author name A J Dalton, he is an author of fantasy, science fiction, horror, crime and literary fiction, with both Empire of the Saviours and The Book of Angels listed for a number of literary prizes. He also publishes academically on English literature and creative writing; his most recent title The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Dr Dalton teaches on both our BA and MA programmes, and also supervises PhDs in English literature and creative writing.

  • Kvetoslava Drabikova

    English BA graduate

    The support from teachers and MyUnihelp was amazing! As I transferred from a Slovak University, I was a bit worried at the beginning if I’d adapt to the new systems and different teaching methods. But, thanks to the great support and the really interesting modules, I was able to adapt very quickly and enjoyed my studies here.

    I am now applying the strong communication and project management skills I developed in my career. I am working for a media company at Bankside London Bridge* and into finance. I am currently looking after one of the major supplier accounts around the globe. I really enjoy it.

    Thank you Middlesex!

    *Omnicon Media Group was recently recognised as one of the top media agencies in the world by WARC.

  • Amanda Emery

    English BA graduate

    When I graduated from this course, I was lucky enough to get a brilliant job as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant for the NHS. I hadn't even heard of the profession before but my tutor mentioned that previous student had found successful careers in the role.

    I was able to work with the NHS for a year to gain experience for my Masters application and was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the NHS funded programme and become a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. I currently work with children with complex needs and children who are deaf.

  • English BA graduate

    During the final year of my degree, I found myself curious about the world of finance, in particular the world of Banking. However, considering I was studying a degree in English, I assumed this would be highly unlikely. But since graduating, I have worked at Mizuho Bank as a Credit Risk Analyst, then moved onto work at Credit Suisse as a Trade Support Analyst within the Fixed Income Bonds market.

  • Tasnim Ahmed

    English BA graduate

    I graduated in 2016 and started my teacher training shortly after. I am currently completing my NQT year as a Teacher of English at Chiltern Academy, a brand new secondary school in Luton which opened in September 2018. It has been an incredible experience right from the beginning, especially being part of the journey to making our first year at Chiltern a success. I have recently been promoted to the role of Subject Coordinator and look forward to further facilitating and encouraging the learning of English as well as developing our curriculum to ensure all our pupils achieve the best possible outcome. I strongly feel that my degree has enabled me to secure (what I believe) is the best job in the world! Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you are making an impact and inspiring the next generation.

    Have a look at Chiltern Academy’s Twitter to see what Tasnim’s pupils have been doing in English this year.

  • Hiba Hussein

    English BA graduate

    After graduating, I went on to do a PGCE and I have almost finished my second year as a teacher at Haverstock School in Camden. It is an inner London comprehensive school with a very diverse body of students and staff. I am really enjoying teaching and inspiring young people and am currently gathering the experience and skills to move on to a more pastoral leadership role in the future such as head of year.

  • Rosie Peacey

    English BA graduate

    I have had a wonderful time on this course. This has been an amazing experience and has given me the opportunity to extend and improve my knowledge of English, as well as having fun and making friends.

    After Middlesex, I secured a place to do a PGCE in Primary Education. My time at Middlesex has helped me in providing me with skills for: writing for different purposes; improving my communication and performance skills; and also improving my ability to critically reflect on my own work.

  • Georgi Yordanov

    English BA graduate

    Studying at Middlesex was a great experience and a path that gave me the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies and to take my career in an international scale.

    My experience at Middlesex University was a real roller-coaster. I loved the University from the first moment (from the huge green yard and massive library building to meeting great people and learning from their experiences). My favourite topic was language and gender. I became a better person after these three years at Middlesex and a fully educated man.

  • Alicjia Rutkowska

    English BA graduate

    That’s what I got from Middlesex: confidence to ask for support every time I need it. Studying here was the experience of my life. I especially enjoyed spending time with my friends, the library that is open 24/7 and the incredible atmosphere at university. My lecturers inspired me to always be curious and think critically.

  • Yu-Hsuan Chen

    English BA graduate

    I've had a really good experience at Middlesex despite only studying here for my final year. I learned a lot from every modules and the teachers and classmates were amazing, kind and helpful. I also enjoyed spending time in the library, it has so many great resources and is open 24 hours.

  • Bircan Hassan

    English BA graduate

    I really enjoyed studying English at Middlesex. The module teachers were very supportive and the feedback on my work helped me to improve.

  • Jade Denmark

    English BA graduate

    I've really enjoyed studying BA English over the past three years. The modules were well organised and provided me with the skills and knowledge I need for my future career. The module leaders were all really helpful and supportive throughout my studies.

    Middlesex provided me with the skills, knowledge and confidence required for the graduate job market. Since graduating I have worked in recruitment and  I am now looking to use the skills and knowledge I developed at Middlesex to begin my teacher training in English.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

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Start: September 2022

Duration: 1 year full-time

Code: Q3X1

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