Our four-year BA Literature and Sociology (including foundation year), will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills in order to support your academic performance.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.
Studying literature alongside sociology means that you can investigate what connects people with each other, as well as what divides them. We consider every aspect of our daily lives, from how we relate to politicians, celebrities and friends, to how we define ourselves, our families, and others. You can study topics ranging from digital media and society, to psychiatry and mental illness, to Japanese culture, to the art, film and personal testimony of war.
Topics from both literature and sociology you can choose from include:
- Modernist cityscapes in literature
- Writing of the US South
- Victorian literary realism
- Culture, identity and subjectivity
- Citizenship, multiculturalism and human rights
Our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies offers modules which examine a variety of genres, including travel writing, the podcast, and autobiography among others, and work across different media, including books, newspapers, plays and film. From the English Civil War to dystopian literature and film, our modules not only span momentous historical, political and social worldwide events, but also examine the alternative worlds that literature has produced.
Meanwhile our Department of Sociology is rated Top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014) and we are ranked among the top 50 departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2020) for English language and literature.
Our expert staff
We have some of the best teachers across the University in our Essex Pathways Department, all of whom have strong subject backgrounds and are highly skilled in their areas.
Our world-leading sociology academics have their fingers on the pulse of modern society; whether it’s the battle between Apple and Spotify or the exploitation of female bodybuilders, we embed our innovative and sometimes controversial research into your course.
As well as publishing bestselling books, our academics have appeared in radio and television broadcasts such as Professor Mike Roper on the BBC World Service broadcast, London: The Psychology of War and Professor Pam Cox in the BBC TWO series Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter and Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs.
Our literature staff specialise in a range of areas including modernism, comparative and world literature, Shakespeare, the Renaissance, travel writing, nature writing, translated literature, cultural geography, Irish and Scottish writing, U.S. and Caribbean literature, and the history of reading.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials.
- Our Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends.
Take advantage of our other extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
- Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates
- Meet fellow readers at the student-run Literature Society or at the department’s Myth Reading Group
- Learn from leading writers and literature specialists at weekly research seminars
- Write for our student magazine Rebel or host a Red Radio show
Sociology and literature students can acquire key skills in communication, time-management, research and analysis, and good standards of presentation.
The number of careers that lead from courses in literature and creative writing is almost as large as the number of graduates. Two particular areas in which graduates have had recent success are publishing and the theatre.
In addition, former students of our Department have become professional writers, or have gone into teaching, journalism, broadcasting, marketing, film and video production, museum and library work, graphics and printing, finance, and the Civil Service.
Recent graduates have been employed as:
- Subtitling for Sky TV
- An assistant director for a music video for an internationally-acclaimed band
- An English teacher
- A media studies teacher
We also work with the university’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
- Guarantee a place on your chosen course upon successful completion of your foundation year.
- Small class sizes allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
- Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
- A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
- Any language classes involve language laboratory sessions
- Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
- Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, book reviews, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects