About the course
Open to international students only, our BA Literature and History of Art (including foundation year) will be suitable for you, if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for an undergraduate course, and you want a programme that takes you to the right academic level as well as improves your English language and academic skills. This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of undergraduate study.
During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course. Our compulsory English language and academic skills module supplements your academic subjects. After successful completion of Year Zero in our International Academy, you transfer to the relevant school, department or centre to complete your course.
Why study BA Literature and Art History (4 Years Including Foundation Year) at Essex?
Our International Academy offers some of the best routes for international students to enter higher education in the UK.
Studying at university is exciting and rewarding, enabling you to study new and fascinating subjects in ways that may be different from those you have previously experienced. If you are an international student, you may find that the education system in the UK is slightly different from other countries and, sometimes, that the transition to the British system can be challenging. Our courses help you to settle in and adapt to life in the UK.
Why study this subject?
Our four-year courses have been designed principally to assist international students to benefit from foundation year study in the UK and to improve English language and subject-specific knowledge, in order to prepare fully for first-year degree-level study and for life in the UK.
By studying within our International Academy, you will have access to our University’s main library and also to our International Academy’s Learning Resource Centre.
We have 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.
Study abroad/placement opportunities
Here at Essex we recognise the importance of studying and living abroad, so offer many opportunities for you to spend a term or a full year studying in another country and have exchange partners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Japan.
Hear what our students have to say
Claire Tye, BA English Literature ’11, United Kingdom
“Upon arriving at Essex I quickly discovered what a great department I was part of. There’s lots of support available for students and the Department has multiple disciplines which allows you to study a wide range of modules and delve into new areas you might not otherwise have considered. I particularly enjoyed the module Transformation of Fairytale, taught by Professor Marina Warner, which was something I was looking forward to doing even before I started at Essex!
“I am now a primary school teacher. Studying literature at Essex has been very helpful to me and should definitely aid me in my future career teaching in a primary school. My passion for reading and literature has been taken new heights at Essex, and I hope to share the same passion for literature with children and encourage reading in the way I have been encouraged.”
The special characteristics of our courses are flexibility and choice. In your first year, you usually take four or five modules that include pre-requisite(s) for your course but, in many cases, mean you can try subjects you have not come across before. If you are taking a humanities or social science, then you have the greatest choice, as most of our first-year modules do not assume any specialist knowledge.
With a small number of exceptions, if you successfully complete the first year of your BA, then you are qualified to enter the second year of that course and a range of other courses: for example, if you take economics, politics, philosophy and sociology, then you have a choice of at least nine possible single or joint honours courses at the end of your first year. This means you can change your course, providing you have taken the appropriate pre-requisites and places are available. We offer a range of optional modules in your second- and final-years and most courses allow you to undertake a final-year project, an individual piece of research on a topic that interests you.
We operate a credit framework for our awards, which is based on principles widely used across the UK university sector. Each module has a credit rating attached and our standard three-year course consists of 360 credits (120 credits in your first year, and 240 credits across your second and final years).
Please note that module information on our course finder provides a guide to course content and may be subject to review on an annual basis.
Preliminary year core and optional modules
Introduction to the History of Art in Western Europe: From Classical Greece to Impressionist France;
History: From “Great" Britain to “United" Kingdom – 1897-1997;
Major Writers in English Literature;
Western Philosophy: Fundamental Questions, Major Thinkers; and
Year 1 core and optional modules
Introduction to Literature;
Art, Sex and Death in the Eighteenth Century or Greatest Hits: Case Studies in the History of Art; and
Year 2 core and optional modules
Early Modern Literature;
Versions of Modernity;
The Renaissance in Tuscany; and
Arts and Ideas
Year 3 core and optional modules
Two history of art options; and
two literature, film, and theatre studies options
As a new undergraduate, you may find university-level learning, assessment and studying differs to school or college. Here at Essex, we understand and recognise this by having support in place, particularly during your first year when you may notice the change more.
If you are studying a non-science subject, then 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.
First-year assessment is a combination of written coursework, end-of-term tests, practical and laboratory work (where appropriate) and end-of-year exams.
Teaching methods and styles
Within our International Academy, you will work with our enthusiastic and friendly members of staff who are experts in their fields. Our lecturers help you to acquire the necessary subject knowledge and skills, and develop a critical and reflective approach to your study. Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention.
Methods of assessment
Within our International Academy, your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects, as appropriate.
Essex graduates can be found in a variety of roles around the globe where they use the skills and knowledge they gained by studying with us. Companies around the world that employ Essex graduates include: Alcatel, Amnesty International, Bank of Mexico, BBC, BT Group, Dolby, Fujitsu, Government Statistical Service, ICSS, Intel, ITAM, KPMG, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Qatar, Morgan Stanley, National Gallery, QinetiQ, Panasonic, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, PriceWaterhouseCooper, The Royal Shakespeare Company, United Microecolectronics Corporation, United Nations, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Vodafone.
Your employability and Essex
At Essex we take your employability seriously, helping you become a rounded individual with the ability to succeed, whatever your plans. You’ll find your department works with our Employability and Careers Centre to inform you about options to study or work overseas, your Faculty Employability Coordinator finds degree-related work placements, and our Students’ Unions ensures that, annually, over 700 students volunteer and more than 4,000 get involved in sports, clubs and societies.
At Essex you can gain new skills that look good on your CV, like paid placements through our frontrunners scheme, graduate-level paid internships, and opportunities to develop discipline-specific skills as part of your studies.
We help you understand your skills, and how to demonstrate these to an employer. You can get our extra-curricular employability award – the Big Essex Award – recorded on your transcript, receive one-to-one advice on careers, use our Essex CV guides on applying for work, learn from famous entrepreneurs and take part in workshops, and meet employers through on-campus events.
We develop your employability through fantastic opportunities, and give you the tools to explore the meaning of your unique experiences, so you are ready for your future.
Here at Essex, our students can undertake period of study or work abroad specifically tailored to his/her academic interests and future career plans. You are taught and assessed by your host university, so assessment may be in the form of written papers, oral or written exams, lab or project work, research, or work-based learning. All successfully completed pre-approved modules will be credited towards your Essex degree.
Study abroad is an excellent opportunity for personal development. It affords you the chance to become immersed in another culture over a sustained period, coming to know a country and its people in a way that you could not hope to as a tourist. It is also an opportunity to experience a different educational system and develop different skills. You learn to view the world (and your academic discipline) from another perspective, becoming more independent and confident.
Study abroad also enhances your employability. It helps your CV stand out from other candidates and signals to an employer that you have maturity, adaptability and organisational skills. As the world of business is becoming increasingly international, the experience of living abroad is, in itself, attractive to many employers. Depending upon your study abroad destination, you may also gain fluency in another language, which is a highly attractive skill to have as you enter the employment market.
If you are interested in learning another language then our Languages for All programme enables you to study a language, alongside your course, at no extra cost. You can take one of 50 taught language modules on a part-time day-time basis, or undertake flexible web-based learning, or opt for a language module taught in the evening. As employers can struggle to find graduates able to speak more than one language, Languages for All places Essex graduates in a very advantageous position.
Within our International Academy, we offer pre-Masters Graduate Diplomas that provide you with an excellent pathway to further postgraduate courses at Essex, while our MA TESOL provides a thorough and up-to-date training in the theory, methods and applications of English language teaching.
A-levels: 180 points, including DD at A-level or equivalent
GCSE: English grade C or above or equivalent
IB: 24 points (we consider IB certificates at the Higher level on a case-by-case basis)
Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 45 level three credits at pass (or above).
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent (subject to final approval).
We accept a wide range of other qualifications from applicants studying in the UK, EU and other countries. For further details about the qualifications that we accept, please e-mail us with information about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
We welcome applications from mature students and students wishing to defer entry.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.