English BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

The English BA is an exciting, diverse, and stimulating programme that invites you to think about the world differently. You will encounter a wide range of texts, and you will learn how to read critically and how to write creatively, academically, and professionally. You will also have the opportunity to develop these skills while engaging with a variety of genres and media, such as Gothic literature and film, Shakespearean drama, screen-writing, and Black and Asian Writing in English.

Our inclusive curriculum informs what you learn and how you learn it. Interactive lecture-workshops, small-group seminars, and individual supervisions are designed to support all your needs and abilities. There are a variety of assessments that will empower you to achieve your best work; these include traditional essays and dissertations, alongside blogs, critical definitions, and creative pieces.

Throughout your course, you'll enjoy many extra-curricular events and activities including those organised by the Race/Gender Matters research group, Kingston Language Scheme, and the Writers' Centre, Kingston.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time WQV3 2022
4 years full time including foundation year WQ38 2022
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2022
Location Penrhyn Road

2021 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between September 2021 and August 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Through our Writers' Centre, Kingston, you'll have opportunities to get involved in a huge range of professional and creative activities, including poetry festivals and readings by guest authors.
  • You'll be taught by a diverse range of professional, creative and academic experts.
  • Many of our graduates have had their work published. Recently, Oyinkan Braithwaite's debut novel My Sister, The Serial Killer was longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019.

What you will study

Throughout this course, there is a strong emphasis on developing skills in critical reading, writing and analysis, as well as developing your interdisciplinary skills through the academic and teaching experts from creative writing, English literature and English language and linguistics.

You'll also develop a broad range of transferable skills, and enhance your communication and analytical abilities, from problem solving to critical evaluation, time management to organisational abilities.

Modules

Each level is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

In your first year, you'll take core modules in literature, language and creative writing, examining critical, practical and theoretical concerns at the forefront of reading and writing literature.

You'll develop skills in oral and written communication and establish a strong foundation in the study of literature and language thought interactive lectures, group discussion, close reading exercises, and practical activities.

Core modules

Reading London: Drama, Poetry and Prose

30 credits

This module introduces you to the literature of London, from the rise of Renaissance theatre culture to its fictional futures, and from explorations of its urban heart to its sprawling suburbs. You will investigate how numerous writers have depicted everyday life in the metropolis, as well as social upheaval, crime and injustice. You will consider the emergence of distinct literary cultures in the capital, the ways London's position at the centre of a global empire has shaped its literature, and how writers have in turn represented the experiences of particular groups, for example, social elites, immigrants, women, and children.

The module will also introduce you to some of the most fundamental categories of literature. The module will be organised into three strands: one on drama, one on poetry, and one on prose (fiction and non-fiction). In each strand you will identify the distinctive characteristics of particular forms and genres of literature, and of modes of writing that developed at particular historical moments. Through close study of a range of literary texts we will consider, for instance, what distinguishes tragedy, comedy and realism in drama, how poets have engaged with the sonnet form or the epic, what defines the memoir, and how to explain the differences in narrative style between realist and modernist fiction.

Our weekly interactive lectures will be complemented by study trips to locations across London, which may include a visit to the Globe Theatre, the London Museum or a walking lecture following the route taken by Mrs Dalloway in Virginia Woolf's novel of the same name.  

From Prospero to Potter: Reading Through Theory

30 credits

What does it mean to think critically about literature? What is literary theory and how can it be put to work? Taking both theoretical and literary texts, this module looks at how students can produce dynamic readings of literature through the use of perspectives from the worlds of philosophy and psychoanalysis. In interactive lectures and group discussions, students will explore themes such as gender, sexuality, race, class, history and the uncanny. Students will look at how language shapes literature, and how approaches to reading are both socially and historically formed.

Race, Nation, Identity: Literatures of the World

30 credits

Why are our reading practices so dominated by British writers? What happens if you turn the world map upside down? This module introduces literatures written in places other than Great Britain and considers the links between literature and the formation of cultural, national and racial identities. The module will also think about how literature can act as a mode of resistance to imperialist ideologies. In doing so, it will broaden an understanding of what constitutes ‘English' literature.

Writing that Works

30 credits

This module is designed to familiarise students across the humanities with a range of rhetorical strategies, aesthetic techniques, redrafting and editing skills, while also providing the opportunity to practise writing and editing in a number of critical, literary, creative and professional forms. In "Writing that Works" students are introduced to key techniques for writing effectively and they develop their ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in writing by studying exemplary texts in each form. The first strand of the module focuses on writing, techniques. Students create a piece of original writing and this work is then developed in weekly workshop sessions that align with interactive lectures focused on different aspects of writing. The impact that language choices make on the effectiveness of writing will lead on to the discussion of audience, social context, identity and voice. In the second strand, the focus turns to writing in professional contexts. The interactive workshops focus on writing in a number of professional contexts and students practise using a range of techniques and strategies to produce professional documents. The framework of the module, and the core content we aim to transfer to students, is a firm grasp of rhetorical strategies and how to employ them to the best advantage depending on the form in which they are writing, the intended audience for their work and the ideas they hope to share.

In your second year, you'll work under supervision from your tutor to develop your research skills and improve your working practice. You can also select from a range of options across the three subject areas, allowing you to select particular periods of literary study, creative writing specialism, or further exploration of linguistics and language.

You can also study abroad or take a work placement in your second year at locations in Europe, the United States, and Australia.

Core modules

Independent Research Studies

30 credits

This module, a core module for full-field and half-field English Literature students, is all about developing your own interests and research expertise. Every year, members of staff will offer a range of texts and you will select you own special subject from amongst these, working independently but with close supervision to produce your own set of resources and an extended original essay. In recent years, available texts have included The Lord of the Rings, Never Let Me Go, Great Expectations, and Hamlet. Encouraging independent learning and research, the module develops a range of transferable critical and communication skills that are central to the degree and useful in occupations and professional tasks beyond the university, while also allowing you to develop you own critical voice.

Deadly Desires/Dangerous Discourse: Gothic Literature and Theory

30 credits

What does literature do? How does it shape individual and cultural identities? In what ways does it produce effects, construct otherness and celebrate difference? Studying a range of influential approaches to literature, this module will examine key ideas concerning the creation and interpretation of texts, from the role of language, history and cultural difference to the effects of sexuality, the unconscious, empire and technology. By applying these insights to one important genre of fiction – to works like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Beetle, Rebecca and World War Z – the module will extend practical analytical skills while introducing exciting new ways of thinking about texts.

Optional modules

Content, Form and Creativity

30 credits

On this module, you will have the opportunity to progress your creative writing skills by exploring the relationship between theory and practice. You will be presented with a range of theoretical and contextual approaches to the production of imaginative work, and will be invited to respond to these provocations through their creative projects. You will attend interactive lectures whose themes may include psychogeography, adaptation, narrative techniques for literary authors, history and narrative, identity and aesthetics. You will learn more advanced practical techniques for crafting expressive, imaginative work, which will allow you to make more sophisticated use of aspects such as voice, point of view, structure, character, imagery, and tone. The module will entail the reading and discussion of texts by a variety of contemporary authors, whose work reflects the diverse range of styles and approaches at work today. You can choose to experiment with writing the novel, short story, script for radio, stage or screen, or poetry. You will be asked to participate in improving each other's work by offering thoughtful, constructive feedback. Along with developing your own personal sense of voice and style, you will practise applying skills learned on the module to real-world situations faced by professional authors, such as writing a piece for a commission or for a target audience.

Language and Society

30 credits

In this core module, students will engage critically with the complex relationship between language and society from a range of sociolinguistic perspectives and they will be encouraged to develop their research skills in preparation for the requirements of Level 6.

In the first teaching block, lectures and seminar discussions will focus on sociolinguistics at the macro level to look at language diversity, language endangerment multilingualism and language contact, in addition to the global spread of ideas, identities and discourse through language.

We will also touch upon major debates regarding gender and power in both media and scholarly discourses and use this theme to show how academic theories evolve through research.

Weekly sessions will involve investigating case studies from different countries to showcase how language research can be applied to the study of policy, politics, education and media. A further focus will be on interactional sociolinguistics through the study of the relations between language and gender in mixed and single-sex talk in both private and public spheres.

In the second teaching block, sessions introduce students to key sociolinguistic research and findings that shed light on how and why different speakers systematically vary their language use in relation to a range of social factors, such as class, social status, age, ethnicity, gender. Sessions then move on to explore how and why individual speakers alternate between styles and languages on different occasions, drawing on sociolinguistic models of style and code-switching/code-mixing. In the course of this module, students will be encouraged to explore variation at all levels of language: from phonetics to syntax and pragmatics and will be introduced to key research methods in the field of sociolinguistics as a way of learning to evaluate qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of language and society. Finally, students will conduct their own sociolinguistic projects, collecting spoken data or analysing existing recordings,taking into account issues of ethics and permission.

Being Human: Self, Subject, Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Culture

30 credits

This module is an optional period module at Level 5. The year-long module provides an introduction to the literary culture of England during the years 1380-1650. This module considers medieval and early modern English texts in relation to influential works from the continent (mostly from Italy, the ‘birthplace of the Renaissance'), and by situating canonical literature in relation to non-canonical writings of the medieval and early modern periods. You will begin by examining poetry and drama written in the late-Medieval period, including some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The rest of Teaching Block One will focus on medieval drama - from mystery plays to morality plays - highlighting continuity and change with later, Renaissance drama. It will also study English literature and culture in the fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries in relation to continental influences. Because Shakespeare's Richard II is a Renaissance play whose action takes place in the medieval period, this play provides a pivotal middle point between Teaching Blocks One and Two, which resumes in the mid-sixteenth century and continues with plays, poetry, prose and cultural documents framed on one side by the Edwardian Reformation and on the other by the English Civil War.

Sex and the City: From Victorian Metropolis to Modernist Wasteland

30 credits

This module is an optional period module at Level 5. We will study key texts from the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries that register the ways in which Britain is transformed by the Industrial Revolution, and which give expression to fears about technology, social mobility and urban culture. We will consider literature of the period that questions and resists established theories of gendered identity, and which challenges the literary representation of sexuality, defying censorship in the process. We will be introduced to writers who engage with contemporary debates about science, religion, the empire, and racial and national identity. And we will encounter a range of consciously modern texts which dislocate and make new the reader's experience by technical innovation and experiment. In recent years, writers studied have included Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf.

Transforming Realities: Innovation and Social Change in Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature

30 credits

This module is an optional period module at Level 5. It will begin by exploring literature published from the 1930s through to the present day, and will examine the strategies writers have used in response to a changing Britain and wider world. We will consider how twentieth and twenty-first-century texts adapt realist, modernist and postmodern techniques to engage with issues such as the rise of mass culture, the threat of totalitarianism, the establishment of the Welfare State, post-war immigration, and sexual liberation. To enhance your perspective on these issues, you will be introduced to non-fiction material by other contemporary writers, such as J.B. Priestley, Erich Fromm, Iris Murdoch, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard Hoggart, and George Lamming, as well as more recent critical and theoretical material.  The module also examines the development and continuing popularity of realist drama in the twentieth century. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which realist drama is used as a tool of social and political examination in the various contexts of pre-Revolutionary Russia, Dublin in the aftermath of the First World War, and the establishment of the welfare state in Britain after 1945. Secondly, we will examine the developments in non-realist forms of drama and the experiments which gave rise to what is, somewhat controversially, called the 'Theatre of the Absurd'. The module culminates with the study of a selection of texts chosen to illustrate the great variety of genres and styles in contemporary British literature and to exemplify literature written by different nationalities and social groups. Underpinned by relevant theoretical perspectives, questions will be raised about the relation between literature and contemporary events, with relation to issues pertinent to literature, such as social mobility, hybridity, democracy and technology. In recent years, authors studied have included Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Sylvia Plath, Harold Pinter, Alan Hollinghurst, and Zadie Smith.

Screenwriting

30 credits

Film is often seen as a director's medium, rather than a writer's. This course doesn't debate the relative claims of either - it retains a strong commitment to the visual - but its primary focus is on the construction of script and, in particular, the screenplay of the mainstream narrative film. The cornerstone of the module is an exploration of what makes an effective screen story through analysis of dramatic structure. The tutors on this module, both experienced screenwriters, contend that all genres of screen narrative use essentially the same core principles of storytelling and that an understanding of how these principles work is a creative tool: we can use them to create our own stories and adapt them to different forms. First, through close study of several successful films - focusing in particular on structure and character - you will be taught the contribution of the screenplay to how a film is constructed and why it succeeds. Second, with particular emphasis on dialogue and the craft of visual storytelling, we will guide you to the creation and completion of your own short screenplay, providing you with models (in both film and script form) from a selection of short films, and teaching you how to present and format your script.

In your final year, you'll take the Dissertation module, enabling you to work in-depth on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a subject specialist.

Seminars provide a more intimate forum for the detailed exploration of texts, with student presentations and discussion.

 

In your final year, you'll take the Dissertation module, enabling you to work in-depth on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a subject specialist.

Seminars provide a more intimate forum for the detailed exploration of texts, with student presentations and discussion.

Core modules

Dissertation

30 credits

The dissertation is a core module for all full-field literature students. Under guidance from an allocated specialist member of staff, and supported by interactive workshops, you will produce a sustained piece of research, either in the form of a traditional 10,000 word dissertation or in the form of creative project and accompanying 3,000-word rationale. The module culminates in a student conference. You will work with your peers to organise this, and your contribution to it will also be assessed. An initial dissertation proposal must be submitted in September before the module begins. At the end of the module you will have produced a critically engaged and fully developed piece of independent research.

Professional Communication Skills and Practice for Success in the Workplace

30 credits

This module covers a broad range of topics to engage students in different genres of communication to develop both spoken and written skills necessary for employability. The topics include analysing interaction in the professional setting, preparing professional documents, writing to a specific brief and presenting a professional brief. Through interactive lectures, guest talks, personal tutorials, and a workplace option where students have the opportunity to experience working practices, students are encouraged to develop skills and reflect on their own practices as a way of gaining an understanding of communication in real life and work contexts. The module's focus on professional interactional and writing skills as well as its links to Kingston's Careers and Employability Service activities and events guides students in planning their careers and developing their employability skills.

Optional modules

Special Study: Narrative

30 credits

This module looks at narrative story telling in both fictional and real life stories. We explore concepts within narratology to explore the theory of narrative, as a way to understand the nature, form and function of narratives. We will look at the common or universal characteristics of narrative storytelling as well as differences and find out how it is that we are able to comprehend, memorise and produce stories. We will look at narrative structure, characterisation, narration and disnarration, narrative beginnings, the narrator as witness, children's narratives and fairytales, and narratives in the media (eg. newspapers, blogs) such as those following major world events.

Special Study: Meaning

30 credits

This module explores ideas from a wide range of disciplines and introduces students to some of the key concepts in the study of meaning. It begins by considering work in the philosophy of language on what it means to ‘mean' something and moves on to the distinction between the context-dependent meaning inherent in language-in-use – the domain of pragmatics – and context-independent meaning – the domain of linguistic semantics.   Students will consider how different linguistic elements interact with the discourse context to contribute to the communicative act, and we will also consider the role played by extra-linguistic aspects of communication such as facial expression, gesture and body language.

Special Study: Discourse and Social Media

30 credits

This module will explore discourse aspects of social media in our globalising world, drawing on theories and methodologies developed in linguistics, sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis and linguistic anthropology. Students will have the opportunity to research language and communication in a range of social media, including social networking sites, such as Facebook, media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, wikis, and other sites of (micro)blogging, such as Twitter.

Radical Writers

30 credits

Salman Rushdie, Mary Wollstonecraft, Geoffrey Chaucer, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Bronte, Chinua Achebe, Mary Shelley, John Milton, Lawrence Sterne, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison...the list is endless. At every point in literary history there are writers who break the mould and challenge the status quo. Whether it is through writing epics that endure through centuries, addressing the injustices of the time or challenging the very notion of what a novel, poem or a play can do, writers can be radical in a number of exciting ways. This module looks at works by radical writers in depth, studying one famous text in detail by a range of writers from different time periods and taught by lecturers who are experts in these writers. We will look at the context of each text as well as the way the text is written, determining why these radical writers have been so successful and looking at the effects their texts have had on the world around them. We will look at the idea of the literary 'canon', made up of writers who have been radical in some way, and consider the way that this idea can be challenged, reinvigorated or refreshed.

Making Shakespeare: Text, Performance and Adaptation

30 credits

This optional Level 6 module allows you to pursue Shakespeare studies at an advanced level and is founded upon a detailed and extensive study of the writer and his works. Consideration will be given to a range of critical approaches to Shakespeare as well as the long history and dynamic status of Shakespeare in performance and adaptation, for example in relation to questions of gender, identity and globalisation. You will be encouraged to reflect upon the role of Shakespeare in culture now as well as relevant contemporary contexts such as the nature of early modern theatregoing alongside crucial political and religious conditions. Teaching on the module will be closely aligned with the rich resources available at the Rose Theatre and in particular will afford you the opportunity to participate in the stimulating series of talks and events organised as part of the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar (KiSS).

American Countercultures

30 credits

Throughout its history, the American nation has centred its identity upon notions of protest, resistance and dissent: a questioning of authority that has come to define American ideas of democratic freedom and individuality. This module explores how writers of poetry and prose from the 19th century to the present have asserted the American consciousness through literatures of counter-cultural resistance, challenging political ideologies, and questioning established modes of thinking. We will explore movements such as Transcendentalism, the Beats, Black Arts, and the New York School and their production of a counter-cultural aesthetic. Alongside this, we will consider individual writers who have responded to dominant discourses surrounding race, gender, nationalism, capitalism, and war - writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Chesnutt, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Leslie Marmon Silko, George Saunders and Thomas Pynchon. How, we ask, have these writers and movements both responded to and shaped the idea of American identity through a politics that is both radical and anti-authoritarian? The module is assessed by a combination of two short essays, discussion posts and a long critical essay.

Black and Asian Writing

30 credits

This module examines the rich and dynamic presence of black and Asian writing in English from the mid-17th century to the present. It will explore the ways in which black and Asian writers have produced formally innovative and conceptually challenging responses to questions of race, class, gender and identity, while simultaneously making significant creative contributions to the fields of drama, prose, poetry, and life-writing. In the first half of the module, students will study a range of early texts from the mid-17th century to the 19th century from writers such as Equiano and Mary Seacole, alongside contemporary works that have reflected on black culture during this period, while the second half of the module turns to 20th century and contemporary texts by writers such as Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy, and Salman Rushdie contextualised by appropriate critical and cultural theories from thinkers such as Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall.

Imagined Places: Humans, Animals and Cyborgs

30 credits

What does it mean to be human? What does it means to post-human? Who are our postmodern monsters? And what is the relationship between these differently defined subjects and the environments - built, natural, virtual - in which they exist? In this module we examine literature that has asked these questions, investigating how narratives of modernity have interrogated assumptions about the relationship between living subjects and the physical world, and indeed the way in which both those subjects and that world are conceived. Framed by ecocritical and spatial theory, we will consider how narrative explores the way in which the physical world has been treated in the current age - the age described as the Anthropocene - and how it has played a role in re-shaping our understanding of that world, and the changing idea of what constitutes the human. Alongside this, we will consider how literature illuminates the ways in which spaces and places are themselves implicated in these definitions, with particular consequences for questions of race, gender, class, and sexuality. The module will include field trips to relevant sites such as urban developments and local wildlife centres, and will be assessed by a combination of essay and critical reflection.

Gender and Sexuality

30 credits

This module traces how literature from the 19th century to the present has concerned itself with questions of gender identity and sexuality, often offering a radical voice for those - including both women and LGBTQ+ voices - excluded from dominant and mainstream discourses. Rooted in feminist and queer theory, we will explore how feminist writing has critiqued patriarchy, how literature has challenged normative gender roles, how it has engaged with powerful questions regarding the body and the politics of desire, and how it has represented the debates within different facets of the feminist and queer community. We will also consider how writers have employed literary form and genre - for example the use of experimental writing, dramatic or poetic form, or the romance genre - and to what extent debates surrounding these forms and genre contribute to a gendered politics of cultural production. Explicitly intersectional in its approach, we will frame our discussions with an interrogation of how the politics of gender and sexuality is shaped by its relationship with questions of class, race, disability, and religion. Examples of authors studied might include Jeanette Winterson, Fleur Adock, Carol Ann Duffy, Tony Kushner, Clare Macintyre, Leila Aboulela, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Virginia Woolf.

Special Study: Narrative Techniques in Popular Fiction

30 credits

This challenging and interesting special study module aims to provide you with the opportunity to engage with different examples of popular fiction such as crime fiction, romance, the thriller, and science fiction. It will enable you to identify the standard practices of popular genres and understand why they succeed or fail in particular texts. It will encourage you in the critical study of narrative techniques to best learn how to apply them in a work of popular fiction. You will experiment in writing crime, SF, thriller and romance stories before choosing one or two of these genres to take through to your final submission. All this will be put into the context of more general and transferable lessons to be learnt in the art of compelling storytelling.

For each genre studied you will read two core novels, plus a more general theoretical text on narrative construction. The module is lead by a writer of four published crime/thrillers.

Creative Writing Special Study: Get a Life: Forms of (Auto)biography

30 credits

This year-long module focuses on the study and creative practice of (auto)biography and memoir, some of the most interesting and thriving literary genres. It is aimed at those tempted by the idea of writing about their own and others' lives, wishing to read a variety of life stories and examine the many different ways in which a life story can become a book.

We will explore exciting examples of autobiographical writing, looking at the highly literary and the popular bestsellers alike. Authors will range from Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein to Tracey Emin and Cheryl Cole, or another of your favourite – or most irritating -- celebrities and his or her ghost writer. 

We will sample, and experiment in, some of the many subgenres of life writing, which include childhood narratives, investigations of family secrets, testimony, graphic memoir, illness memoir, stories of trauma and abuse, war memoir, celebrity autobiography, and many others. Conceptual analysis will be reinforced by practical work designed to enable you to understand the issues in relation to your own creative life writing project.

Creative Writing Special Study: Innovations in Poetry and Prose

30 credits

This module will cover the study of a number of different kinds of poetry and prose, with a focus on innovations in contemporary literature. It will examine some of the 20th- and 21st-century movements that have informed and continue to influence contemporary poetry and prose, such as modernism, dada, surrealism, sound poetry, visual poetry, constraint-based writing, the nouveau roman and "language" poetry, as well as the aesthetic and stylistic theories underpinning them (for instance, in manifestos and essays about poetry written by the poets and writers themselves).

Attention will be given to the contextual aspects of poetry and prose, as well as the content. The course will explore the reasons poets and writers innovate, the reasoning for experimentation and the ways in which poets and writers shape and structure poems and prose - exploring the nature of sound and language itself. The content of such works will be explored, which may involve non-traditional subject matter or interactions with other art forms, such as music or the visual arts, and their theoretical underpinning too (literary, social, theoretical, historical, stylistic). Analysis of the works studied will be reinforced by practical exercises and assignments designed to enable students to understand these concepts in relation to their own creative work, and to offer them the opportunity to experiment with their own writing and poetry.

Students will make poetry and prose portfolios and/or recorded readings which they can use as part of their writing CV, and which may be featured in the end-of-year Awards and Achievement Show.

 

Box Set Drama: Writing for Television

30 credits

This is the module that can make you rich! On terrestrial and digital platforms, in both drama and comedy, the returning drama series remains TV's holy grail, pulling viewers in for episode after episode, season after season, box set after box set. For producers and writers – and the ‘showrunners' who are both – a returning series can be a goldmine. So how do these TV blockbusters get made? What makes them successful? And could you write one?

Taught by two highly experienced professionals, Box Set Drama is a practical and creative module which explores how a returning drama or comedy series is conceived and constructed – and gives you the tools to write one. Through close study of a few successful shows (and some not so successful), you will learn how to structure a series, build characters and stories, hook an audience, and dramatise action for the screen. Building from concept to treatment to script, with the aid of practical exercises and regular feedback, you will then develop a pitch for your own original show, aimed at the current television market. If you are keen to understand screen narrative and genre, find out how television drama works and explore writing for a visual medium, this module is for you. You will be taught basic principles of scriptwriting and storylining and, after two stimulating and entertaining semesters, will have generated a pitch and supporting portfolio for your own idea, written to industry standards.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Foundation year – Humanities & Arts

You can also study this course with a Foundation year.

 

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2022

UCAS tariff points: 112-128 for BA (Hons); 48 for BA (Hons) including foundation year.

Level 3 qualifications, including English Language/Literature or related subject (i.e. A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.). If A-level in one of these subjects, then a minimum grade C is required.

Additional requirements

Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5.

Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes interactive lectures, small group tutorials and seminars, workshops, blended and virtual learning, group presentations and exercises, written assignments (essays, portfolios, reading logs, reports and brief online quizzes). Assessment includes written exercises, critical commentaries, analyses, reading logs, close readings, short essays, group work, take-home tests, presentations, bibliographic work and long essays.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Year 1: 20%
  • Year 2: 20%
  • Year 3: 20%

Same for each year but does vary with modules. Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 264 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1064 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching: 264 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1064 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching: 264 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1064 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios and dissertation).

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 30 students and lecture sizes are normally 10-30. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

Many of the teaching team are published authors, with extensive experience and professional links: they will help you to develop your skills, networks and gain access to industry contacts. Their expertise and knowledge is closely matched to the content of the modules on this course.

Academic teaching is supported by visiting speakers and guest lecturers who enhance your learning.

Course fees and funding

2021/22 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2021/22 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students)

Foundation year: £9,250
£9,250*

International

Foundation year: £13,500
Year 1 (2021/22): £13,500 or £15,000**
Year 2 (2022/23): £13,900 or £15,400**
Year 3 (2023/24): £14,300 or £15,800**

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

** The international fee rate charged will depend upon the course combination chosen.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students)

Foundation year: £9,250
£9,250*

International

Foundation year: £13,100
Year 1 (2020/21): £13,100 or £14,600**
Year 2 (2021/22): £13,500 or £15,000**
Year 3 (2022/23): £13,900 or £15,450**

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

** The international fee rate charged will depend upon the course combination chosen.

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50-£250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost £100-£3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston-upon-Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Field trips

There may be optional study visits and field trips. These range from £25 for local trips to various costs for international trips.

External shows and exhibitions

There may be costs for participating at external shows and exhibitions. You could incur travel costs which will vary according to the location.

Facilities

The campus at Penrhyn Road is a hive of activity, housing the main student restaurant, the learning resources centre (LRC), and a host of teaching rooms and lecture theatres.

At the heart of the campus is the John Galsworthy building, a six-storey complex that brings together lecture theatres, flexible teaching space and information technology suites around a landscaped courtyard.

After you graduate

This course is designed to foster a range of transferable skills desirable to employers, such as advanced literacy and communication skills, critical thinking, organisational skills, intercultural awareness and the ability to work independently and collaboratively with others in a team.

After you graduate you'll have many career opportunities open to you, in a wide range of fields including public relations, publishing, journalism, advocacy and campaigning, copy writing, advertising and marketing, management, the legal professions, administration, business and training.

 

Changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19

Course information (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Composition of the course

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Modules

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.

Teaching (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.

If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.

Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.

‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.

In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2021/22 entry)

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.

Staff (changes for 2021/22 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.

If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.

The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.

In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Accreditation

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.

Additional (changes for 2021/22 entry)

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).