In choosing to study a degree in Fine Art and English Literature (WQ13) at Aberystwyth University you will be part of one of the best art departments in the UK. The School of Art focuses on integrating traditional skills with contemporary theory and practice to produce first-class fine art students. We place drawing at the heart of the student experience in light of the recent revival of interest in traditional drawing skills; our School of Art is at the vanguard of contemporary art education. You will also follow the core syllabus for English Literature meaning you will complete you degree with a great combination of skills and competences.
Student Satisfaction and Employability Results
The School of Art is second in the UK for teaching experience and third in the UK for teaching quality (The Good University Guide, The Times & Sunday Times 2018).
91% overall student satisfaction for the School of Art (NSS 2019)
97% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 3% more than Creative Arts and Design graduates nationally, (HESA 2018*)
Top 10 in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Experience for the subject of English (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)
93% overall student satisfaction for the Department of English and Creative Writing (NSS 2019)
96% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 2% more than Languages graduates nationally (HESA 2018*)
Why study Fine Art with English Literature at Aberystwyth?
- Benefit from the disciplined acquisition of technical expertise, the formation of creative intelligence, and a historical, critical, theoretical and contemporary aware of Fine Art practice.
- The School of Art at Aberystwyth University has been awarded Accredited Museum Status by Arts Council England. This demonstrates that our collection care and management are at the highest standard.
- Explore connections between creative and critical thinking and develop a deep understanding of the relationship between professional practice and imaginative thought.
- Learn from experienced staff who are internationally renowned artists, authors, curators and art historians.
- Participate in our study visits within the UK or abroad (destinations have included Madrid, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Vienna, Barcelona, Venice, Moscow, St Petersburg, Florence, Budapest and Lisbon).
- In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid-Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.
Our teaching staff are practicing professionals. As exhibiting artists, publishing researchers and curators, they provide an informed and stimulating learning environment. This ensures that the skills you learn at the School of Art are practice orientated, relevant and applicable.
For further information, visit our individual staff profiles.
All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|Drawing: Looking, Seeing, Thinking||AR11120||20|
|Looking Into Landscape: Reading, Researching, Responding||AH11520||20|
|Painting: Looking, Seeing, Thinking||AR11220||20|
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|American Literature 1819-1925||EN11220||20|
|Greek And Roman Epic And Drama||CL10120||20|
|Literature And The Sea||WL11420||20|
|Re-imagining Nineteenth-century Literature||WL10120||20|
|Representing The Body||AH11720||20|
|The Beginning Of The English Language||EN11520||20|
|To Boldly Go: Reading Star Trek||EN10320||20|
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues||EN20120||20|
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|American Literature In The Twentieth Century||EN39420||20|
|Book Illustration 3||AR32330||30|
|Exhibition 1: Graduation Show||AR30130||30|
|Exhibition 2: Graduation Show||AR32540||40|
|Interdisciplinary Practice 3||AR33340||40|
|Life Studies 3||AR31610||10|
|Literatures Of Surveillance||WL35320||20|
|Painting 5 - Paint Directed Practice||AR31730||30|
|Photography 5 - Photo Directed Practice||AR32130||30|
|Printmaking 5 - Print Directed Practice||AR31930||30|
|Reading Theory / Reading Text||EN30120||20|
|Reimagining The World Wars: Contemporary Historical Fictions||EN30720||20|
|Remix: Chaucer In The Then And Now||WL30620||20|
|The American Novel In The Nineteenth Century||EN35420||20|
|The Mark Of The Beast: Animals In Literature From The 1780s To The 1920a||EN31320||20|
|Writing In The Margins: Twentieth-century Welsh Poetry In English||EN30420||20|
What career prospects are there for me?
Many of our graduates are successful writers in the fields of:
Some of our graduates have discovered other successful career options:
- Marketing and Communications;
As well as establishing careers as practicing artists, some our graduates have become employees within:
- Design Council;
- Arts Council;
- Tate Gallery;
- Victoria and Albert Museum;
- Royal Academy of Arts;
- Carlton Television;
- The Observer;
- Saachi Gallery;
- Damien Hirst;
- Viz magazine;
- Royal Collections Trust.
What career enhancing opportunities are there for me as a student?
Aberystwyth Arts Centre will be woven integrally into your learning opportunities, permitting staff and students to come together with the shared aim of engaging, working and learning in a thriving and dynamic creative culture. Here you may showcase your work, engage and network with others, and develop lifelong skills valuable to employers in the creative industries and beyond.
Our degree will enable you to develop:
- the ability to express ideas and communicate information effectively in a broad range of contexts;
- outstanding skills in creating, forming and manipulating the written word;
- evidence of your ability to be an effective problem solver;
- excellent creative thinking, informed by critical rigour;
- a proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
- excellent time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines;
- self-motivation and self-reliance and have the ability to develop appropriate and effective strategies;
- valuable research skills that are trans-disciplinary and adaptable to any research context.
What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying?
Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.
Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department.
Teaching & Learning
What will I learn?
This degree will allow you to explore literature of all genres and from all periods within the context of the broadest possible interpretation of literature in English. You will become skilled in the interpretation and analysis of literary texts and you will engage with current critical debates.
The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.
In your first year you may discover:
- New techniques for analysing literary texts;
- Some key figures from literary history (from Shakespeare to the Brontës);
- Lesser known texts, and writers who are new-to-you;
- Life room studies;
- Book illustration and painting;
- Art History;
- An introduction to the critical understanding of Fine Art;
- A variety of “ways of reading” and some theoretical approaches to textual analysis;
- Poetry, prose, drama, American Literature, adaptations, Classical literature, contemporary writing, medieval texts and much more.
In your second year you may explore:
- The theoretical approaches to, and the practice of, literary criticism;
- A range of selected core texts from the medieval period through to the twenty-first century;
- Your ideas and demonstrate technical proficiency;
- A number of specialist topics chosen by you (these might focus on a specific genre (such as crime fiction), historical period (such as the Victorian era), or theme (such as “place”);
- Your art practice within contemporary context and historical traditions.
In the third year you may master:
- Literary theory and the application of theoretical perspectives to literary analysis;
- Extended writing and independent research in your final year dissertation project (on a topic chosen and defined by you);
- And produce a body or work that demonstrates conceptual and technical coherence;
- Your own specialisms drawn from a diverse range of option modules taught by researchers in those fields. Our option modules include topics such as Elizabethan drama, the ghost story, the early English novel, queer fiction, children’s literature, Romanticism, and much more;
- And consolidate skill, subject, and conceptual bases acquired over three years to produce a body of qualitative work for public exhibition.
- In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.
How will I be taught?
Our degree is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials. We also encourage self-directed learning designed to stimulate your academic interest in English Literature and nurture your personal and intellectual development.
You will be assessed through essays, exams and oral presentation. You will also be required to complete additional, non-assessed, assignments and to work with others on particular tasks.
As you study, you will develop a range of skills which will benefit you in further study or any graduate workplace. You will learn to: employ multiple critical techniques when approaching texts; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject; and respond to any task with creativity, flair and style.
You will be assigned a personal tutor who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or pastoral issues. Your personal tutor will also be responsible for delivering tutorials that will help you in the development of key skills. You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.
The lecturers are really passionate and knowledgeable about art and their own disciplines. I feel like I am always growing and improving as an artist, as my tutors take time to give me good constructive feedback. Amelia Jenkinson
I love the variety you get from Fine Art - there are no fixed rules for the work you can produce and you able to fully express your ideas in whatever way you wish. The tutors are helpful and encouraging and there is always someone on hand to guide you, whether that be staff or other students. Jamie Carpenter-White
The first thing I noticed when studying Fine Art at Aberystwyth University was the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I really treasure the fact my course is run in such an architecturally beautiful building, surrounded by the particularly stunning seascape. I felt so at ease being in Aberystwyth and would recommend it to anyone wanting to do an Art degree. Laura Beryl Eileen Bosley
Typical Entry Requirements
UCAS Tariff 104 - 120
A Levels BBB-BCC to include B in Art and B in an English related subject, plus satisfactory portfolio
GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh
BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM, plus satisfactory portfolio
30-28 with 5 points in an English related subject at Higher Level, plus satisfactory portfolio
75%-65% overall with 7 in an English related subject, plus satisfactory portfolio
The University welcomes applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma. Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits, and offers can vary. If you are studying a qualification not listed on this page, please get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further advice. Details about the country-specific qualifications the University accepts can be found on our country-specific pages. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org