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English and Film Studies

English and Film Studies

English and Film Studies
School of Creative Arts

The Subject

English Studies at Queen's brings together a variety of specialist approaches under a single subject heading.

Our literature modules encourage students to look at a writer's works in the context of the historical period, the cultural background, and the literary genres to which these works belong. They also introduce students to critical theories such as feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, which are now a significant part of literary studies.

Our language modules (also available on the Linguistics pathway, see page 196) encompass the study of language structure and function, including the day-to-day use of the language and the major influences which have shaped it over the last millennium and a half.


Why Queen's?

English Studies at Queen's represents one of the most diverse areas of study and research in the Humanities, one that already has a worldwide reputation in its specialist fields of interest.

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, under the auspices of the School of English, is the first Centre of Excellence for poetry in Ireland and its director is the internationally-renowned poet Ciaran Carson. It provides resources for emerging and established poets, researchers and critics, and serves to link creativity to criticism and academic scholarship, and ensures that the dynamic tradition of poetry at Queen's extends to a wide audience and is of benefit to students, writers, and the community.


Course Content

Stage 1

There are six English modules in Stage 1, including English Language and Creative Writing. Joint Honours students take three English modules, whilst Single Honours students take six English modules.

Stage 2

In the second year, students choose from modules in:

18th-Century and Romantic Literature
Discovering the Earliest Writings in English
History of English: Studying Language Change
Introduction to American Writing
Introduction to Renaissance Literature
Irish Literature
Late Medieval Literature
Literature and Society 1850-1930
The English Language: Language and Power
The English Language: Patterns of Spoken English

Stage 3

In the third year, students choose from a representative range of specialist modules, including:

19th-Century Irish Writing
American Fiction 1945-1960
Chaucer's London Poetics
Comic Fiction: Fielding to Austen, 1740-1820
Contemporary Indian Literature in English
Contemporary US Crime Fiction
Critical Fictions
Critical History: Reading the Classics of Literary Criticism
Irish Fiction in the 20th Century
Language and Narrative Style
Language in the Media
Literature and Science in the 19th Century
Marvels, Monsters and Miracles in Anglo-Saxon England
Premodern Cultures of Performance
Reading Contemporary Irish and British Poetry
Shakespeare on Screen
Shakespearean Genres
Speech Worlds
Televising the Victorians
The Mock Epic in the Long 18th Century
Women's Writing 1660-1820
Dissertation on an English Language topic
Dissertation on an English Literature topic


For module descriptions: choose your subject area from the dropdown list (please note that the modular system used at Queen's allows students access to a wide range of teaching across related subjects where appropriate eg Accounting includes modules from within the subjects of Economics and Finance)


Entry Requirements

BA Single Honours

  • English 3 yrs (Q300)

BA Joint Honours

  • Drama and English 3 yrs (WQ43)
  • English and Film Studies 3 yrs (QW36)
  • English and French 4 yrs (QR31)
  • English and History 3 yrs (QV31)
  • English and Irish 3 yrs (QQ53)
  • English and Linguistics 3 yrs (QQ31)
  • English and Philosophy 3 yrs (QV35)
  • English and Politics 3 yrs (QL32)
  • English and Social Anthropology 3 yrs (QL36)
  • English and Sociology 3 yrs (QL33)
  • English and Spanish 4 yrs (QR34)
  • Theology and English 3 yrs (QV36)

Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level: BB including A-level English for Single Honours and Joint Honours with History, Linguistics and Politics. BBB including A-level English for other options. Note: AS-level English (grade A) would be acceptable in lieu of A-level English.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level):  B2B2B2B2B2B2/AB2B2B2B2 including Higher Level grade B2 in English for Single Honours and Joint Honours with History, Linguistics and Politics. B2B2B2B2CC/B2B2B2B2B2 including Higher Level grade B2 in English for other options.

All applicants: if you plan to study English as a Joint Honours degree you should refer to the subject requirements for the other course, in addition to those for English.

International qualifications

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you are an international student and you do not meet the English Language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will develop the language skills you need to progress. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses.


See also English, English with Creative Writing, Film Studies and Linguistics



Assessment and Feedback

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.


On the English and Film Studies degree programme we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:


  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example:  interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
  • Seminars/tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students).  These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers.  You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Supervised projects:  In final year, you may choose a year-long double-weighted Dissertation module in either English (literature or language) and/or Film Studies which requires you to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic that you have chosen.  You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage.
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.

Assessment and Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:


  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.


Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.



Studying for an English and Film Studies degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.  Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline. 

The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:



  • Publishing, Media and Performing Arts
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Librarianship
  • Fast Stream Civil Service
  • Management Consultancy



Employer Links




We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, BBC Northern Ireland who provide sponsorship for the English course in Broadcast Literacy (currently offered at postgraduate level but soon to be offered at undergraduate level also).   


Graduate Careers and Achievements


Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:



  • Seamus Heaney, Nobel prize-winning poet;
  • Paul Muldoon, academic and poet;
  • Stephen Rea, actor;
  • Helen Madden, writer and actor;
  • Annie Kelly, journalist and writer;
  • Annie Mac, radio presenter.


Film Studies:

  • Claire Campbell (Researcher, BBC NI)
  • Daniel McCabe (Production Trainee, BBC)
  • Niall McEvoy, (on set VFX supervisor, HBO, Game of Throne)
  • Grace Sweeney (Camera Department, HBO, Game of Thrones)
  • Michele Devlin, (Director of The Belfast Film Festival)


You should also take a look at the Prospects website for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract English and Film Studies graduates.


Further study is also an option open to our graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics.


Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.  

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.


Contact Us

For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
Dr Joan Rahilly
School of English
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3320

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Film Studies Showcase 2013

See some of the work below produced by our Film students.  Works are taken from the Student Showcase 2013.


What It Takes All You Need Is Love
Muted Rehab Nation

Drum You Run My Heart
First Person Future Alone