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    BA in English Syllabus & Subjects 2023

    BA English Syllabus & Subjects Overview

    BA in English is an undergraduate program that makes students acquainted with the English language and literature. Through BA English course syllabus, students explore the history of the English language and its contemporary aspects. Besides, the BA English syllabus illustrates the minutiae of the English language and its various usages in our life. The chief focus of the BA English course subjectsis to impart learning on both the English language and Literature. The study of English language history and contemporary studies and other details have made the syllabus weighty in nature. Most of the universities of India categorize the BA English subjects into two sections i.e. core subjects and elective subjects. Each of them helps to gain in-depth concepts of the English language, world literature, and their influences on the world.

    BA English is considered to be one of the most preferred courses among Arts students. Being the chief global language English as a subject is immensely respected all over the world. Therefore, obtaining a degree in this subject is prestigious. It opens up plenty of career prospects in all the work spheres. Various pieces of literature and languages are there to study in this course. By studying the English language, students build up a strong understanding of English grammar concepts and related aspects. The subjects explain its basis, advancement, and modification that occurred with the passage of time. An insightful understanding is also shared on the history of the English language. Along with English language study, English literature is also taught. It demonstrates the richness of literature, its history, and other details.

    BA English Year Wise Syllabus (Semester Wise)

    Any language course aims at providing all-inclusive knowledge to its learners. BA English syllabus is designed with the same purpose. History of English literature, English language study, English as a communication, and literature of different ages and societies all are included in the BA English course syllabus. Apart from that, writing and analytical skills are also developed through the BA in English course. 

    The core intention of the BA English subjects included in the syllabus is to form the right foundation on the subject. Each institution may follow a different curriculum for this undergraduate-level English course. But some common topics are taught to the learners. Each of the topics encompasses an in-depth study that helps the students to gain a broad idea of the subject matter. Check the table below to know about the year-wise BA in English syllabus

    BA English First Year Syllabus

    Listed below are the topics usually taught in the first year of the BA English syllabus:

    Semester I

    Communicative English
    Language Paper I
    History of English Literature: The Pre-Chaucerian to the Augustan
    English Poetry: The Elizabethan to the Augustan
    English Prose: The Elizabethan to the Victorian
    Introduction to Computing
    Cultural Education I

    Semester II

    Professional Communication
    Language Paper II
    History of English Literature: The Pre-Romantic to the Victorian
    English Poetry: The Pre-Romantic to the Victorian
    English Prose: The Late-Victorian to the Modern
    Indian Writing in English: Fiction
    Cultural Education II

    BA English Second Year Syllabus

    Mentioned below are the topics included in the second year of the BA in English syllabus:

    Semester III

    Communicative English (Advanced)
    History of English Literature: Victorian to the Present
    American Literature
    English Fiction: Victorian
    Life Skills I
    Amrita Value Programme I
    Amrita Value Programme II

    Semester IV

    History of English Language and Phonetics
    Indian Writing In English: Poetry
    Shakespeare: Comedies
    Environmental Studies
    Elective A
    Open Elective A
    Life Skills II

    BA English Third-Year Syllabus

    The below-given table lists the topics that are generally covered in the third year of the BA English course syllabus:

    Semester V

    Elements of Literary Criticism
    English Poetry: Modern
    English Drama: Elizabethan to Victorian
    Spiritual Literature
    Elective B
    Open Elective B/Live-in-Lab
    Life Skills III
    Canadian Literature

    Semester VI

    Literary Criticism: Introduction
    European Fiction
    English Fiction: Modern
    English Drama: Modern
    Shakespeare: Tragedies

    BA English Subjects

    A wide range of BA English subjects is taught in universities and colleges in India. The BA English course subjects include European Classical Literature, American Literature, Indian Classical Literature, Elizabethan Literature, Post-Colonial Literature, Women’s writing, etc. Each of the subjects covers extensive studies. All forms of poetry, prose, dramas, and English writing are usually incorporated into the BA English course syllabus. All the subjects of this course provide the requisite know-how on the social, political, and economic life of the era the literary works belong to.  

    Consequently, the students can form a clear perspective on the social and cultural changes that inspired the written works. After completing the 3 years journey, the learners achieve the skills of communication, critical reading, and writing. The specific subjects of the BA English syllabus vary and the basic topics covered are large in number.

    Included are some of the basic subjects that are covered under the BA English course:

    Indian Classical LiteratureEuropean Classical Literature
    American LiteratureIndian Writing in English
    British Poetry and Drama: 14th to 17th CenturiesBritish Poetry and Drama: 17th & 18th Centuries
    Popular LiteratureIndian Writing in English
    British Literature: 18th CenturyBritish Romantic Literature
    Modern European DramaBritish Literature: The Early 20th Century
    Postcolonial LiteratureWomen’s Writing
    Communicative EnglishAutobiography
    Academic WritingTravel Writing

    BA English Optional Subjects

    BA English subjects taught as optional are a crucial part of the entire BA English course syllabus. The optional subjects along with the core ones broaden the route of learning for the students. The core and the optional BA English course subjects are complementary to each other. The optional subjects help the students to explore writing skills like academic writing, travel writing, etc. All these skills prepare the students for some interesting careers in writing. Students gain an understanding of how to convey their thoughts and feelings in the right words. Thinking capability, creative ability, etc. are properly nurtured with the learning of these optional subjects. As the students have to choose the optional based on their interests, they should be clear about that. They should be well aware of the purpose and learning outcome of both the BA English syllabus and BA English course subjects taught in the optional part.  Listed below are the optional subjects usually taught in the BA English course:

    ·    Text and Performances

    ·    Literary Theory

    ·    Research Methodology

    ·    Travel Writing

    ·    Autobiography

    ·    Academic Writing and Composition

    ·    Readings on Indian Diversities and Literary Movements

    ·    Modern Indian Writing in English Translation

    ·    Literary Criticism

    Syllabus for BA English Distance Programs

    The BA English Course Syllabus for distance programs is important for the students of the BA English Distance learning program.  Instead of regular classes, students in this mode of learning attend classes at flexible times. The BA English syllabus for the distance program is designed with the objective of enabling students to secure a prospective career in the field. The course topics are chosen based on future scopes.  BA English course subjects in distance education are varied.  Different universities teach different subjects keeping the core concepts similar to each other. Like the regular courses, the BA English subjects cover different genres like prose, poetry, novel, drama, etc. In some universities, students are taught the concepts of the structure of modern English as well. English Communication skills are an important part of the BA English distance education syllabus.

    Listed below are the syllabus topics that a BA English distance education students require to study during the course:

    From Language to LiteratureThe Structure of Modern English
    Understanding ProseUnderstanding Poetry
    Understanding DramaReading the Novel
    Communication Skills in EnglishEnglish for Business Communication

    BA English Entrance Exam Syllabus

    The aspirants of BA English must be well-versed in the BA English syllabus for entrance exams. The entrance exams for BA English are held to test the students’ potential for the subjects. These entrance exams are held at the national level and university levels. Some colleges accept national-level entrance exam scores while others prefer to accept university-level entrance scores for the admission of students to BA English courses. 

    At the national level, the most important entrance exam is CUET. To get admission to BA in English course at some universities, the candidates have to appear on an English/General Test of CUET.

    The English test comprises the following:

    EnglishGeneral Test

    Reading Comprehension

    General Knowledge

    Verbal Ability

    Current Affairs

    Rearranging the Parts

    General Mental Ability

    Choosing the Correct word

    Numerical Ability

    Synonyms and Antonyms

    Quantitative Reasoning


    Logical and Analytical Reasoning

    Other than CUET, there is a popular entrance test called IPU CET or Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test which is a university-level entrance exam. This entrance exam is conducted for admission to different undergraduate courses. For the BA English course, the entrance exam syllabus includes the following topics:

    ·    General English

    ·    Literary Aptitude

    ·    General Awareness

    BA English Important Books

    A good book for BA English plays an essential role in providing adequate knowledge of different BA English course subjects. There are books of different genres and different BA English subjects. They come with different topics and different objectives. There are prose and poetry books, books on dramas, novels, the History of English literature, etc.  Every book studied in the field of BA English gives in-depth learning on the subjects. By reading these books the students acquire course-specific learning which in return helps them to excel in the exam. Besides, these books boost the aptitude of the subjects. 

    By reading a drama, one can understand the social structure against which the writer developed the plot. The same is true for prose, poetry, and novel. The characters portrayed in the books present the people of that age, their characters, thoughts, lives, etc. In this way, the students come to know about the time and matter a writer wanted to portray through his/her writing. Listed below are some books of different genres that the students read to cover the BA English course syllabus:

    Books on English Literature

    ·    English Literature by Edward Albert

    ·    A History of English Literature by Satish Kumar

    Books on Philology

    ·    Otto Jespersen: Growth and Structure of the English Language

    ·    C.L. Wren: The English Language


    ·    Macbeth by William Shakespeare

    ·    As You Like It by William Shakespeare

    ·    Edward II by Christopher Marlowe

    ·    Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

    ·    Bravely Fought the Queen by Mahesh Dattani

    ·    The Way of the World by William Congreve

    ·    She Stoops to Conquer by Goldsmith


    ·    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

    ·    Rajmohan's Wife by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay


    ·    'Wife of Bath's Prologue' by Geoffrey Chaucer

    ·    'Paradise Lost' by John Milton

    ·    ‘The Good Morrow’ by John Donne

    ·    ‘To Helen’ by Edgar Allan Poe

    ·    ‘River’ by A.K. Ramanujan

    ·    'London' by Samuel Johnson


    ·    Selections from Bacon’s Essay

    ·    Sidney’s Arcadia

    ·    More’s Utopia

    ·    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

    BA English Course Structure

    Like the BA English Course syllabus, the structure of the course also varies for different universities. The course structure is designed in such a way that the students can read about the works of different authors across the world. A wide range of topics is taught across the universities ranging from the literature of the Victorian age to contemporary literature. 

    Apart from that, theBA English syllabus covers the teaching of advanced writing techniques too. With the learning of the writing procedures, students develop the skill to achieve fineness in writing. They learn about the writing techniques used in different industries. The course structure of BA in English includes the following aspects:

    ·    Semesters

    ·    Core Subjects

    ·    Optional Subjects

    ·    Writing/ Translation/ Language

    FAQs about BA in English Syllabus

    Is BA English helpful for UPSC?

    Yes, BA English is helpful for UPSC. If anyone having studied BA English want to appear in the Civil Services exam, then they can use this as optional paper.

    How many semesters a student has to qualify to pass BA English?

    Usually, a student has to study 6 semesters in 3 years to pass BA English. Each year, there are 2 semesters in this course.

    Is BA English good for the future?

    Yes, BA English is an extremely good subject for the future. It is one of the most sought-after courses in the Arts stream which comes with a plethora of career opportunities in the fields of Teaching, Journalism, Content Writing, Translation etc.

    How many papers are there in BA English?

    Most of universities follow the semester system for BA English. In the entire course, around 40-43 subjects are taught which are segregated into 6-8 subjects for each semester.

    What if I fail in BA English?

    If you fail in BA English then you have to repeat the year. Those students who will fail will have to take re-admission and start the year by applying for fresh.
    Show More

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    priyal gogna, Student / Alumni

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