English Literature has a long and prestigious history at Newcastle University, having been taught here for over a century. This degree provides you with an excellent education in literature, drama and film, combining a flexible approach and wide range of option choices with extensive historical coverage.
At a Glance
UCAS Institution Name and Code
A Level: AAA-AAB
IB: 35-36 points
You will deepen your knowledge of literary texts and gain a firm foundation in the critical and theoretical skills needed to analyse them.
We introduce you to a wide range of literary texts – poetry, prose, plays and film – and offer a balance of pre-twentieth-century topics and more contemporary ones.
There are also opportunities to practise creative writing and theatre, to make films or take a work placement in one of the region's cultural industries.
Quality and rankingQuality and ranking
The quality of the English study experience at Newcastle is recognised with a top 20 UK ranking in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.
We also achieved a very impressive 90% overall student satisfaction score in the National Student Survey 2016.
English Language and Literature at Newcastle ranks 3rd overall in the UK for research (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and in the top 100 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
Boost your employability with a work placementBoost your employability with a work placement
Apply to spend 9 to 12 months on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. You can apply to spend your placement year with any organisation and will receive University support to do so.
You’ll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
It will extend your degree by a year and is subject to availability.
Find out more about Work Placements.
Cultural industries placementCultural industries placement
In Stage 3, you have the chance to gain valuable work-related experience by undertaking a work placement in one of the cultural industries. This is an exciting opportunity to relate the knowledge and skills you have acquired to the work environment, as well as enhancing your CV.
Your placement will be an integrated part of your degree which will last for one day per week for about 10 weeks (60 hours). It will be assessed through the submission of a Project Work Diary and a Final Report which together form the Placement Portfolio.
Places are limited and entry to the module may be on a competitive basis.
Field trips and eventsField trips and events
Studying at Newcastle means much more than your time spent in the classroom or the library. The School organises regular field trips to cultural venues in the region such as:
- The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
- Bede’s World
- Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books
- local museums including Beamish and the Great North Museum
We are home to the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA). This brings internationally renowned writers to Newcastle, through a year-long festival of readings, discussion and debate.
The cross-faculty Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences also organises a rich programme of extracurricular events.
Study abroadStudy abroad
UK and EU students have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in your second year, through the Erasmus programme. The work that you do and the grades you achieve are counted towards your final degree.
The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics has Erasmus links with the following universities:
- Leiden in the Netherlands
- Peter Pazmany in Hungary
- Gdansk in Poland
- Ghent in Belgium
We also have study abroad links with two universities in Canada – Dalhousie and New Brunswick - available through our Non-EU Study Abroad exchange programme.
Facilities and supportFacilities and support
As a student at Newcastle, you will be part of our School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, which has a long and prestigious history.
The School occupies its own building, the Percy Building, in the heart of campus where you will join a lively community of students, academics, authors and professionals.
All of our students enjoy exceptional library provision from our award-winning Library Service, which houses over one million books and a huge range of electronic resources.
Newcastle University Students' Union is home to one of the best student newspapers in the country, The Courier. You also have the opportunity to submit poetry and short prose for the School's magazine, Alliterati.
You'll have a personal tutor throughout your degree – an academic member of staff who can help with academic and personal issues. You'll also have access to a peer mentor in your first year – a fellow student who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have.
There's a lively literary society, EngSoc, which organises social and academic events around a literary theme, as well as a Linguistics Society. There's an active student drama scene on campus, with two student drama societies open to all. You have opportunities throughout the year to get subsidised tickets for theatre productions in Newcastle.
Find out more
Visit the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics' website, where you can watch:
Teaching and assessmentTeaching and assessment
Study at the cutting edge
The content of all of our degrees is shaped by the research specialisms of our staff, many of whom are international leaders in their field. This means you have access to the very latest ideas and discoveries in your subject.
We focus our research in five key areas:
You can normally expect to spend around 10 hours per week attending lectures, seminars, workshops and film screenings. You also spend around 25 hours per week on class preparation, reading, writing, and other kinds of independent research recommended by your tutor.
- written course work
- group presentations
- discussion-board postings
- end-of-semester examinations
Find out more
Teaching and assessment methods may vary from module to module. More information about each module including specific assessment credits and contact hours, can be found in the Course Details section.
Visit our Teaching & Learning pages to read about the outstanding learning experience available to all students at Newcastle University.
Compare this course
See how this course compares with others for topics such as student satisfaction, fees and costs and prospects after graduation using the Unistats Key Information Set.
Modules for 2016 entry
The module and/or programme information below is for 2016 entry. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Modules/programme information for 2017 entry will be published here as soon as it is available (mid-May 2017).
Our degrees are divided into Stages. Each Stage lasts for an academic year and you need to complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each Stage.
- SEL1003 Introduction to Literary Studies I
- SEL1004 Introduction to Literary Studies II
- SEL1030 Close Reading
- SEL1023 Transformations
40 further credits will be chosen from modules offered within Stage 1 of Combined Honours degree programme, alternatively you may take the following modules:
You choose two modules from Group 1 and two modules from Group 2.
- SEL2201 Reading the Renaissance
- SEL2202 Writing New Worlds, 1660-1800
- SEL2203 Revolutionary Britain: 1789 - 1832
- SEL2219 Monsters, Misery and Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry
- SEL2216 Poetry, Script and Prose Workshop
- SEL2204 Victorian Passions: Victorian Values
- SEL2205 Fictions of Migration
- SEL2206 Contemporary Cultures
- SEL2207 Modernisms
- SEL2217 Popular Performance Here and Now
You choose a further module from Group 1 or 2 to bring your total to 120 credits, or you may choose to replace one module with one from the following list:
- SEL2089 Syntactic Theory
- SEL2000 Phonological Theory
- SEL2091 Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language
- SEL2086 Introduction to Language Acquisition
- SEL2212 Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties
- SEL2211 Contexts: Mind, Cognition and Computation
- SEL2223 Speakers as Wordsmiths: the Creation of New Words in Present-Day English
- SEL2084 Syntax of the World’s Languages
- NCL2007 Career Development for Second Year Students
- NCL2010 Career Management Module
- NCL2100 Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability
Other optional modules may also be available from outside the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, with the approval of the Degree Programme Director.
Work Placement (optional)
You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. You can apply to spend your placement year with any organisation and will receive University support to do so. It will extend your degree by a year and is subject to availability. It isn't available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Find out more about Work Placements.
You choose one of the following modules:
In exceptional circumstances (and with the approval of the Degree Programme Director) you may replace SEL3362 (above) with both of the following:
You take 80 credits from the following, choosing at least one module from Group A and Group B.
- SEL3379 Enlightened Romantics
- SEL3093 Coming of Age in the Renaissance
- SEL3373 Women of Virtue and Women of Pleasure
- SEL3303 Writing Rebellion: The Literature of the English Revolution
- SEL3090 Chaucer, Chivalry, and Heresy in the Middle Ages
- SEL3340 Journeys of the Imagination in Romantic Poetry
- SEL3389 Stage and Page: Character and Performance, 1660-1800
- SEL3308 Murder, Mystery, Mayhem
- SEL3338 Children's Literature
- SEL3346 Contemporary Documentary 1: Theory and Practice
- SEL3091 Sex and Money: Economies of the Victorian Novel
- SEL3319 Spielberg Generation
- SEL3323 English Ghost Story: Themes and Forms
- SEL3390 A New Empire: Fiction and the Rise of Global Capitalism
- SEL3378 Landscapes of American Modernism
- SEL3347 Contemporary Documentary 2: Theory and Practice
- SEL3359 Victorian Dream Worlds
- SEL3370 Writing the Postcolonial Nation: Literature from the Indian Subcontinent
- SEL3388 Reading Contemporary Cultures
- SEL3387 The Child: Representations in Literature and Culture
- SEL3386 Modernist Poetry: Pound to the Beats
You may substitute one module from the above lists, with one from Group C and/or one from Group D. Other optional modules may also be available, as well as modules from outside the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.
- SEL3324 The Cultural Industries (Semester 1)
- SEL3325 The Cultural Industries (Semester 2)
- NCL3007 Career Development for Final Year Students
- NCL3008 Advanced Career Development for Final Year Students
- SEL3349 History of Linguistic Ideas
- SEL3341 Old English: Texts and Translations
- SEL3005 Language Origins and Evolution
- SEL3343 Syntactic Puzzles and How to Solve Them
- SEL3006 Topics in Phonological Theory
- SEL3352 Language Development
- SEL3012 Immigrant Second Language and Literacy Acquisition
- SEL3094 Accents of English
- SEL3372 Language and Ethnicity in 21st Century Britain
All candidates are considered on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our additional entry requirements web pages to find out which other qualifications are considered.
The entrance requirements below apply to 2018 entry.
A LevelsA Levels
AAA-AAB including English Literature or English Language and Literature at grade A, not including General Studies.
Scottish QualificationsScottish Qualifications
AAAAB at Higher Grade including English at grade A. Advanced Higher English at grade A is preferred. Combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers accepted.
Scottish qualifications can be taken in more than one sitting.
International BaccalaureateInternational Baccalaureate
35-36 points with English A1 at Higher level, grade 6.
Irish Leaving CertificateIrish Leaving Certificate
H1H1H1H2H3 at Higher Level, with minimum Grade H1 in English.
Access QualificationsAccess Qualifications
30 level 3 credits at Distinction, to include at least 15 Level 3 credits in English Literature at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit.
Cambridge Pre-UCambridge Pre-U
D3,D3,D3-D3,D3,M2 in Principal Subjects including English at grade D3.
Extended Project QualificationExtended Project Qualification
If you offer the Level 3 Extended Project Qualification in a topic relevant to the degree programme, we will vary our offer to recognise this.
PARTNERS - A LevelsPARTNERS - A Levels
ABB including English Literature or English Language and Literature, not including General Studies.
The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England. Find out more about the PARTNERS Programme.
English Language RequirementsEnglish Language Requirements
Other International QualificationsOther International Qualifications
ABB at A level is typically the minimum required for entry to an undergraduate course. You can check the equivalent grades for qualifications offered in your country.
Undergraduate Admissions Policy
See our Admissions Policy 2017 Entry (PDF: 109 KB).
English Language and Literature careers
English students acquire a range of valuable skills, which they can transfer to many different employment situations. Your literary and linguistic training can be used in journalism, librarianship, teaching and the highly competitive fields of writing, acting and directing.
You will also gain other skills such as the capacity to analyse and summarise material, to communicate, to work to a deadline, to argue a case, to work independently as well as collaboratively, to think logically and to be able to use computers.
This is excellent preparation for a wide number of professions and as such, our graduates have gone on to a variety of career areas including editorial, marketing, PR and other forms of media. Others have gone to work in law, politics, HR, teaching and supporting specialist learning.
Visit the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics website to watch video interviews with former students talking about their experiences at Newcastle and their careers since graduating.
Find out more about the career options for English Literature, Language and Linguistics from Prospects: The UK's Official Careers Website.
What our graduates go on to do: employment and further study choices
See what our recent graduates went on to do and view graduate destinations statistics. These statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation. The most recent data available is for graduates who completed their course in 2014/15.
The destination data is available in varying levels, beginning with the University and moving through Faculty and School down to individual course reports. This final level may give you some useful ideas about possible options after your course or a course you are considering.
Careers and employability at Newcastle
Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.
94% of our 2014/15 UK/EU graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.
Of our graduates who entered employment 85% were in a professional or managerial position.
We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through an initiative called ncl+. This enables you to develop personal, employability and enterprise skills and to give you the edge in the employment market after you graduate.
Fees & Funding
Tuition Fees (UK and EU students)Tuition Fees (UK and EU students)
Tuition fees for 2018-19 have not yet been confirmed.
£9,250 in 2017-18
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
- The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK/EU students is set by the UK government.
- As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
- Newcastle University has guaranteed that EU students entering our University in 2017 will pay the UK (Home) rate of fee for the full duration of their programme of study.
- Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
- See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.
Tuition Fees (International students)Tuition Fees (International students)
Tuition fees for 2018-19 have not yet been confirmed.
£13,980 per year
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
If you spend a year on placement or studying abroad as part of your degree you may pay a reduced fee for that year.
Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
See more information relating to all aspects of student finance at Newcastle University.
Scholarships and Financial Support (UK and EU students)Scholarships and Financial Support (UK and EU students)
Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)
Before you apply you will need to check the entry requirements for your chosen degree. We accept a wide range of qualifications offered for entry to our degrees. We welcome applications from international students.
Applying to Newcastle University through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
UCAS codes for Newcastle University
- institution name - NEWC
- institution code - N21
Ask your teacher or adviser from your school or college for the UCAS buzzword. You need the buzzword when you register on the Apply system. This makes it clear which school or college you are applying from.
All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international establishments are registered with UCAS.
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.
Making your application
On the UCAS website you can also find out more about: