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QV31 - English Literature and History

English Literature and History

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: QV31
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020
Year :

This English Literature and History degree allows you to explore society through historical evidence and literary works.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £18600

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAA-AAB
  • IB: 35-36 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

This three-year joint honours degree focuses on developing your skills and abilities to critically analyse both historical topics and works of literature. You'll graduate as a confident and independent learner, ready for your future career.

You'll study a range of topics across both subject areas. You'll explore Renaissance literature, the Romantics and post-war culture in English literature. In history, you'll examine themes including revolution, slavery and radicalism across a variety of periods, geographies and cultures.

You’ll study in a research-led environment, alongside scholars at the forefront of their fields. You'll benefit from their experience in a range of topics like:

  • world literatures in English
  • theatre
  • children's literature
Students laughing with each other

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

See our terms and conditions for more information

View our Frequently Asked Questions

Quality and ranking

  • 10th in the UK – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 (English Studies category)
  • top 20 in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2021 (English category)
  • 92% overall student satisfaction score – National Student Survey 2019
  • 3rd in the UK for research – Research Excellence Framework 2014 (English Language and Literature category)
  • top 150 – English Language and Literature category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
  • top 175 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2020

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Your compulsory modules will provide you with the core skills of research analysis and interpretation for the study of literature and history.

These skills will underpin your learning and success in optional modules which may cover a chronological, geographical and cultural range of topics.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Evidence and Argument 20
Close Reading 20
Optional Modules Credits
Big History: From the Big Bang to Climate change 20
Gods, Gold, and Silk: Global Middle Ages 20
Stuff: living in a material world 20
Global Ancient Histories 20
History Lab I 20
History Lab II 20
Public History 20
What is History For? 20
Introduction to Literary Studies 1 20
Introduction to Literary Studies II 20
Transformations 20

You will advance your understanding of literature and history through the ages, with a selection of modules that ensures historical coverage alongside optional modules of your choice.

An interdisciplinary independent research project teaches you how to research, plan and write an essay on an area of particular interest to you.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Research Project in English Literature & History 20
Optional Modules Credits
Hellenistic Empires from Alexander to Cleopatra 20
Fatal Allies: Anglo-Irish Relations, 1798-1998 20
Clash of Civilizations? Islam, the Crusades, and the Mongol invasions (c. 750-1300) 20
Africa: History of a Continent 20
Between Revolutions: Britain 1688-1789 20
Anglo-Saxon England: From Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest, 410 - 1066 20
Europe's Reformations 20
Pre-Columbian and Spanish America 20
Twentieth Century France 1914-95 20
Social Histories of Alcohol: Britain and Ireland, 1700 - Present 20
The Dark Ages: The Post-Roman World, 500-800 20
Death, Dying & the Dead in Early Modern England, 1500-1832 20
A History of Contemporary Britain 20
American Slavery, American Freedom: Black and White America in the Age of Revolutions 20
Society and Politics in Colonial India, 1880s-1947 20
China's Last Empire 20
Survey History of Japan 20
The History of New Orleans 20
Oral History and Memory 20
The Habsburg Empire 20
The Soviet Experiment: 1917-1991 20
Irish Public Histories: Commemoration, Digitisation and the Politics of the Past in Ireland 20
Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Egypt and Sudan 20
The History of Modern Germany, 1806 until today 20
The Scientific Revolution: Transformations in Knowledge 1500-1700 20
A History of Aotearoa New Zealand to the 1920s 20
The Russian Empire from Peter the Great to Lenin 20
Career Development for second year students 20
Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability 20
Renaissance Bodies 20
Writing New Worlds, 1688-1789 20
Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832 20
Victorian Passions: Victorian Values 20
Fictions of Migration 20
Contemporary Cultures 20
Modernisms 20
Creative Practice 20
Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry 20
Poetry Workshop 20
Theatre Script Workshop 20
Prose Workshop 20
Screenwriting Workshop 20
Overseas Exchange (Semester 1) 60
Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 60

Students will conduct a major piece of original, independent research, through an interdisciplinary dissertation. This may involve archival research from local or digital archives, tapping into the University’s broad and impressive range of resources.

Alongside this research project, students will benefit from a huge range of optional modules that allow them to critically reflect on their disciplines, and the connections between them.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Dissertation in English Literature & History 40
Optional Modules Credits
Semester One Substitute for Stage 3 HIS Capped Special Subject 20
Semester Two Substitute for Stage 3 HIS Capped Special Subject 20
Reading History 20
History and Society 20
China in Revolution 20
The Nazi New Order in Europe 20
Madness, Nerves and Narratives in Georgian Britain, c. 1714-1830 20
Reconstruction and the New South, 1865-1900 20
Living Together: Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Iberia 20
British Foreign Policy since Suez 20
Jarrow Crusade 20
Civil Rights and Armalites Northern Ireland since 1969 20
Genocide and Justice in the Twentieth Century: From the Armenian Genocide to the International Criminal Court 20
Civil Rights in America, 1948-1975 20
Post-Revolutionary Mexico: From Zapata to the Zapatistas 20
Royal Portraits: Christian Kings and Kingship, c. 870-c. 930 20
Viking-Age Scandinavia 20
Women in Colonial South Asia: Tradition, Reform and Modernity 20
Imagined Futures 20
Islamism and its Origins 20
God's Terrible Voice: the experience and impact of Plague in England, 1500 - 1722 20
Talking Cures and Troubles: An Oral History of Health and Medicine in Britain, c. 1948 - 2000 20
Europe and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1798 20
Punishing the Criminal Dead: Crime, Culture, and Corpses in Modern Britain 20
Russian Cities and Culture from Peter the Great to the Revolution 20
The Moral Economy of Loyalty in Northern Ireland, 1921-39 – the Linen Lords and the Plebs. 20
Lunatic to Citizen? Madness and Society since 1900 20
The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1961 - 1990 20
The Rising Generation: Youth, Age and Protest in Post-War Britain 20
Consuming Empire: Global Trade and the Transformation of Britain, c. 1688-1820. 20
Health and disease in the Anthropocene: Intersections of human and environmental health post 1800 20
Travelling the Mediterranean: passages from antiquity to modernity 20
The Renaissance World of Machiavelli, 1450-1550 20
Career Development for final year students 20
Orgasms, Odalisques, Onanism: Desire and the Body at the Fin de siècle 20
Chaucer, Shakespeare and the Book of the Future 20
Sex and Money: Economies of the Victorian Novel 20
Other Renaissances: Gender, Race and Sexuality in Early Modern Culture 20
Cultural Industries Placement Module (Semester 1) 20
Cultural Industries Placement Module (Semester 2) 20
Romantic Poetry: Journeys of the Imagination 20
Contemporary Documentary 1: Theory and Practice 20
Contemporary Documentary 2: Theory & Practice 20
Writing the Postcolonial Nation: Literature from the Indian Subcontinent 20
Women of Virtue and Women of Pleasure: Sensibility in the Age of Reason 20
Landscapes of American Modernism 20
Modernist Poetry: Pound to the Beats 20
Caribbean-U.S. Cultures 20
Women on Trial: Gender, Power, and Performance in Shakespeare's England 20
Between the Acts: English Theatre, 1660-1737 20
Shakespeare's Show Business 20
The Victorian Novel: Time, Change, and the Life Course 20
High-toned, Middlebrow, and Lowdown: Jazz-Age Literature in the Magazines 20
Making Ireland: Kingdom, Colony and Nation in Text and Performance 20
Planetary Imaginations: Literature in the Time of Environmental Crisis 20
Manuscript, Print, Digital 20
Children’s Literature and Black Britain 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You'll be taught through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • peer-led study groups
  • one-on-one tutor supervision

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

Skills and experience

Practical experience

You'll benefit from a range of regular field trips organised by the School. These include visits to:

  • The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
  • Lindisfarne
  • Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)
  • Beamish Museum
  • the Great North Museum
  • Northern Stage

Business skills

You'll have the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in the cultural industries in Stage 3. This experience will develop your communication and management skills as well as your ability to work in a team. 

Research skills

In Stage 2, you'll undertake an independent research project and in your final year, you'll write a dissertation.

These projects allow you to develop your skills across both disciplines and engage in interdisciplinary thinking.

You can also apply for a vacation scholarship, where you can work alongside researchers. You'll first-hand experience of working on a project and develop key skills, such as:

  • researching new material
  • collecting, analysing and interpreting social data
  • working on a lab project with a team
  • carrying out research in challenging environments

Chat to a student

I chose to study at Newcastle because the flexibility of doing a joint English Literature and History course was extremely appealing to me and I could not think of a better city or university to complete my degree at!

Lucy, English Literature and History student


Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

In the third year of your degree you can apply to undertake a work placement in a cultural industry. This is an opportunity for you to relate the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout your degree and apply them to real-world scenarios.

Your placement will be an integrated part of your degree which will last for one day per week for about 10 weeks. It will be assessed through the submission of a Project Work Diary and a Final Report which together form the Placement Portfolio.

In addition you'll also have the opportunity to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment


You'll be based in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, which is at the heart of our city-centre campus, in the Percy Building. You'll join a lively community of students, academics, authors and professionals.

You'll have access to a digital media lab – for students with documentary and film-making modules – a PC cluster, a student-led cafe, and plenty of spaces to work and socialise, all based in the School.

You will have 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 the award-winning student newspaper, The Courier, giving you the opportunity to develop your creative writing and journalism skills. 

Our teaching is closely linked to the programme of the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA), giving you regular contact with leading creative artists. You'll also have access to the diverse programme of events organised by NCLA throughout the year, including spoken-word events and creative writing courses.

Find out more about the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics


You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.

Visiting speakers

The School hosts an annual visiting speakers' programme and poetry readings and film screenings also take place during the year, organised by students or staff.

Your future

Our English Literature and History graduates are in high demand when they complete this course. 100% of our graduates were in work or further study within six months of graduating*.

* Destinations of (undergraduate, UK and EU) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17

Pursue diverse career paths

Graduates have gone into a range of industries, such as:

  • journalism
  • media
  • publishing
  • PR
  • politics
  • professional writing
  • libraries
  • marketing

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 gain other skills such as:

  • analysis and summarising
  • communication
  • time-keeping
  • arguing and debating
  • independent and collaborative work
  • critical thinking

This is excellent preparation for a wide number of professions and as such, our graduates have gone into 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.

Make a difference

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Careers support

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

35-36 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements


Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying 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.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

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. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:


Find out more about:

Open days and events

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

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.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

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