This three-year joint honours English Language and Literature BA Honours degree develops your knowledge of the history of English and how it's used. You'll gain an insight into literature from medieval England to the present day, while also investigating the structure and development of the English language and its many uses today.
You'll learn from subject experts, world-leading researchers in literature and linguistics throughout your degree programme.
You'll be able to immerse yourself in local culture at venues such as Seven Stories, The Wordsworth Trust and the Literary and Philosophical Society.
Developing your knowledge of the scientific methodologies used to study the English language, you'll become a confident professional with a range of valuable skills applicable to fields across language and literature.
Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Quality and ranking
- 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 2021
- 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.
You will build the foundations for the theoretical and historical study of language and literature.
You'll study half of your topics in English language and half in literature.
In your language modules, you'll be introduced to general topics on the nature of language and more specific ones, such as the investigation of regional dialects and other kinds of language variation.
Literature modules will provide you with an overview of the development of English literature through time and across cultures.
Your language modules give you the option to develop different aspects of your knowledge of the structure of English, the history of the English language, the social contexts in which English is used, and scientific methodologies for studying these phenomena.
In literature, you take at least one pre-19th-century topic alongside a more contemporary one. A range of topics are available, including Renaissance literature; Romantic literature; the Victorians; 20th-century British and American modernism; post-war and contemporary culture; drama; children’s fiction; postcolonial literature; film modules; and creative writing.
At Stage 3, module options relate to your lecturers' specialisms, allowing you to explore some of the topics in language and literature studied at Stage 2 in more depth and giving you the opportunity to develop your specialist interests.
We base these figures and graphs on the most up-to-date information available to us. They combine data on the planned delivery and assessments of our courses in 2021-22 with data on the modules chosen by our students in 2020-21.
Teaching time is made up of:
- scheduled learning and teaching activities. These are timetabled activities with a member of staff present
- structured guided learning. These are activities developed by staff to support engagement with module learning. Students or groups of students undertake these activities without direct staff participation or supervision
Teaching and assessment
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.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
Studying English at Newcastle means you will benefit from regular field trips organised by the School. These include visits to:
- The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
- various city theatres such as Northern Stage, Live Theatre, and Theatre Royal
- Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)
- Beamish Museum
- the Great North Museum
For your independent study module at Stage 3, you can choose to complete a dissertation or extended research project, investigating a topic that you are passionate about. You can focus your research either on Literature, or on Language or to carry out an interdisciplinary research project that combines both disciplines.
All Stage 2 students take part in the English Employability Challenge, an event run in collaboration with School alumni and the Newcastle University Careers Service. This event gives you the opportunity to take on real-life business situations with a brief set by an employer. You have the option to gain work experience in the cultural industries in Stage 3. These experiences will develop your communication and management skills, as well as your ability to work in a team.
Those interested in developing their enterprise skills or setting up a business will also have the opportunity to take part in the Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability module.
Chat to a student
My favourite thing about my course is the diverse array of modules on offer; from the study of the structure of language and the exploration of linguistics as a science, to the introduction of medieval and renaissance literature
You have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in your second year. In Europe we have links with:
- Ghent University, Belgium
- Leipzig University, Germany
- Groningen University, Netherlands
- Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
We have links with universities in other parts of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, including, but not limited to:
- Monash University, Australia
- University of Sydney, Australia
- McGill University, Canada
- University of Hong Kong
- University of Vermont, USA
During your degree you’ll have multiple opportunities to undertake a meaningful work placement. In your second and third years you may choose to take the Career Development Module which offers academic credit for 50 hours of placement. You can choose to carry out your placement via part-time work, volunteering or in a local school. You will be assessed through a mixture of written work, presentations and professional skills assessment.
In addition you'll have the option to spend 9 to 12 months on a work placement with University support from our dedicated Careers team to help you secure your dream placement in the UK or abroad. 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. Previous placements have been in a range of sectors, including:
- Journalism and Broadcasting
- Sustainable Energy
- Digital Media and Marketing
- Museum and Heritage
- Travel and Tourism
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.
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, writers and professionals.
You'll have access to:
- a digital media lab – for students with documentary and film-making modules
- The LingLab, a world-class research facility for linguistics
- a PC cluster
- a student-led café
- the award-winning Language Resource Centre with self-study resources for over 50 languages
- plenty of spaces to work and socialise
You will have exceptional library provision from our award-winning Library Service. It houses over one million books and a huge range of electronic resources.
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 affecting your academic progress. Peer Mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer questions you may have when starting university.
English graduates from Newcastle University include:
- Peter Straughan (screenwriter of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
- Andy Bird (former chairman of Walt Disney International)
- Neil Astley (writer and founder of Bloodaxe publishing house)
- Teresa Graham (awarded a CBE in 2007 and an OBE in 1997)
- Andy Bird (former chairman of Walt Disney International)
100% of English Language and Literature 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
Students on this degree get a range of valuable skills, which they can transfer to many different sectors. Your literary 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:
- analysing and summarising
- oral and written communication
- arguing and debating
- working independently and collaboratively
- critical thinking
This is excellent preparation for a wide number of professions. Our graduates have gone into a variety of career areas including:
- other forms of media
Others have gone to work in law, politics, HR, teaching and supporting specialist learning.
Make a difference
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.
Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications
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.
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.
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 2022 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.
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.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
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:
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Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
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.