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Q300 - English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q300
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2022

Immerse yourself in the literary and linguistic study of language as part of a wide-ranging degree in an inspiring city.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £20400

Entry requirements

  • A Level: ABB
  • IB: 34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

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.

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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.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Introduction to Literary Studies 1 20
Introduction to Literary Studies II 20
The Nature of Language 20
Transformations 20
Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Syntax and Phonology 20
Language Variation and Change: Dealing with Data 20

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.


Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for second year students 20
Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability 20
Phonological Theory 20
Introduction to Child and Adult Language Acquisition 20
Syntactic Theory 20
Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language 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
Independent Research Project 20
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties 20
Creative Practice 20
Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry 20
Speakers as Wordsmiths: the creation of new words in present-day English 20
Poetry Workshop 20
Theatre Script Workshop 20
Prose Workshop 20
Screenwriting Workshop 20
Experimental Methods in Linguistics 20
Multilingualism 20
Overseas Exchange (Semester 1) 60
Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 60

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.


Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for final year students 20
Phonological Theory 20
Introduction to Child and Adult Language Acquisition 20
Syntactic Theory 20
Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language 20
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties 20
Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry 20
Speakers as Wordsmiths: the creation of new words in present-day English 20
Experimental Methods in Linguistics 20
Multilingualism 20
Origins and Evolution of Language 20
Topics in Phonological Theory 20
Growing Up Global: Childhood and National Identity from Postwar to Present 20
Immigrant Second Language & Literacy Acquisition 20
Orgasms, Odalisques, Onanism: Desire and the Body at the Fin de siècle 20
The Structure of a Language: Bengali 20
Extended Study 1: Linguistics and English Language 20
Extended Study 2: Linguistics and English Language 20
Dissertation: Linguistics and English Language 40
Romantic Poetry: Journeys of the Imagination 20
Old English: Texts and Translations 20
Contemporary Documentary 2: Theory & Practice 20
The History of Linguistic Ideas 20
Language development:Cross-disciplinary approaches 20
Dissertation in English Literature 40
Independent Essay I (English Literature) 20
Independent Essay II (English Literature) 20
Modernist Poetry: Pound to the Beats 20
Caribbean-U.S. Cultures 20
Between the Acts: English Theatre, 1660-1737 20
The Victorian Novel: Time, Change, and the Life Course 20
American Poetry Now 20
Prose Portfolio 40
Theatre Script Portfolio 40
Poetry Portfolio 40
Screenwriting Portfolio 40
High-toned, Middlebrow, and Lowdown: Jazz-Age Literature in the Magazines 20
Exhibiting Texts: Creating and Curating an Online Exhibition 40
Making Ireland: Kingdom, Colony and Nation in Text and Performance 20
Planetary Imaginations: Literature in the Time of Environmental Crisis 20
Writing Liberty in the Romantic era 20
Language and Ageing 20
Dissertation by Digital Edition 40
Stagecraft: sex, subversion and salvation in early drama 20
Gender, Power, and Performance in Early Modern Culture 20
Gothic Fiction, 1790-1890: From the Supernatural to the Sublime 20
Contemporary Experimental Writing and Medicine 20
Reading Freud: An Introduction to the Principles of Psychoanalytic Theory 20
Dissertation in English Language and Literature 40
American Modernist Literature 20
Overseas Exchange (Semester 1) 40
Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 40

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

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.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

Skills and experience

Practical 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)
  • Lindisfarne
  • 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

Research skills

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

Claire, English Language & Literature student


Study abroad

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

Find out more about Study Abroad

Work placement

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
  • Politics
  • Digital Media and Marketing
  • Education
  • Finance
  • 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.

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, 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.

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 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.

Your future

Industry links

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
  • time-keeping
  • 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:

  • editorial
  • marketing
  • PR
  • 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

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.

Read our detailed explanation

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

34 points

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

(This includes 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 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.

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.

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.

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

By Phone

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