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English Language and Literature BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q300
  • Full time
  • 3 years

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

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £21000

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: ABB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

Our English Language and Literature programme will develop your literary and linguistic knowledge. This joint honours degree will help you understand how each discipline complements the other.

You will learn from world-leading experts in everything from language and ageing to the Victorian novel.

You can combine a variety of different modules throughout your course. You can take a module in child language acquisition alongside one in children’s literature. You can learn about the development of English alongside heroic sagas. You can learn about dialects while also studying the poetry of Robert Burns.

On top of this, you’ll use everything you’ve learnt to undertake independent research on a topic of your choice.

At the end of your degree, you’ll have highly specialised knowledge from two disciplines. You will also have a huge range of skills, covering everything from transcription and annotation to archival research and persuasive argument.

Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
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, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

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.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

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.

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 the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology 20
Introduction to Language Structure 2: Syntax, semantics and pragmatics 20
Dealing with Data 20
Doing Criticism 20
Beginnings 20
Revolutions 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
Phonological Theory 20
Syntactic Theory 20
Sociolinguistics 20
Renaissance Bodies 20
Writing New Worlds, 1688-1789 20
Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832 20
Victorian Passions: Victorian Values 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
Poetry Workshop 20
Theatre Script Workshop 20
Prose Workshop 20
Screenwriting Workshop 20
Experimental Methods in Linguistics 20
Multilingualism 20
Stagecraft in Early Drama 20
Literatures of Decolonisation 20
Pragmatic Theory 20
CHiLD: Current Hypotheses in Language Development 20
It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation 20
Introduction to Second Language Acquisition 20
Overseas Exchange (Semester 1) 60
Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 60

You only take one of the following modules if you undertake the Study Abroad exchange programme:

Overseas Exchange (Semester 1)

Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 

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
Syntactic Theory 20
Sociolinguistics 20
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties 20
Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry 20
Experimental Methods in Linguistics 20
Multilingualism 20
Pragmatic Theory 20
CHiLD: Current Hypotheses in Language Development 20
It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation 20
Introduction to Second Language Acquisition 20
Origins and Evolution of Language 20
Language in the City 20
Sex and Money: Economies of the Victorian Novel 20
Short-form Dissertation 1: English Language and Linguistics 20
Short-form Dissertation 2: English Language and Linguistics 20
Long-form Dissertation: English Language and Linguistics 40
Documentary Storytelling: Theory and Practice 20
Documentary Storytelling: Theory and Practice 20
The History of Linguistic Ideas 20
Dissertation: Long-Form Essay 40
Independent Essay I (English Literature) 20
Independent Essay II (English Literature) 20
Landscapes of American Modernism 20
Enlightened Romantics: A Revolution in Feeling 20
Time, Change, and the Life Course in Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century 20
American Poetry Now 20
Prose Portfolio 40
Theatre Script Portfolio 40
Poetry Portfolio 40
Screenwriting Portfolio 40
Dissertation: Digital Exhibition 40
Planetary Imaginations: Literature in the Time of Environmental Crisis 20
Writing Liberty in the Romantic Era 20
Language and Ageing 20
Dissertation: Digital Edition 40
Fiction and the Philosophy of Terror: From the Supernatural to the Sublime 20
Freedom and Imagination: US Literature 1850-1900 20
Deep North: Modern Literature of the North East 20
Advanced Second Language Acquisition 20
Laboratory Phonology 20
Popular Romance and Contemporary Political Discourse 20
Making Young Adult Literature 20
From Input to Output: The Blackbox of Child Language Acquisition 20
Medieval and Early Modern Meaning: English Historical Semantics 20
War Writing: Heroic and Hostile Discourses in Medieval Literature 20
Envious Show: Wealth, Power and Ambition in Narratives of the Country House, 1550-2000 20
Exposing Ourselves: Privacy, Contemporary Performance and the Public Sphere 20
Devolutionary Fictions: Literature, Politics, and the British State since 1960 20
Border Fictions: Migration, Memory, and Transgressions in Global Anglophone Literatures, 1900-Present Day 20
Keats and Romantic Epic 20
Shakespeare and Company: Gender, Power, Theatre 20

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

All our modules offer practical experience. In language and linguistics, this might take the form of data collection and analysis. In literary studies, this might include archival and editing work.

When you study English at Newcastle, you will also 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 on Literature or Language. It is also possible to carry out an interdisciplinary research project that combines both disciplines.


Employability and the engagement with the wider world go hand-in-hand in this degree.

Many of our modules, particularly in Stage 3, model their assessments on the kind of tasks you might be employed to do:

  • constructing marketing briefs
  • drafting website copy
  • curating exhibitions 
  • designing experiments
  • coding websites
  • analysing data
  • writing clear and persuasive arguments

Beyond our modules, there are plenty of extracurricular opportunities. These range from freelance writing for Newcastle’s student newspaper to paid internships in the department.

The Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts, in particular, hires students to work on everything from event management to app design. The centre also runs workshops with professionals in the creative industries.


Study abroad

You can study abroad for one semester in your second year as part of this degree. In Europe we have links with:

  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Leipzig University, Germany
  • Groningen University, Netherlands
  • Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

We also 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
  • PC clusters throughout campus
  • 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 (accountant and SME champion, awarded a CBE in 2007 and an OBE in 1997)

Students with 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. Our graduates have also gone into a variety of career areas including marketing, law, politics, and human resources.

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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

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2024 entry.

International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

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. 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.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

Qualification: BA Honours

Home students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


International students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


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:

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

Call us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333 and press option 1. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm.

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