Skip to main content

Q300 - English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q300
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020
Year :

Immerse yourself in English language and literature on this wide-ranging degree in an inspiring city with a vibrant literary scene.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £18000

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 English Language and Literature BA Honours degree develops your knowledge of the history of English and how it's used. You'll explore Renaissance literature, the Romantics, American Modernism and post-war culture, gaining an insight of literature from pre-20th-century to the present day. 

You will learn from subject experts, world-leading researchers in literature and internationally acclaimed writers 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. 

Sorry, you need JavaScript to view this video

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

Your course during COVID-19

Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.

We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.


Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.

Your learning experience

Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.

Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.


In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.

Field trips

We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

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 (English Studies category)
  • top 150 – English Language & Literature category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
  • 3rd in the UK for research – Research Excellence Framework 2014 (English Language and Literature category)
  • 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 be introduced to general topics on the nature of language and more specific ones, such as the investigation of regional dialects.

You'll study a third of your topics in English language and a third in literature. You can then choose from a wide selection of modules across the subject area. 


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 develop 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-20th-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; postwar and contemporary culture; drama; children’s fiction; 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 Preparation 20
Contexts: Cognition and Computation 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

Your language modules develop 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-20th-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; postwar and contemporary culture; drama; children’s fiction; film modules; and creative writing.

In Stage 3, you will develop your specialist interests, choosing from topics linked to your lecturers’ specialisms. An independent study module or dissertation gives you the chance to investigate in greater depth a topic that you are passionate about.


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
Contexts: Cognition and Computation 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
Multilingualism 20
Immigrant Second Language & Literacy Acquisition 20
Orgasms, Odalisques, Onanism: Desire and the Body at the Fin de siècle 20
Chaucer, Shakespeare and the Book of the Future 20
Language in the City 20
Sex and Money: Economies of the Victorian Novel 20
Accents of English 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
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 1: Theory and Practice 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
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
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
Making Ireland: Kingdom, Colony and Nation in Text and Performance 20
Planetary Imaginations: Literature in the Time of Environmental Crisis 20
Special Topic in Linguistic Theory 20
Manuscript, Print, Digital 20
Children’s Literature and Black Britain 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You can normally expect to spend around 10 hours per week engaging in lecture, seminar and workshop materials, plus weekly study groups. 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:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

Skills and experience

Practical experience

Studying at Newcastle means you may have the opportunity to attend field trips to local and national points of interest. Previous visits have included:

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

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 the final year of your degree, you'll undertake a dissertation which allows you to carry out an extensive investigation into a topic you're interested in.

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. We have links with:

  • Agder University, Kristiansand, Norway
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Ghent, Belgium
  • Groningen, Netherlands
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • Leipzig, Germany
  • Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

We also have study abroad links with three universities in Canada – Dalhousie, McGill and New Brunswick – available through our Non-EU Study Abroad exchange programme.

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.

Your future

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

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

Sorry, you need JavaScript to view this video

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 2020 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 2020 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK 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

By Phone

Due to current circumstances, we are currently unable to take phone calls.


Fill in our enquiry form

Keep updated

We regularly send email updates and extra information about the University.

Live chat

Chat now

Social Media

You may be interested in