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English Language BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q302
  • Full time
  • 3 years

Pursue your passion for the English language by exploring the historical, structural and socio-cultural nature of English in an inspiring city and region with a distinct dialect.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £22900

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: ABB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

This English Language BA Honours course encourages you to explore the English language in all its diversity – past and present, national and international, offline and online.

You'll investigate how English has developed over time. We'll look at how the language is used to mark regional, social and stylistic distinctions. You will learn from experts and world-leading researchers in English Language and Linguistics.

During this three-year English Language degree, you will:

  • study how English has evolved over time, how it is acquired, and how it develops in the mind
  • examine the grammatical structures and sound systems of different varieties of English
  • explore how historical, social and other contexts impact variation in English
  • learn different methodologies for studying the use and complexities of English

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 2024-25.

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 a foundation for describing and analysing the English language. There will be a focus on sounds, words, meaning and sentence structure. You’ll also learn about other topics relating to English Language, such as language acquisition and psycholinguistics.

You’ll explore variation in English across time, space, and social groups. At the same time you'll practice different ways of collecting and analysing language data, and presenting research findings.

You will also have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and try something new. A selection of modules are available from other humanities subjects, such as History, Philosophy, or Sociology.


Compulsory Modules Credits
The Nature of Language 20
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

Optional modules

You will also choose two optional modules (totalling 40 credits). You will select these from a list of over 100 modules from across different subjects, including Archaeology, Classics, Classical Languages, Creative Writing, Education, English Literature, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern Languages, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology.

You will focus on the historical and social context in which English evolves. You will explore in more depth how and why the English language has changed over time, how it is acquired by children, non-native speakers and neuro-diverse individuals, and why it varies across individuals, social groups and societies. You will learn empirical and quantitative methods for analysing the structure of English in all its forms and guises.


Compulsory modules

You must take the following compulsory modules (shown in the optional list below):

Sociolinguistics (20 credits)

Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties (20 credits)


Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for second year students 20
Phonological Theory 20
Syntactic Theory 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
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) 

You will work to develop your own interests, choosing from topics linked to the research specialisms of your lecturers. These may include language origins and evolution, child first and second language acquisition, language and ageing, advanced phonology or syntax and the history of English grammar.

There are extended study and dissertation modules that give you the chance to investigate in greater depth a topic that you are passionate about.


You must take one of the following optional modules (shown in the list below):
Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for final year students 20
Phonological Theory 20
Syntactic Theory 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
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
The History of Linguistic Ideas 20
Language and Ageing 20
Advanced Second Language Acquisition 20
Laboratory Phonology 20
From Input to Output: The Blackbox of Child Language Acquisition 20
Medieval and Early Modern Meaning: English Historical Semantics 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 lecturers.

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 Language at Newcastle means you will benefit from access to our state-of-the-art Linguistics Laboratory. The LingLab hosts collections of English language data for analysis of linguistic variation and change. It also hosts a range of equipment for advanced articulatory, phonetic and psycholinguistic research. Activities are supported by a dedicated lab manager. 

Research skills

 As part of your degree, you will complete an independent research project in your final year. You will collaborate with a faculty member to investigate a novel topic in English Language that you are passionate about.

You will also be offered a range of opportunities to participate in staff research projects. Though this is not a four-year degree generally, some students do a placement year.


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. The School is located in the Percy Building, which is at the heart of our city-centre campus. You'll join a lively community of students, academics, writers, and professionals.

You'll have access to:

  • A library of 1.4 million books and 54,000 journals on 26km of shelving
  • The Percy Building’s student common rooms, study areas and café
  • Northern Stage, Great North Museum & the Hatton Gallery for events and exhibitions
  • The Students' Union for shops, societies and gigs
  • A digital media lab for developing documentaries and film-making

Our literature and creative writing teaching is linked to the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) programme. This will give you regular contact with leading creative artists.

Find out more about the NCLA programme

You'll also have access to a diverse programme of events, 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 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

English Language and Linguistics students acquire a range of valuable skills which equip them to pursue diverse career paths.

Your training can be used in:

  • teaching English as a foreign language
  • publishing
  • journalism
  • advertising, branding and marketing
  • information services and data science

You will gain skills such as critical reasoning and problem solving, project and data management, oral and written communication, collaboration and independent research.

Our degrees provide excellent preparation for a wide number of professions. With further training, our graduates have also become:

  • lexicographers
  • translators and interpreters
  • speech and language therapists
  • social researchers
  • legal sector workers (including forensic linguists)


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 a clear and persuasive argument.

Beyond our modules, there are plenty of extracurricular opportunities. These range from freelance work for Newcastle’s student newspaper to paid internships in the department. In particular, the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts hires students to work on everything from event management to app design.

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

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