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 2022-23.
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
- 15th in the UK – Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 (English category)
- Top 100 for English Language and Literature - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022
- Top 150 for Arts and Humanities – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022
- 1st in the UK and 8th in the world for sustainable development – Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022
- 65% increase in research power since 2014 – Research Excellence Framework 2021
- 42% of our research is classified as 4* world-leading research – Research Excellence Framework 2021
- Global Top 125 University - QS World University Rankings 2023
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 a foundation for describing and analysing the English language, focusing on sound, word and sentence structure.
You’ll explore variation in English across time, space, and social groups, whilst practising 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, for example, History, Philosophy, Sociology, Media or Education.
|The Nature of Language||20|
|Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Syntax and Phonology||20|
|Introduction to the Structure of Language 2: Morphology and Meaning||20|
|Language Variation and Change: Dealing with Data||20|
|Level B (HE Intermediate) French||20|
|Level B (HE Intermediate) German||20|
|Introduction to Linguistics||20|
|Level B (HE Intermediate) Spanish||20|
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.
You must take the following compulsory modules (shown in the optional list below):
Sociolinguistics (20 credits)
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties (20 credits)
You only take one of the following modules if you undertake the Study Abroad exchange programme:
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.
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 lecturers.
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 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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
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 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
- 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:
- 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.
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
Entry requirements and offers
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2023 entry.
Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications
Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.
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.
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.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2023 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.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our undergraduate scholarship page for more information.
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
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year at our on-campus and virtual open days.
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.
Get in touch
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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You'll find our Ncl chatbot in the bottom right of this page.
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