Skip to main content

Q306 - English Literature

English Literature

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q306
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2022

From Chaucer and Shakespeare, right up to Kazuo Ishiguro, discover the literature that has shaped our culture and society in this flexible English Literature degree.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £20400

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAB
  • IB: 35 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

Our three-year English Literature BA Honours degree focuses on expanding your knowledge of literary texts and developing critical and theoretical skills. You'll build the firm foundation needed to analyse all forms of literature. 

You'll be introduced to a range of texts – across poetry, prose, plays and film – and explore pre-19th-century topics as well as contemporary ones. 

You will learn from subject experts, world-leading researchers in literature and internationally acclaimed writers throughout your degree, while having opportunities to practise creative writing, theatre or making films.

You'll become a confident expert analysing literature. You'll study a broad range of optional topics, such as American, postcolonial and children’s literature, from different historical moments including the Renaissance, Romantic, Eighteenth-century and Victorian periods. 

Sorry, you need JavaScript to view this video

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

  • Top 10 in the UK – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 (Creative Writing category)
  • 5th in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2022 (Creative Writing category)
  • 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 150 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2021

Modules and learning

Modules

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'll be introduced to a variety of literary texts across poetry, prose, plays and film. This will provide you with a foundation in the critical and theoretical skills you need to analyse literature.

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:

  • languages
  • history
  • philosophy
  • sociology
  • media
  • education

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Introduction to Literary Studies 1 20
Introduction to Literary Studies II 20
Transformations 20
Close Reading 20
Optional Modules Credits
Introduction to Creative Writing 20
Drama, Theatre & Performance 20

You will advance your understanding of literature through the ages, taking at least two pre-19th-century modules alongside at least two focusing on modern or contemporary topics. These choices cover film, theatre, poetry and prose. Options available include Medieval, Renaissance and Victorian literature, as well as American, postcolonial and contemporary work.

An independent research project teaches you how to research, plan and write an essay on an area of particular interest to you, and prepares you for the Dissertation in third year.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Independent Research Project 20
Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for second year students 20
Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability 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
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
Overseas Exchange (Semester 1) 60
Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 60

You will choose at least three specialist options closely linked to your lecturers’ research expertise, taking modules that cover both pre-19th century and post-19th century topics. Current options include the Victorian novel, children’s literature, Romantic poetry, Caribbean literature and film, Medieval literature, American literatures, Contemporary Documentary or a work placement in the cultural industries. 

You will also complete a final-year research project based on a topic you are passionate about or produce a file of original creative work.

Modules

Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for final year students 20
Growing Up Global: Childhood and National Identity from Postwar to Present 20
Orgasms, Odalisques, Onanism: Desire and the Body at the Fin de siècle 20
Romantic Poetry: Journeys of the Imagination 20
Contemporary Documentary 2: Theory & Practice 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
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
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 Literature at Newcastle means you will benefit from regular field trips organised by the School. These include visits to:

  • The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
  • various city theatres including Northern Stage, Live Theatre and Theatre Royal
  • Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)

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 research project which allows you to carry out an extensive investigation into a topic you're interested in. You'll present your research in either written, oral or an online format.

Employability

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

I chose English Literature with Creative Writing because it lets me study the texts I love, but also gives me a creative outlet. The course at Newcastle is fantastic and offers a lot of freedom to choose what to study.

Peter, English Literature and Creative Writing student

Opportunities

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

Facilities

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
  • a PC cluster
  • a student-led café
  • 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.

Our literature and creative writing teaching is 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

Support

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:

  • 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)

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

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

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

AAB

International Baccalaureate

35 points

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

(This includes PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

PARTNERS

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

£9250

International Fee Students

£20400

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:

Scholarships

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.

Online

Fill in our enquiry form

Keep updated

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

Social Media

You may be interested in