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Q306 - English Literature

English Literature

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q306
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020

From William Shakespeare to Zadie Smith, discover the literature that has shaped our culture and society in this flexible English Literature degree.

Fees (per year)

  • UK/EU: £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

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-20th-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 Contemporary literatures, from different historical moments including the Renaissance, Romantic and Victorian periods. 

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Quality and ranking

  • top 10 in the UK – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 (English Studies category)
  • top 20 in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2020 (English category)
  • 92% overall student satisfaction score – National Student Survey 2019
  • 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 2019
  • top 200 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2018

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, and course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module.

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.

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, and take at least one pre-19th-century modules alongside at least one focusing on modern or contemporary topics. These choices cover film, theatre, poetry and prose. Options available cover 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.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Independent Research Project 20
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, 1660 - 1800 20
Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832 20
Victorian Passions: Victorian Values 20
Fictions of Migration 20
Contemporary Cultures 20
Modernisms 20
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties 20
Popular Performance Here and Now 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
Prose Workshop 20
Screenwriting Workshop 20
Overseas Exchange (Semester 1) 60
Overseas Exchange (Semester 2) 60

You will choose four specialist options closely linked to your lecturers’ research expertise. Current options include the Victorian novel, British and international 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 the in-depth study of 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
Advanced Career Development module 20
Growing Up Global: Childhood and National Identity from Postwar to Present 20
Immigrant Second Language & Literacy Acquisition 20
Orgasms, Odalisques, Onanism: Desire and the Body at the Fin de siècle 20
The Structure of a Language 20
English Grammar through Time 20
Chaucer, Shakespeare and the Book of the Future 20
Advanced Sociolinguistics 20
Chaucer, Chivalry, and Heresy in the Middle Ages 20
Sex and Money: Economies of the Victorian Novel 20
Accents of English 20
Cultural Industries Placement Module (Semester 1) 20
Cultural Industries Placement Module (Semester 2) 20
Home, heritage, history: 20th century children’s literature 20
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
Language and ethnicity in twenty-first century Britain 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
The Literature of Capitalism 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
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 Online Collections 40
Making Ireland: Kingdom, Colony and Nation in Text and Performance 20
Dissertation by Presentation 40
Planetary Imagination: Literature, the Environment and the Anthropocene 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:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

Skills and experience

Practical skills

Studying English at Newcastle means you will benefit from regular field trips organised by the School. These include visits to:

  • The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
  • Northern Stage
  • Tyneside Cinema
  • Lindisfarne
  • Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)
  • Beamish Open Air Museum

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. You'll present your research in either written, oral or an online format.

Chat to a student

I chose to study at Newcastle because of its wide-ranging and exciting module choices, as well as its great range of societies and social events – there really is something for everyone!

Rosie, English Literature student

Opportunities

Study abroad

You have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in your second year. We have links with:

  • Leiden in the Netherlands
  • Peter Pazmany in Budapest, Hungary
  • Gdansk in Poland
  • Ghent in Belgium

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

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, 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. 

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.

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.

Visiting speakers

The School hosts an annual visiting speakers' programme and poetry readings and film screenings also take place during the year, organised by students or staff.

Your future

96% of English Literature graduates were in work or further study within six months of graduating*.

* Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates. See what they have gone on to achieve and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.

Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).

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)

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

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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+ inititiative.

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

AAA-AAB

International Baccalaureate

35-36 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

PARTNERS

The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

Visit the PARTNERS website

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)

UK Students

£9250

International Students

£18000

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:

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

Contact us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333. We're open 9.00 to 17.00 every week day except Wednesday (10.00 to 17.00).

Online

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