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QV31 - English Literature and History

English Literature and History

BA Honours

  • UCAS code: QV31
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2021
Year :

This English Literature and History degree allows you to explore society through historical evidence and literary works.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £18600

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 joint honours degree focuses on developing your skills and abilities to critically analyse both historical topics and works of literature. You'll graduate as a confident and independent learner, ready for your future career.

You'll study a range of topics across both subject areas. You'll explore Renaissance literature, the Romantics and post-war culture in English literature. In history, you'll examine themes including revolution, slavery and radicalism across a variety of periods, geographies and cultures.

You’ll study in a research-led environment, alongside scholars at the forefront of their fields. You'll benefit from their experience in a range of topics like:

  • world literatures in English
  • theatre
  • children's literature
Students laughing with each other

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 150 – English Language & Literature category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
  • top 200 - History category - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
  • 3rd in the UK for research – Research Excellence Framework 2014 (English Language and Literature category)
  • top 150 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2021

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.

Your compulsory modules will provide you with the core skills of research analysis and interpretation for the study of literature and history.

These skills will underpin your learning and success in optional modules which may cover a chronological, geographical and cultural range of topics.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Evidence and Argument 20
Close Reading 20
Optional Modules Credits
Big History: From the Big Bang to Climate change 20
Stuff: living in a material world 20
Global Ancient Histories 20
Historical Sources and Methods 20
History Lab I 20
History Lab II 20
Public History 20
What is History For? 20
Introduction to Literary Studies 1 20
Introduction to Literary Studies II 20
Transformations 20

You will advance your understanding of literature and history through the ages, with a selection of modules that ensures historical coverage alongside optional modules of your choice.

An interdisciplinary independent research project teaches you how to research, plan and write an essay on an area of particular interest to you.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Research Project in English Literature & History 20
Optional Modules Credits
Hellenistic Empires from Alexander to Cleopatra 20
Slavery 20
Africa: History of a Continent 20
Social Histories of Alcohol: Britain and Ireland, 1700 - Present 20
Oral History and Memory 20
Greece from ancient times to the 21st century: Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the past 20
1968: A Global Moment? 20
Communication in the Medieval World, from Europe to Asia: Prayer, Poetry, Pictures, and Travel 20
Contesting Reproductive Rights in the UK and Ireland 20
War, Wounds, and Disabilities in the Modern Russian, American and British Worlds 20
Famines in History 20
Germany and Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries 20
History and Film: Representing the Past 20
The Sea in History 20
Violence in the American South: From Enslavement to Civil Rights 20
Researching History 20
The Aftermath of War in Europe and Asia, 1945-56 20
Revolutions of the Mind: European Thought, 1550–1750 20
Reformation and Revolution: Tudors to the Georgians 20
The Supernatural: The Cultural History of Occult Forces 20
Global Environmental History: From the ‘Little Ice Age’ to Greta Thunberg 20
Diversities of Sexuality and Gender in History 20
Britain since the 60s 20
Black Atlantic History from c.1500 to the present 20
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

Students will conduct a major piece of original, independent research, through an interdisciplinary dissertation. This may involve archival research from local or digital archives, tapping into the University’s broad and impressive range of resources.

Alongside this research project, students will benefit from a huge range of optional modules that allow them to critically reflect on their disciplines, and the connections between them.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Dissertation in English Literature & History 40
Optional Modules Credits
Semester One Substitute for Stage 3 HIS Capped Special Subject 20
Semester Two Substitute for Stage 3 HIS Capped Special Subject 20
Reading History 20
History and Society 20
Elizabeth I: the Politics of Religion 20
Social histories of China and Taiwan in the Cold War 20
The Great Patriotic War and its Aftermath 20
The Nazi New Order in Europe 20
Madness, Nerves and Narratives in Georgian Britain, c. 1714-1830 20
The Irish Revolution, 1879-1923 20
Reconstruction and the New South, 1865-1900 20
Living Together: Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Iberia 20
British Foreign Policy since Suez 20
Jarrow Crusade 20
Civil Rights and Armalites Northern Ireland since 1969 20
Genocide and Justice in the Twentieth Century: From the Armenian Genocide to the International Criminal Court 20
Civil Rights in America, 1948-1975 20
Post-Revolutionary Mexico: From Zapata to the Zapatistas 20
Royal Portraits: Christian Kings and Kingship, c. 870-c. 930 20
Viking-Age Scandinavia 20
Women in Colonial South Asia: Tradition, Reform and Modernity 20
Imagined Futures 20
Islamism and its Origins 20
God's Terrible Voice: the experience and impact of Plague in England, 1500 - 1722 20
Punishing the Criminal Dead: Crime, Culture, and Corpses in Modern Britain 20
Russian Cities and Culture from Peter the Great to the Revolution 20
Lunatic to Citizen? Madness and Society since 1900 20
The Rising Generation: Youth, Age and Protest in Cold War Britain 20
Consuming Empire: Global Trade and the Transformation of Britain, c. 1688-1820. 20
Health and disease in the Anthropocene: Intersections of human and environmental health post 1800 20
Travelling the Mediterranean: passages from antiquity to modernity 20
Buddhism and Society in Medieval Japan 20
The Renaissance World of Machiavelli, 1450-1550 20
Conflict and Consensus in Early Modern European Political Thought 20
Unfree Nation: Enslavement in the United States from the Colonial Era to Reconstruction 20
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
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
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
Writing Liberty in the Romantic era 20
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
Manuscript, Print, Digital 20
Children's Literature and Black Britain 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You'll be taught through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • peer-led study groups
  • one-on-one tutor supervision

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

You'll benefit from a range of regular field trips organised by the School. These include visits to:

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

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 Stage 2, you'll undertake an independent research project and in your final year, you'll write a dissertation.

These projects allow you to develop your skills across both disciplines and engage in interdisciplinary thinking.

You can also apply for a vacation scholarship, where you can work alongside researchers. You'll first-hand experience of working on a project and develop key skills, such as:

  • researching new material
  • collecting, analysing and interpreting social data
  • working on a lab project with a team
  • carrying out research in challenging environments

Chat to a student

As an international student doing a joint degree with concerns about workload, I was very pleased to see how the course provided a comfortable balance between the two subjects.

Nikhita, English Literature and History student


Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

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 a sector of your choice, 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, which is at the heart of our city-centre campus, in the Percy Building. Next door you’ll have classes in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, in the historic Armstrong Building. You'll join a lively community of students, academics, authors and professionals across both schools.

In the Percy Building you'll have access to:

  • a digital media lab – for students with documentary and film-making modules
  • a PC cluster
  • a student-led cafe
  • plenty of spaces to work and socialise

You'll have exceptional library provision from our award-winning Library Service. It houses over one million books and a huge range of electronic resources, as well as the Robinson Library Special Collections. The Great North Museum also provides access to the Antiquarian Library and a range of artefacts.

Newcastle University Students' Union is home to the award-winning student newspaper, The Courier. This gives 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.

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

Our English Literature and History graduates are in high demand when they complete this course. 100% of our 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

Pursue diverse career paths

Graduates have gone into a range of industries, such as:

  • journalism
  • media
  • publishing
  • PR
  • politics
  • professional writing
  • libraries
  • marketing

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+ 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 2021 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 2021 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.

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:


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

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