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
- children's literature
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Quality and ranking
- 10th in the UK – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 (English Studies category)
- top 20 in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2021 (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 2020
- top 175 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2020
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.
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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.
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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.
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Teaching and assessment
You'll be taught through:
- peer-led study groups
- one-on-one tutor supervision
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
You'll benefit from a range of regular field trips organised by the School. These include visits to:
- The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
- Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)
- Beamish Museum
- the Great North Museum
- Northern Stage
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.
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
I chose to study at Newcastle because the flexibility of doing a joint English Literature and History course was extremely appealing to me and I could not think of a better city or university to complete my degree at!
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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:
- professional writing
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
- 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
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.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa 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.