English Literature and History BA (Hons)

UCAS code QV31 BA/EH

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About this course 2018/19

If you have a love of both literature and history, this course is for you. There are enormous benefits to studying the two disciplines in tandem.

You will use poems, novels and other works of literature to interpret and understand past societies and cultures, and, at the same time, you’ll bring textual analysis to historical sources. You’ll be asking questions about how the two disciplines differ, but also how the methods and approaches of the historian and literature specialist overlap. By the end of the course you will have developed both the rigorous research skills of the historian and the advanced communication skills of the literature student.

The distinctiveness of the course lies in its combination of academic rigour with a concern for employability and developing ‘citizen scholars’. As part of this, we offer options to broaden your experience and cultural sensitivity by studying abroad for a semester in your second year.

97% of students said that they were satisfied overall with the quality of their course (National Student Survey, 2016)


Learn from the best

Both English and history at Northumbria enjoy international recognition for the quality of teaching and research. The research of our staff feeds directly into what they teach and what you learn.

In History, Northumbria is now ranked among the top 20 universities in the UK for research power, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and in Literature, our staff are ranked 15th in the UK for the quality of their publications.

The quality of our staff is also clear from the National Student Survey 2015, in which 100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things and are easy to contact.

caption: Meet the team 

Teaching and Assessment

Your tutors will use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, discussion activities, writing exercises and individual tutorials. These will be backed up by a well-designed support system that ensures you have a successful learning journey in each academic year. The extensive feedback that you will receive will ‘feed-forward’ in the sense that tutors will work with you to explore how you can keep improving on previous work.

Our assessment strategy is designed to support student-centred learning, based on our understanding that everyone has different needs, strengths and enthusiasms. Assessments will develop your communication skills while also inspiring you to analyse evidence, pursue original thought and persuade others of your ideas. Assessment methods will include essays, presentations, coursework, examinations and a final-year dissertation.

A wide range of option modules are offered on this course. To ensure the quality of the student learning experience, some modules are subject to minimum and maximum student numbers.

Learning Environment

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research. The use of TEL enables us to ‘flip’ our classrooms where appropriate, so that contact time is focused on answering questions and applying what you have already learnt.

The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK and has held the Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

There are over half a million print books and another 500,000 electronic books available online. Further facilities, including a resource room, specialist computing equipment and interview rooms, are available at the Institute for the Humanities, in the University’s Lipman Building.

caption: University Library

Research-rich Learning

At Northumbria your learning will be directly impacted by the teaching team’s passion for their subjects. As part of the University’s strong research-rich ethos, you will also build up your own research skills as you formulate questions, critique different interpretations, and develop well-founded arguments.

In your first year you will be introduced to enquiry-based learning, engaging critically with research in seminars and assessments. In your second year there is increased focus on starting to conduct your own research. In the final year you will undertake a dissertation in either literature or history, or a combination of the two. It’s a test of academic maturity that will enable you to demonstrate independent learning, academic rigour, self-directed purpose and intellectual ambition.

caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

In your second year there is the option to undertake a module entitled ‘Your Graduate Future’ which will develop your professional skills. The module includes a work placement where you’ll gain an awareness of how the techniques of historical and literary study can be applied professionally.

Also in the second year you will have the option of studying in another country. North America and mainland Europe are popular places for students to spend a semester, taking modules that will count towards their final degree. This type of international experience will give you an extra edge in the jobs market.

Employability is embedded throughout our learning and teaching strategies. Core and optional modules cultivate your competence and self-confidence, enhancing transferable skills such as effective time management, excellent communication, good teamwork and high level analysis.

caption: Student Placements

Your Future

With highly honed skills in communication and analysis, you will be ready to hit the ground running once you start a career. In recent years, many of our graduates have gone on to postgraduate study or developed successful careers in marketing, PR, media, journalism, communications, publishing, advertising, education (at various levels), local government, and in both public and private sectors.

Whatever you decide to do, you will have strong employability as a result of having acquired the characteristics of a Northumbria graduate. These include critical reflection and self-learning, collaboration and curiosity, and the ability to apply your knowledge to solve problems in ways that are sustainable and ethical.

About this course 2019/20

If you have a love of both literature and history, this course is for you. There are enormous benefits to studying the two disciplines in tandem.

You will use poems, novels and other works of literature to interpret and understand past societies and cultures, and, at the same time, you’ll bring textual analysis to historical sources. You’ll be asking questions about how the two disciplines differ, but also how the methods and approaches of the historian and literature specialist overlap. By the end of the course you will have developed both the rigorous research skills of the historian and the advanced communication skills of the literature student.

The distinctiveness of the course lies in its combination of academic rigour with a concern for employability and developing ‘citizen scholars’. As part of this, we offer options to broaden your experience and cultural sensitivity by studying abroad for a semester in your second year.

97% of students said that they were satisfied overall with the quality of their course (National Student Survey, 2016)


Learn from the best

Both English and history at Northumbria enjoy international recognition for the quality of teaching and research. The research of our staff feeds directly into what they teach and what you learn.

In History, Northumbria is now ranked among the top 20 universities in the UK for research power, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and in Literature, our staff are ranked 15th in the UK for the quality of their publications.

The quality of our staff is also clear from the National Student Survey 2015, in which 100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things and are easy to contact.

caption: Meet the team 

Teaching and Assessment

Your tutors will use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, discussion activities, writing exercises and individual tutorials. These will be backed up by a well-designed support system that ensures you have a successful learning journey in each academic year. The extensive feedback that you will receive will ‘feed-forward’ in the sense that tutors will work with you to explore how you can keep improving on previous work.

Our assessment strategy is designed to support student-centred learning, based on our understanding that everyone has different needs, strengths and enthusiasms. Assessments will develop your communication skills while also inspiring you to analyse evidence, pursue original thought and persuade others of your ideas. Assessment methods will include essays, presentations, coursework, examinations and a final-year dissertation.

A wide range of option modules are offered on this course. To ensure the quality of the student learning experience, some modules are subject to minimum and maximum student numbers.

Learning Environment

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research. The use of TEL enables us to ‘flip’ our classrooms where appropriate, so that contact time is focused on answering questions and applying what you have already learnt.

The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK and has held the Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

There are over half a million print books and another 500,000 electronic books available online. Further facilities, including a resource room, specialist computing equipment and interview rooms, are available at the Institute for the Humanities, in the University’s Lipman Building.

caption: University Library

Research-rich Learning

At Northumbria your learning will be directly impacted by the teaching team’s passion for their subjects. As part of the University’s strong research-rich ethos, you will also build up your own research skills as you formulate questions, critique different interpretations, and develop well-founded arguments.

In your first year you will be introduced to enquiry-based learning, engaging critically with research in seminars and assessments. In your second year there is increased focus on starting to conduct your own research. In the final year you will undertake a dissertation in either literature or history, or a combination of the two. It’s a test of academic maturity that will enable you to demonstrate independent learning, academic rigour, self-directed purpose and intellectual ambition.

caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

In your second year there is the option to undertake a module entitled ‘Your Graduate Future’ which will develop your professional skills. The module includes a work placement where you’ll gain an awareness of how the techniques of historical and literary study can be applied professionally.

Also in the second year you will have the option of studying in another country. North America and mainland Europe are popular places for students to spend a semester, taking modules that will count towards their final degree. This type of international experience will give you an extra edge in the jobs market.

Employability is embedded throughout our learning and teaching strategies. Core and optional modules cultivate your competence and self-confidence, enhancing transferable skills such as effective time management, excellent communication, good teamwork and high level analysis.

caption: Student Placements

Your Future

With highly honed skills in communication and analysis, you will be ready to hit the ground running once you start a career. In recent years, many of our graduates have gone on to postgraduate study or developed successful careers in marketing, PR, media, journalism, communications, publishing, advertising, education (at various levels), local government, and in both public and private sectors.

Whatever you decide to do, you will have strong employability as a result of having acquired the characteristics of a Northumbria graduate. These include critical reflection and self-learning, collaboration and curiosity, and the ability to apply your knowledge to solve problems in ways that are sustainable and ethical.

Course info

UCAS Code QV31 BA/EH

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

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Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy