Explore the ways in which the visual and literary arts have engaged with society over time and the ways in which they are evolving our world.

Discover visual and literary culture through a broad range of perspectives, such as social history, global art, philosophy, anthropology, feminism and religion. You will have access to original works, a dedicated fine art library and collection of resources in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, our acclaimed public gallery on-campus. Here you will find works by artists such as Botticelli, Van Gogh, Monet, Magritte, Vigée LeBrun and Rodin. You will also have access to our Special Collections, which contains over 60,000 rare and early printed books, and over 2 million manuscripts and archive items.

Study trips play an important part in your degree. For History of Art this includes a week-long, University-funded trip to a major European centre of artistic importance, where you have the opportunity to examine works of art and architecture in situ. For English, this includes the possibility to partake in our study residential in Stratford-upon-Avon. Our Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, is a world-leading centre for international Shakespeare scholarship.


Why Study this Course?

  • World-leading academic experience – English Language and Literature at the University of Newcastle ranks in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019.
  • Outstanding student experience – Over 93% of our students gave their course an overall satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2018.
  • Artistic Resources – You will have access to original works, an extensive library and collection of resources in our on-campus Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Here you will find works by such major artists as Botticelli, Picasso, Gainsborough, Monet, Degas, Gwen John, Vigée-LeBrun and Rodin.
  • Shakespeare Scholarship  You will have access to the Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, a world-leading centre for international Shakespeare scholarship. You will also benefit from our exciting five-year collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre, The Other Place. You will be able to access creative and teaching spaces at The Other Place, as well as the expertise of RSC artists and practitioners; you will also have the opportunity to attend RSC productions and events. 
  • Excellent opportunities – You can join BEDSoc (Newcastle English Department Society) and HartSoc (History of Art Society), write for The Golovine blog, and enjoy social events such as end-of-term parties and summer balls. We also host regular guest speakers and readings from visiting writers, art historians, and those working in these areas. Previous guests have included novelist David Lodge, poet and writer Jackie Kay, poet Simon Armitage, playwright Simon Stephens, and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

BA English and History of Art

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.


Year 1

History of Art Compulsory Modules

  • Historical Concepts in the History of Art (20)
  • Debates and Methods in the History of Art (20)
  • Writing Art’s Histories 1 (10)
  • Writing Art’s Histories 2 (10)

English Literature Compulsory Modules

  • Poetry (20)
  • Prose (20)
  • Plays and Performance (10)
  • Language for Literature (10)

Year 2

 History of Art Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits – Art History in the Field (10); Research Techniques in History of Art (10)
  • 60 credits – Art History in the Field (10); Research Techniques in History of Art (10)
  • 40 credits – No compulsory modules, you will spend your History of Art credits 

English Literature Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits – two Histories of Literature modules; Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean and one Themes in Literature module 
  • 60 credits – two Histories of Literature modules and either Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean or one Themes in Literature module 
  • 40 credits – two Histories of Literature modules 

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. 

Final Year

History of Art Compulsory Module

  • 80 credits – Dissertation (40 or 20)
  • 60 credits – Dissertation (40 or 20)
  • 40 credits – No compulsory modules, you will spend your History of Art credits 

English Literature Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits – either Dissertation and two Special Subjects OR Extended Essay and three Special Subjects
  • 60 credits –  Extended Essay and two Special Subjects 
  • 40 credits – either Extended Essay and one Special Subject OR two Special Subjects

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

You will develop skills including visual and textual analysis and interpretation. You will also acquire skills that are highly prized by employers in many sectors such as:

  • Great communication skills;
  • An awareness and appreciation of other cultures;
  • The ability to identify and target key audiences;
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Researching, analysing and interpreting information;
  • Handling complex information;
  • The ability to critically analyse information and form concise, articulate arguments;
  • Managing your time and prioritising your workload.

Throughout your degree you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in museums and galleries, both on and off campus.

You will benefit from organised events in both departments whereby our graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the variety of roles available. Graduates that returned to speak at our biennial Art History Careers Fair hold positions at the Wallace Collection, BMAG, Sotheby’s Institute, Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre and the White Cube Gallery.

Other employers that our graduates work for include:

  • Kettle’s Yard,
  • the BBC,
  • Headline Publishing Group,
  • the Bodleian Library,
  • Cath Kidston,
  • Historic Royal Palaces,
  • The National Portrait Gallery,
  • Oxford University Press,
  • Christie’s,
  • Mirror Group Newspapers,
  • National Museum of Wales,
  • the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Their roles include:

  • Archivist,
  • Curator,
  • Gallery Coordinator,
  • Events Officer,
  • Account executive,
  • Sales and events coordinator,
  • Exhibitions Assistant,
  • Learning and Access Officer,
  • Programme Coordinator,
  • Editorial assistant,
  • Marketing assistant,
  • Researcher.

Other English and History of Art graduates choose to forge a career outside the Arts sector. Recent graduates have obtained graduate positions in sectors such as teaching, media, law, sales, local / central government, management, accounting, horse-racing, real estate and business or entered post-graduate education in a variety of areas.