Combining English and History offers the chance to explore two stimulating and diverse subjects, which give fascinating insights into one another, by allowing you to consider culture and society from different perspectives.

In History, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the medieval, early modern and near contemporary past, before specialising in the area of your choice. Whatever your interests, whether cultural, economic, military, political, religious or social history, there is someone in the Department teaching your kind of history.

On the English side of your programme, you can choose to follow either a Literature or Language pathway. On the Literature pathway, you will investigate the ways in which literary culture has engaged with and shaped society and continues to do so today. On the Language pathway, your English study will provide you with a deep understanding of the linguistic, political and social issues surrounding language and its use.

At Newcastle, you will benefit from internationally renowned research and teaching, as well as unparalleled resources including our Shakespeare Institute, cutting-edge technology for real language analysis and the University Special Collections – home to over 60,000 rare and early printed books and upwards of 2 million manuscript and archive items. 


Why Study this Course?

  • Global recognition – English Language and Literature at the University of Newcastle is ranked in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019, whilst History is ranked in the Top 100. 
  • Outstanding student experience – Our students gave the course an overall satisfaction rating of 100% in the National Student Survey 2018.
  • Excellent reputation – Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History 1st in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, whilst over 85% of research in English was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent.’ Furthermore, English is ranked in the Top 5 in the Guardian University Guide 2020, whilst History is ranked within the Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
  • Excellent extra-curricular activities – join BEDSoc (Newcastle English Department Society), the English Language Society or the History Society. You can also enjoy opportunities such as working alongside members of staff on their research projects on our Undergraduate Research Scholarships and social events such as end-of-term parties and summer balls. We also host regular guest lectures and readings from visiting writers and historians. 
  • Exceptional resources – these include the University Special Collections, which are home to over 60,000 rare and early printed books and upwards of 2 million manuscript and archive items, our Research and Cultural Collections, which has a wide range of artefacts and our cutting-edge Corpus Linguistics Centre for real language analysis. If you are studying English Literature you will have access to our unique provision for the study of Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, is 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.

Institutional Accreditation 

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

BA English and History

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

Year 1


Compulsory English Language modules

  • Fundamentals of Language: Sounds and Words
  • Fundamentals of Language: Grammar and Discourse
  • Investigating Language

Compulsory English Literature modules

  • Prose
  • Poetry
  • Reading English
  • English in the World

Compulsory History modules 

  • Practising History A: Skills in History 
  • Practising History B: Approaches to History 
  • Choose one of these two modules:
  1. Discovering the Middle Ages 
  2. The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 
  • Choose one of the following modules:  
  1. Living in the Middle Ages 
  2. The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present
  3. War and Society 
  4. United States History 1865-2000*

*please note numbers on this module may be capped

Year 2


Compulsory English Language modules

  • 80 credits – Professional Research Skills for Linguists; English Grammar; English Language Options 
  • 60 credits – Professional Research Skills for Linguists; English Language Options 
  • 40 credits – English Language Options 

Compulsory English Literature modules

  • 80 credits – Histories of Literature; Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean; Themes in Literature
  • 60 credits – Histories of Literature; Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean or Themes in Literature
  • 40 credits – Histories of Literature 

Compulsory History modules 

  • 80 credits – Group Research; History Option A and B; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited   
  • 60 credits – Group Research; History Option; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited
  • 40 credits – Group Research; History Option 

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


Compulsory English Language modules

  • 80 credits – English Language Dissertation or Investigation; English Language Options 
  • 60 credits – English Language Investigation; English Language Options 
  • 40 credits – English Language Options 

Compulsory English Literature modules

  • 80 credits – English Literature Dissertation or Extended Essay; English Literature Special Subjects
  • 60 credits – English Literature Extended Essay; English Literature Special Subjects
  • 40 credits – English Literature Extended Essay and / or English Literature Special Subject/s 

Compulsory History modules 

  • 80 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option A and B
  • 60 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option
  • 40 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation


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.

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.


Studying English and Classical Literature and Civilisation at Newcastle is an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a diverse cultural, textual and linguistic discipline, but also to develop skills in intellectual analysis, critical thinking and articulate expression.


Over 94% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation .


You will acquire practical skills during your degree that you will find just as useful in your future career including oral presentation, professional documentation, group work and the uses of information technology. These skills last a lifetime and qualify you for many possible careers.


Our graduates have started careers with employers including the BBC, Headline Publishing Group, Mirror Group Newspapers, The National Trust and Oxford University Press, as well as media companies, educational institutions, local councils, charities, museums, and cultural and heritage organisations. Many graduates also pursue postgraduate study to specialise in an academic area, or prepare for careers such as law and teaching.


Graduate roles are equally diverse, including account executive, editorial assistant, marketing coordinator, recruitment consultant, parliamentary caseworker and events coordinator.




Developing your career


Employers target University of Newcastle students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.


  • Careers events – we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge – you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary – we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.


There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.