Imaginative, persuasive expression in the study of English Literature or Language is a complementary pairing with different philosophical perspectives as you discover how literary culture has shaped society, and how society has shaped literary culture.

You will choose either a Literature or Language pathway to study alongside Philosophy. At Newcastle, you will have access to world-class talent in philosophical fields as diverse as metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of language and mind, ethics and ethical theory.

In your Philosophy studies, you will explore the great minds of history and the present day, both learning what they thought and engaging with them critically.  If you choose the Language pathway, you will gain a thorough appreciation of the technical aspects of the English language and its social and political context.  If you take the Literature pathway, you will be given a strong foundation in all major periods and genres and will be able to specialise in areas ranging from medieval poetry to twenty-first century digital literary culture. You will also have the opportunity to take our specialist second-year Shakespeare module and the possibility of participating in our residential trip in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Why Study this Course?

  • Top 50 world ranking – English Language and Literature at the University of Newcastle is ranked in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019.
  • Well-respected departments – Times Higher Education ranked the Department of Philosophy 2nd in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, whilst the Department of Mathematics was ranked 6th. Both departments are large enough to offer a broad spectrum of modules, but small enough to offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. 
  • Excellent student experience – Over 92% of our students said they were satisfied with the course overall in the National Student Survey 2018. You will have a variety of opportunities to enhance your student experience, including regular coffee mornings for staff and students, visiting speakers and specialist lectures, research visits and a variety of trips.  Recent guests have included novelist David Lodge, poet and writer Jackie Kay, poet Simon Armitage, playwright Simon Stephens, theatre director Greg Doran, and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
  • Shakespeare Institute and RSC collaboration – We have a 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 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.
  • Space to think – Philosophers write works that closely resemble essays, so essays are for the most part the best method of assessment. With this in mind, almost all of our Philosophy assessments are based on coursework. Staff within the Department of Philosophy know students by name and are always happy to talk about philosophical questions or provide additional feedback on academic performance. 

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 Philosophy

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

English Literature pathway compulsory modules:

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

English Language pathway compulsory modules

  • Investigating Language (20)
  • Fundamentals of Language: Grammar and Discourse (20)
  • Fundamentals of Language: Sounds and Words (20)

Philosophy compulsory modules

  • Problems of Philosophy (20)
  • The Philosopher’s Toolkit (20)

Year 2

English Literature pathway 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 

English Language pathway compulsory modules

  • 80 credits – English Grammar; Professional Research Skills for Linguists and two English Language options 
  • 60 credits – Professional Research Skills for Linguists and two English Language options
  • 40 credits – Two English Language options

    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

    English Literature pathway 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

    English Language compulsory modules

    • 80 credits – either Dissertation and two English Language options OR Language Investigation and three English Language options
    • 60 credits – Language Investigation and two English Language options
    • 40 credits – Two English Language options

    Philosophy compulsory module

    • 80 credits – Philosophical Project (20 or 40)
    • 60 credits –  Philosophical Project (20 or 40)

    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.

    By studying an English and Philosophy degree at the University of Newcastle, you will acquire skills highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market.

    • Understanding complex information
    • Intellectual analysis
    • Writing clearly and effectively
    • Building a case to critically assess a particular point of view
    • Respecting the views of others even if they disagree with you
    • Generally thinking for yourself

    You will also be encouraged to acquire practical skills that you will find useful in your future career, including oral presentation, professional documentation, time management, teamwork and the uses of information technology.

    English and Philosophy graduates go on to pursue highly successful careers in professions such as:

    • Law
    • Journalism
    • Teaching
    • Management consultancy
    • Local government
    • Publishing
    • Marketing
    • Media
    • Advertising
    • Charity

    Therefore, a degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Newcastle opens doors to a wide range of careers. Some graduates even choose to progress to further study, not just in English and Philosophy but in Law, Education, Politics, International Development, Sociology and other areas.