Skip navigation

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

CLOSE

Ready to discover the power of literature and language?

Do you have a love of both language and literature? On Northumbria University’s English language and literature course, you will study fantastically stimulating and distinctive modules that range from Shakespeare to contemporary fiction, and from the fundamentals of grammar and syntax to their definition of what the ‘English’ language is.

Northumbria University aspire to help you as you help yourself in becoming a ‘citizen scholar’ who is able to think independently and make your own contribution to the world. As part of this, we ensure that you engage with advanced linguistic concepts and literature from around the world. We also offer options to broaden your experience and cultural sensitivity by studying abroad for a semester in your second year, usually in North America or mainland Europe. 

Why should you choose an English degree?

This English degree is for you, if you are passionate about understanding language, literature, and how the two connect. Enthusiastic, research-active staff ensure you will study a stimulating, distinctive, and wide range of modules, covering topics, issues, texts and concepts in both language and literature, from canonical figures like Shakespeare, to cutting-edge contemporary fiction and theory, from the fundamentals of grammar and syntax to the redefinition of what the ‘English’ language is. Students will develop the transferable skills in analysis, interpretation, communication, argument and research they need to excel at university, and after, as we aspire to help you help yourself become a confident, independent, critical and active learner able to think and thrive as you make your contribution to the world.

Why choose Northumbria to study English Language and Literature? 

  • 90% of our research outputs are rated as internationally excellent and world-leading (REF, 2021).
  • English at Northumbria is ranked 21st for research power in the UK, out of 92 institutions (REF, 2021). This is a rise of 5 places since 2014.

  • 100% of students studying English Language at Northumbria believed their course was intellectually stimulating and well organised. They also thought that their course had the right balance of direct and independent study and believed that their course introduced subjects and skills in a way that built on what they’d already learned (NSS, 2023).

Course Information

UCAS Code
Q390

Level of Study
Undergraduate

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

Department
Humanities

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

Join our English students and staff on their social media below.

News / English

Find out what our English students and staff are taking part in and achieving.

Department / Humanities

Our Department of Humanities includes the subject areas of History, English Literature, English Language and Linguistics, Creative Writing and American Studies.

a man flying through the air while riding a snowboard

Department

a person standing in front of a book shelf

Study

Humanities Video Gallery

Discover more about what you will learn on the course, more about our academics research interests, and hear from current students by watching our videos

Student Life / #IAmNorthumbria

Discover more about life in Newcastle and studying at Northumbria.

a desk with a green plant

Accommodation

Discover our residences

There are many different reasons to choose to study at Northumbria but we got Alice, Reza and Jasmine to narrow it down to just three reasons each on why they wanted to come study here.

a large long train on Sage Gateshead over a body of water

Newcastle

City Life

a person posing for the camera

Student Life at Northumbria

Discover More

a group of people standing in front of a crowd

The Hub

Student Blog

a man wearing glasses

Social Wall

#IAmNorthumbria

Book an Open Day / Experience English Language and Literature BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Literature. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

112 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

There are no specific subject requirements for this course.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: £9,250

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


EU Fee in Year 1: £18,250

International Fee in Year 1: £18,250


Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.

 


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL4001 -

Introduction to Literary Studies (Core,20 Credits)

You will be given the opportunity to familiarise yourself with conceptual issues such as canonicity, the unconscious, the tragic, the nature of the author, gender and postmodernity. Lectures will introduce you to these concepts and modes of applying these to literary texts as well as introducing you to new material in the texts themselves. Seminars will follow the lectures, where you will discuss and explore with your tutor and with your fellow students both the texts and their historical and theoretical contexts.

More information

EL4007 -

Understanding English Grammar (Core,20 Credits)

We will begin by asking what language is and how it is organised. What is it that we know when we know how to speak or write a language?

You will learn that language is systematically structured in various ways. You will learn how, as linguists, we can uncover some of those structures by investigating patterns and regularities in the way language is used. By examining everyday written and spoken language, you will learn about how language is organised, in terms of sounds (phonology), word forms (morphology), and sentence structures (syntax).

This module will introduce you to new ways of thinking about language and describing it. The concepts and terminology that you will learn on this module will provide you with an important foundation for studying many other questions and issues in linguistics. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4008 -

Introduction to Language and Literature (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will be studying the dynamic connection between language and literature. You will be introduced to the field of stylistics, which examines literary texts through linguistic analyses. This module focuses on the discussion of how literary effects are created, and how they can be analysed through linguistic means. You will study relevant linguistic theories and frameworks in this module, and will develop their abilities by applying linguistic theories to examine selected literary texts of differing genres.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop a number of transferable skills (e.g. communication, presentation and group work) when studying literary and linguistic texts within a wide range of cultural, social and political contexts. This will help develop your employability skills, as well as to improve your cultural awareness and intellectual openness.

More information

EL4009 -

Approaches to Language Study (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides an introduction to the study of language. It begins with a consideration of the nature of language including its origins and properties. It then looks at the various levels of analysis open to the linguist starting with the sound of languages and how these are combined, moving on to words and sentences and then examining the construction of meaning. The module also looks at how languages are acquired, how they are stored in the brain and how this knowledge is deployed in communication. From a social point of view we will examine the factors that influence different varieties of a language at any point in time, and also how and why languages change and sometimes die. While the focus will be on English, other languages will be used to illustrate the range of features that languages may incorporate. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4016 -

Talking Texts (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers students a forum to develop academic skills in close reading and analysis. A range of texts are examined within a reading-focussed workshop, including: the novel, short stories, poetry, plays, journalism, academic essays and online media such as blogs and flash fiction. Students are exposed to a range of writing in order to consider and develop their own reading practices. The discursive workshops develop speaking, listening, and critical skills through participation in classroom activities. The module prepares students for work at degree level, encouraging them to become independent learners in a supportive environment.

More information

EL4017 -

Gothic Stories: Nineteenth Century to the Present (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will be given the opportunity to study a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore the conventions of the genre as well as some of the ways in which gothic writing reflects and/or questions assumptions about race, gender, social class and sexuality. You will learn about the cultural significance of many familiar gothic motifs and figures such as ghosts, uncanny doubles, haunted houses and vampires.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional,40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroadat an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

More information

EL5003 -

Early Modern Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to read texts written in the period 1500-1700 historically. Lectures and seminars will encourage you to learn about the early modern period, and to situate texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More, and Philip Sidney. You will learn about poetry, prose, and drama – situating literary genres from the period in relation to themes that include: class, race, sexuality, politics, authority, gender, and ideas of literary production itself. Lectures will trace the afterlives of some of the most influential texts ever written, and will encourage you to read these textual traditions in light of a range of western literary ideologies.

Building upon work completed at Level 4 on early modern authors like Shakespeare and Donne, this module offers students a more comprehensive survey of the early modern period. Encouraging students to read literature historically, Early Modern Cultures fosters key skills in tutor-led and independent reading and research that will complement a range of studies at level 6.

More information

EL5004 -

Modernism and Modernity (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will gain an understanding of the relation between literary modernism and modernity in the early part of the twentieth century. The module provides you with conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the relation between art and social life. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the ways in which different literary genres prompted modernist experiments in form and with the various debates taking place between literary critics, writers, philosophers and cultural historians in early-twentieth-century Britain and the USA.

More information

EL5013 -

Language and Society (Core,20 Credits)

You will examine the social meaning of variation in language use and language perception through the critical evaluation of the main research themes in sociolinguistics. As such, you will pay particular attention to historical, contemporary and emerging empirical research investigating social and regional linguistic variation in the UK and elsewhere; the relationship between language and identity, language and ethnicity, age, gender and social class; the investigation and implications of public attitudes towards linguistic diversity, the conscious and unconscious linguistic choices speakers make in specific contexts, and the development and identification of speech communities; and stylistic variation in language use.

You will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, again in terms of the findings of key empirical research investigating socio-psychological and contextual perspectives to the study of sociolinguistics. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding the role of language in society which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing.

More information

EL5014 -

History of English (Core,20 Credits)

This module will place Present-day English in an historical context, examining some of the diachronic processes which have shaped the Present-day language. You will learn what earlier forms of English look like, how they differ from Present-day English and how to interpret evidence for language change. The main focus of the module will be on how and why English changes during its history. We will examine the role that speakers play in shaping the language by situating changes within their social context.

Through detailed examination of particular changes, we will identify recurrent patterns of change. You will learn to reconstruct patterns of change from textual evidence. We will engage with the key debates within historical linguistics, by evaluating and critiquing the work of researchers in the field. By engaging you with current research findings and methods, the module will equip you with skills for empirical analysis of historical linguistic data. Practical work with computerised datasets (corpora) will develop key transferrable skills in ICT, data analysis and your abilities to solve problems independently and/or collaboratively. Employers value these skills, so they will enhance your employability.

More information

EL5015 -

Language and Literature (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will develop a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the field of stylistics. You will study the history and development of modern stylistics, and the key principles and theories of literary linguistics. Surrounding the key principles of texualism and contextualism, you will study three strands of stylistics, namely functional stylistics, narrative stylistics and cognitive stylistics. Within each of these strands, you will study how relevant research methods can help you explore a wide variety of linguistic features in prose fiction, poems, plays and other literary and non-literary discourses.

Through learning about the different ways in which stylistics theories and methods develop over time and interact with different academic disciplines, you will further develop and enhance your critical analytical skills and creative thinking when approaching complex and diverse issues in language use.

More information

EL5026 -

Literary Revolutions, Eighteenth Century to Romanticism (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will study a range of texts from the eighteenth century to the Romantic period. The module considers a period in which literature and culture witnessed a succession of revolutionary changes. The novel emerged as a new form; female writers and readers took on a new prominence; the print market expanded enormously; and writers responded to the seismic changes in society caused by a period of war, imperial expansion, and political and social revolution. You will study a diverse and unusual range of texts that emerged from this period, and learn how to link the texts to the period’s context.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

EL6001 -

English Dissertation (Optional,40 Credits)

In your third year you will be ready to become an independent thinker and researcher. The dissertation is your opportunity to research and write a substantial investigation of a topic that you are really passionate about. Your tutors will support you as you learn how to work independently and to manage a large project. You will also learn project-management, research, presentation and writing skills. You will learn to be self-motivated and independent. By the end of the module you will have produced a major piece of work that you can be proud of, and you will be ready to continue as an independent thinker in further study or in the graduate job you go on to at the end of your third year.

More information

EL6004 -

Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Optional,20 Credits)

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) to Alan Ball’s True Blood (2008-), this module invites you to explore the dark, shadowy world of the Gothic in relation to a diverse range of literary texts and modern media. Combining the study of familiar canonical fictions with new and challenging material, we will train our focus on the enigmatic figure of the vampire, examining its various transitions and developments through the lens of critical and cultural theory.

Through an analysis of the Gothic, the module aims to develop your critical thinking, as well as your existing knowledge of literature, film, and television dating from 1816 to the present day. In doing so, it will encourage you to reflect on and interrogate the complex ways in which Gothic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about gender and sexuality.

More information

EL6018 -

The Black Atlantic: Literature, Slavery and Race (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to a range of texts which have been created out of, or about, the experience of African peoples in the diaspora from the seventeenth century to the present. It will encourage you to relate your understanding of the texts to the cultural and historical background from which they developed. Following on from level four core modules this module will develop your understanding of the concept of the ‘Atlantic World’ and theories of local, national and global cultures as well as theories of race and postcolonial theory. You will be encouraged to recognise the activity of the slave trade as the beginning point of the Atlantic World as an imagined space that challenges national and chronological boundaries and speaks of the powerful and enduring legacies of slavery.

More information

EL6020 -

Boxing with Byron: Romanticism and Popular Culture (Optional,20 Credits)

The Romantic period (1789-1832) was a time of revolutionary change in literature, yet the literature of the period is typically represented by a narrow list of elite poets. On this module you will learn about a much more diverse range of writing: by men and women, by the poor and the rich, and taking in styles from satirical poetry, to advertising, to magazine fiction, to essays about opium addiction. Is there a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, and who gets to decide the answer? This was a question the Romantics asked, and it is one you will learn to answer. You will also learn to investigate the diverse range of literature produced in the period yourself by using e-resources to find texts from the period that you think are valuable. You will develop an enhanced knowledge of the literature and culture of the period and as a result you will learn to question the way that literary critics tell stories about who and what should count in literary history.

More information

EL6021 -

Shaking up Shakespeare (Optional,20 Credits)

This module develops your awareness and understanding of post-Renaissance adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It engages with Shakespearean adaptations belonging to different literary genres (in particular, drama and prose fiction) and different media (written texts, films). It examines the ways in which selected Shakespearean texts are transformed in subsequent adaptations, and the issues underpinning these transformations, especially those concerning race, gender, and class. It also engages with theoretical debates surrounding authorship, literary value, canonicity, and popular/high culture.

More information

EL6024 -

English Language Dissertation (Optional,40 Credits)

This module will offer you the opportunity to complete a large scale independent research project (10,000 words) on an English Language or Linguistics topic of your choice. You will learn how to plan, manage and organise a large scale research project; how to identify suitable research questions and methods; how to apply these methods appropriately to primary and/or secondary materials; and how to structure and write a sustained academic argument, following academic conventions appropriate to the discipline.

In designing and implementing your research project, you will draw on skills and knowledge developed during the programme. The dissertation will allow you to work independently, drawing on the advice and guidance of a designated supervisor.

Students will develop abilities that are highly valued by employers. These include the abilities to think and work systematically and independently, to interpret data and arguments, and to communicate coherently verbally and in writing.
Throughout your dissertation project, you will therefore draw upon, and, in your final submission demonstrate, key transferable skills which are essential for employment in the contemporary world, ranging from intellectual, to organisational, to communication skills.

More information

EL6026 -

Cognitive Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

This module studies cognitive linguistics, which is a sub-discipline of linguistic studies that explores the link between language and mind, and examines linguistic phenomena in the light of our cognitive processes (i.e. the way we think). You will examine the key principles, approaches and concepts in cognitive linguistics. Building upon this, you will be guided to take up further explorations in research areas of particular interest to you.

On completion of the module, you will be have an advanced knowledge of the fundamental aspects of cognitive linguistics, including topics such as embodiment, categorisation, metaphors, conceptual blending, and cognitive approaches to grammar. You will develop an appreciation of the place of cognitive linguistics within its intellectual context; an ability to reflect critically on the key topics; as well as an ability to carry out research tasks to support or refute central claims of cognitive linguistics. In fostering your ability to develop and undertake research tasks, the module contributes to your employability skills.

More information

EL6028 -

The origins and evolution of language (Optional,20 Credits)

In addition to linguistics, this module brings together ideas from evolutionary biology, palaeontology and its subgroup palaeobiology, anthropology, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, primatology and computer science. Evidence from these and other sources is used to understand when and why language emerged in our ancestors.

The module starts with a very brief overview of the Western philosophical context in which debates over language are embedded. This context is used to examine how different linguists in the twentieth century approached the study of language, and the issue of whether language is a social or a cognitive (an external or an internal) phenomenon. We then look at theories of evolution and hypotheses concerning hominin phylogeny (i.e. Homo sapiens and all the ancestral species since our split from the last common ancestor with any extant species ). Turning to the actual evolution of language, we examine comparative data from other animal communication systems and the cognitive and physiological pre-requisites that are necessary for language. The final part of the module focuses on theories of language evolution, and in particular the debate between nativist and non-nativist accounts of language.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives on language evolution which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing.

More information

EL6029 -

World Englishes (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will examine the role of English in the world today, as you learn about the development of English as a world language and also as a language which has many global and local varieties.

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, social and political contexts of the global expansion and development of English and Englishes, and will explore types of variation across Englishes (variation across time, places and spaces). You will examine the emergence of new standard Englishes, and further develop your understanding of the debates surrounding standard language ideology. You will also explore the internationalisation and globalisation of English, examining the ways in which English is ‘marketed’ as the language of opportunity, but also acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ in our contemporary globalized world. You will examine the role of world Englishes in language death, and discuss possible future scenarios for new and world Englishes.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives about English which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6032 -

Variation, Change and Corpus Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn how to use recently developed corpora of written or spoken language to investigate patterns of grammatical variation and/or change. You will learn what a corpus is, and the research skills necessary to use it. These skills including how to identify research questions and hypotheses, how to select research methods appropriate to particular hypotheses (including qualitative and quantitative approaches to corpus data), how to select and evaluate appropriate sources of corpus data, how to extract relevant data from the corpus to test a research hypothesis, and how to interpret those data in the light of theories of language variation and change. Through the practical experience of using corpora you will gain on this module, you will learn about the issues involved in conducting this kind of research, so that you will be able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of particular research techniques, methods or strategies that are applied within corpus studies of language variation and change Not only will this enable you to see how research in this field is conducted, it will provide you with opportunities to develop key transferable skills in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of large datasets, the interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data (particularly quantitative reasoning skills), the use of computerised databases and tools for statistical analysis, and the presentation of research data and analysis both verbally and in writing. Working in small groups will enhance your abilities to collaborate with others, to justify and take decisions, to manage a research project and to work independently.

More information

EL6042 -

Postwar US Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will enhance your understanding of postwar American literary culture in its broader social, political, and
economic contexts. Mid-century America was a time of profound contradictions: while US citizens lived under the shadow the bomb, many experienced unprecedented economic prosperity and access to new material comforts. We will explore how national paranoia
about the spread of communism and the nuclear arms race sat alongside – and fed into – the postwar image of the American ‘good life’, an image of suburban conformity underpinned by the growth of advertising and consumer culture. We will consider how postwar fiction and poetry challenges this demand for conformity in both content and form: through its complex representations of the American cold war experience and its innovative narrative and poetic strategies. The texts on this module offer insights into postwar attitudes towards a diverse range of topics, including national and international politics, work, leisure, and domesticity, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

More information

EL6045 -

Political Theatre in Early Modern Britain (Optional,20 Credits)

People thought and wrote about politics a lot in the early modern period. Just like today, lives and livelihoods hinged upon the attitudes, loyalties and alliances of those in power – and the theatre was a convenient and accessible place to think about (and sometimes to poke fun at) political figureheads and their ideologies. Also, because men like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were, effectively, on the payroll of some of England’s wealthiest and most powerful men and women, their dramatic writings often carried distinct political agendas. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and James VI/I were passionate about literature, and London’s best playwrights and acting companies were employed during their lavish coronation processions – and invited to perform at court during annual festivities. Drama from this period was not only influenced by politics, moreover, it had influential political clout, in and of itself. The theatre explored, explained, critiqued, and shaped political attitudes and ideas – at every level of society.

Building on your reading of early modern authors at levels 4 and 5 in early modern literature, this module will challenge you to read a range of Tudor and Jacobean plays in relation to political change, scandal, and satire. You will develop a specialised understanding of the relationship between literature and politics, and a detailed knowledge of the early modern period’s tumultuous social and religious contexts.

More information

EL6047 -

Twenty First Century Literature: Writing in the Present (Optional,20 Credits)

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and its popular television adaptation (2017) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster (2015), this module invites you to explore a wide and diverse range of novels, short stories and other media in order to promote and analyse the study of contemporary theoretical debates on gender, love, the body and sexuality.

Through the theoretical lens of feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and postmodernism, the module aims to develop your critical thinking and your existing knowledge of literature, film and television, from 1985 to the present day. It will encourage you to explore the complex issues raised by diverse critical theory and close analysis of a range of late twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film and television adaptation. By doing so, you will reflect on the ways that twenty-first literature and other media engages with, interrogates and often offers alternative narratives on present debates about gender, love, the body and sexuality.

More information

EL6052 -

Forensic Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

Forensic Linguistics is the application of language analysis to forensically relevant texts for the purposes of advancing justice.

Referring to real life cases throughout, this module explores and critically analyses language used in legal contexts. First it focuses on written legal language, including critically reflecting on the kinds of communicative problems these texts might create for ordinary people. Students will conduct analyses of texts such as police cautions, insurance policies, consumer contracts, and jury instructions.

It moves on to examine the spoken language of the legal process, drawing on data from a wide range of sources such as police interviews and the courtroom. Students will consider the problems of vulnerable suspects and witnesses, including children, victims of sexual assault, non-native speakers of English, and individuals with specific communicative impairments. The module will conclude with consideration of the linguist as an expert witness, exploring the types of cases in which forensic linguists have been able to offer assistance.


The module will build upon skills acquired at Levels 4 & 5 in the description of written and spoken interaction, and will provide a detailed introduction to an important area of Applied Linguistics.

More information

EL6053 -

Writing Women: Aphra Behn in Focus (Optional,20 Credits)

This module explores the writings of the first professional woman writer in England, Aphra Behn (d. 1689). Biographically, Behn remains something of an enigma. We know little about her personal life, and some of our earliest records of her relate to her work as a Continental spy for Charles II. Yet Behn is one of the most important writers of the late seventeenth century. She contributed to many genres of literature (poetry, drama, translation and prose), she was the second most prolific dramatist of her age, and she authored the first English novel. Behn was a transformative and innovative author, deeply engaged with questions of gender and self-aware, in her writings, of her status as a female author in a male profession.
On this module we will read a selection of Behn’s writings, exploring their relationship to her contemporary writers, Behn’s historical moment and the broader development of literature. We will also explore the complex reception history of Behn’s work, thinking about why she disappeared from the literary canon within decades of her death, only to be rediscovered by feminist and postcolonial scholars from the 1970s and 80s. In studying Behn’s changing status as a literary author, and by reading her work, students will learn about a key moment (the 1670s-80s) in the development of the literary marketplace, whilst developing an appreciation of the ways in which gender concerns have affected access to Behn’s literature, as well as shaped (and, at times, limited) our understanding of its wider importance.
Today, Behn is much-studied and there are numerous scholarly editions of her writings. Yet there is still much we have yet to properly understand about her writings, and Behn studies are as vibrant and diverse as ever. Recent years have seen a renewed energy in Behn scholarship that seeks to understand her writings beyond their significance to gender studies, with scholars showing how Behn’s writings engage with the burning issues of the day: marital law; monarchy; philosophy; politics; science; sexuality; slavery.

More information

EL6055 -

Writing and Environment (Optional,20 Credits)

You will study a selection of texts, written from the eighteenth century to the present day, that engage with the natural environment in various ways. These include natural histories and popular science, pastoral and environmental poems, environmental protest literature, apocalyptic novels, and the ‘new nature writing’. You will learn how literary writers describe the world around them and how they use the natural world to articulate their own personal needs, feelings, and desires. You will study texts that draw attention both to natural beauty and to environmental catastrophe. You will learn how writers as diverse as Gilbert White, William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, and Robert Macfarlane have changed the ways in which readers engage with the world around them. As part of your studies, you will learn to produce your own literary engagement with the natural world in a ‘creative field journal’, inspired by the writings of Charles Darwin, Robert Macfarlane, Amy Liptrott, and others. By the end of the module, you will have gained a sophisticated understanding not only of the ways that writers can change the world, but also how they can save it.

More information

EL6057 -

Thieves, Harlots, Pirates, Murderers: Criminal Lives in the Long Eighteenth Century (Optional,20 Credits)

The eighteenth century is often considered the ‘age of politeness’, a new enlightened age of material wealth, refinement, global trade and luxury, urban order and civility, and polished manners. However, the major changes that brought such refinement and wealth to British society also brought with them disruption, poverty, violence, and crime and a period of adjustment to modern commercial realities and pressures. This module will introduce students to eighteenth-century Britain’s underbelly of crime, through the lives of criminals who, reviled and celebrated in news, popular culture, and literature, were always the focus of public fasincation.

On this module, we will use a variety of media, including criminal biographies, novels, plays, poems, newspaper reports, pamphlets, legal records, art and visual culture, and film/TV adaptations, in order to explore the social, political, and cultural meanings encoded in the lives of criminals in eighteenth-century Britain and the countries to which its global trade reached. We will consider the ways in which criminal figures were represented and continue to be represented today, as well as the implications of these representations in terms of ideas about crime, social class, gender, regional and national identity, race, and culture.

More information

EL6058 -

Language, Meaning and the Mind (Optional,20 Credits)

This module provides a detailed overview of the key concepts and issues in semantics (the study of language meaning). Along the way, we will discover a range of tools for analysing language and we will be engaging with current debates in linguistic theory. The module takes a problem-solving, interactive approach to analysing meaning and is designed to develop your ability to discover patterns (and exceptions) in language data.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL4001 -

Introduction to Literary Studies (Core,20 Credits)

You will be given the opportunity to familiarise yourself with conceptual issues such as canonicity, the unconscious, the tragic, the nature of the author, gender and postmodernity. Lectures will introduce you to these concepts and modes of applying these to literary texts as well as introducing you to new material in the texts themselves. Seminars will follow the lectures, where you will discuss and explore with your tutor and with your fellow students both the texts and their historical and theoretical contexts.

More information

EL4007 -

Understanding English Grammar (Core,20 Credits)

We will begin by asking what language is and how it is organised. What is it that we know when we know how to speak or write a language?

You will learn that language is systematically structured in various ways. You will learn how, as linguists, we can uncover some of those structures by investigating patterns and regularities in the way language is used. By examining everyday written and spoken language, you will learn about how language is organised, in terms of sounds (phonology), word forms (morphology), and sentence structures (syntax).

This module will introduce you to new ways of thinking about language and describing it. The concepts and terminology that you will learn on this module will provide you with an important foundation for studying many other questions and issues in linguistics. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4008 -

Introduction to Language and Literature (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will be studying the dynamic connection between language and literature. You will be introduced to the field of stylistics, which examines literary texts through linguistic analyses. This module focuses on the discussion of how literary effects are created, and how they can be analysed through linguistic means. You will study relevant linguistic theories and frameworks in this module, and will develop their abilities by applying linguistic theories to examine selected literary texts of differing genres.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop a number of transferable skills (e.g. communication, presentation and group work) when studying literary and linguistic texts within a wide range of cultural, social and political contexts. This will help develop your employability skills, as well as to improve your cultural awareness and intellectual openness.

More information

EL4009 -

Approaches to Language Study (Core,20 Credits)

This module provides an introduction to the study of language. It begins with a consideration of the nature of language including its origins and properties. It then looks at the various levels of analysis open to the linguist starting with the sound of languages and how these are combined, moving on to words and sentences and then examining the construction of meaning. The module also looks at how languages are acquired, how they are stored in the brain and how this knowledge is deployed in communication. From a social point of view we will examine the factors that influence different varieties of a language at any point in time, and also how and why languages change and sometimes die. While the focus will be on English, other languages will be used to illustrate the range of features that languages may incorporate. In addition, you will develop the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others. These transferable skills will in turn contribute to your personal and professional development.

More information

EL4016 -

Talking Texts (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers students a forum to develop academic skills in close reading and analysis. A range of texts are examined within a reading-focussed workshop, including: the novel, short stories, poetry, plays, journalism, academic essays and online media such as blogs and flash fiction. Students are exposed to a range of writing in order to consider and develop their own reading practices. The discursive workshops develop speaking, listening, and critical skills through participation in classroom activities. The module prepares students for work at degree level, encouraging them to become independent learners in a supportive environment.

More information

EL4017 -

Gothic Stories: Nineteenth Century to the Present (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will be given the opportunity to study a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore the conventions of the genre as well as some of the ways in which gothic writing reflects and/or questions assumptions about race, gender, social class and sexuality. You will learn about the cultural significance of many familiar gothic motifs and figures such as ghosts, uncanny doubles, haunted houses and vampires.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional,40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroadat an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

More information

EL5003 -

Early Modern Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to read texts written in the period 1500-1700 historically. Lectures and seminars will encourage you to learn about the early modern period, and to situate texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More, and Philip Sidney. You will learn about poetry, prose, and drama – situating literary genres from the period in relation to themes that include: class, race, sexuality, politics, authority, gender, and ideas of literary production itself. Lectures will trace the afterlives of some of the most influential texts ever written, and will encourage you to read these textual traditions in light of a range of western literary ideologies.

Building upon work completed at Level 4 on early modern authors like Shakespeare and Donne, this module offers students a more comprehensive survey of the early modern period. Encouraging students to read literature historically, Early Modern Cultures fosters key skills in tutor-led and independent reading and research that will complement a range of studies at level 6.

More information

EL5004 -

Modernism and Modernity (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will gain an understanding of the relation between literary modernism and modernity in the early part of the twentieth century. The module provides you with conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the relation between art and social life. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the ways in which different literary genres prompted modernist experiments in form and with the various debates taking place between literary critics, writers, philosophers and cultural historians in early-twentieth-century Britain and the USA.

More information

EL5013 -

Language and Society (Core,20 Credits)

You will examine the social meaning of variation in language use and language perception through the critical evaluation of the main research themes in sociolinguistics. As such, you will pay particular attention to historical, contemporary and emerging empirical research investigating social and regional linguistic variation in the UK and elsewhere; the relationship between language and identity, language and ethnicity, age, gender and social class; the investigation and implications of public attitudes towards linguistic diversity, the conscious and unconscious linguistic choices speakers make in specific contexts, and the development and identification of speech communities; and stylistic variation in language use.

You will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, again in terms of the findings of key empirical research investigating socio-psychological and contextual perspectives to the study of sociolinguistics. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding the role of language in society which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing.

More information

EL5014 -

History of English (Core,20 Credits)

This module will place Present-day English in an historical context, examining some of the diachronic processes which have shaped the Present-day language. You will learn what earlier forms of English look like, how they differ from Present-day English and how to interpret evidence for language change. The main focus of the module will be on how and why English changes during its history. We will examine the role that speakers play in shaping the language by situating changes within their social context.

Through detailed examination of particular changes, we will identify recurrent patterns of change. You will learn to reconstruct patterns of change from textual evidence. We will engage with the key debates within historical linguistics, by evaluating and critiquing the work of researchers in the field. By engaging you with current research findings and methods, the module will equip you with skills for empirical analysis of historical linguistic data. Practical work with computerised datasets (corpora) will develop key transferrable skills in ICT, data analysis and your abilities to solve problems independently and/or collaboratively. Employers value these skills, so they will enhance your employability.

More information

EL5015 -

Language and Literature (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will develop a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the field of stylistics. You will study the history and development of modern stylistics, and the key principles and theories of literary linguistics. Surrounding the key principles of texualism and contextualism, you will study three strands of stylistics, namely functional stylistics, narrative stylistics and cognitive stylistics. Within each of these strands, you will study how relevant research methods can help you explore a wide variety of linguistic features in prose fiction, poems, plays and other literary and non-literary discourses.

Through learning about the different ways in which stylistics theories and methods develop over time and interact with different academic disciplines, you will further develop and enhance your critical analytical skills and creative thinking when approaching complex and diverse issues in language use.

More information

EL5026 -

Literary Revolutions, Eighteenth Century to Romanticism (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will study a range of texts from the eighteenth century to the Romantic period. The module considers a period in which literature and culture witnessed a succession of revolutionary changes. The novel emerged as a new form; female writers and readers took on a new prominence; the print market expanded enormously; and writers responded to the seismic changes in society caused by a period of war, imperial expansion, and political and social revolution. You will study a diverse and unusual range of texts that emerged from this period, and learn how to link the texts to the period’s context.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

EL6001 -

English Dissertation (Optional,40 Credits)

In your third year you will be ready to become an independent thinker and researcher. The dissertation is your opportunity to research and write a substantial investigation of a topic that you are really passionate about. Your tutors will support you as you learn how to work independently and to manage a large project. You will also learn project-management, research, presentation and writing skills. You will learn to be self-motivated and independent. By the end of the module you will have produced a major piece of work that you can be proud of, and you will be ready to continue as an independent thinker in further study or in the graduate job you go on to at the end of your third year.

More information

EL6004 -

Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Optional,20 Credits)

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) to Alan Ball’s True Blood (2008-), this module invites you to explore the dark, shadowy world of the Gothic in relation to a diverse range of literary texts and modern media. Combining the study of familiar canonical fictions with new and challenging material, we will train our focus on the enigmatic figure of the vampire, examining its various transitions and developments through the lens of critical and cultural theory.

Through an analysis of the Gothic, the module aims to develop your critical thinking, as well as your existing knowledge of literature, film, and television dating from 1816 to the present day. In doing so, it will encourage you to reflect on and interrogate the complex ways in which Gothic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about gender and sexuality.

More information

EL6018 -

The Black Atlantic: Literature, Slavery and Race (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to a range of texts which have been created out of, or about, the experience of African peoples in the diaspora from the seventeenth century to the present. It will encourage you to relate your understanding of the texts to the cultural and historical background from which they developed. Following on from level four core modules this module will develop your understanding of the concept of the ‘Atlantic World’ and theories of local, national and global cultures as well as theories of race and postcolonial theory. You will be encouraged to recognise the activity of the slave trade as the beginning point of the Atlantic World as an imagined space that challenges national and chronological boundaries and speaks of the powerful and enduring legacies of slavery.

More information

EL6020 -

Boxing with Byron: Romanticism and Popular Culture (Optional,20 Credits)

The Romantic period (1789-1832) was a time of revolutionary change in literature, yet the literature of the period is typically represented by a narrow list of elite poets. On this module you will learn about a much more diverse range of writing: by men and women, by the poor and the rich, and taking in styles from satirical poetry, to advertising, to magazine fiction, to essays about opium addiction. Is there a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, and who gets to decide the answer? This was a question the Romantics asked, and it is one you will learn to answer. You will also learn to investigate the diverse range of literature produced in the period yourself by using e-resources to find texts from the period that you think are valuable. You will develop an enhanced knowledge of the literature and culture of the period and as a result you will learn to question the way that literary critics tell stories about who and what should count in literary history.

More information

EL6021 -

Shaking up Shakespeare (Optional,20 Credits)

This module develops your awareness and understanding of post-Renaissance adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It engages with Shakespearean adaptations belonging to different literary genres (in particular, drama and prose fiction) and different media (written texts, films). It examines the ways in which selected Shakespearean texts are transformed in subsequent adaptations, and the issues underpinning these transformations, especially those concerning race, gender, and class. It also engages with theoretical debates surrounding authorship, literary value, canonicity, and popular/high culture.

More information

EL6024 -

English Language Dissertation (Optional,40 Credits)

This module will offer you the opportunity to complete a large scale independent research project (10,000 words) on an English Language or Linguistics topic of your choice. You will learn how to plan, manage and organise a large scale research project; how to identify suitable research questions and methods; how to apply these methods appropriately to primary and/or secondary materials; and how to structure and write a sustained academic argument, following academic conventions appropriate to the discipline.

In designing and implementing your research project, you will draw on skills and knowledge developed during the programme. The dissertation will allow you to work independently, drawing on the advice and guidance of a designated supervisor.

Students will develop abilities that are highly valued by employers. These include the abilities to think and work systematically and independently, to interpret data and arguments, and to communicate coherently verbally and in writing.
Throughout your dissertation project, you will therefore draw upon, and, in your final submission demonstrate, key transferable skills which are essential for employment in the contemporary world, ranging from intellectual, to organisational, to communication skills.

More information

EL6026 -

Cognitive Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

This module studies cognitive linguistics, which is a sub-discipline of linguistic studies that explores the link between language and mind, and examines linguistic phenomena in the light of our cognitive processes (i.e. the way we think). You will examine the key principles, approaches and concepts in cognitive linguistics. Building upon this, you will be guided to take up further explorations in research areas of particular interest to you.

On completion of the module, you will be have an advanced knowledge of the fundamental aspects of cognitive linguistics, including topics such as embodiment, categorisation, metaphors, conceptual blending, and cognitive approaches to grammar. You will develop an appreciation of the place of cognitive linguistics within its intellectual context; an ability to reflect critically on the key topics; as well as an ability to carry out research tasks to support or refute central claims of cognitive linguistics. In fostering your ability to develop and undertake research tasks, the module contributes to your employability skills.

More information

EL6028 -

The origins and evolution of language (Optional,20 Credits)

In addition to linguistics, this module brings together ideas from evolutionary biology, palaeontology and its subgroup palaeobiology, anthropology, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, primatology and computer science. Evidence from these and other sources is used to understand when and why language emerged in our ancestors.

The module starts with a very brief overview of the Western philosophical context in which debates over language are embedded. This context is used to examine how different linguists in the twentieth century approached the study of language, and the issue of whether language is a social or a cognitive (an external or an internal) phenomenon. We then look at theories of evolution and hypotheses concerning hominin phylogeny (i.e. Homo sapiens and all the ancestral species since our split from the last common ancestor with any extant species ). Turning to the actual evolution of language, we examine comparative data from other animal communication systems and the cognitive and physiological pre-requisites that are necessary for language. The final part of the module focuses on theories of language evolution, and in particular the debate between nativist and non-nativist accounts of language.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives on language evolution which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing.

More information

EL6029 -

World Englishes (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will examine the role of English in the world today, as you learn about the development of English as a world language and also as a language which has many global and local varieties.

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the historical, social and political contexts of the global expansion and development of English and Englishes, and will explore types of variation across Englishes (variation across time, places and spaces). You will examine the emergence of new standard Englishes, and further develop your understanding of the debates surrounding standard language ideology. You will also explore the internationalisation and globalisation of English, examining the ways in which English is ‘marketed’ as the language of opportunity, but also acts as a ‘gatekeeper’ in our contemporary globalized world. You will examine the role of world Englishes in language death, and discuss possible future scenarios for new and world Englishes.

Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives about English which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

More information

EL6032 -

Variation, Change and Corpus Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn how to use recently developed corpora of written or spoken language to investigate patterns of grammatical variation and/or change. You will learn what a corpus is, and the research skills necessary to use it. These skills including how to identify research questions and hypotheses, how to select research methods appropriate to particular hypotheses (including qualitative and quantitative approaches to corpus data), how to select and evaluate appropriate sources of corpus data, how to extract relevant data from the corpus to test a research hypothesis, and how to interpret those data in the light of theories of language variation and change. Through the practical experience of using corpora you will gain on this module, you will learn about the issues involved in conducting this kind of research, so that you will be able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of particular research techniques, methods or strategies that are applied within corpus studies of language variation and change Not only will this enable you to see how research in this field is conducted, it will provide you with opportunities to develop key transferable skills in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of large datasets, the interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data (particularly quantitative reasoning skills), the use of computerised databases and tools for statistical analysis, and the presentation of research data and analysis both verbally and in writing. Working in small groups will enhance your abilities to collaborate with others, to justify and take decisions, to manage a research project and to work independently.

More information

EL6042 -

Postwar US Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will enhance your understanding of postwar American literary culture in its broader social, political, and
economic contexts. Mid-century America was a time of profound contradictions: while US citizens lived under the shadow the bomb, many experienced unprecedented economic prosperity and access to new material comforts. We will explore how national paranoia
about the spread of communism and the nuclear arms race sat alongside – and fed into – the postwar image of the American ‘good life’, an image of suburban conformity underpinned by the growth of advertising and consumer culture. We will consider how postwar fiction and poetry challenges this demand for conformity in both content and form: through its complex representations of the American cold war experience and its innovative narrative and poetic strategies. The texts on this module offer insights into postwar attitudes towards a diverse range of topics, including national and international politics, work, leisure, and domesticity, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

More information

EL6045 -

Political Theatre in Early Modern Britain (Optional,20 Credits)

People thought and wrote about politics a lot in the early modern period. Just like today, lives and livelihoods hinged upon the attitudes, loyalties and alliances of those in power – and the theatre was a convenient and accessible place to think about (and sometimes to poke fun at) political figureheads and their ideologies. Also, because men like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were, effectively, on the payroll of some of England’s wealthiest and most powerful men and women, their dramatic writings often carried distinct political agendas. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and James VI/I were passionate about literature, and London’s best playwrights and acting companies were employed during their lavish coronation processions – and invited to perform at court during annual festivities. Drama from this period was not only influenced by politics, moreover, it had influential political clout, in and of itself. The theatre explored, explained, critiqued, and shaped political attitudes and ideas – at every level of society.

Building on your reading of early modern authors at levels 4 and 5 in early modern literature, this module will challenge you to read a range of Tudor and Jacobean plays in relation to political change, scandal, and satire. You will develop a specialised understanding of the relationship between literature and politics, and a detailed knowledge of the early modern period’s tumultuous social and religious contexts.

More information

EL6047 -

Twenty First Century Literature: Writing in the Present (Optional,20 Credits)

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and its popular television adaptation (2017) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster (2015), this module invites you to explore a wide and diverse range of novels, short stories and other media in order to promote and analyse the study of contemporary theoretical debates on gender, love, the body and sexuality.

Through the theoretical lens of feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and postmodernism, the module aims to develop your critical thinking and your existing knowledge of literature, film and television, from 1985 to the present day. It will encourage you to explore the complex issues raised by diverse critical theory and close analysis of a range of late twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film and television adaptation. By doing so, you will reflect on the ways that twenty-first literature and other media engages with, interrogates and often offers alternative narratives on present debates about gender, love, the body and sexuality.

More information

EL6052 -

Forensic Linguistics (Optional,20 Credits)

Forensic Linguistics is the application of language analysis to forensically relevant texts for the purposes of advancing justice.

Referring to real life cases throughout, this module explores and critically analyses language used in legal contexts. First it focuses on written legal language, including critically reflecting on the kinds of communicative problems these texts might create for ordinary people. Students will conduct analyses of texts such as police cautions, insurance policies, consumer contracts, and jury instructions.

It moves on to examine the spoken language of the legal process, drawing on data from a wide range of sources such as police interviews and the courtroom. Students will consider the problems of vulnerable suspects and witnesses, including children, victims of sexual assault, non-native speakers of English, and individuals with specific communicative impairments. The module will conclude with consideration of the linguist as an expert witness, exploring the types of cases in which forensic linguists have been able to offer assistance.


The module will build upon skills acquired at Levels 4 & 5 in the description of written and spoken interaction, and will provide a detailed introduction to an important area of Applied Linguistics.

More information

EL6053 -

Writing Women: Aphra Behn in Focus (Optional,20 Credits)

This module explores the writings of the first professional woman writer in England, Aphra Behn (d. 1689). Biographically, Behn remains something of an enigma. We know little about her personal life, and some of our earliest records of her relate to her work as a Continental spy for Charles II. Yet Behn is one of the most important writers of the late seventeenth century. She contributed to many genres of literature (poetry, drama, translation and prose), she was the second most prolific dramatist of her age, and she authored the first English novel. Behn was a transformative and innovative author, deeply engaged with questions of gender and self-aware, in her writings, of her status as a female author in a male profession.
On this module we will read a selection of Behn’s writings, exploring their relationship to her contemporary writers, Behn’s historical moment and the broader development of literature. We will also explore the complex reception history of Behn’s work, thinking about why she disappeared from the literary canon within decades of her death, only to be rediscovered by feminist and postcolonial scholars from the 1970s and 80s. In studying Behn’s changing status as a literary author, and by reading her work, students will learn about a key moment (the 1670s-80s) in the development of the literary marketplace, whilst developing an appreciation of the ways in which gender concerns have affected access to Behn’s literature, as well as shaped (and, at times, limited) our understanding of its wider importance.
Today, Behn is much-studied and there are numerous scholarly editions of her writings. Yet there is still much we have yet to properly understand about her writings, and Behn studies are as vibrant and diverse as ever. Recent years have seen a renewed energy in Behn scholarship that seeks to understand her writings beyond their significance to gender studies, with scholars showing how Behn’s writings engage with the burning issues of the day: marital law; monarchy; philosophy; politics; science; sexuality; slavery.

More information

EL6055 -

Writing and Environment (Optional,20 Credits)

You will study a selection of texts, written from the eighteenth century to the present day, that engage with the natural environment in various ways. These include natural histories and popular science, pastoral and environmental poems, environmental protest literature, apocalyptic novels, and the ‘new nature writing’. You will learn how literary writers describe the world around them and how they use the natural world to articulate their own personal needs, feelings, and desires. You will study texts that draw attention both to natural beauty and to environmental catastrophe. You will learn how writers as diverse as Gilbert White, William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, and Robert Macfarlane have changed the ways in which readers engage with the world around them. As part of your studies, you will learn to produce your own literary engagement with the natural world in a ‘creative field journal’, inspired by the writings of Charles Darwin, Robert Macfarlane, Amy Liptrott, and others. By the end of the module, you will have gained a sophisticated understanding not only of the ways that writers can change the world, but also how they can save it.

More information

EL6057 -

Thieves, Harlots, Pirates, Murderers: Criminal Lives in the Long Eighteenth Century (Optional,20 Credits)

The eighteenth century is often considered the ‘age of politeness’, a new enlightened age of material wealth, refinement, global trade and luxury, urban order and civility, and polished manners. However, the major changes that brought such refinement and wealth to British society also brought with them disruption, poverty, violence, and crime and a period of adjustment to modern commercial realities and pressures. This module will introduce students to eighteenth-century Britain’s underbelly of crime, through the lives of criminals who, reviled and celebrated in news, popular culture, and literature, were always the focus of public fasincation.

On this module, we will use a variety of media, including criminal biographies, novels, plays, poems, newspaper reports, pamphlets, legal records, art and visual culture, and film/TV adaptations, in order to explore the social, political, and cultural meanings encoded in the lives of criminals in eighteenth-century Britain and the countries to which its global trade reached. We will consider the ways in which criminal figures were represented and continue to be represented today, as well as the implications of these representations in terms of ideas about crime, social class, gender, regional and national identity, race, and culture.

More information

EL6058 -

Language, Meaning and the Mind (Optional,20 Credits)

This module provides a detailed overview of the key concepts and issues in semantics (the study of language meaning). Along the way, we will discover a range of tools for analysing language and we will be engaging with current debates in linguistic theory. The module takes a problem-solving, interactive approach to analysing meaning and is designed to develop your ability to discover patterns (and exceptions) in language data.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

English Language and Literature BA (Hons)

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

START MONTH
YEAR

UniStats

Any Questions?

Call our clearing hotline now on +44 (0)80 0085 1085

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Masters _girl
+

Masters Study

Masters study will take you and your skills to the next level. Whether you want to get the real world experience you need to progress in your career or the research skills you need to drive the direction of your discipline...

a person sitting at a table using a laptop
+
NU World Virtual Tours
+

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

Back to top