For full information about life in the School and the programmes we offer, please see the School of English and Drama Website.
A degree in literature and linguistics enables you to understand how language works, and some of the ways it has been used to persuade, inspire, and entertain people.
The programme provides a unique perspective on English. On the one hand, you will learn about how language is structured, and the ways in which it conditions our responses to the world. On the other, you will look at some of the most interesting and profound ways in which language has been used by poets, novelists, and dramatists.
Linguistics core module:
- Foundations of Linguistics
- English in Use
English core module:
- Reading, Theory and Interpretation
- English in Practice
The remainder of your modules are optional.
Options may include:
- Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Century
- Sounds of English
- Language in the UK
- English in Use
- Languages of the World
- Introduction to Phonology
- Introduction to English Syntax
- Practicum in Linguistic Analysis
In your second year in English, you will select one module from Lists 1 and 2 below, and another module or modules from Lists 3 and 4.
Arthurian Literature: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones (ESH283) [30 credits]
Renaissance Literary Culture (ESH267) [30 credits]
Renaissance Drama (ESH280) [30 credits]
Representing London: Writing the Eighteenth Century City (ESH288) [30 credits]
Romantics and Revolutionaries (ESH286) [30 credits]
Victorian Fictions (ESH279) [30 credits]
Architexts (ESH243) [30 credits]
Modernism (ESH213) [30 credits]
Postcolonial and Global Literatures (ESH285) [30 credits]
List 4 comprises of a wide range of optional modules. You can get a sense of what might be on offer by viewing our English module directory.
In your second and final years you can choose from a wide list of optional English and Linguistics modules which reflect your own particular interests.
We welcome applicants whose first language is not English; you must obtain a grade B in GCSE English Language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).
Excluded subjects: General Studies, Critical Thinking.
Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 points from 3 A-levels, equivalent to ABB-AAB at A-level with an A in English Literature, or combined English Language and Literature and a B in a relevant subject.
Subjects and grades: 34 points overall, with 6 points HL English.
Vocational and other qualifications
Queen Mary accepts a wide range of qualifications such as: Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our entry requirements page for the Department of English for further information.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
Learning and teaching
Learning and Teaching:
We teach our programmes in a variety of ways, some traditional, some new. In your first year you will spend some of your time in lectures, which are always followed by smaller seminar groups.
Increasingly, we are making lectures available by video podcast so that you can refresh your memory of what was said and shown. All your teachers have weekly office hours and you are encouraged to make use of these for advice. We try to vary our teaching as much as possible so that you learn by encountering different situations and points of view. Many of our modules feature guest lecturers (professional writers and publishers, for example). Others make use of the unrivalled resources that London offers by taking you out of the classroom.
As you progress, you’ll spend more time in smaller classes where you’ll be expected to take more responsibility for your learning as you develop confidence and skills. But whatever the format, you’ll be taught by experts in their field who are passionate about their subject and committed to good teaching.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
You will be assessed in a variety of ways. Some modules will be assessed by traditional exams, but the majority are assessed by coursework.
Coursework can mean essays, projects, individual or group presentations, log books, oral or memorisation tests. All coursework is compulsory because each piece of coursework contributes towards the final mark for a module.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, heritage and charity.
The national 2014 destination survey confirmed that 92% of graduates from the School were in employment or study six months after graduation, with 71% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Queen Mary undergraduates have an average earning power of £23,000 six months after graduation.
The broad range of skills gained through undergraduate courses in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as:
- Junior Producer - ITN
- Actor - Self employed
- Script Reader - Writers Avenue
- Editorial Assistant - Dazed & Confused Magazine
- Associate Producer - Idle Motion
- PR Assistant - Proud Gallery
- Research Assistant - Tatler
- Programme Compiler - Channel 4
- Market Researcher - Maritz
- Global Mobility Project Assistant - Diageo
- Marketing Coordinator - News Quest Ltd
Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent events include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, Careers in Law for non-law students and Start Up Stand up for those aspiring to start their own social enterprise or business.
Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.
Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities, including a chance to volunteer for QMedia (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union).
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.
Name: Lottie Lee-Gough
Studied: BA English Literature and Linguistics
Why did you choose Queen Mary?
When I applied, Queen Mary was rated highly for its English Department. Being a campus university was also an important factor for me.
What was the highlight of your time at Queen Mary?
Writing my dissertation. The support we get is amazing. The clinics, retreats, and feedback from lecturers has been massively inspiring and useful.
How did you find life on campus?
Being a campus university gives a great sense of community. The English Department reception means you always know where to go for help.
What surprised you most about your course?
The quality of the English lectures. Lecturers are generous with their time and intellect to really help you understand and love the texts you are reading.
Which of the modules that you studied was your favourite?
‘Writing the First World War’. Nadia Atia is awesome. I couldn’t wait to read the novels each week because I knew the lecture would be so enlightening. She also organized trips to the Imperial War Museum with a private viewing in the cinema, and a day trip to Belgium!
David WilkinsonBA English
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
“I chose Queen Mary because I live in East London and because I was aware of its good reputation for English. I was impressed by the open day where I was made to feel welcome as a mature student and where I saw how much choice there is within the course; in the first year we covered areas from medieval literature to contemporary theory; this year I am learning about post- colonialism, 18th Century satire and literature after the First World War. There are dozens of interesting modules to choose from.
How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?
“The university is located in a nice part of London. It’s a lovely campus on the Regent’s canal with lots of good coffee shops and places to study. It's within walking distance of places like Victoria Park and Brick Lane.
“The teaching staff are very helpful and everything is well planned, we are set interesting and challenging work every week. I’m being trained to become a better thinker and I feel like I've learned a lot in the last year. I think the course is great and would highly recommend it.”
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
“I decided to study at Queen Mary because it was based in the heart of London, one of the most diverse, experimental and culturally packed cities in Europe. Everything from theatre shows, to late night comedy clubs is on your doorstep.
How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?
“I love the way our lecturers approach teaching. In one session we may start by looking at the reasons people visited the original 1599 Globe theatre, and finish with a discussion of how contemporary live art performances have pushed the boundaries of theatre to offend, judge and perhaps even reconfigure modern day theatre goers.
“I live at home but try to get involved in the social side as much as I can. There is always something taking place on campus and all societies are very open to recruiting new members.”