Students undertaking English and Irish at Queen’s explore the literatures and languages of both traditions in the widest possible sense. From the earliest writings in Anglo-Saxon to contemporary Anglo-Irish, British, and ‘global’ literatures, students study English in its historical, linguistic, cultural, material and ideological circumstances. The Irish language forms an integral part of Irish cultural life as a medium for education, music, literature, drama and television. Spoken for over 2,000 years, Irish boasts a vast early literature of world significance.
English and Irish Degree highlights
English Studies at Queen’s has an extraordinary heritage, as represented by its globally esteemed writers, such as Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and T.S. Eliot Prize recipients Paul Muldoon and Ciarán Carson, among others.
- English at Queen’s offers a range of Study Abroad opportunities, from the Erasmus programme with a range of European partners, to the chance to study at a number of partner institutions in the United States.
We welcome applications from European students who would like to attend Queen’s under the Erasmus programme. This programme enables students who are already enrolled at a university in Europe to take time out from their own institution and spend either one semester or a full academic year at Queen’s.
Additionally, the Study Abroad programme is particularly popular with students from North America, Canada and Australia.
- We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, BBC Northern Ireland.
World Class Facilities
- The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry is named after our illustrious alumnus and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature. Today, it is the hub for creative writing and poetry at the University and is staffed by some of the most highly-regarded practitioners in poetry, scriptwriting and prose in the UK and Ireland, such as Professor Ciarán Carson, both recipients of the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry.
Our state-of-the-art multimedia language centre provides students with learning facilities unparalleled elsewhere in UK and Ireland, and includes a Language Lab with the latest language learning and translation software (including SDL Trados suite).
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Professor Mark Burnett is a leading scholar of the place of Shakespeare in the contemporary arts and is director of the Kenneth Branagh Archive.
- Dr Marilina Cesario is an expert on Anglo-Saxon science and collaborates widely with astrophysicists in reassessing our understanding of pre-modern scientific thinking.
- Dr Edel Lamb is an international expert on early modern child theatre companies and is currently developing a project on theatre rivalry and riots in Shakespeare’s London.
- Dr Gail McConnell explores the interface of literature and voice in her role as co-director of the AHRC-funded ‘Listening to Voices: Creative Disruptions with the Hearing Voices Network’ project.
- Professor Glenn Patterson is the Rooney Prize and Betty Trask Prize-winning author of ten novels. He writes regularly for BBC Radio Three and Four, The Guardian and has made a number of documentaries for Irish and British television. His co-authored screenplay for Good Vibrations was nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.
- Dr Philip McGowan is President of the European Association for American Studies (2016-2020) and sits on the Executive Board of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.
- From Personal Tutors to peer mentoring, we work closely with students to ensure they are supported at every stage of their degree.
- A thriving cultural scene organised by our undergraduate and postgraduate communities, from the English Society and Poetry and Pints to the Lifeboat and the Yellow Nib, makes studying English at Queen’s a unique proposition.
- Students can work with our visiting Fulbright Scholars, leading US academics who spend a semester at Queen’s each year.
- With Degree-Plus, students have the opportunity to burnish their academic achievements with employment-facing placements and projects
“On starting English Literature degree in 2015, I never thought that I'd be dreading final year just for the fact I wouldn't be a part of English at Queen’s anymore. I've had the chance to study such a breadth of prose, poetry and drama across all sorts of periods under some of the most fantastic lecturers. Probably my favourite aspect of studying at Queen's is the community and friends that I've made within English. From being able to attend my lecturers' research seminars to peer mentoring first years, it feels like a (fantastically literary) family and I feel I couldn't have made a better choice.”
Micheal McCann (Stage Two)
- English at Queen’s offers a range of Study Abroad opportunities, from the Erasmus programme with a range of European partners, to the chance to study at a number of partner institutions in the United States.
Stage 1 Core modules:
English in Transition
English in Context
Introduction to English Language
An Intro to Modern Literature
Stage 2 Core module:
Foundations for Speech Analysis: The Phonetics of English
Mapping the Anglo-Saxon World
Havoc and Rebellion: Writing and Reading Later Medieval England
Shakespeare and Co
Fiction to Austen (1660-1820)
Romantic Poetry (1789-1832)
Enlightenment and its Discontents
The English Language: Language and Power
History of English: Studying Language Change
An Introduction to Critical and Cultural Theory
Reading Revolutions: The English Bible, Medieval to Early Modern
Modernism and Modernity
Modern American Fiction: Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality
Dickens and the Cult of Celebrity
Scottish Gaelic Language
Irish Poetic Tradition 1650-1850
Skills in Irish Translation
Irish Film Studies
Irish Writing and the Short Story
Stage 3 Core module:
Double Dissertation English Language
Double Dissertation English Literature
Stylistics: Analysing Style in Language
Language in the Media
Televising the Victorians
Contemporary Irish and Scottish Fiction
Shakespeare on Screen
Contemporary Literature: Poetry and Precariousness in the 21st Century
Contemporary US Crime Fiction
Speech Worlds: Phonology in Acquisition and Disorder
The Structure of English
Marvels, Monsters and Miracles in Anglo-Saxon England
Women’s Writing 1660-1820
Restoration to Regency in Contemporary Fiction
Digital Textualities and the History of the Book
Writing Africa: The Colonial Past to Colonial Present
Stevens and Bishops
Special Topic Creative Writing
Special Topic Irish Literature
Modern Irish Poetry
Language, Identity and the Emergence of Modern Irish Literature
People teaching youDr Philip McGowan
Subject Lead/Head of Area
Arts, English and Languages
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 6 (hours maximum)
3 at Stage One, 6 at Stage Two and Three
Medium Group Teaching 6 (hours maximum)
3-5 at Stage One, 3 at Stage Two, 6 at Stage Three
Personal Study 0 (hours maximum)
15 hrs minimum
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 0 (hours maximum)
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, students work in an ambitious learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the English and Irish degree we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Personal Tutor
Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Stage 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Supervised projects
In final year, you may choose a year-long double-weighted Dissertation module which requires you to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- Assessments are designed to evidence your engagement with the learning objectives of each module, which will be advertised in advance of module selection. Modules are assessed variously through project work, individual and/ or group presentations, as well as more traditional written essays and assignments. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students progress through their degree at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “Feedback and Guidance hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
The McClay Library brings together wide-ranging library, computing and media services in a single location, blending the best features of a traditional library with the latest technology.
Study facilities include both places for quiet study and significant provision for group work, allowing students to follow their own individual learning style. Training provided by Information Services is also based in the building.
The library's extensive book and journal collections support teaching and research in the arts and humanities.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year's intake, applicants for this BA programme offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Access courses, BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas can be considered, provided the subject requirements for entry to English and Irish are also fulfilled.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for an English and Irish degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including English. In particular, employers value the initiative, imagination, creativity and independence of thought fostered by the English degree. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years: Publishing, Media and Performing Arts Public Relations Advertising Librarianship Fast Stream Civil Service Management Consultancy Graduate Careers and Achievements Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example: Seamus Heaney, Nobel prize-winning poet; Paul Muldoon, academic and poet; Stephen Rea, actor; Helen Madden, writer and actor; Annie Kelly, journalist and writer; Annie Mac, radio presenter. Teaching in Irish-Medium education is a popular option for our graduates, who enter the profession after a postgraduate conversion course (PGCE) in education at Queen‘s. Irish at Queen‘s has links with a number of employers including the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies. An Gúm, Foras na Gaeilge and other schools and community groups in Belfast provide opportunities for placements for students. You should also take a look at the Prospects website for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract English and Irish graduates. Further study is also an option open to English graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes, including the MA in English Literary Studies and the new MRes in Arts and Humanities (English or Irish). Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports. Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers. Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.
Teaching in Irish-Medium education is a popular option for our graduates, who enter the profession after a postgraduate conversion course (PGCE) in education at Queen‘s. Irish at Queen‘s has links with a number of employers including the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies. An Gúm, Foras na Gaeilge and other schools and community groups in Belfast provide opportunities for placements for students.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,395 International £16,900
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
English and Irish costs
Joint Honour Irish students are required to spend 2 periods of residence in the Gaeltacht between Years 1 and 2 and between Years 2 and 3. The trips are subsidised by the School but each student is required to pay £180 per residency i.e. £360 in total. Students have to pay their travel to and from the Gaeltacht and this will vary according to distance.
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000.
Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad, are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider.
If the placement is undertaken under the European Erasmus programme, students are normally eligible to receive a top-up grant to contribute towards these costs. Current Erasmus grant rates are approximately €300 per month. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00).
Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2019.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS