Students undertaking English and Philosophy at Queen’s explore literatures in English in the widest possible sense. From the earliest writings in Anglo-Saxon to contemporary Irish, British, and ‘global’ literatures, students study English in its historical, linguistic, cultural, material and ideological circumstances. In Philosophy students can study some of the key thinkers in the history of philosophy, from Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Marx. Students also hone their skills in reasoning and argumentation by studying formal logic and critical thinking.
English and Philosophy 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 Ciaran 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 as part of our work-based learning initiatives.
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.
- Professor 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.
- 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.
- Dr Alex Murray’s monograph on the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben (2010) has been translated into Turkish, Japanese and Chinese and his latest book Landscapes of Decadence: Literature and Place at the Fin de Siècle appeared in 2016 from Cambridge University Press.
- 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.
- Philosophy has particular strengths in the areas of applied ethics and political philosophy, and unusually amongst UK universities – offers teaching in scholastic philosophy.
- Nick Laird, the Seamus Heaney Professor of Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre, is a recipient of the Betty Trask and Eric Gregory Awards, whose most recent collection is Feel Free (Faber, 2018). He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.
- From Personal Tutors to peer mentoring, we work closely with students to ensure they are supported at every stage of their degree.
- With Degree-Plus, students have the opportunity to burnish their academic achievements with employment-facing placements and projects.
- 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.
“On starting English Literature degree, 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.”
BA English and Creative Writing Graduate (2018)
|Stage 1||In their first year students undertake 3 core modules in each subject, which introduce key concepts in English and Philosophy. They will also develop critical and writing skills necessary in order to make the transition to study at university level.|
|Stage 2||In their second year, students select from modules exploring the earliest literatures in English to contemporary writing in English from around the world. They will learn to situate literature within its specific historical contexts. Students also select 3 Philosophy modules, which will build on the learning from year 1, developing their skills in reasoning and argumentation by studying formal logic and critical thinking.|
|Stage 3||In Year 3 students can select from a wide range of modules which are rooted in staff research expertise. They may also opt to undertake a dissertation (in English OR Philosophy). Students can also elect to take a work based learning module.|
People teaching youDr Stephen Kelly
Subject Lead/Head of Area
Arts, English and Languages
Contact Teaching Times
|Personal Study||15 (hours maximum)|
|Medium Group Teaching||9 (hours maximum)|
5 at Stage One, at Stage Two and Three, English students have 3hrs contact time per module per week
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||0 (hours maximum)|
|Large Group Teaching||9 (hours maximum)|
5 at Stage One, at Stage Two and Three, English students have 3hrs contact time per module per week
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 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 Canvas. 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 Level 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.
|A level requirements|
ABB including A-level English
Note: for applicants who have not studied A-level English then AS-level English (grade A) would be acceptable in lieu of A-level English.
A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to a grade A at A-level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in English
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70% including an average of 65% in Literature modules.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including English.
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirement is also met
All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
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 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.
For applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate (IJC) is taken into account. For last year’s entry applicants for this degree must have had, a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.
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), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of 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.
BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas can be considered, provided the subject requirements for entry to English 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
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 Philosophy 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, from English: Seamus Heaney, Nobel prize-winning poet; Paul Muldoon, academic and poet; Stephen Rea, actor; Annie Kelly, journalist and writer; Annie Mac, radio presenter.
From Philosophy: Dr William Crawley, BBC broadcaster and journalist: Professor Philip Pettit, Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University Francis Campbell, UK Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Employer Links: Consultations, Philosophy has an active and engaged Employers’ Forum, which is used to foster collaboration between ourselves and employers and to inform related activity, such as the format, content and structure of our educational provision, with the ultimate aim of enhancing the employability of our graduates. The Employers’ Forum meets 2-3 times per academic year. In addition to Philosophy and QUB staff, its membership includes employers from both public and private sector organizations, including Equality Commission for NI, Northern Bank, Deloitte, Stratagem NI, NI Local Government Association PricewaterhouseCoopers, MCE Public Relations, Department of Employment and Learning NI and Stratagem NI.
You should also take a look at the Prospects website for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract English and Philosophy graduates. Further study is also an option open to 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 Philosophy).
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.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree Plus/Future Ready 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/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,750|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,750|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£9,250|
|EU Other 3||£20,800|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Note that the tuition fees quoted above are for the 2023-24 academic year and are for indicative purposes only as the fees for 2024-25 have not yet been finalised. These fees will be subject to an inflationary increase. All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase for each year of the course, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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.
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 Philosophy costs
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.
A limited amount of funding may be available to contribute towards these additional costs, if the placement takes place through a government student mobility scheme.
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 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 www.qub.ac.uk/Study/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 2024 from 1 September 2023.
Advisory closing date: 31 January 2024 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2024) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2024. If you apply for 2024 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
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: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
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 2024.
- 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