English Language & Communication BA (Hons)

About the course

1/

Where language comes from and how people use it is one of the big debates of our time. This subject looks at how the English language works, how we use it to communicate, how we acquire it in the first place, and how it varies according to social factors. You can also specialise in English Language Teaching.

The modules make extensive use of web based resources such as interactive exercises. In the first year you explore language in use, in face-to-face communication and in the media, as well as looking at the role of English in the world. You will develop skills of grammatical analysis and explore questions like: Are humans the only species to use language? What does the language of stroke patients tell us about language and the brain? Does the way we speak influence the way we think?


In your second and final years you can choose from different modules, which will give you a thorough grounding in describing and analysing language and communication, including modules on the sounds of English and how they are produced, vocabulary, varieties of language, dialects and accents, the history of English, how children acquire language, how people produce and understand language and what can go wrong with it, as well as how language functions in society. You may explore a topic of special interest to you in your final year project.
English Language and Communication is available as a single, joint and combined honours subject within the Humanities Programme.

Why choose this course?

A qualification in English Language and Communication is valuable in a wide range of careers, specifically speech therapy, psychology, computing and teaching English either as mother tongue or as a foreign language. The sensitivity to language & sense of accuracy you develop at the course is highly rated in any career where intensive reading and writing are demanded.

Entry requirements...

300 UCAS points

GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above. A minimum of two A-levels or the equivalent level qualifications are also required.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency. The following qualifications and grades will be considered:
- GCSE English language grade A-C
- IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in any band)
Other English language tests are accepted. Please see our international pages for information or contact the International Office for details.

Study routes

  • Full Time, 3 Years
  • Full Time,
  • Sandwich, 4 Years
  • Sandwich,

Locations

  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Careers

Our graduates have an excellent record of gaining employment in media, publishing, teaching and information management where their skills in analysis, communication and evaluation are highly valued. Many of our graduates go on to higher levels of study engaging in research in their chosen fields. Whatever your future career plans, what is important to your potential employers is the range of intellectual, transferable, personal skills and experience you have gained and can demonstrate. We ensure our programmes are relevant to the world of work through active links with regional employers across a range of industries and professions.

Teaching methods

The precise method of teaching varies according to each module. Most are taught via weekly lectures and weekly seminars. You may be asked to work with fellow students and produce some group work together. Sometimes you will have to present the findings of your research to your fellow students in the seminars. You will be expected to contribute to on-line discussions and to download and read lecture notes from StudyNet, our virtual learning environment.

Work Placement

You can choose to study for a year in North America or Europe through the SOCRATES-ERASMUS exchange programme during the second or third year of the degree. In some cases, you may be able to graduate with a degree from your partner university as well as from Hertfordshire. You may be eligible for a grant if you meet certain conditions.

Professional Accreditations

None

Structure

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Graduate and Information Skills 2

    This module has a series of lectures on graduate skills and employability combined with a series of short on-line tutorials that equip students with the key information retrieval skills required at levels 5 and 6, together with knowledge of the core information databases and internet gateways for Humanities. It covers topics such as: effective reading strategies; presentational skills; refining research techniques; researching your career; effective CVs and application forms; information search strategies; critical evaluation of information sources and effective searching of key bibliographic and full text information databases and Internet gateways. It additionally covers requesting items not held in UH collections and making use of other academic libraries.

Optional

  • Applied Acting Skills: Role Play and the Uses of Drama

    The module includes lectures which will help you to understand how and why drama is used as a training tool. In particular, the module will focus on Forum Theatre and drama role play and how they are used as tools for training. You will then explore a series of scenarios as a basis for role play case studies in practical workshops and in writing workshops you will create your own scenarios from a brief. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to give feedback in a constructive way to your peers. You will work on a Forum Theatre Project, which will be performed to your group. Both the role play and Forum Theatre Project will encourage you to develop professional working practices and performance skills; for example, you will work in a small group to research and write a proposal for a corporate Forum Theatre Project and present it to your peer group as if it were a tender or pitch for a job. You will then be encouraged to engage in negotiation and to defend your ideas for the project in front of your peers.

  • Design for Print

    We are surrounded by well-designed printed material and we make judgments about the message being communicated, and the audience it is directed at. The aim of this module is to make the design process transparent. Students are required to analysis examples of printed material from CDs and books looking the way documents have been designed, and how they targets particular audiences. Secondly, students are asked to put into practice the design skills necessary to create a document, (children's book, CD booklet and DVD cover etc.), using a desktop publishing package and graphics software. This module encourages students to take on real life publishing projects and enables students to develop a range of commercially desirable skills from technical mastery of a DTP package to information design. By the end of this module students will have developed a portfolio of work they could show to a potential employer.

  • Employability and Careers Planning

    This module will enable you to develop your employability and careers. You will develop your occupational awareness to enable you to compete more effectively in the employment market. At the end of this module you will be able to produce an improved CV and/or job application and have been given the opportunity to develop and reflect upon your personal and developmental career goals.

  • English Grammar

    This module examines what grammar is and is not, and presents a detailed description of the grammar of English. It looks at the different word categories, constituent structure of sentences, grammatical functions and the structure of complex sentences and different sentence types. It aims at providing you with the knowledge necessary to conduct grammatical analyses. This module is a prerequisite for study of English Language & Communication at Level 3.

  • French Route A - 5a

    This module broadens and consolidates the students’ competence in French. Students will learn to talk about student life and travel, carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including, for example, video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • French Route A - 5b

    This module will extend the students’ competence in French through the introduction of more advanced language structures. Students will learn to discuss work and future plans, studying and living abroad. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Genre Writing: Building Worlds

    Building compelling and convincing worlds is important in all fiction, but it is particularly crucial in writing genre fiction. When writing genre (or popular) fiction, writers must be critically aware of both the history of the genre and current trends in publishing in order to make their own narratives distinctive and ultimately sell-able. This module will examine two popular genres (such as fantasy, crime, sci-fi or romance). Key questions of craft and motivation will be asked: how do contemporary writers play against the classics (such as Chandler or Hammett for crime)? How do you write a piece that fits in a genre and yet avoids cliché? What steps can be taken to build a complex world for your piece? How is plotting for genre fiction different than plotting for literary fiction? Authors studied may include Jonathan Letham, Raymond Chandler, Robin McKinley, Justin Cronin, Charlaine Harris and China Miéville.

  • German Route A - 5a

    This module broadens and consolidates the students’ competence in German. Students will learn to talk about student life and travel, carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including, for example, video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • German Route A - 5b

    This module will extend the students’ competence in German through the introduction of more advanced language structures. Students will learn to discuss work and future plans, studying and living abroad. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • German Route B - 5a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at level 4 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken German. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Germany 1871-1933 B

    This module aims to provide students with a knowledge of selected political, economic, social and cultural developments in Germany from the beginning of the Second Empire until the beginning of the Third Reich and with an understanding of the interpretations of German history over this time-span. The module will begin with an overview of the key historiographical debates before examining aspects of Bismarck's Germany, such as the 'enemies within' and foreign policy, Wilhelmine Germany and the rise of Weltpolitik, the impact of the First World War on Germany and the collapse of the Second Empire in 1918, and the political and economic causes for the instability of Weimar democracy. The module will also explore the history of socialism and feminism in Germany as well as Germany's cultural contribution to the world.

  • Historical Writing

    This module will examine the different definitions of the term 'history' and the various aims and purposes that have been attributed to it as an academic discipline, form of knowledge and forms of writing about the past. An analysis of the traditional approaches to the study and writing of history up to the mid 20th century will be contrasted with the new forms of historical investigation, research techniques and approaches developed since the 1960s and the impact of more radical approaches such as gender history and the 'new' cultural history. The impact of other disciplines and the implications of ideas such as 'post modernism' will be analysed and the implications for history investigated. These will be linked to the practical issues of researching and writing history in the 21st century when faced with the implications of new technology, globalisation and the growing relativity of human values.

  • History and Heritage in Practice

    This module will provide you with the practical and conceptual skills required when undertaking history and heritage projects. Teaching will be organised around five themes which may be drawn from the following list: Heritage Interpretation; Heritage Site Management; Conservation Practice; Oral History; History and Communities; Public Engagement; History in Policy; History in Education; Funding Matters. Through a focus on live issues and practical matters, you will explore the many ways in which national and local organisations project, create and use history. You will investigate the processes and priorities that determine the content and form of historical displays; the obligations that shape heritage organisations; and the rationale underlying public engagement. As well as looking behind the scenes, you will study some of the key techniques and skills that underpin successful ventures in using historical material, whether in heritage or other public contexts.

  • Italian Route A - 5a

    This module broadens and consolidates the students’ competence in Italian. Students will learn to talk about student life and travel, carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including, for example, video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Italian Route A - 5b

    This module will extend the students’ competence in Italian through the introduction of more advanced language structures. Students will learn to discuss work and future plans, studying and living abroad. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Italian Route B - 5a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Italian. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Japanese Route A - 5b

    This module will extend the students’ competence in Japanese through the introduction of more advanced language structures. Students will learn to discuss work and future plans, studying and living abroad. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Journalism Skills: Features, Markets and Styles

    In this module students will be introduced to researching and reporting techniques for writing features and will be developing and extending the skills in writing acquired at Level 4. Workshop sessions will be enable students to gain hands-on practise of writing features in a simulated magazine or supplement environment.

  • Knowledge and Discovery

    What kind of justification is required to be able to say not just that we believe something but that we know it? Must we be able to cite reasons for believing something before we can be said to know it, or is it enough for those beliefs to have been generated in a reliable way? Must knowledge rest on a foundation that is immune from error, or are beliefs justified by being part of a network of mutually supporting beliefs? We shall discuss the extent to which the particular observations we make give us reason to believe (or disbelieve) general claims about the world and, further, what counts as a good explanation for why that thing has happened. We shall consider not just beliefs about those things we can see with our own eyes but whether there is any reason to believe in those things which we cannot observe directly (e.g., the very small and the very distant).

  • Language Competances in Career Development

    In order to be able to take this module, you need to have found a suitable work placement opportunity by the end of Semester A (1st December) and not have taken a work experience module in a different subject area. The module provides you with an opportunity to reflect on the experience you are gaining in EL&C related work experience. One the one hand, you will focus on subject specific skills applied in the work experience as well as communicative events in the workplace, on the other you will reflect on personal and key skills that the experience has helped you to develop and articulate the ways in which it has enhanced your career development. Suitable work experience includes: communication support volunteer for the stroke association, assistant supporting school students in literacy and English language skills, assisting with the teaching of English Language and Culture to adults, mentoring international students.

  • Language and Species

    Research into the evolution of human communication has been controversial. Shortly after the publication of Darwin's masterpiece in 1859, the topic was banned by the London Philological Society. Recent advances in genetics, anthropology and cognitive science, however, have together resulted in renewed interest and more rigorous investigation and the birth of a new field. Evolutionary Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field which draws upon linguistics, evolutionary theory, biology, anthrolopology, primatology and psychology in order to answer three key questions: Why do we communicate? When did language evolve? What are the origins of language? In this module, students are first introduced to the basics of evolutionary theory before focusing on the questions raised above. Additional questions addressed include: How do other species communicate? Could Neanderthals speak? Can chimpanzees lie?

  • Language in Society

    Sociolinguistics is the study of language in society. This module will introduce you to the major issues in sociolinguistics. We will start by addressing the relation between language and society and the nature of variation. We will address varieties of language use at the level of the group and the individual and explore three kinds of lectal variation: regional, social and functional. We will consider how and why users vary their language according to different social settings as well as the social pressures that cause language change. Further topics to be studied include accents and dialects, language and ethnicity and language and gender. This module should appeal to anyone interested in the way language is used to signal identity and negotiate society.

  • Learning and Teaching Language 2

    This module is the second of two that look in some depth at issues in the learning and teaching of language, with special reference to English. In this module, more emphasis is laid on teaching. The module takes a broadly historical approach to language learning and teaching. The starting-off point will be a resume of the state of EFL as a result of the professionalization of teaching at the end of the C19 and the effects of the Reform Movement. Thereafter there will be examination of such trends and approaches as the grammar / translation 'method', behaviourism, the audio-lingual approach, the communicative approach, Krashen's input hypothesis, the Lexical approach and the Intercultural approach. Connections will be made in each case with the key concepts relating to language learners discussed in the preceding module. A final session looks at classroom generated research and at what teachers can hope to learn from it.

  • Making Histories: public history work experience

    This module allows students to include an element of practical experience in their undergraduate study of history. Students will participate in an approved programme of activities around the making and sharing of histories in non-academic settings: these may include engagement with one or more of the public history projects based at the University, the collection of oral histories, volunteer work in a local museum or with a community group. Through a series of tutorials/workshops, students will reflect on their experiences, explore related conceptual issues and develop a broader appreciation of the links between academic and public history. The module will be assessed at the end of Semester B on a portfolio of materials. This portfolio will normally be compiled over the course of the year to record activities undertaken and to analyse them from critical perspectives

  • Mandarin Route A - 5a

    This module broadens and consolidates the students’ competence in Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn to talk about student life and travel, carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. Chinese characters will be introduced. The module will be delivered via on-line materials including video clips and Chinese websites.

  • Metaphysics

    Metaphysics asks the most general questions about the most fundamental features of the world. How should we understand space, time and causation? Does time flow? Does the future already exist? Is space a substance? Is it possible for me to do something now so as to affect what happened in the past? What are things and what does it take for them to persist over time? What is it for things to have properties, such as being red? What are properties? Do they exist in the same way that the things that have them do? What else exists? Does reality extend beyond what is actual?

  • Sounds of English

    This module will offer you the chance to study the sounds of English at two levels: the surface level (phonetics) and the underlying mental level (phonology). We will start by looking at the physiological apparatus involved with the production of speech before examining in more detail how individual speech sounds are made (articulatory phonetics). We will also examine the physical properties of sound in speech (acoustic phonetics). We will then turn to the organisation of speech sounds at the underlying mental level. Here we will identify the distinct 'sound concepts' of English and explore the various ways they each may be realised phonetically. We will then move on to analysing syllables before considering stress and intonation in English. The module offers you an important descriptive tool for further language study as well as essential knowledge for careers in areas such as speech and language therapy. This module is a prerequisite for study of English Language and Communication at level 3.

  • Spanish Route A - 5a

    This module broadens and consolidates the students’ competence in Spanish. Students will learn to talk about student life and travel, carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including, for example, video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Spanish Route B - 5a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at level 4 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Spanish. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Spanish Route C - 5a

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on improving the students' linguistic ability and knowledge through the indepth study of selected political, cultural, linguistic and economic topics of selected Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. The module will be based on materials taken from written and audiovisual materials compiled from a variety of sources such as online newspapers, magazines. Students will be expected to research their own materials and present their findings in class discussions.

  • Spanish Route C - 5b

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on improving the student’s linguistic ability and knowledge so as to equip them with the skills necessary to study and work in Spain. The module will be based on materials taken from written and audiovisual materials compiled from a variety of sources such as online newspapers, magazines and company websites. Students will research their own materials to be analysed and presented in class discussions.

  • Studies in English Literature: Renaissance to Enlightenment, 1550-1740

    This module focuses on a range of texts (plays, poetry, prose narratives) produced in Britain in the period 1550-1740. On one level the module is designed to build on the close-reading and analytical skills you developed at Level One but we will also explore the set texts in the context of a number of key issues and events in the turbulent history of the period. In particular we will consider the ways in which they can be seen to engage with important contemporary issues - about power and political authority, about national identity, about class hierarchies, about the business of literature, about gender and sexuality, and about religion. The texts to be studied will range from plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, to the love poetry of John Donne and Andrew Marvell; from bawdy, sexually aggressive, Restoration comedies, to the stinging satires of the early eighteenth century 'wits' such as Alexander Pope. As well as studying the work of writers whose works have often been seen to make up the 'canon' of 'great' English literature, we will also look at works by other writers of the period such as Mary Wroth, Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn, writers who have been excluded from literary histories until very recently. Please note: If you are taking 60 credits or more in Literature at Level 2, you are expected to include this module as part of your programme.

  • Syntax

    This module presents you with a recent generative syntactic theory. It deals in a detailed way with some of the overall goals of linguistic analysis, and examines the principles and mechanisms that are proposed to account for the grammatically well-formed sentences of English.

  • The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991 [B]

    This broad survey course will examine the origins, nature and end of the Cold War between 1945 and 1991. Initially, time is spent examining the meanings attached to the term 'Cold War', together with the peculiar features of the conflict compared with others in history. Analysis is then undertaken of the origins of the war, focusing on the break-up of the Grand Alliance between 1945 and 1949. The course then adopts a thematic approach, concentrating on the diplomatic, ideological, economic, political, military and cultural dimensions of the Cold War of the 1950s through to the 1980s. The final section will deal with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies in Eastern Europe following Gorbachev's ascent to power in the Kremlin in 1985. Students will trace the main contours of the Cold War historiographical landscape, from orthodoxy to post-post-revisionism.

  • The Rise of the Novel : 1700 - 1800

    Building on the study of prose fiction begun at Level One, this module will introduce students to the history of the novel. It traces the rise of the novel from the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth century. In addition to focusing on such issues as story-telling, the role of the narrator and characterisation, the module will explore the ways in which different genres fed into the emerging novel (e.g. romance, journalism, spiritual autobiography, travel narrative). Students will also be invited to consider the set texts' engagement with such issues as gender and sexuality, colonialism, crime and class. Texts studied will vary from year to year but might include the following: Daniel Defoe, 'Robinson Crusoe'; Jonathan Swift, 'Gulliver's Travels'; Henry Fielding, 'Joseph Andrews'; Lawrence Sterne, ' A Sentimental Journey'; Anne Radcliffe, 'A Sicilian Romance' and Mary Wollstonecraft, 'Maria'.

  • USA 1861 to 1969: From Civil War to Civil Rights A

    The module surveys American history from the end of the Civil War in 1865, to the social, political, and economic crises, which engulfed the United States during the 1960s. It concentrates on the major issues of American development: the emancipation of the slaves, the Civil War, and the process of Reconstruction; the rise of Jim Crow and Segregation in the South; the Wild West; Immigration and Industrialisation; Populism and Progressivism; the expansion of political democracy; the emergence of the regulatory state; America's rise to the status of a World Power; the depression of the 1930s; McCarthyism; Civil Rights; Vietnam and the Great Society. Students will be encourage to engage with two important issues: 1. How America transformed from a country made up of a collection of loose states to become a global superpower. 2. How the two principles 'All men are created equal' and racial segregation co-existed side by side.

  • Vocabulary

    This module investigates different aspects of English vocabulary. This will involve looking in detail at different ways in which words are defined, how words are formed, what they mean, where they come from and how they change over time. In addition we will look at the use of corpora in the study of word meaning and word collocations, in particular the British National Corpus and Wordnet. The module will also address how dictionaries are assembled, with special reference to the Oxford English Dictionary.

  • Writing for the Stage and Screen

    Building on critical and practical skills developed at Level One, this module continues the study of genre but also investigates writing as a collaborative process. Focusing on stage and screen drama, we will analyze a selection of twentieth century and contemporary works. Theme-based workshops will explore character, dialogue, the world of the play/film, action, plot, narrative, and audience. We explore how the playwright/scriptwriter evokes the 'World of the Play/Film' through creation of the imaginary place, aspects of setting, music and props. Students will be expected to work collaboratively to workshop their own dramatic writing with a view to completing a short dramatic text and the final sessions will be spent in revising and preparing work for the final assessment.

  • Writing in Britain Since 1945

    Drawing on a wide variety of writing produced since the Second World War, this module focuses on the changing situations of both writers and readers of British fiction. At the centre of the module will be an examination of realism in post-war writing through the texts of a wide range of authors. Students will be asked to consider the cultural representations of the period as they are evinced in both fiction and drama, including those of the late 1950s and early 1960s, a time of unprecedented change in British Society. The module provides examples of this writing by investigating such authors as for example: John Osborne, Pat Barker, Alan Sillitoe, Shelagh Delaney, Tony Harrison and Jeanette Winterson. As well as considering the ways in which the set texts deal with such issues as class antagonisms, constructed masculinity and femininity and differing sexualities, students will be invited to consider the extent to which the set texts can be seen to be representative of the post-war writing.

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Graduate Skills

    You will be able to access employability and enterprise resources including workshops, online materials and books in order to help you formulate a career or post-graduate study plan. You will have the opportunity to hear speakers from a variety of areas give advice and guidance as to how to enter those fields. You will be required to undertake a certain number of activities chosen by you from a career "menu" and to reflect on what they have learnt in order to complete the module successfully.

  • Graduate and Information Skills 3

Optional

  • Advertising

    This module will look at advertising and the ways in which they attempt to construct desire for specific products. It will analyse the social function of adverts in relation to certain social categories such as gender, race and sexuality. It will also look at the placing of advertising in specific media locations, asking students to consider why adverts for certain types of products are placed in specific locations. This will include a consideration of market segmentation and television scheduling in an attempt to link certain products to specific demographic patterns. This module will also consider the relationship between advertising and other media forms, especially film and television, to consider the degree to which advertising relies upon codes that are produced in other cultural products. This module will include a consideration of the use of advertising in the new media.

  • Aristotle P

    Is there a method to philosophy? Are we rational animals? Do all living things have a purpose? What is the good life or is there more than one? Is ethics primarily concerned with virtue? These questions, which are still of relevance today, will be explored by an examination of Aristotle's central works.

  • Child Language & Communication

    This module provides a detailed investigation of how children acquire their first language and the theories that seek to explain the process. We will look at child language from the pre-linguistic stage through to the acquisition of words, morpho-syntax and inflections. You will also explore the relation between language and cognitive development, as well as the acquisition of communication skills. These topics will be considered for both monolingual and bilingual children.

  • Chunky Language: Investigating Formulaic Sequences

    In this module you will find out what a formulaic sequence is, why they play such an important role in native speaker (L1) communication, and how and why they are stored in and retrieved from memory as a whole. We will look at different types of language data produced by children and adults, including, but not limited to, the British National Corpus, Aviation English, sports commentaries, sitcoms, cookbooks and weather reports. We will also discuss why second language (L2) learners rely heavily on these sequences during the early stages of second language development (SLD), only to then find that they are the "biggest stumbling block to sounding nativelike" (Wray 2002: ix) in later stages of SLD.

  • Community History in 19th Century England: Regional and Local History in Theory

    The course will begin with a survey of the development of local and regional history from the sixteenth century onwards, tracing the relationship between the amateur and professional branches. Particular attention will be paid to the Leicester school, the rise of urban history, the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, quantitative history and historical computing, the 'new social history', and collaborative and microhistory. The remainder of the course will focus on the practice of local and regional history through a series of case studies, to include topics such as demography, social structure, farm service, household and family, industrialisation, poverty, women's work, crime and religion. The course will be document based, will concentrate upon history from below, and will draw mainly but not exclusively upon examples from Hertfordshire.

  • ELT Project

    In this module you will undertake an individual project. This will include: -Framing a tightly-framed research question or hypothesis in the ELT field. -Devising practical means of answering the question/testing the hypothesis. -Assessing relevant variables. -Devising planned interventions - eg tests, assessments, learner diaries. -Collecting results; analysis. -Writing up the results, paying due attention to 'central' and 'outlying' phenomena. -Potential pedagogical implications.

  • Eighteenth Century Bodies

    Gender and sexuality have histories; this module will explore some of the ways in which they were constructed in the shifting social contexts of the long eighteenth century and their intertwining with concepts of power, class, nation and ethnicity. By examining a generically broad range of textual materials - plays, poems, novels, medical and religious discourses, advice books - this module will analyse a variety of models of sexual behaviour and male and female identities, paying close attention to the historical moment in which the text was written. Possible topics for study include: Restoration libertinism as represented in the works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Aphra Behn and William Wycherley; bourgeois sexuality as in Samuel Richardson's 'Pamela' and Henry Fielding's 'Shamela'; prostitution and the commodification of sexuality as in Defoe's 'Roxana', John Gay's 'The Beggar's Opera' and John Cleveland's infamous pornographic novel, 'Fanny Hill; or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure'; the psycho-sexual anxieties of Gothic novels, for example William Beckford's 'Vathek' and Jane Austen's 'Northanger Abbey'.

  • Employability and Careers Planning

    This module will enable you to develop your employability and careers. You will develop your occupational awareness to enable you to compete more effectively in the employment market. At the end of this module you will be able to produce an improved CV and/or job application and have been given the opportunity to develop and reflect upon your personal and developmental career goals.

  • Financial Crises and Panics: A History of Financial Folly A

    The aim of this module is to investigate the causes and consequences of financial crises. Beginning with the Tulipmania of the 1630s, the module will examine a series of speculative episodes and the resulting panics and crashes. The module will investigate how and why crises emerge and examine the damage they can do to the national and international economy. The module will also consider how financial crises have been explained by historians and economists and will investigate the problems associated with regulation and control of the market. Topics to be covered might include: Tulipmania (1637); the South Sea Bubble (1720); the collapse of Overend Gurney (1866); the Wall Street Crash (1929) the collapse of the ERM (1992) and more recently the global banking and sovereign debt crisis.

  • French Route B - 6a

    Emphasis will be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of French. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student’s linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex French. The course will be based on selected, complex carefully graded texts, online and audiovisual materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through StudyNet. Typical themes of study will focus on social, economic and cultural issues. Student will be expected to take part in discussions on the various topics studied.

  • French Route B - 6b

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of French. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student's linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex French. The module will be based on selected, more complex carefully graded texts and materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through Studynet. Students will participate in discussions on a variety of topics focusing on cultural issues, tourism and the world of work.

  • French Route C - 6a

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on improving the student’s linguistic ability primarily through the study of selected themes taken from online newspapers,magazines,websites. Students will acquire a better understanding of contemporary France through the study of selected events of great importance to French society in the first part of the 20th century. Students will be expected to research their own materials and present them in discussions, analysing them and reflecting upon them. Complex and more subtle grammatical points will be analysed through the study of texts.

  • Functional Linguistics

    This module presents a functional, meaning-oriented model of language description called Systemic Functional Linguistics. We will consider how our lexical and grammatical choices can vary according to function and context, with the aim of understanding both the range of linguistic options available to us to express meaning and how particular choices are systematically associated with various text types. We will also consider ways in which a systemic functional approach to language description has been applied in linguistic and professional fields such as critical discourse analysis, speech and language therapy, and language and literacy education, and can be applied to a wide range of texts and contexts of language use. This is a practical module in which we will analyse and interpret authentic texts and evaluate the potential usefulness of this approach to language description in applied contexts.

  • German Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken German. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • German Route B - 6a

    Emphasis will be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of German. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student’s linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex German. The course will be based on selected, complex carefully graded texts, online and audiovisual materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through StudyNet. Typical themes of study will focus on social, economic and cultural issues. Student will be expected to take part in discussions on the various topics studied.

  • German Route B - 6b

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of German. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student's linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex German. The module will be based on selected, more complex carefully graded texts and materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through Studynet. Students will participate in discussions on a variety of topics focusing on cultural issues, tourism and the world of work

  • Independent Study Module A

    The Independent Study Module (ISM) is a closely examined and detailed analysis of a particular topic cast in the form of a 5000 word essay. It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to use many of the skills developed over the course of the previous two years, and to explore an historical topic or theme in an extended format. The topic will be closely defined and it is anticipated that it will normally be based partly on primary sources. Students undertaking the ISM will work under the supervision of a member of staff- the range of topics available will naturally depend on the interests of individual members of staff in the University at any given time. Preliminary guidance will be given in the Level Two module, Historical Writing.

  • Independent Work Experience

    This module provides students with an opportunity to reflect on the experience they have gained in undertaking paid or voluntary employment outside their studies, to analyse the personal and key skills that work experience has helped develop and to articulate the ways in which it has enhanced their career development. Suitable work experience would include: student ambassadors, UH mentoring schemes and any part-time work. Students will compile a portfolio of evidence, which will include: evidence of the work undertaken, e.g. a letter from the company, the student's role within the company and the nature of the tasks undertaken, a reflective evaluation on the ways in which the work experience has enhanced the student's employability, and a current curriculum vitae.

  • International Perspectives in Public History

    This module will examine how public history fields have emerged in different national contexts and the ways in which they have been shaped by national history and political culture. We will look at how public history relates to academic history and the different ways in which historians have become involved in debates, disputes and controversies. There will be a focus on public history in the USA and Canada and connections with partner institutions of the University in those countries will be used wherever possible to create an opportunity for online discussion and collaboration. Material from other countries including Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand will also be drawn on when we explore thematic areas. These will include: history, education and citizenship; the role of the historian; public history and the law; history in political debate and policymaking; history and business.

  • Issues in English

    The module will begin with a brief recap of the rise and standardisation of English as a national language. You will then be presented with a range of perspectives on the language: for example, those of the native speaker, of writers for whom it is a Mother Tongue, of writers for whom it is a second language, of past and current learners of English, and of current teachers of English as a foreign language. The role of English as a national, international and educational language, and as a lingua franca, will be discussed. Finally, the module will examine some of learning and teaching styles by which English is acquired in different contexts: eg in language schools in the UK, in state systems in continental Europe, etc.

  • Italian Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Italian. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Italian Route B - 6a

    Emphasis will be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of Italian. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student’s linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex Italian. The course will be based on selected, complex carefully graded texts, online and audiovisual materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through StudyNet. Typical themes of study will focus on social, economic and cultural issues. Student will be expected to take part in discussions on the various topics studied.

  • Japanese Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Japanese. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Kant's Critical Philosophy

    "Kant made me sick." This was Bertrand Russell's reaction to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Much of the philosophy written in the Western tradition in the last two centuries is in some way a reaction to or development of Kant's 'Copernican revolution' in philosophy. Kant's main work, the Critique of Pure Reason, develops and defends two thoughts. First, our empirical experience is structured and conditioned by what we bring to it, so the problem of epistemology is the adequacy of our preconceptions. Second, there are limits to what pure reason can achieve, and much philosophy is a hopeless attempt to answer questions that lie beyond reason's powers. Kant argued that it is in the nature of reason to attempt more than it can achieve. Moreover, reason is sovereign over itself, and therefore must police its own boundaries. It is therefore always caught in a tension between transgressing its limits and enforcing them.

  • Language & Communication Project

    In this module you undertake an individual project on a topic of your choice. The project is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to use many of the skills developed over your previous studies, and to take those skills to a higher plane.

  • Language & Communication Short Project

    You undertake an individual project on a topic of your choice. The project is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to use many of the skills developed over their previous studies.

  • Language and Gender

    We will begin the course with a study of the historical and theoretical background to the study of language and gender within the larger area of sociolinguistics. We will examine various theories that attempt to account for gendered differences in language, and look at the key pieces of research in this area. This will include a focus on the following: sexism in language; gender differences in pronunciation and grammar; sex and convert prestige, discourse features and turn taking, narratives and storytelling, and politeness. We will then move on to contemporary theories in the area that move beyond the binary distinction of men and women to how speakers can perform their gendered identity. This includes a focus on workplace discourse to examine how leadership and power are enacted within masculine and feminine workplaces. Recent changes in language and gender studies, such as the incorporation of the Community of Practice framework to analyse language use, will also be addressed.

  • Mandarin Route A - 6b

    This module enables students to improve further their competence and confidence from the previous semester in understanding and responding to more advanced Mandarin Chinese. Students continue to develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially. The module will enable students to play a more active and spontaneous part in discussions and to use a wider range of phrases which express different shades of opinion in speaking and writing. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be delivered via on-line materials including video clips and Chinese websites.

  • Native American Literature

    This module will focus on literary works produced by the indigenous peoples of North America. The highly diverse linguistic, ethnic and tribal groups who inhabited the North American continent at the time of the earliest European settlement had one thing in common: the oral transmission of tradition, history and culture. Without a written language, and in the face of continual displacement, extermination, and disenfranchisement, Indians writers have faced unique challenges to articulate their culture and identity in the language of their oppressors, and to respond to modernity without betraying their heritage. You will consider their responses to these difficulties, employing varied theoretical approaches to texts from the eighteenth century to the present day. Writers who may be studied include: Samson Occom, William Apess, Black Hawk, Zitkala-`a, D'Arcy McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gerald Vizenor, Joy Harjo, Louise Erdrich, James Welch, Sherman Alexie, and Thomas King.

  • Nietzsche, Genealogy and Morality

    Nietzsche famously claimed that 'God is dead'. But what does he mean by this? What ramifications would the 'death of God' have for morality and human flourishing? What would a 'Nietzschean' view of self and world look like? And what religious responses to Nietzsche's challenge are possible? With these questions in mind, this module investigates key aspects of Nietzsche's thought. Typically, after an introduction to his styles of philosophizing, the 'hermeneutics of suspicion', and his 'moral perfectionism', we shall focus upon his influential critique of morality. We shall investigate his account of ressentiment, guilt and 'bad conscience', alongside central Nietzschean ideas such as the will to power, eternal recurrence and 'self-overcoming'. We'll also consider some possible critical responses to his worldview. The central text will be On the Genealogy of Morality.

  • Placement for Acting & Screen Performance

    The module offers you the chance to experience aspects of professional role play or screen acting. Placements can take a variety of forms which include: working in an external organisation within a brief set by that organisation; working within the University on a commercial project or with a professional team (for example a CPD role play training project for School of Health and Human Sciences or a substantial acting role in a student film-making project in the school of Film, Music and Media). The brief must be generated outside the programme of study and be part of a real working context. There must be a professional work experience contact able to evaluate student performance. Where the work experience may present limitations on your work, it is possible for you to undertake the work experience and extend the project through independent study, further developing the placement. You will be required to make a short video diary reflecting on your work.

  • Spanish Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Spanish. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Spanish Route C - 6b

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on improving the student’s linguistic ability primarily through the study of selected themes taken from online newspapers, magazines, websites chosen specifically to illustrate contemporary issues in the Spanish-speaking world. Students will be expected to research their own materials and present them in discussions, analysing them and reflecting upon them. Complex and more subtle grammatical points will be analysed through the study of texts.

  • Television Drama

    This module critically investigates the contemporary 'Golden Age' of television drama from North America and Europe, from 1990 to the present day. Through a close scrutiny of long-running serial dramas, we will explore notions of 'Quality' programming, and the particular impact of each series, as well as connecting them to wider understandings of television as a medium and art form. A number of methodological frameworks are considered in relation to the individual serials, allowing for work on aesthetic, thematic, institutional, socio-cultural, and generic aspects of significance. The emphasis of the module is on the close textual analysis of the particular forms and concerns of each serial drama, to assess the merits and achievements of individual works of television.

  • Tell It Slant: Writing and Reality

    Emily Dickinson wrote ‘Tell all the truth, but tell it slant’. This module examines many aspects of writing from reality – the methods and reasons for doing so, the ethics involved, and whether or not it forms a ‘fourth genre’ of writing as has been posited by theorists such as Robert Root and Lee Gutkind. Degrees of ‘truth’ will be questioned: how much fiction can or should be introduced? Where does one draw the line between fiction and reality? Who has the right to draw this line? Does writing about a community, or writing with a community, alter the obligations of the writer? Authors studied may include James Frey, David Sedaris, Louisa May Alcott, Geraldine Brooks, Sei Shonagan, James Baldwin, Megan Abbott and Robin Soans.

  • Texts and Screens: Studies in Literary Adaptation

    Literature and film have had a close and complex relationship since the beginning of the twentieth century when silent cinema adopted the novel as a fruitful source for its own stories. The cinema is still one of the most frequent ways by which we first encounter literary texts. By using a number of case studies this module aims to introduce you to some of the key issues involved in adapting literary texts for the cinema, including questions of narrative technique, concepts of genre, questions of representation and notions of 'fidelity' and 'authorship'. As well as close readings of the set texts (both written and cinematic) the module will also engage with recent theoretical approaches to film and literary studies. The texts chosen for study will vary from year to year but might include such notable examples as Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare; Zeffirelli; Lurhmann); Goldfinger (Flemming/Hamilton) and Trainspotting (Welsh/Boyle).

  • The 1956 Suez Crisis: Causes, Course and Impact 1945-1962 B

    This module examines with the aid of contemporary documentation the origins, course and impact of the 1956 Suez Crisis, placing it within the competing contexts of European decolonisation, the Cold War and the Arab-Israeli dispute. The module falls into three parts, with the greatest weight given to the course of the crisis (defined as July to December 1956). This will enable students to analyse at close quarters both the nature of international crisis management in general and the controversial qualities of the Suez crisis, including the notorious pact of 'collusion' between Britain, France and Israel. Students will also consider why 'Suez' has attracted so much interest from historians and examine the difficulties inherent in analysing contemporary history. Student-led discussions of assigned documents and the issues which emerge from them are the central core of the course.

  • The Golden Age: Victorian Children's Literature

    This module will examine the development of children's literature as a clearly defined genre during the so-called “golden age of children’s literature”, a period extending from the mid nineteenth century until the early twentieth century. Students will be invited to consider nineteenth-century children's literature in a historically contextualized way, as responding to debates about the nature of reading as a mass medium and its effect on young readers, a group regarded as particularly susceptible to its influence. Students will be encouraged to consider the disciplinary function of writing for children in relation to gender roles and class positioning.

  • Themes in 20th Century People's History

    This module explores the impact of technology, war, new social ideologies and cultural re-imaginings on the experiences of ordinary women and men during the twentieth century both in Britain and in global perspective. Through a series of case studies that exploit the potential of visual sources (photographs, films, television), sound recordings (radio, oral histories) and the British mass observation archive, the module makes extensive use of forms of evidence that are inextricably linked to the social developments that they captured. Topics will typically be drawn from the following list: the changing face of war (eg Blitz; soldiers’ experiences); scientific and technological revolution ( eg man on the moon, the A bomb and nuclear weapons, mass media, the internet); the rise of mass culture; Popular culture; Sport; the changing role of women; Human rights; Religion; Migration and population movements; Environmental issues and conservation; Welfare; ‘Others’/ethnicity/nationalism.

  • Thinking with History: Applying Historical Insight to Real-Life Issues

    This module will respond to contemporary issues, debates and controversies, inviting students to approach them through the lenses of public history and heritage. The module will be organised around four case studies selected annually for their topicality in Britain or internationally. Areas from which they might be drawn include: environment and climate change; conflict and war; the politics of restitution; education and citizenship; crime; family and sexuality; public legacy and heritage; media and celebrity. Can lessons be learnt from the past; what sort of lessons are they? What is entailed when current issues are placed in historical context? Students will compare different approaches to such questions and investigate the extent to which historical memory or scholarship has informed public discussions, cultural representations and policy around each of the case studies. Over the course of the semester students will contribute their own historical responses to specific debates and controversies.

  • Understanding Minds

    What is the basis of our everyday ability to understand reasons for actions? Do we make sense of other minds by using theories, by imaginatively adopting the other's perspective, by creating narratives or by all of the above? Are such capacities built-in or acquired? How do they develop during childhood? These questions are central in much of today's philosophy of mind, cognitive science, anthropology, developmental psychology and a host of other disciplines. There is considerable debate about what lies at the basis of these so-called folk-psychological abilities. This module will introduce these debates and explore their relevance for philosophy and for other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

  • Worlds Apart 2 : Science Fiction

    The module will build on knowledge gained in Worlds Apart 1: Utopian and Dystopian Writing and will allow students to further explore the genre of science fiction from its earliest form, the scientific romance, through to the cyberfiction of the late twentieth century. Students will examine the development of various forms of science fiction and its relationship to utopian and dystopian writing and the ways in which this literature addresses questions of personal and social identity, the fear and celebration of technological and sociological change, and ideas of extrapolation and estrangement. You will study a range of short stories, novels and films. Authors studied might include, H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Arnold Bester, Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree, Jr and J.G. Ballard.

Year 4

Core Modules

  • Graduate and Information Skills 3

Optional

  • Aristotle P

    Is there a method to philosophy? Are we rational animals? Do all living things have a purpose? What is the good life or is there more than one? Is ethics primarily concerned with virtue? These questions, which are still of relevance today, will be explored by an examination of Aristotle's central works.

  • Between the Acts: Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature 1890-1920

    This module studies texts written between 1890 and 1920 in order to consider the period of transition between the end of the Victorian age and the end of the First World War. Students will be invited to consider ways in which the set texts challenge 'Victorian' ideas of stability and respectability as well as their engagement with such concepts as heroism, the `monstrous', suburbia, marriage and sexuality, trauma, class and nationhood. The texts studied will include a range of different genres and styles, from the so-called `problem play' of the 1890s and 1900s, to the horror story; from the best-selling exotic romance to the literature of World War One. Authors studied may include Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Robbins, E.M. Forster, Ford Madox Ford, Rebecca West, Henry James, Elinor Glyn and Rudyard Kipling.

  • Child Language & Communication

    This module provides a detailed investigation of how children acquire their first language and the theories that seek to explain the process. We will look at child language from the pre-linguistic stage through to the acquisition of words, morpho-syntax and inflections. You will also explore the relation between language and cognitive development, as well as the acquisition of communication skills. These topics will be considered for both monolingual and bilingual children.

  • Children's Literature:Growing up in Books

    This module critically analyses works of children s literature published since 1950. Primary texts will range from picture books designed for very young children to works of cross-over fiction which aim to bridge the gap between the child and the adult reader. This will enable us to consider the ways in which children s literature works on the page and in culture to mediate and interpret the process of growing up in modern society. We will engage in close critical analysis of the primary material (considering, for example, questions of genre, narrative conventions and the relationship between words and illustrations) and this will be linked at every stage to a consideration of the ways in which literature for children interacts with wider cultural and historical contexts. You will be expected to engage with key theoretical and critical debates around children s literature. Authors studied may include Sendak, Seuss, Dahl, Lewis, Morpurgo, Rowling and Pullman.

  • Chunky Language: Investigating Formulaic Sequences

    In this module you will find out what a formulaic sequence is, why they play such an important role in native speaker (L1) communication, and how and why they are stored in and retrieved from memory as a whole. We will look at different types of language data produced by children and adults, including, but not limited to, the British National Corpus, Aviation English, sports commentaries, sitcoms, cookbooks and weather reports. We will also discuss why second language (L2) learners rely heavily on these sequences during the early stages of second language development (SLD), only to then find that they are the "biggest stumbling block to sounding nativelike" (Wray 2002: ix) in later stages of SLD.

  • Clinical Linguistics

    This module examines the effects of developmental and acquired disorders of language and/or communication on the acquisition and use of language. Different kinds of linguistic disorders are presented in an attempt to explore the nature of language and communication. Topics include, for example, the study of: phonological disability, stuttering, grammatical impairment, semantic/pragmatic disorders, hearing impairment, Downs Syndrome and autism. The module also looks at other language modalities, such as British Sign Language and addresses issues concerned with the assessment of comprehension and production and the use of computer programs and databases in language analysis.

  • Communication and Cultures

    The module gives you an opportunity to bring to the surface some of your personal / social cultural assumptions and working beliefs, and to see how they map onto those of other cultures, with specific attention to a specified domain of each student's choice. In particular, you are encouraged to look at inter-cultural communication, in the forms of face-to-face conversation, interviews, group encounters, formal situations such as conferences, e-mail and other forms of written communication, in order to see how other cultures, and especially a culture of your own choosing, articulate, disguise, hide and express beliefs.

  • Community History in 19th Century England: Regional and Local History in Theory

    The course will begin with a survey of the development of local and regional history from the sixteenth century onwards, tracing the relationship between the amateur and professional branches. Particular attention will be paid to the Leicester school, the rise of urban history, the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, quantitative history and historical computing, the 'new social history', and collaborative and microhistory. The remainder of the course will focus on the practice of local and regional history through a series of case studies, to include topics such as demography, social structure, farm service, household and family, industrialisation, poverty, women's work, crime and religion. The course will be document based, will concentrate upon history from below, and will draw mainly but not exclusively upon examples from Hertfordshire.

  • Corporate Advertising and Media Relations

    This module introduces the student to the general concepts of advertising and media relations at both functional and strategic levels. The functional component addresses the skills required to function at the required level. The strategic level provides a forum for understanding, exploring, debating and critically appraising the dynamics between these two disparate yet closely interlinked disciplines within the broader context of corporate communications. This module also introduces the student to a critical understanding of the principles of corporate advertising and approaches to media relations through an appreciation of press, broadcast, publications and other new and emerging media of communication. It develops communication skills in writing, speaking and presentation and considers the role of design in communicating a message.

  • Creative Writing: Independent Project

    This is an independent study module, which requires you to devise, plan and produce an extended piece of creative writing in a genre of particular personal interest (e.g. short story, poetry, drama). There will be workshops covering different genres allowing you to share ideas and feedback on their projects. You will also be asked to investigate outlets for creative writing as a means of further developing your sense of audience and genre.

  • Debates in Pragmatics

    This module is concerned with the interpretation of utterances in context. We will look at some of the main issues that are debated in the pragmatic literature. Our focus will be on the Relevance- Theoretic approach, but we will also consider other theoretical viewpoints. In particular, we will look at the explicit and implicit content of utterances, the nature of pragmatic and inferential processes, as well as the interpretation of figurative language such as metaphor. We will also consider the experimental approach in the study of pragmatic phenomena. The content of the module follows on from the Semester A module, Meaning and Context.

  • Describing Language in Context

    This module presents an alternative to formal approaches to describing language - a functional, meaning-oriented model of language description called Systemic Functional Linguistics. We will start by exploring how language structures are employed for different communicative aims. Following this, we will consider how our lexical and grammatical choices can vary according to function and context, with the aim of understanding both the range of linguistic options available to us to express meaning and how particular choices are systematically associated with various text types. We will also consider ways in which communicative and systemic functional approaches to language description have been successfully applied in linguistic and professional fields such as speech and language therapy and education. This is a practical module in which we will analyse authentic texts and evaluate the usefulness of language description in real world scenarios and professions.

  • ELT Project

    In this module you will undertake an individual project. This will include: -Framing a tightly-framed research question or hypothesis in the ELT field. -Devising practical means of answering the question/testing the hypothesis. -Assessing relevant variables. -Devising planned interventions - eg tests, assessments, learner diaries. -Collecting results; analysis. -Writing up the results, paying due attention to 'central' and 'outlying' phenomena. -Potential pedagogical implications.

  • East End Fictions: Interdisciplinary Studies of London's East End

    The East End of London has a rich cultural heritage. This module will examine literary, filmic and dramatic texts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that were written in or inspired by this area. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it draws on diverse literary texts, historical sources, pictorial representations and film. It questions the validity of the beliefs that underlie depictions of the area and its people. It will explore the concept of psychogeography, which seeks to analyse the effects of the physical environment on the psychology of those that live there. By focusing on the themes of class, community, crime and the immigrant experience, the course will trace how these reflect the social, cultural, historical and geographical context. The chosen texts may include fiction by Charles Dickens, Israel Zangwill, Peter Ackroyd, Iain Sinclair and Monica Ali and drama by George Dibdin Pitt, Arnold Wesker, Steven Berkoff and Tunde Ikoli.

  • Employability and Careers Planning

    This module will enable you to develop your employability and careers. You will develop your occupational awareness to enable you to compete more effectively in the employment market. At the end of this module you will be able to produce an improved CV and/or job application and have been given the opportunity to develop and reflect upon your personal and developmental career goals.

  • Final Year History Dissertation

    Independent study and research based partly on primary sources. Under supervision and subject to approval, the student selects a topic to research and writes a dissertation of c.10,000 words.

  • French Route B - 6a

    Emphasis will be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of French. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student’s linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex French. The course will be based on selected, complex carefully graded texts, online and audiovisual materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through StudyNet. Typical themes of study will focus on social, economic and cultural issues. Student will be expected to take part in discussions on the various topics studied.

  • French Route C - 6a

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on improving the student’s linguistic ability primarily through the study of selected themes taken from online newspapers,magazines,websites. Students will acquire a better understanding of contemporary France through the study of selected events of great importance to French society in the first part of the 20th century. Students will be expected to research their own materials and present them in discussions, analysing them and reflecting upon them. Complex and more subtle grammatical points will be analysed through the study of texts.

  • French Route C - 6b

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on improving the student’s linguistic ability primarily through the study of selected themes taken from online newspapers, magazines, websites. Students will continue to develop an understanding of the relationship between key aspects of contemporary France and historical facts which occurred in the second part of the 20th century. Students will be expected to research their own materials and present them in discussions, analysing them and reflecting upon them. Complex and more subtle grammatical points will be analysed through the study of texts.

  • History of the English Language

    The module studies the development of modern world English in the context of Indo European and Germanic families of languages. In addition, the influences of Latin, Old Norse, French, Greek and languages of the British Empire are discussed in terms of the relevant historical events. The theoretical input is balanced by the study of contemporary texts in Old English, Middle English and Early Modern English, concluding with a view of how present day English has changed within living memory.

  • Independent Study Module B

    The Independent Study Module (ISM) is a closely examined and detailed analysis of a particular topic cast in the form of a 5000 word essay. It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to use many of the skills developed over the course of the previous two years, and to explore an historical topic or theme in an extended format. The topic will be closely defined and it is anticipated that it will normally be based partly on primary sources. Students undertaking the ISM will work under the supervision of a member of staff- the range of topics available will naturally depend on the interests of individual members of staff in the University at any given time. Preliminary guidance will be given in the Level Two module, Historical Writing.

  • International Perspectives in Public History

    This module will examine how public history fields have emerged in different national contexts and the ways in which they have been shaped by national history and political culture. We will look at how public history relates to academic history and the different ways in which historians have become involved in debates, disputes and controversies. There will be a focus on public history in the USA and Canada and connections with partner institutions of the University in those countries will be used wherever possible to create an opportunity for online discussion and collaboration. Material from other countries including Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand will also be drawn on when we explore thematic areas. These will include: history, education and citizenship; the role of the historian; public history and the law; history in political debate and policymaking; history and business.

  • Italian Route A - 6b

    This module enables students to improve further their competence and confidence from the previous semester in understanding and responding to more advanced Italian. Students continue to develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially. The module will enable students to play a more active and spontaneous part in discussions and to use a wider range of phrases which express different shades of opinion in speaking and writing. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line news reports, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Japanese Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Japanese. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Kierkegaard, Philosophy and Religion

    What makes a human life worthwhile? What form would philosophy have to take effectively to communicate genuine ethical or religious insight? What does it really mean to live an 'aesthetic', 'ethical' or 'religious' life? Kierkegaard tackled these questions through a series of literary-philosophical texts published under a variety of bizarre pseudonyms. This module considers central aspects of Kierkegaard's thought, focusing upon issues related to ethics, religion and philosophical communication. After an introduction to the importance of 'indirect' communication in existential matters, we shall investigate in some detail the 'aesthetic', 'ethical' and 'religious' modes of life. The central texts will be Either/Or and Fear and Trembling.

  • Language & Communication Project

    In this module you undertake an individual project on a topic of your choice. The project is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to use many of the skills developed over your previous studies, and to take those skills to a higher plane.

  • Language & Communication Short Project

    You undertake an individual project on a topic of your choice. The project is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to use many of the skills developed over their previous studies.

  • Language and Gender

    We will begin the course with a study of the historical and theoretical background to the study of language and gender within the larger area of sociolinguistics. We will examine various theories that attempt to account for gendered differences in language, and look at the key pieces of research in this area. This will include a focus on the following: sexism in language; gender differences in pronunciation and grammar; sex and convert prestige, discourse features and turn taking, narratives and storytelling, and politeness. We will then move on to contemporary theories in the area that move beyond the binary distinction of men and women to how speakers can perform their gendered identity. This includes a focus on workplace discourse to examine how leadership and power are enacted within masculine and feminine workplaces. Recent changes in language and gender studies, such as the incorporation of the Community of Practice framework to analyse language use, will also be addressed.

  • Language, Interpretation and Communication

    Pragmatics is the study of verbal communication. The module will cover the main areas in the field as well the key theories that have shaped the discipline. We will start by discussing the fundamentals of the discipline, including what pragmatics is, the 'code model' of communication, the Gricean approach, and the role of inference in communication. We will then examine in detail the relevance theory approach to cognition and communication, including its consequences for utterance interpretation and explicit/implicit meaning. Finally, we will apply the relevance-theoretic approach to disambiguation, irony, and metaphor, discussing its advantages and disadvantages. This module would appeal to those who are interested in how the human mind works and how this affects verbal communication.

  • Literature Project

    The Literature Project is intended to give you the opportunity to carry out a substantial up-to-date research project based on a topic or author of particular interest. As well as enabling you to follow up particular enthusiasms, the module aims to further develop skills in planning, research, time-management and presentation. The module is taught via a programme of one-to-one tutorials with a designated supervisor. You may choose a topic from any area of literary studies but the choice of a topic must be agreed with the module leader before the end of Semester B preceding the next academic year in which the work will be undertaken. If you are taking 120 credits or more in English Literature at Level 3 (i.e. you are intending to graduate with a Single Honours degree in English Literature) your programme of study should include this module or 3HUM0231, the Independent Study and Research Project, but not both.

  • Mandarin Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Mandarin Chinese. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be delivered via on-line materials including video clips and Chinese websites.

  • Meaning and Context

    This module is concerned with meaning in language and communication. It introduces students to different types of meaning and different theoretical approaches to studying meaning in the philosophy of language and linguistics. A key issue will be the distinction between semantics and pragmatics, where the boundary between them lies, and the way in which the two realms interact in the communication of meaning.

  • Nietzsche, Genealogy and Morality

    Nietzsche famously claimed that 'God is dead'. But what does he mean by this? What ramifications would the 'death of God' have for morality and human flourishing? What would a 'Nietzschean' view of self and world look like? And what religious responses to Nietzsche's challenge are possible? With these questions in mind, this module investigates key aspects of Nietzsche's thought. Typically, after an introduction to his styles of philosophizing, the 'hermeneutics of suspicion', and his 'moral perfectionism', we shall focus upon his influential critique of morality. We shall investigate his account of ressentiment, guilt and 'bad conscience', alongside central Nietzschean ideas such as the will to power, eternal recurrence and 'self-overcoming'. We'll also consider some possible critical responses to his worldview. The central text will be On the Genealogy of Morality.

  • Online Journalism

    The course will consist of 12, two-hour seminars in which students will - through a mix of lectures, demonstrations, discussion and practical tasks - learn the basics of Online Journalism. This will include an appreciation of the massive impact that new digital communications technologies have had on the publishing industry, as well as a detailed understanding of how writing for the internet differs from so-called ‘off-line’ Journalism. Students will also learn, through the use of a Content Management System (CMS), how to upload and format content – both written and multimedia – which is suitable for publication.

  • Philosophy Project

    You will have the opportunity to develop your research skills through the largely independent study of a particular topic in philosophy of your choice, which must be approved by your supervisor. You will receive guidance from your supervisors in the form of suggestions about reading and about the structure and development of the project. Supervisors also provide critical feedback on material that is submitted. No conditions are placed on the choice of topic, so long as it falls within the general discipline of philosophy, and a member of the philosophy staff has the relevant expertise to provide the appropriate supervision. If you are intending to pursue a project you must identify your area of interest and are required to complete and submit a form by the end of the academic year prior to that in which you intend to begin your project.

  • Placement for Acting & Screen Performance

    The module offers you the chance to experience aspects of professional role play or screen acting. Placements can take a variety of forms which include: working in an external organisation within a brief set by that organisation; working within the University on a commercial project or with a professional team (for example a CPD role play training project for School of Health and Human Sciences or a substantial acting role in a student film-making project in the school of Film, Music and Media). The brief must be generated outside the programme of study and be part of a real working context. There must be a professional work experience contact able to evaluate student performance. Where the work experience may present limitations on your work, it is possible for you to undertake the work experience and extend the project through independent study, further developing the placement. You will be required to make a short video diary reflecting on your work.

  • Postmodern Genders

    This module focuses on representations of gender in twentieth and twenty-first century literature. Of particular interest will be a selection of texts which mount innovative challenges to conventional understandings of gender difference as fixed and natural, treating gender instead as a variable and unstable cultural production. So, for example, primary texts may include: Virginia Woolf s Orlando and Angela Carter s The Passion of New Eve (both texts where the protagonist changes sex); Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body (whose narrator-protagonist never reveals whether s/he is a woman or a man); Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory (which interrogates hypermasculinity), Jackie Kay s Trumpet (about a woman who successfully passes as a man), Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex (whose protagonist is a hermaphrodite), and Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife (which offers playful new perspectives on gender relations). The module will also offer sessions which explore recent theoretical approaches to sex, gender and sexuality.

  • Renaissance Tragedy

    This course considers a range of tragic drama produced during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It aims to introduce students to the diversity of the tragic drama written during this period and to its classical heritage and contemporary critical context. It will consider why tragedy dominated the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre and consider the ways in which the genre developed over time. It will examine the popularity of revenge tragedy during this period and seek to locate the contemporary fascination with revenge in political developments and debates of the period. Plays to be studied may include Kyd's 'The Spanish Tragedy', Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', Webster's 'The White Devil', and Middleton's 'The Revenger's Tragedy'.

  • Screen Acting

    In Screen Acting you will be introduced to the module with a series of lectures which will cover such topics as a historical overview of screen acting, casting character versus self, the different types of "shots" (close-up, long shot, etc), eye lines, basic problems of listening and reacting, soundtrack and music, continuity, the non-linear approach to film acting, the pressures and problems of location shooting (including issues of health and safety) and the relationship between director and actor. Following the lectures, in the workshop sessions you will work in groups to explore ways of integrating some of these ideas into your practical and written work. You will learn how to give and take direction. Some workshop sessions may be in a video studio and you may use recording equipment in class or on location.

  • Spanish Route A - 6a

    This module further improves the students’ competence and confidence from study at levels 4 and 5 in understanding and responding to more advanced written and spoken Spanish. Students develop skills which will be of value both professionally and socially and will be exposed to a wider variety of contexts and language registers. The module will enable students to participate more fully in discussions and develop logical argument. They will carry out reading and listening tasks and write texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be largely course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example on-line TV news items, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Spanish Route B - 6b

    Emphasis will continue to be placed on ensuring that students have a grammatically sound command of both the written and the spoken forms of Spanish. A thematic approach to language learning will be used, improving the student's linguistic ability and knowledge of more complex Spanish. The module will be based on selected, more complex carefully graded texts and materials compiled from a variety of sources made available to students through Studynet. Students will participate in discussions on a variety of topics focusing on cultural issues, tourism and the world of work

  • Television Drama

    This module critically investigates the contemporary 'Golden Age' of television drama from North America and Europe, from 1990 to the present day. Through a close scrutiny of long-running serial dramas, we will explore notions of 'Quality' programming, and the particular impact of each series, as well as connecting them to wider understandings of television as a medium and art form. A number of methodological frameworks are considered in relation to the individual serials, allowing for work on aesthetic, thematic, institutional, socio-cultural, and generic aspects of significance. The emphasis of the module is on the close textual analysis of the particular forms and concerns of each serial drama, to assess the merits and achievements of individual works of television.

  • Tell It Slant: Writing and Reality

    Emily Dickinson wrote ‘Tell all the truth, but tell it slant’. This module examines many aspects of writing from reality – the methods and reasons for doing so, the ethics involved, and whether or not it forms a ‘fourth genre’ of writing as has been posited by theorists such as Robert Root and Lee Gutkind. Degrees of ‘truth’ will be questioned: how much fiction can or should be introduced? Where does one draw the line between fiction and reality? Who has the right to draw this line? Does writing about a community, or writing with a community, alter the obligations of the writer? Authors studied may include James Frey, David Sedaris, Louisa May Alcott, Geraldine Brooks, Sei Shonagan, James Baldwin, Megan Abbott and Robin Soans.

  • The 1956 Suez Crisis: Causes, Course and Impact 1945-1962 B

    This module examines with the aid of contemporary documentation the origins, course and impact of the 1956 Suez Crisis, placing it within the competing contexts of European decolonisation, the Cold War and the Arab-Israeli dispute. The module falls into three parts, with the greatest weight given to the course of the crisis (defined as July to December 1956). This will enable students to analyse at close quarters both the nature of international crisis management in general and the controversial qualities of the Suez crisis, including the notorious pact of 'collusion' between Britain, France and Israel. Students will also consider why 'Suez' has attracted so much interest from historians and examine the difficulties inherent in analysing contemporary history. Student-led discussions of assigned documents and the issues which emerge from them are the central core of the course.

  • The Golden Age: Victorian Children's Literature

    This module will examine the development of children's literature as a clearly defined genre during the so-called “golden age of children’s literature”, a period extending from the mid nineteenth century until the early twentieth century. Students will be invited to consider nineteenth-century children's literature in a historically contextualized way, as responding to debates about the nature of reading as a mass medium and its effect on young readers, a group regarded as particularly susceptible to its influence. Students will be encouraged to consider the disciplinary function of writing for children in relation to gender roles and class positioning.

  • Themes in 20th Century People's History

    This module explores the impact of technology, war, new social ideologies and cultural re-imaginings on the experiences of ordinary women and men during the twentieth century both in Britain and in global perspective. Through a series of case studies that exploit the potential of visual sources (photographs, films, television), sound recordings (radio, oral histories) and the British mass observation archive, the module makes extensive use of forms of evidence that are inextricably linked to the social developments that they captured. Topics will typically be drawn from the following list: the changing face of war (eg Blitz; soldiers’ experiences); scientific and technological revolution ( eg man on the moon, the A bomb and nuclear weapons, mass media, the internet); the rise of mass culture; Popular culture; Sport; the changing role of women; Human rights; Religion; Migration and population movements; Environmental issues and conservation; Welfare; ‘Others’/ethnicity/nationalism.

  • Thinking with History: Applying Historical Insight to Real-Life Issues

    This module will respond to contemporary issues, debates and controversies, inviting students to approach them through the lenses of public history and heritage. The module will be organised around four case studies selected annually for their topicality in Britain or internationally. Areas from which they might be drawn include: environment and climate change; conflict and war; the politics of restitution; education and citizenship; crime; family and sexuality; public legacy and heritage; media and celebrity. Can lessons be learnt from the past; what sort of lessons are they? What is entailed when current issues are placed in historical context? Students will compare different approaches to such questions and investigate the extent to which historical memory or scholarship has informed public discussions, cultural representations and policy around each of the case studies. Over the course of the semester students will contribute their own historical responses to specific debates and controversies.

  • Video Essay

    This module complements and develops the practical skills attained at Level 5, and bridges to the MA programme in exploring an exciting and innovative development in film criticism: the video essay. This form of audio-visual analysis - using and adding to a film's footage, adopting and adapting sound and images to interpret a film's meanings - is emerging as an effective approach to critical appreciation of film and television, showcased in many acclaimed online journals and blog sites. Video essays also necessarily draw extensively on film theory, developing the students' understanding of the vital relationship between practical and theoretical approaches to the subject. The module will explore the forms, origins, and influences of the video essay, drawing on noteworthy examples and accompanying written students' reflections. The students' work on theoretical and critical frameworks then informs a practical project in which they work in small groups to produce a two-minute video essay.

  • Web Design For Publishing

    During the workshops we will cover a range of topics such as usability, documentation and web design. Students will begin the module by learning HTML code because it forms the basis of all web design. We will then move on to Dreamweaver, a web editor, and Image Ready as a method of preparing graphics for the web. These packages will be used extensively, although students will be able to practice embedding a range of multi-media files e.g. text, image animation, video, sound into a web site. By the end of the module students will be able to edit and up-date a simple web site and be able to document the design process. The assessment will take the form of re-designing a real web site. Students will receive a project brief from the tutor, who in this instance will act as the client, and then they will go on to document the design process and produce a website. In addition the tutor will also set up a how to blog and encourage students to use it as a form of technical support.

  • Wittgenstein's Philosophy

    Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Much of today's philosophical thinking has been inspired by or has developed in response to his work. His first published work - the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus - provides, for some, an inspiration for powerful anti-metaphysical programmes. For others, it offers refined tools for doing metaphysics in a new, more fertile way. He himself came to reject aspects of his early work. How his approach evolved can only be fully understood by considering his early programme in the light of his second great masterpiece, Philosophical Investigations. This module does just that by introducing important aspects of Wittgenstein's philosophy in their historical and ideological contexts. The module will explore a range of topics such as: the nature of language and thought and their relations to reality; meaning and use; understanding and intentionality; following a rule; the possibility of a private language; the nature of philosophy.

Fees & funding

Fees 2014

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2014 academic year

International Students

Full time: £10,100 for the 2014 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

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Scholarships

Find out more about scholarships for UK/EU and international students

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

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How to apply

2014

Start DateEnd DateLink
27/09/201431/05/2015Apply online (Full Time)
27/09/201431/05/2015Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2015

Start DateEnd DateLink
27/09/201531/05/2016Apply online (Full Time)
27/09/201531/05/2016Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)