BA (Hons) English Language & Communication with Media Cultures with Optional Sandwich Placement/ Study Abroad

About the course

1/

English Language & Communication

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. 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?

Media Cultures

Media Cultures gives you an understanding of how communication works, introduces you to the history and nature of media systems and discusses how media and society are interlinked. Topics will include theories about how communication takes place and lectures will cover some of the key debates that have occupied the analysis of media communication in recent decades. You will further examine the current form of media institutions and consider their likely future in the light of new media developments. You   will debate the quality of the media, the nature and influence of new media technologies, and consider national and international developments.

In the final year, the course places a strong emphasis on exploring practical aspects of media productions, helping students to acquire the skills to work in specialist areas of media, such as Public Relations, Advertising, Corporate Communications and Media Relations. It is this combination of theory, practice and life experience that makes Media Cultures a stimulating, challenging and enjoyable area of study.

Please note:

  • All Humanities students will take more than one subject in their first year. Students may choose to continue in all their subjects or they may change to single honours in their second year. 
  • All full-time Humanities students will take an extra module, ‘Engaging with the Humanities’, in their first year.  This module helps you to explore the nature of study within different Humanities disciplines. Your ‘Engaging with the Humanities’ tutor will also be your personal tutor. 

Why choose this course?

English Language & Communication focuses on the English language itself, on how it is used to communicate, and on how we can teach it as a foreign language.

Media Cultures addresses how it is that we understand culture and how it may be defined and redefined.

Entry requirements...

2017 entry 

UCAS are introducing a new tariff for 2017 entry so the points being asked for are substantially different to previous years.

112 UCAS points 

IB - 112 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).

GCSE Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above (Grade C or above if taken prior to 2015).

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 at grade 4 or above (Grade C or above if taken prior to 2015).
- 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.

Professional Accreditations

None

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.

Modules

The following modules will run in 2016-17. Modules may change each year in response to student feedback and staff expertise.

English Language & Communications

Year one

  • Language Analysis
  • Talk, Text, and Patwa
  • Communication, Interaction and Context
  • Language and Mind

Year two

  • Learning and Teaching Language 1
  • English Grammar
  • Language and Species
  • Language in Society
  • Research Methods in EL&C
  • Learning and Teaching Language 2
  • Sounds of English
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Language Competences in Career Development
  • History of the English Language 

Year three

  • Child Language and Communication
  • Meaning and Context
  • Chunky Language
  • Forensic Phonetics
  • Language and Communication Project (30 credits, 2 semesters)
  • Language & Communication Short Project
  • Clinical Linguistics
  • Language Processing
  • Communication and Cultures
  • Debates in Pragmatics
  • Gender in Language and Communication

Media Cultures

Year one

  • Introduction to Media Communications
  • Global Media and Society

Year two

  • Research Methods in Media and Communications
  • The Publishing Industry

Year three

  • Corporate Communications
  • Digital Media
  • Advertising (Semester A)
  • Campaigns and Careers (Semester B)

PLEASE NOTE: Humanities students may only choose a maximum of 30 credits of Media Cultures at level 6.

Work Placement

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Engaging With The Humanities

    The module will give you the opportunity to develop a shared skill-set and the beginnings of the values and attitudes necessary to enable you to thrive in your university academic environment, with particular emphasis on group working, self-evaluation and autonomy. There is a range of activities designed to support you in developing your understanding of study within the Humanities. The activities of the module are also designed to foster a sense of community within the student cohort and an appreciation of the culture and history of Hertfordshire. During this year-long module you will meet with your personal tutor at regular intervals to review progress. You will research, discuss and write and/or present about a broad range of topics e.g. local history, literature, philosophy, language and other culture-based themes and/or events.

Optional

  • American History c1600-1850 B

    This module examines the development of American society between the 17th and 19th centuries, tracing its evolution from colonial origins to its emergence as an independent state. It seeks in particular to answer four key questions. First, what were the origins of the different colonies and how did these affect the nature and character of immigration? Second, what factors affected the economic development of the colonies, and what was their role in the transatlantic economy and in the British Industrial Revolution? Third, what was the impact of European settlements on native Indians and could European settlers and Indians have co-existed? Finally, how did the colonies develop an American 'identity'?

  • Becoming a Writer

    This module is a practice-based course, taught by weekly two-hour workshop. Building on the study of the short story begun on 'The Writer's Art', the module will explore diverse examples of this genre from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Writers chosen for study will vary from year to year but might include work by Kazuo Ishiguro, Raymond Carver, Angela Carter, Katherine Mansfield, Thomas Hardy and Henry James. The stories will be used as the basis for workshop discussion and activities including close analysis of literary techniques. You will be encouraged to develop your own creative writing through a portfolio of on-going work and by working towards the completion of your own short story.

  • Britain and Africa, c1750-2000 B

    This module examines the relationship between Britain and Africa from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. It traces the shifting attitudes of the British to the people and the continent of Africa in this period, and the attitudes of Africans to the British. Attention will focus on a range of issues including: slavery; the exploration of the continent; the growth of imperialism and the cultural and military means used to achieve it; the development of the Commonwealth; Britain's retreat from empire after the Suez crisis of 1956; the Mau Mau uprising; apartheid; and modern perceptions of Africa, including immigration, famine, genocide and AIDS. Throughout the course, the aim will be to ensure that voices are heard from both sides of the debate - the colonisers and the colonised.

  • Britons: Who do we think they are? A

    This module asks why life in modern Britain takes the forms that it does. It encourages students to probe beneath the surface of today's society through examining the historical processes that have shaped everyday behaviour, economic relations and political institutions. Topics for discussion are selected either because they resonate with contemporary debates (e.g. around binge drinking, immigration, wind farms, rights to vote, overseas wars) or because they are taken for granted (e.g. features of the English landscape, the royal family, the financial power of the City of London)

  • Communication, Interaction, Context

    The focus of this module is on “language in inter-action”. It sets out to maximise awareness of the factors at play when we communicate with others. Language is used to ‘do’ things in communicative situations and we look at several theories that seek to explain how this is achieved, e.g. Grice’s (1989) Theory of Cooperation and Politeness Theory (Brown and Levinson 1987). We also explore how we understand what someone is saying to us when much of the language we use is ambiguous, implied or figurative. Communication involves more than a code, and we explore the role of context, the knowledge we bring to conversations and the importance of ‘Theory of Mind’ in understanding what someone says to us. The first part of the module will be concerned with face to face communication, but in the second part, we will focus on computer mediated communication including communication through social media.

  • English Heritage, 1500-1900

    This module explores the historical origins of the modern heritage industry and offers a general introduction to its principles and practices. You will investigate the way in which key people, places and events covered in the companion module, English History 1500-1900, have been preserved, interpreted and presented to the public during the twentieth century. The work of leading heritage bodies in Britain, such as the British Museum, English Heritage and the National Trust, will be set in an international context and you will also be introduced to theoretical critiques that have arisen in response to the development of the heritage industry. The last section of the module comprises case studies of heritage in action, focusing on the city of St Albans.

  • French Route A - 4a

    This module will enable students to communicate in French at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about themselves and their daily life, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • French Route A - 4b

    This module will enable students to communicate further in French at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about past and forthcoming events, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • French Route B - 4a

    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 B - 4b

    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 C - 4a

    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 - 4b

    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

  • German Route A - 4a

    This module will enable students to communicate in German at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about themselves and their daily life, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • German Route A - 4b

    This module will enable students to communicate further in German at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about past and forthcoming events, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • German Route B - 4a

    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 B - 4b

    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 C - 4a

    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 C - 4b

    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.

  • Global Media and Society

    This module considers the relationship between the media and their social context. Throughout the module students will discuss the ways in which the media reflect and shape social attitudes and challenge their own assumptions about society and the media. Through discussions of issues such as class, race and gender this module will consider how different groups are represented in mediated images. The module will also examine the public role of the media and students will be asked to think analytically and critically about concepts such as free press, media impartiality or bias, and the relationship of the media with commercial and political institutions. The module further analyses different Global media systems, organisations and institutions and allows students to make a series of comparisons between local and international media systems. It places an emphasis on the relationships between products and the socio-political construction of their different audiences.

  • Grammar and Phonology for Overseas Learners

    The module will be divided into two equal halves. It will begin with a self-assessment of your explicit grammatical knowledge, which it is acknowledged may range from very little to advanced. The majority of the first half of the module will be devoted to workshops in which you will work on specific aspects of English grammar, working in reference to a clearly prescribed mid-module in-class test: it will be your responsibility to use all resources to which you are directed by the tutor to ensure that you are capable of passing this assessment. The pattern will be repeated for the second half of the module, in terms of phonology.

  • Interactive Media

    This module provides students with experience in the creation of interactive media content which should prove useful in subsequent Media modules. The module is appropriate for students with some computing experience who have completed Visual Communication but also provides those with prior knowledge with the opportunity of enhancing and extending that knowledge. The module content includes: 1. the development of interactive animations skills using an animation package 2. storyboarding 3. a further look at on-screen design issues 4. the creation of a basic mobile content as a vehicle for an interactive animation 5. the principles and terminology of interactive media 6. more advanced use of an image manipulation package

  • Introduction to American Studies

    This module offers a multi-disciplinary introduction to the subject of American Studies. It will give you an overview of the history and development of American Studies as an academic subject, and encourage reflection on the direction of the discipline in the twenty-first century. You will become familiar with a variety of critical and methodological perspectives, and develop complementary skills in the component disciplines of History, Literature and Film. The module will be team-taught by lecturers specialising in these subjects, and each topic will be addressed from a different disciplinary angle each week. Topics may be drawn from the following indicative list: immigrant identities and America as ‘the melting pot’; the West; the South; the City; America at war; slavery; Revolution, protest and radicalism; American environmentalism; 9/11; suburbia and small-town America; transnational America; American foodways; American music; American politics and the Presidency; gender and sexuality in America

  • Introduction to English Language Teaching

    This module will introduce you to the ELT field, and begin a process of learning about language that proceeds through the whole set of ELT modules. Topics include the grammatical structures of English; the phonemes of English; methodologies of ELT, past and present; current professional practice; introspective enquiries into language learning.

  • Introduction to Film Criticism

    This module introduces students to the analysis of film texts. Students will engage critically with how ‘meaning’ is communicated through film. Students will be introduced to some of the key moments in cinema history, via a discussion of various elements of film language ranging from: colour, editing, sound, lighting, mise-en-scene, framing, narrative, the use of place, space and location and performance in films from both inside and outside of the Hollywood system. From Hitchcock’s thrillers (Strangers on a Train) to classic Horror film (Dawn of the Dead), the tear jerking and overtly symbolic Melodrama (Imitation of Life) through to the gritty and violent New Hollywood of the 1970's (Carrie) alongside contemporary film and TV (Drive and American Horror Story) that continues to push the boundaries of film vocabulary and symbolism. The module will equip students with an understanding historical awareness of film and the various stylistic and technological issues involved in the study of film alongside some of the ways in which film texts interact with wider cultural, historical and political contexts.

  • Introduction to Film Theory

    The module introduces students to the study of film using key theoretical perspectives from within film studies and from wider cultural and critical areas. These include auteur theory, genre, psychoanalysis, feminism, gender theory. Students will be given guidance in their comprehension of grand critical theories in relation to individual film texts, which may range from a Freudian reading of Black Swan; a genre’s impact on the body of the spectator via The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or film adaptation in relation to Precious. Teaching will also touch on specific movements of film (US Underground), the concepts of counter cinema, cult and trash cinematic forms (Donnie Darko; Showgirls). The module aims to allow students to test and support their personal interpretations of film texts with the application of theoretical frameworks from Film Studies past and present, strengthening students’ abilities in the analysis of film, building on the critical work from Semester A.

  • Introduction to Journalism

    Students will explore newsgathering, news writing, feature writing and interviewing. The module will introduce students to a diverse range of publications including broadsheets, tabloids and magazines. Students will critically assess the material and identify the different styles and approaches taken to news articles and features. The fundamentals of practical journalism will be explored, including using English effectively and developing editing and proofreading skills. Skills taught will include: sourcing ideas; researching a story; how to employ a variety of methodologies; how to target different the audiences and readers; how to structure news and feature articles, with effective introductions and endings.

  • Introduction to Media Communications

    The aim of this module is to provide an insight to the various fields of media practice and communication studies. It will also introduce students to some of the key theories used in understanding media cultures. Students will learn about different economic and political structures that underlay the UK media system and engage with some of the conceptual frameworks for understanding media communications. The module is structured in three parts. In the first sessions, students are introduced to the basics of media communications. The sessions might cover topics such as the different types of media and models of communications. The second part – Audiences, Industry and Politics – takes a closer look at Media Effects and Audiences, News Values, media biases as well as industry structures. The final part will enable student to explore some of the key theorists that have written on media, for example Marshall McLuhan and Stuart Hall.

  • Introduction to Philosophy

    You will gain a basic training in how to read and write essays in philosophy, while exploring perennial questions such as: Can we know right from wrong? How, if at all, can we tell a good act from a bad one? Is ethics merely a matter of personal opinion? What is knowledge? Can we reliably gain it, and if so how? Can we be certain of anything? What is pessimism? Is it justified? Are we really free? Do we need God in order for lives to be truly meaningful?

  • Introduction to Poetry

    This module will introduce you to the study of poetry, and aims to develop greater understanding and enjoyment of the genre. We will examine selected works by a number of significant twentieth-century poets, in order to explore the use of some key poetic forms (for example the lyric, the sonnet, the dramatic monologue) and the ways in which twentieth-century poets engage with a range of social, political and intellectual ideas (for example, representations of nature and the urban environment, alienation and loss, gender and sexuality, war, violence and the experiences of marginalised groups). While the module offers a chronological overview of some of the major developments of twentieth-century poetry, it will also emphasise the close reading of a relatively limited number of primary texts, in order to give you time and space to develop a measure of confidence in relation to the genre, and develop the skills necessary for in-depth engagement with the material. Authors studied may include Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Mew, T. S. Eliot, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy.

  • Introduction to Public History

    This module will examine the ‘public’ dimensions of history, specifically the ways in which the past is represented, remembered and used. We will investigate how various national cultures have drawn on the past at specific historical moments, and the sometimes controversial politics of remembering, forgetting and reclaiming it. What role do institutions play in mediating histories to a wider population; how has the past been used to legitimate political and cultural movements; what place does the past occupy in cultural life today; where do professional historians stand in these processes? Themes will include: film and fictional representations of the past; museums and heritage; monuments and ceremonies; national curricula and text books; historical lessons for public policy makers; ethical issues related to memory and the keeping of artefacts. While most of the evidence will be drawn from Britain, case studies may cover material from anglophone Africa, North America and Australasia.

  • Introduction to Religious Studies

    What is religion? What might it mean to be ‘spiritual but not religious’? Do we live in a ‘secular’ – or ‘post-secular’ - age? What do some of the world’s major religious traditions teach about human life? In this module, you will be introduced to what it means to study religion at university level. You will consider several important theories of religion; how various disciplines have sought to understand religion; and what is distinctive about a ‘religious studies’ approach. You will then apply these insights to some central ideas in a range of different religions (e.g. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism), treated as living traditions. You will finally consider how religion impacts - and is impacted by - some important contemporary controversies, such as those concerning gender, sexual practices and climate change, including their representations in the media.

  • Japanese Route A - 4a

    This module will enable students to communicate in Japanese at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about themselves and their daily life, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Japanese Route A - 4b

    This module will enable students to communicate further in Japanese at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about past and forthcoming events, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Journalism, Law and Ethics

    In this module, students will be introduced to key laws impacting on journalists, including defamation, copyright and Freedom of Information. They will also explore the Human Rights Act as it affects journalists and compare defamation law across different countries. Students will also investigate the ethical dilemmas that may impact on journalists in any Western liberal democracy and look at the codes of conduct that have been put in place to encourage ethical behaviour.

  • Language Analysis

    The module presents an introduction to some of the core areas of interest within the study of formal aspects of language. In particular it will introduce you to the fields of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and discuss the relevance of these fields of study to the study of language and communication in a wider sense.

  • Language and Mind

    The aim of this module is to enable you to gain an insight into the relation between language and mind. We start with a characterisation of communication systems and with a discussion in what ways human language differs from animal communication. In the light of studies that have tried to teach language to chimpanzees we further explore the question whether the ability for ‘grammar’ is unique in humans. We then look at particular brain structures that are important for language functions and what happens when these structures are affected by a stroke. We will also look at the question whether language influences the way we think. Children’s acquisition of language and cases of language deprivation are other topics on this module. The notion of a ‘critical period’ in language acquisition will be applied to first and second language acquisition and we will conclude with a discussion of different approaches to language learning.

  • Mandarin Route A - 4a

    This module will enable students to communicate in Mandarin Chinese at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about themselves and their daily life, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short 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.

  • Mandarin Route A - 4b

    This module will enable students to communicate in Mandarin Chinese at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about themselves and their daily life, carry out reading (pinyin) and listening tasks and write short 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.

  • Philosophy of Film and Literature

    The central theme of the module is to investigate what it is possible for film and literature to represent. How do we establish what is true in a fiction? Can the impossible happen in fiction? How, if at all, do we manage to engage with fictions that we take to be metaphysically or morally problematic (such as H.G.Wells' The Time Machine or Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita)? In what sense can film and literature explore not only how things actually are but how things could have been? Is there a difference between what can be represented in film and what can be represented in literature? We tackle these questions by engaging with various films and works of literature to see how they fit within a philosophical framework for thinking about them.

  • Reason and Persuasion

    We live in a world of persuasion. Advertisers would persuade us to buy their products while politicians press their policies on us. In personal life too, others want us to see things their way. We, of course, want others (colleagues, friends and family) to agree with us, to be persuaded by our arguments. Rhetoric is the art of persuasive speech and writing. It has been studied both for academic interest and for its practical, business and legal usefulness since ancient times. This module will explore the reasons why some persuasive efforts work while others do not. It will develop your ability to judge when you ought to be persuaded by the arguments of others and to present your own views in a way that increases their persuasive force.

  • Spanish Route A - 4a

    This module will enable students to communicate in Spanish at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about themselves and their daily life, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Spanish Route A - 4b

    This module will enable students to communicate further in Spanish at a basic level in a range of everyday social situations. Students will learn to talk about past and forthcoming events, carry out reading and listening tasks and write short texts within the framework of the vocabulary and grammatical structures studied. The module will be course book based, supplemented by on-line materials including for example video clips, blogs and magazine websites.

  • Spanish Route B - 4a

    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 - 4b

    This module will extend the students’ competence in Spanish 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.

  • Spanish Route C - 4a

    Emphasis will 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 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.

  • Spanish Route C - 4b

    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

  • Talk, Text and Patwa

    The focus of the module is "language in use". It sets out to maximise your awareness of language, to encourage reflection on your own and others' use of language, to observe language as used around you, and to provide you with basic categories of analysis. The content of this module is in three parts: first, face-to-face conversation between different speakers: native- and non-native speakers, child-adult, doctor-patient, etc. The second element is language in the media, looking at the languages of journalism, the new literacies (e-mail, texting), and advertising, with a view to distinguishing established and emerging styles and bias. The third element is changes in English - its structure, lexis, and functions - both as it has spread beyond the UK (typically, through an examination of a Caribbean patwa) - and as it has evolved as a dialect at the margins of UK society, originating in certain Black communities and subsequently gaining recognition as a widespread speech style.

  • Technology,Terror & Transformations:Literature from The Fin de Siecle to WW1

    Building on the work done in Semester A's literature core module, this module is designed to develop further your knowledge of late nineteenth and early twentieth century literature. We look at the second half of the nineteenth century and the transition from the Victorian to modern age by reading texts produced in the years leading up to the twentieth century and the First World War You will have the opportunity to read a range of texts from different genres which, in their own ways attempt to explore a changing world. The module will explore the relations between the set texts and the wider cultural and intellectual history of the period and we will consider the range of debates which informed and shaped nineteenth and early-twentieth century writing (for example, the British empire, the decline of rural life, technology, national identity, gender). Authors studied may include: Thomas Hardy, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and James Joyce.

  • The First World War A

    This module introduces students to a variety of approaches to twentieth-century history by focusing on the First World War. The first part provides a brief guide to the study of history (setting out, for example, the nature of historical analysis, and the different types of historical sources), before moving on to consider the causes of the First World War. The second part concentrates on the nature of the conflict between 1914 and 1918, with a particular emphasis on the concept of 'total war'. Part three examines the political, economic, diplomatic and social consequences of the war. Part four assesses how the First World War has been remembered, by historians, novelists, film-makers and the general public, from the 1920s through to the present day. Via seminars and coursework, students are introduced to key historical skills, including finding and investigating sources, oral and group work, and historiographical analysis.

  • The Writer's Art: an Introduction to Creative Writing

    This introductory module aims to fire your creativity, as well as equipping you with knowledge of some important literary strategies and techniques. In order to be successful creative writers, we also need to be sensitive readers and critics, interested in the devices other writers have used to achieve particular literary effects. We will use a small number of set texts as starting points for thinking about these issues alongside other key craft elements e.g. plot, character, setting, voice, imagery, language and dramatic action. Weekly writing exercises are designed so you can practice these craft elements in your own writing. Each week you will meet with a small group of students (around 15) and your lecturer for a two hour workshop. In the workshop, you will receive feedback on your writing from the other students and your lecturer – as well as giving feedback to other students. There are no exams in Creative Writing.

  • Theatre in Action: Reading Dramatic Texts

    This module gives you the opportunity to study a selection of very different plays and/or screenplays from different periods. The module will look at small number of texts, treating them as 'case studies'. Amongst other things, we will consider questions of genre, characterisation, setting, plot, and how the techniques used in different kinds of plays and/or screenplays differ from those used in prose fiction. Although this is not a practical drama module, it will also ask you to think how the writing in these texts implies particular ways of performing the text and how performance can be seen as an interpretation of the text. The set texts will vary from year to year but typically the module includes work by William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, as well as modern drama by writers such as Harold Pinter, David Mamet or Caryl Churchill. The module is intended to give you a good grounding for further dramatic study in your second year.

  • Visual Communication

    This module provides students with computing and communication skills which will form a basis for future study in New Media Publishing. The module is appropriate for students with little computing experience but it also provides those with prior knowledge with the opportunity of enhancing and extending that knowledge. The module content includes- 1. -the production of a number of images using a graphics package; 2. -the consideration of design issues; 3. -the consideration of the way in which images convey ideas; 4. -the restrictions and potential of using graphics on the Web; 5. -the planning and conceptual development of a graphics project.

  • Writing and Revolution: Literature from The Romantics to the Victorians

    This core module gives you an insight into some of the key elements of modern literary studies, with a particular emphasis on helping you develop close-reading skills, becoming familiar with different forms and literary techniques and working with a range of literary genres. The module asks you to read a selection of texts from Britain and the rest of the world written during the period 1789-1870. This is a period of revolutionary change and in literary terms is usually associated with two inter-related literary movements: Romanticism followed by Victorianism. We will look at some preoccupations of writers of the time. These include ideas relating to childhood, to the natural world, to ‘home’, to the `foreign’ and to the ghostly and the `monstrous’ - this was the age of Frankenstein after all! We will look at the status of authors such as William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens and Emily Bronte and consider how different critics talk about their work.

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Graduate Skills

    You will be offered a variety of employment enhancing workshops and online activities such as interview skills workshops, personality profiling and career planning in order to improve your employment prospects after graduation and make you aware of current areas of strength and weakness in relation to employability. You will also have the opportunity to learn about self-employment options, graduate schemes and will attend speaker sessions with successful professionals in areas of employment appropriate for Humanities graduates so you can learn about the skills and attributes required for these areas and how to enhance your prospects of entering such areas. 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.

Optional

  • 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.

  • Forensic Linguistics

    In this module we will be concerned with real examples of language use in legal contexts. Specifically, the module will first give an introduction to discourse analysis and then apply the methods of discourse analysis to Forensic Linguistics, the application of linguistics in order to understand conversation in legal contexts and establish authorship, authenticity and veracity in forensic texts. The talk and texts we will analyse will be taken from court proceedings, police interviews, witness statements, confessions, emergency calls, hate mail and suicide letters.

  • History of the English Language

    In this module you will study how English as a language has developed from Old English to its present form. We will discuss evidence for the earliest form of English together with the development of Old English dialects and the influence from a variety of languages. We will relate linguistic change such as the Great Vowel shift to the difficulties of the standardisation of spelling from the 15th century onwards. Vocabulary changes in the Early Modern Period are linked to contemporary history and the beginnings of the establishment of English on the world stage. 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.

  • Language Competencies 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 1

    This module is the first 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 the learner, and this is reversed in the second module. The module examines both naturalistic methods of learning and classroom learning, distinguishing between the typical outcomes for the learner in each condition. It considers the work of contemporary theorists, and examines factors such as the role of error, the construction of the learner, the functions of literacy, and the patterns of interaction in the classroom. It examines classrooms as teaching environments, showing how underlying assumptions become articulated in classroom practice. It considers key variables affecting the learning and teaching processes.

  • 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.

  • Magazine Design

    There is more to magazine design than learning a software package. As well as giving hands-on systematic software training, this module unfolds various aspects of design for the page, including the use of typography, colour and images. The module builds confidence in the design process through presenting a clear understanding of layout and visual conventions, information design and contemporary visual style. Students undertake thorough analysis and evaluation of a range of examples. They are equipped to make sound aesthetic judgements in printed and electronic material. Assessments are real-life publishing projects which engage students in a problem solving process, building experience essential for professional work. By the end of the module students will have developed a portfolio which they can show to a prospective employer.

  • Research Methods in English Language & Communication

    This module provides you with a broad overview of research skills and the theoretical and empirical issues involved in carrying out research. We will focus on how to perform systematic literature reviews and to synthesise information, as well as on both empirical and non-empirical research methods. You are introduced to current research strategies used in English Language & Communication and will develop the skills (including IT skills) required in order to collect, code and analyse pre-existing, naturalistic, experimental and questionnaire data. Data archives and computer based analysis programs as well as psycholinguistic experiments are explored. The module will prepare you for the kinds of work you will undertake at level 6, as well as for conducting a long or short project.

  • Research Methods in Media Communications

    This module teaches the basic principles of research in media and the means by which to devise research questions and select appropriate methodologies. It will also give a detailed account of how to structure and write effective and informative research report. Students will be introduced to a range of different methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative. They will learn how to choose a research topic, conduct a literature review, and develop an appropriate research plan. The module covers all key aspects of media and communication, including analysis of media production, media texts, and audience studies. It further offers specific guidance and instruction on a systematic application of a range of research methods, and addresses methods of sampling and data collection, including interviews, questionnaires and focus group discussions, as well as approaches to online research.

  • 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 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 and stress. 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.

  • Syntax

    This module presents students 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. We'll look at puzzles such as why it is okay to say ‘What did Mary claim that Peter did?' (cf. Mary claimed that Peter lied) but we can’t say ‘What did Mary make the claim that Peter did?’ (cf. Mary made the claim that Peter lied), even though the sentences mean virtually the same thing, and we can understand both.

  • Video Feature

    An important aspect of digital convergence is the use of video by media outlets to spark public dialogue and generate reader participation. This module is designed to give students understanding and skills to make effective videos. Students will look at current practitioners such as Mike Kepka at the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times 'Op-Docs' group and the MIT Open Documentary Lab. They will also examine the work of more traditional documentary makers, such as Errol Morris, Kim Longinotto and Nick Broomfield. There is, according to media artist Marilyn Freeman, “a digital storm that won’t let up—of cat videos and self-surveillance videos and any thing or moment imaginably filmable”. To stand out from the crowd, students must develop media literacy and skills in critical reflection. As there is an art of storytelling, students will be guided towards a clear understanding of the art of digital storytelling.

  • 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.

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.

Optional

  • Advertising

    This module will look at advertising and the ways in which it attempts 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. Moreover, we will look at the placing of advertising in specific media and students will be asked to consider why adverts for certain types of products are placed in specific locations. This will include a consideration of market segmentation and TV scheduling. Students will then be encouraged to create their own advert based on a specific brief in order to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical way. Finally, this module will consider the relationship between advertising and other media forms, especially film and television as well as new media, to consider the degree to which advertising relies upon codes that are produced in other cultural products.

  • Campaigns and Careers

    The module introduces students to a number of specialist fields within the communications industry and illustrates the value of specific communication skills across different sectors. During the module we will explore specialist areas, such as political PR, social campaigning, film marketing, non-broadcast filmmaking, sport, events and sponsorship. Students will also learn how to deal with the press from a corporate point of view and how to create promotional material. The module further allows students to engage with the academic and practical content in a very hands-on manner and provides space for reflection on and critical engagement with the theories behind important transferable and subject specific skills, such as pitching ideas, presenting concepts and managing successful teams.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Corporate Communications

    This module provides a detailed understanding of the principles, techniques and strategies that underpin corporate communications, with particular emphasis on Public Relations and brand management. It is designed to reflect the current awareness of, and the benefits that organisations can derive from, adopting an integrated approach to communications. This module adopts a strategic approach to the study of corporate communications and builds an understanding of the variations in consumer behaviour, and how communication strategies and programmes can be developed, organised and implemented. The course also addresses critical issues relating to recent developments in the field and includes a strong practical component that aims to equip students with the skills necessary for working in this field.

  • 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.

  • Digital Media

    This module closely looks at emergent forms of media, particularly the influence of digital technologies on traditional forms of media, such as film and journalism. We will critically analyse the impact of the digital revolution, from HDTV to virtual realities, from citizen journalism to Wikileaks and cyber-criminality, from music downloads to E-books. Using a range of critical theorists, we will discuss the challenges of these developments for old media as well as the creative opportunities new media forms provide.

  • Film in the Global Age

    This module considers the forms and effects of the global age, as expressed in contemporary works of film. Opening up examples and debates of world cinema, it also addresses the concepts and realities of globalisation: of growth and unity, imitation and (a loss of) national identity, diaspora, fragmentation and isolation. These concerns are explored in terms of a series of contexts: national, industrial, socio-political. The module attends to recent films that deal explicitly, in form and content, with matters of the global age. It takes into account the changing relationship of US and world cinema: as one of distinction, bleeding, borrowing, translating, and as constantly shifting and reshaping. All of these ideas are addressed through the close analysis of a series of sophisticated and provocative films. Placing the emphasis on the films association with the global age, the module looks at some more familiar works from fresh perspectives, whilst making equal space for emergent and unexplored cinemas. Students are asked to cross and critique traditional theoretical and critical boundaries, and to question contemporary approaches to the study of film, seeking to see world cinema in a new light.

  • Forensic Phonetics

    This module provides an introduction to forensic phonetics, the practical application of phonetic analysis to criminal investigations involving speech, e.g. threatening telephone calls, hoax 999 calls, ransom demands, blackmail, extortion, planning a drug deal. We will investigate the issues involved in characterising an individual by his or her speech, and in attempting to distinguish speakers from one another. The module will demonstrate how phonetic tools such as auditory analysis and acoustic techniques are used in speaker profiling and speaker comparison cases. It will also examine the ability of lay listeners to identify speakers and consider issues involved in collecting ‘earwitness’ evidence through voice parades. Phonetic techniques applied in disputed utterance analysis and speaker attribution cases will also be discussed.

  • Gender in Language and Communication

    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.

  • Journalism Skills Portfolio

    This module content enables you to practise your journalism skills in real world settings, enhancing your employability and developing an awareness of the variety of uses for those skills. You spend at least five days, generally more, in the first semester either working for a relevant company e.g. a newspaper, magazine, PR company or freelancing and gain an understanding of the media world from that perspective. You also create a varied portfolio of journalism pieces including a news piece, feature and interview to showcase the skills you have learnt.

  • Journalism, Government and the People

    This module explores the relationship between the press and the government. It will cover the structure and operation of government to include the principles of democracy, parliament and constitution. In addition, the module will cover such topics as: the role of the lobby correspondent; the reporting of parliament; parliamentary and European elections and the influence of journalists on government policy.

  • 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 Processing

    Learning outcomes will be achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and directed tasks. The module introduces you to the theories and methodologies of psycholinguistics relating to language processing. You will consider psycholinguistic models of the mental lexicon and of language production and comprehension. You will be taught how to critically examine this work, looking not just at the results but how they were obtained - the underlying assumptions, what counts as evidence. You will assess the contribution that linguistics can make. You will also collect and analyse relevant data, commenting on difficulties encountered. The module will distinguish five ways of approaching the mental lexicon: how lexical information is acquired, how it is stored, how it is accessed in production, how it is accessed in comprehension, and how it is lost. The module will focus on questions of storage and access, but will make reference to acquisition and dissolution as appropriate. Students will be introduced to the modularity/connectionism debate; they will then explore the modularity model of the organisation of the mental lexicon in some detail. Key models of lexical processing in word production and in word comprehension will be examined, and some conclusions drawn. Sentential processing will be considered, both from the point of view of production and of comprehension. Questions of serial/parallel, autonomous/interactive processing will be explored. In each case, production and comprehension, the strategy will be to see to what extent a serial, autonomous model can be maintained. Speech errors and hesitation phenomena will provide the main evidence for production, and lexical and syntactic ambiguities the main evidence for comprehension. The strengths and limitations of psycholinguistic modelling will be assessed.

  • 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.

  • Media Project

    Students taking this module define their projects, aims and goals and are encouraged to work with real clients and organisations, as this will provide them with invaluable experience and a useful addition to a CV portfolio. The project should be practical in nature and based on real-world problems. In the past, projects have included the following: • A fashion magazine • A promotional video

  • Online Journalism

    The course will consist of 12, two-hour workshops in which students will - through a mix of, demonstrations, discussion and practical tasks - learn the basics of Online Journalism. This will include an appreciation of the massive impact that 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.

  • 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 (including Girls, The Walking Dead and The Sopranos) 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.

  • US Cinema: Studio System to Digital Era

    This module concentrates on US cinema within and without Hollywood from the 1930s to the present day, building on the Level 4 modules and the Level 5 module European Cinema. Particular attention is given to historical flashpoints of American film, to moments of significant change in terms of new aesthetic, technological, and institutional directions. The various generations of both Hollywood and 'independent' US cinema are explored from stylistic, industrial, and socio-cultural perspectives. These range from a study of Golden Age Hollywood, the demise of the studio system and a consideration of the impact of the youth audience, and the intersection of the B-Movie and New Hollywood. While considering the particularly American sensibilities of US cinema, the module also looks at key influences from different forms of media and national cinemas, such as television and New Wave European films. The domination of the global market by Hollywood will also be considered, alongside significant developments in the age of digitalisation and media convergence.

  • Video Essay

    This module complements and develops the practical skills attained at Level 5 and theoretical/critical skills gained in film at Levels 4 and 5, 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 a cutting edge approach to the critical appreciation of film and television, that allows film scholars to quote their object of study (the moving image) directly. 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 individually to produce a short video essay.

  • Web Design for Publishing

    Students will begin the module by designing a simple website with hyperlinked pages. We will then move on to Dreamweaver for web editing, and using Photoshop as a method of preparing graphics for the web. You will be encouraged to choose real-life projects that can be used later as part of a CV portfolio and shown to prospective employers or admissions tutors. This module will develop and extend your understanding of web design by introducing you to a range of complex web design skills such as: designing for a specific target audience within the constraints of a client’s brief. Throughout the course you will be required to reflect upon your practice and be self-critical in your approach.

Year 4

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.

Optional

  • Advertising

    This module will look at advertising and the ways in which it attempts 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. Moreover, we will look at the placing of advertising in specific media and students will be asked to consider why adverts for certain types of products are placed in specific locations. This will include a consideration of market segmentation and TV scheduling. Students will then be encouraged to create their own advert based on a specific brief in order to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical way. Finally, this module will consider the relationship between advertising and other media forms, especially film and television as well as new media, to consider the degree to which advertising relies upon codes that are produced in other cultural products.

  • Campaigns and Careers

    The module introduces students to a number of specialist fields within the communications industry and illustrates the value of specific communication skills across different sectors. During the module we will explore specialist areas, such as political PR, social campaigning, film marketing, non-broadcast filmmaking, sport, events and sponsorship. Students will also learn how to deal with the press from a corporate point of view and how to create promotional material. The module further allows students to engage with the academic and practical content in a very hands-on manner and provides space for reflection on and critical engagement with the theories behind important transferable and subject specific skills, such as pitching ideas, presenting concepts and managing successful teams.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Corporate Communications

    This module provides a detailed understanding of the principles, techniques and strategies that underpin corporate communications, with particular emphasis on Public Relations and brand management. It is designed to reflect the current awareness of, and the benefits that organisations can derive from, adopting an integrated approach to communications. This module adopts a strategic approach to the study of corporate communications and builds an understanding of the variations in consumer behaviour, and how communication strategies and programmes can be developed, organised and implemented. The course also addresses critical issues relating to recent developments in the field and includes a strong practical component that aims to equip students with the skills necessary for working in this field.

  • 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.

  • Digital Media

    This module closely looks at emergent forms of media, particularly the influence of digital technologies on traditional forms of media, such as film and journalism. We will critically analyse the impact of the digital revolution, from HDTV to virtual realities, from citizen journalism to Wikileaks and cyber-criminality, from music downloads to E-books. Using a range of critical theorists, we will discuss the challenges of these developments for old media as well as the creative opportunities new media forms provide.

  • Forensic Phonetics

    This module provides an introduction to forensic phonetics, the practical application of phonetic analysis to criminal investigations involving speech, e.g. threatening telephone calls, hoax 999 calls, ransom demands, blackmail, extortion, planning a drug deal. We will investigate the issues involved in characterising an individual by his or her speech, and in attempting to distinguish speakers from one another. The module will demonstrate how phonetic tools such as auditory analysis and acoustic techniques are used in speaker profiling and speaker comparison cases. It will also examine the ability of lay listeners to identify speakers and consider issues involved in collecting ‘earwitness’ evidence through voice parades. Phonetic techniques applied in disputed utterance analysis and speaker attribution cases will also be discussed.

  • Gender in Language and Communication

    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 & 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 Processing

    Learning outcomes will be achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and directed tasks. The module introduces you to the theories and methodologies of psycholinguistics relating to language processing. You will consider psycholinguistic models of the mental lexicon and of language production and comprehension. You will be taught how to critically examine this work, looking not just at the results but how they were obtained - the underlying assumptions, what counts as evidence. You will assess the contribution that linguistics can make. You will also collect and analyse relevant data, commenting on difficulties encountered. The module will distinguish five ways of approaching the mental lexicon: how lexical information is acquired, how it is stored, how it is accessed in production, how it is accessed in comprehension, and how it is lost. The module will focus on questions of storage and access, but will make reference to acquisition and dissolution as appropriate. Students will be introduced to the modularity/connectionism debate; they will then explore the modularity model of the organisation of the mental lexicon in some detail. Key models of lexical processing in word production and in word comprehension will be examined, and some conclusions drawn. Sentential processing will be considered, both from the point of view of production and of comprehension. Questions of serial/parallel, autonomous/interactive processing will be explored. In each case, production and comprehension, the strategy will be to see to what extent a serial, autonomous model can be maintained. Speech errors and hesitation phenomena will provide the main evidence for production, and lexical and syntactic ambiguities the main evidence for comprehension. The strengths and limitations of psycholinguistic modelling will be assessed.

  • 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.

Fees & funding

Fees 2016

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year

International Students

Full time: £11,000 for the 2016 academic year

Fees 2017

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,250 for the 2017 academic year

International Students

Full time: £11,350 for the 2017 academic year

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course-related costs

There may be some additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. These costs or charges may be compulsory (ie you have to pay them if you are studying this course) or they may be optional (ie you don’t have to pay them, but they may help you get the most out of your course).

Any such costs or charges will be outlined in the About your course factsheet that can be found on the course Overview page.

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.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2018

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)