About the course
Why choose to study a language you already speak? It’s easy to take your own language for granted, but this BA English Language and Linguistics course allows you to explore it from every angle.
You’ll be introduced to Linguistics, the scientific study of everything to do with language, from its structure and how it develops in children, to the ways it reflects society, how it’s used, and how it changes over time. You’ll be taught by research-active academics working in cutting-edge areas such as language and gender, formulaic language, corpus studies, bilingualism, bilingual processing and codeswitching.
What links our work is our focus on the applied use of English language, from English Language teaching to the use of forensic linguistics in solving language-related real-life problems such as plagiarism and crime investigation, to speech and language therapy and the study of language disorders.
In your first year, alongside core linguistics modules, you’ll study language and mind, where you’ll analyse child speech transcripts and consider language acquisition. You’ll also explore the diversity of use of the English language including regional variants, pidgin and creole English, language and ethnicity, and slang and street English.
Core modules in your second year focus on English grammar and the sounds of English. You can explore theories of how and why language developed and take a language competencies module leading to a work placement.
In your final year you can develop your own interests in short projects, or follow modules in different topics, including child language and communication, clinical linguistics, gender and language, and formulaic language, informed by our academics’ own research specialisms.
One final year option is corpus studies in English language, which will develop your research skills through your use of Sketch Engine, a text analysis tool that allows you to search vast samples of language, or corpora. Want to know when the word ‘Brexit’ first appeared in print or when ‘backstop’ acquired a new meaning? Find out by delving into databases of billions of words, to pursue your own original research projects.
Why choose this course?
We give you:
- An understanding of applied language, to underpin a career in teaching or speech and language therapy
- A supportive, research-active academic team
- A flexible, innovative programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
- Access to huge online databases to inform your original research projects
- CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities
- A guaranteed post-graduation interview with the School of Education
What will I study?
Our English Language students benefit from being part of a supportive, research-active academic community. From tutorials and group work to psycholinguistic experiments including eyetracking, we use a range of engaging, student-centred teaching methods to help you work confidently and creatively.
You’ll dive into real-life data, get involved in research and learn from guest experts. You’ll have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies, such as working for student media channels. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV.
What job can I get?
Employability is central to everything we do. Over the years many of our graduates have gone into teaching or speech and language therapy, as well as translation, publishing, journalism, marketing, law and business. Many go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.
A specialism in forensic linguistics can lead to work solving real life problems, from helping solve murders with the police to legal work addressing plagiarism, cybercrime, authorship attribution, contracts and wills.
The analytical and intellectual transferable skills you’ve gained, including a critical approach to language use and communication, are valued by employers from a wide range of industries.
For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with the School of Education.