About the course

Back to course listing

Our BA English Language and Literature enables you to combine your study of the structure, development and use of English as a world language with your reading of literature written in English from all parts of the globe.

You’ll be taught by research-active academics who bring fresh thinking to our accessible, engaging courses. We’ll introduce you to writers who will open doors to contemporary worlds and cultures remote from your own, and also help you explore more familiar literature in ways that challenge your preconceptions.

You’ll enrich your study of English literature in its cultural and historical contexts through modules on the history of the English language. You’ll balance your reading of poetry and drama with analyses of how language is used in the media, to inform or persuade. The common link between the two disciplines will be your analysis of language and how it operates in literature and in real life.

A core module in your first year will equip you to read and interpret both traditional and contemporary literary texts critically as a scholar of English literature. You’ll also be introduced to English Linguistics, the scientific study of our language, from how language develops in children, to the ways it reflects society and how it changes over time.

Your second-year core modules will focus on English grammar and the sounds of English, and you’ll also study period-based literature from the Renaissance onwards, gaining an understanding of literary history, from Elizabethan verse and drama to the emergence of modernity in the 20 th century. A core module in English Literature will introduce you to a range of theoretical lenses which you can apply to your further study of texts.

You’ll have the chance to specialise in your final year, tailoring your degree to reflect your own interests. English Literature options include children’s literature, young adult fiction, 21 st century American literature and literary adaptations, amongst others.

Alongside these, a module on Corpus Studies in English Language will allow you to bring your literature and language interests together. Using Sketch Engine, a text analysis tool that enables you to search vast databases of language, you’ll be able to search literary texts to identify how particular words have been used in novels or literature. With more than 15 billion words available to you, you’ll be able to ask questions no one has asked before and pursue uniquely creative research projects.

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • An understanding of applied language, to underpin your future career
  • A fresh take on both traditional writing and contemporary works that speak directly to our everyday lives
  • A supportive, research-active academic team
  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • Access to huge online databases, including literary texts, to drive your original and creative research
  • CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Over the years many of our English Language and Literature 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.

Your transferable analytical and intellectual skills, including a critical approach to language use and effective 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.

Course details

Teaching methods

Our English Language and Literature students benefit from being part of a supportive, research-active academic community. From tutorials and group work to eye-opening psycholinguistic experiments, 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 the student newspaper or radio station. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV.

Work Placement

Work placements enable you to gain valuable experience, explore career possibilities and make useful contacts with a potential future employer. We offer our students a career development module that will equip you to take up a teaching work placement or become a Stroke Association volunteer. You may also shadow speech and language therapists or help with specialist language teaching in sixth form college.

Alternatively, our students can choose a literature-focused work experience module, Literature at Work, which explores English Literature in the classroom and aspects of the literary heritage industry. The module is centred around a six-week work placement where you’ll gain valuable transferable skills. Our students have worked as school classroom assistants, in publishing houses or attractions such as London’s Charles Dickens Museum and Dr Johnson’s House.

Study Abroad

Taking a year’s study abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your understanding of the world. Living in another country opens up fresh perspectives and helps create global citizens.

For our English Language students, it will enable you to experience Global English while gaining an appreciation of another culture and society. Recent students have studied in Japan.

For our English Literature students, a natural step from studying global literature is to go out into the world and experience it for real. If you’re reading African American literature and take the option to study in the American South you’ll see the legacy of slavery or the birthplace of the civil rights movement at first hand. Your year will broaden your horizons and enhance your understanding of the literature of other cultures. 

Find out more about our Study abroad opportunities.


Level 4

Core Modules

  • Communication, Interaction, Context - 15 Credits
  • Texts Up Close: Reading and Interpretation - 15 Credits
  • Make it New: Literary Tradition and Experimentation - 15 Credits
  • Border Crossings: Modern Literature from around the World - 15 Credits
  • Shakespeare Reframed - 15 Credits
  • Investigating Language - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to English Linguistics 1 - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to English Linguistics 2 - 15 Credits


  • Language and Mind - 15 Credits
  • Journeys and Quests: Adventures in Literature - 15 Credits
  • Identity and Contemporary Writing - 15 Credits
  • Language in the Media - 15 Credits
  • American Voices: Introduction to US Literature and Culture - 15 Credits
  • Romantic Origins & Gothic Afterlives - 15 Credits

Level 5

Core Modules

  • English Grammar - 15 Credits
  • Sounds of English - 15 Credits
  • Graduate Skills - 0 Credits


  • Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, 1900-1945 - 15 Credits
  • Learning and Teaching Language 2 - 15 Credits
  • American Literature to 1900 - 15 Credits
  • Twentieth Century North American Writing - 15 Credits
  • Language and Species - 15 Credits
  • Language in Society - 15 Credits
  • Ways of Reading: Literature and Theory - 15 Credits
  • Forensic Linguistics - 15 Credits
  • Language Competencies in Career Development - 15 Credits
  • History of the English Language - 15 Credits
  • Research Methods in English Language & Communication - 15 Credits
  • Lines on the Map: Explorations in Colonial Writing - 15 Credits
  • Images of Contemporary Society: British Literature and the Politics of Identity - 15 Credits
  • Postcolonial Cultures: Texts and Contexts - 15 Credits
  • Learning and Teaching Language 1 - 15 Credits
  • Age of Transition: the Victorians and Modernity - 15 Credits
  • Literature at Work - 15 Credits
  • A Nation of Readers: British Identity and Enlightenment Culture - 15 Credits
  • Revisiting the Renaissance - 15 Credits

Level 6

Core Modules


  • Child Language & Communication - 15 Credits
  • Clinical Linguistics - 15 Credits
  • Language & Communication Project - 30 Credits
  • Language Processing - 15 Credits
  • Communication and Cultures - 15 Credits
  • Meaning and Context - 15 Credits
  • Chunky Language: Investigating Formulaic Sequences - 15 Credits
  • Gender in Language and Communication - 15 Credits
  • Global Englishes - 15 Credits

Fees & funding

Fees 2019

UK/EU Students

Full time
  • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year

International Students

Full time
  • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year

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

*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

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

Entry requirements...

72 - 168 UCAS points

IB – 72 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above. Find out more about international application requirements.

GCSE Maths grade 4 (D) and English Language grade 4 (C) or above.

The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


Start DateEnd DateLink
23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)