Study with a top History department and be taught from the cutting edge of historical research. Explore the English language, its uses and development.
Through our diverse and inclusive History curriculum you will learn about an array of cultures and identities. What links our work is our focus on people’s history and everyday lives. This is represented strongly in our first year programme, which will give you an insight into the making of the modern world through exploration of faith, magic and medicine, campaigns for freedom and equality, Africa and the world, and America from Hamilton to Trump.
The mix of modules in English Language focuses on the language itself; its sounds, words and structure; the development of the language; and how it is used to communicate.
Throughout your degree, the common link between the two disciplines will be effective communication. As historians you will learn to analyse historical documents and debates among historians and unpack their meaning, while in English Language you’ll learn about communicating in different scenarios – to explain, inspire, persuade and effect change.
Written communication is particularly important for history students, and, over the skills that you develop over the course of your studies will benefit you in the final year of History if you choose to write a dissertation. This extended piece of work will grow out of a topic that interests you. Previous students have been inspired by their year of study abroad, while others have worked on the history of jiu jitsu, women code breakers at Bletchley Park, the Notting Hill riots, and vice and sexuality in 17th -century London. You could also choose to blend your programme of study, writing for example, on an aspect of propaganda as a form of communication.
An exceptional History team, conducting world-leading research (REF 2014),
Stimulating, innovative courses - our History students reported almost 94% overall satisfaction with their course (2018 National Student Survey)
A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting and the scope to write a History dissertation on a topic about which you are passionate
The option to study abroad after your second year
CV-building potential through work placements and extra-curricular activities
Our history students benefit from being part of a diverse and active academic community. Our interactive seminars and workshops help you find your feet in the academic environment and establish ways of working confidently, creatively and collaboratively. We see our students as fellow researchers, and we place a great deal of importance on sharing and developing skills.
This teaching ethos is shared by our colleagues in English Language. From tutorials and group work to eye-opening psycholinguistic experiments, the English Language teams use a range of engaging, student-centred teaching methods. You’ll dive into real-life data, get involved in research and learn from guest experts.
As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies. Not only do these enhance your experience, they also make for a more impressive CV. Our renowned staff-student Oral History team has taken students to Australia and produced a BBC Radio 4 documentary, which was commended at the 2018 Royal Historical Society Public History Awards.
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 history students, immersing themselves in a host country enhances your learning, giving you a greater appreciation of other cultures and societies, and a deeper understanding of their everyday lives. Studying abroad is also a great opportunity to put your communication skills into practice!
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.
Belief and Disbelief: Faith, Magic and Medicine, 1500 - 1800 - 15 Credits
Many of the debates that define the making of our modern era were concerned with the relationships between religion, science, magic, and medicine. This module begins by exploring the early modern ideas and practices that shaped people’s understanding of the natural and supernatural world in Protestant England and Catholic Europe, and also how these influenced European colonial views of the religions and rituals of other cultures. The module will question how events like the witch trials affected peoples' medical, magical, and theological ‘world view’, and challenge students to consider the extent to which the Reformation and Enlightenment transformed health, faith, and beliefs in everyday life.
Investigating Language - 15 Credits
This module will give students on the English Language and Linguistics Programme the opportunity to develop a variety of skills necessary to be successful in their chosen modules and to thrive in a university environment. You will develop your skills of academic reading, writing, researching, analysing and communicating with others. The learning sessions are designed to foster a sense of community within the student cohort and, at the same time, develop each individual’s communication skills whether that be when working in small groups or when giving oral presentations.
The Fight for Rights: Freedom and Oppression, 1790s-1990s - 15 Credits
This module takes you through 200 years of national and global conflicts over people’s rights, and the complex history of the recognition of human rights. Taking a ‘history from below’ approach, this module will give you critical thinking skills in understanding how global change affects individuals and different communities, and how different social movements fought for rights, including women, sexuality, race and disability. You will investigate the impact of revolutions and new ideas in inspiring different groups across the world to challenge and defend their social, political and economic rights.
Historians' Toolkit - 15 Credits
This module provides you with the 'toolkit' of the historical profession. It supports the transition from secondary education, and those returning to education, by teaching you the history skills needed at university, in a hands-on and relevant way. You will learn about the historical development of the discipline, explore the ways historians interpret a wide range of sources, and develop your essay writing skills.
Africa and the World, 1450-1850 - 15 Credits
The history of Africa is rich and varied but has all too often been viewed through European lenses of prejudice and self-interest; such perspectives shaped by the experiences of Africa’s slave trades and of colonisation. This module explores the history of Africa and its peoples from early settlement to the mid-nineteenth century, and, taking an African perspective, how Africa and Africans encountered and engaged with the people, culture and religions of the wider world. The module will explore how contact with the nations and peoples of Europe, Asia and America forged new political institutions and global trade networks, changed religious practices and social conventions, and drew Africans – willingly and unwillingly – into a global diaspora.
Introduction to English Linguistics 1 - 15 Credits
This module introduces you to the fundamentals of English Linguistics. We will explore the origins of modern linguistics as a discipline and discuss core concepts of linguistic analysis, including, but not limited to, phonemes, morphemes and parts of speech.
In this module you will be provided with the basic knowledge pertaining to different properties of language and how these are described, theorised and investigated.
This module is taught in workshops and will give you ample opportunities to engage in hands-on practical tasks that will hone your knowledge and understanding of the core concepts of linguistics and equip you with the analytical skills so that you are able to apply them in different contexts across other modules in your studies of the subject of English Language and Linguistics.
Introduction to English Linguistics 2 - 15 Credits
This module introduces you to the fundamentals of English Linguistics and builds on 4HUM1150. We will discuss different approaches to grammatical and syntactical analysis and how meaning is theorised, constructed and analysed both on a lexical and text level. We will also explore language change, revisiting and expanding on some of the concepts introduced in 4HUM1150. Finally, we will explore how the fundamental concepts of linguistics are used in one or more areas of applied linguistics.
The workshops for this module will provide you with ample opportunities to put your newly gained knowledge into practice by applying it in various tasks.
Language and Mind - 15 Credits
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.
International trade has a significant impact on the way we live. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the gadgets we use and the services we rely on are often created in distant places and delivered to us through complex trading networks. This module will introduce you to the long history of global trade and consumption. We will consider how the desire for foreign commodities helped transform economies, polities and cultures around the world. We will explore the lives of the traders who supplied the goods and seek to understand the desires of the consumers who demanded foreign luxuries. We will also see the impact that consumption in one country has on lives in other places acknowledging the Africans who, as enslaved people, were turned into commodities, the farmers forced into the production of cash crops, and the workers expected to toil in sweatshops to produce cheap goods for multinational corporations.
Language in the Media - 15 Credits
In this module, you will develop a range of skills which will enable them to undertake the linguistic analysis of media taken from various sources, including new media sources such as digital media, social media/ online identity, multimodal communication, mobile communication; as well as other media genres such as films, T.V shows and music. You will develop the ability to approach the language in the media critically to understand the importance and powerful effect of the media in our society.
Introduction to Public History - 15 Credits
From food packaging, to video game characters, to national celebrations and commiserations: history is everywhere. The past is the source of inspiration for societies around the world. Writers use it as the setting for their stories; governments use it to justify their policies; businesses use it to sell their products or services. This module explores how societies use history, and provides students with an understanding of the ways historians can take their skills out into the world, with an emphasis on employability skills. We will use a wide array of examples from around the world and from different contexts to build our understanding of where, when, why, and how the past is applied, as well as the opportunities and challenges that result.
The Heritage Industry in Britain - 15 Credits
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 in English history have been preserved, interpreted and presented to the public since the twentieth century. The work of leading heritage bodies in Britain, such as Historic England 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. Topics may include natural heritage, local heritage, icons in English heritage, dark tourism and difficult heritage, and industrial heritage.
Leisure and Lifestyle: 20th Century American Music, Sport and Entertainment - 15 Credits
The influence of the American lifestyle extends far beyond the country’s borders, and this module encourages you to reflect on the historical roots of often-familiar elements of American culture. By focussing on selected moments in twentieth century American music, sport and entertainment, we will consider the historical processes that shaped the continent’s social and cultural history. Building on this, we will also examine how and why the country’s cultural identity has been internationally transmitted and how it has been received. Each week you will learn to connect a specific individual, event or movement to broader historical issues through the use of video, texts, images, and song.
Graduate Skills - 0 Credits
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.
USA 1861 to 1969: From Civil War to Civil Rights A - 15 Credits
The module surveys American history from the end of the Civil War in 1865, to the social, political, and economic crises, which engulfed the United States during the 1960s. It concentrates on the major issues of American development: the emancipation of the slaves, the Civil War, and the process of Reconstruction; the rise of Jim Crow and Segregation in the South; the Wild West; Immigration and Industrialisation; Populism and Progressivism; the expansion of political democracy; the emergence of the regulatory state; America's rise to the status of a World Power; the depression of the 1930s; McCarthyism; Civil Rights; Vietnam and the Great Society. Students will be encourage to engage with two important issues: 1. How America transformed from a country made up of a collection of loose states to become a global superpower. 2. How the two principles 'All men are created equal' and racial segregation co-existed side by side.
Learning and Teaching Language 2 - 15 Credits
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, the Natural Approach and the Lexical Approach. Connections will be made in each case with the key concepts discussed in the preceding module.
A final session looks at classroom generated research and at what teachers can hope to learn from it.
English Grammar - 15 Credits
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.
Language and Species - 15 Credits
Research into the evolution of human communication has been controversial. Shortly after the publication of Darwin's masterpiece in 1859, the topic w as 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 draw s 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 - 15 Credits
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.
Sounds of English - 15 Credits
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.
Forensic Linguistics - 15 Credits
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.
Language Competencies in Career Development - 15 Credits
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.
History of the English Language - 15 Credits
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.
Research Methods in English Language & Communication - 15 Credits
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.
Learning and Teaching Language 1 - 15 Credits
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 theories of second language development and the learner, while greater emphasis is placed on the teaching of a second language in the second module.
The module examines both naturalistic methods of learning and classroom learning, discussing the impact of and typical outcomes for the learner in each condition. It considers the work of contemporary theorists, and examines factors such as the role of the L1, the different aspects of L2 knowledge and the interplay of variables that contribute to successful second language development.
Hearth & Heart: Family Life in the Long Eighteenth-Century - 15 Credits
This module examines the history of the family in Britain and Ireland over the long eighteenth-century. It will introduce you to the methodological approaches and historiographical debates in the history of the family, and will cover a wide variety of topics, from family size and structure, to representations of ideal families in literature and art, family relationships, deviant sexuality, and the regulation of the family by church and state. Questions it will consider include: What was family life like in this period? Did parents really love their children? How widespread was pre-marital sexual intercourse? And, in what ways did the family change over time? Close attention will be paid to the role that gender and social class played in shaping family life over the period. The module will make use of a rich array of source materials including, letters and diaries, church court minutes, art and census material.
Propaganda in Twentieth-Century War and Politics - 15 Credits
This broad survey module will encourage you to connect the development of mass communications with domestic and international politics in the twentieth century. Time will be spent on defining public opinion, censorship and propaganda; on examining propaganda channels and techniques; and, on analysing and measuring propaganda effects. Emphasis will be placed on Britain’s pioneering role in the new world communications network via its empire, and on the importance attached to the First World War in changing the face of propaganda. A variety of sources, including film, will be used to assess the increasing sophistication of political persuasion thereafter. Particular attention will be paid to Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia and the international conflicts in Vietnam in the 1960s and the Middle East in the 1990s. Seminars will involve group work centred on core interpretative texts.
Nation & Identity: Newly Independent States in Interwar Europe, 1918-1939 - 15 Credits
This module explores a fascinating period in European history when empires crumbled and new nation-states emerged. The process of state building is investigated in detail. Through an analysis of the settlements that gave birth to the new states, the module seeks to establish the extent to which they influenced and, in some cases, hindered the states’ development. The various political, economic, social, religious and cultural forces that shaped the states will also be examined and evaluated. Close attention will be paid to the various efforts to create national identity through a range of diverse range of forums, including membership of international bodies, major sporting occasions, state-sponsored art and religious events. Building on these themes, the module will subsequently address why some states survived and others collapsed with the outbreak of a second world war.
Making a Historical Documentary - 15 Credits
Historical documentaries are one of the key ways that the public learn about the past. The most successful documentaries take complex issues and communicate them in a straightforward and engaging manner. This practical module will guide you through the various stages of television documentary-making, from generating an idea to actually producing your own short twelve-minute documentary.
Archive research, scripting, filming and interviewing, and editing are among the basic techniques that will be covered. You will also develop the ability to critically assess documentaries, learning to detect strengths and weaknesses. Over the course of the semester, you will gain and expand a range of practical transferable skills.
Making Histories: Pubic History Work Experience - 15 Credits
This module is designed to give you a deep exposure to history and heritage in the workplace and in the world-at-large. Are you interested in getting recognition for volunteer work in a museum or archive? Have you thought of participating in a historical memory project in your local community? Do you have plans to work with history after you graduate? Working closely with the module tutor, you will tailor a heritage-related placement to your specific interests and aspirations.
This module helps you develop your knowledge of history beyond a university context. It aims to provide a stimulating programme of activities so that you gain hands-on, practical experience and a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the work done by heritage organisations. The module is also geared towards enhancing your employability skills in a supportive environment, which includes contributions from heritage professionals.
Postcards from the Empire: Experiences of British Imperialism - 15 Credits
At the empire's height, Queen Victoria claimed sovereignty over nearly one in four of the planet’s human inhabitants. The lives and experiences of each were sculpted by international, national, and local dynamics. This module explores the stories of these everyday lives through snapshots of life in the British Empire up to 1914. Case studies may draw from places including Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Africa, India, Ireland, Canada, America, and the Caribbean. Themes may include race, gender, class, religion, economics, and adventure. A particular emphasis will be placed on exploring the histories of racialized and colonized peoples, with attention to the historical approaches developed over the past several decades that have changed the ability of historians to identify and engage with these voices.
Maladies and Medicine in Early Modern Europe - 15 Credits
This module explores the nature of medical knowledge and treatment between c. 1550- 1750. We will look at a range of illnesses including mental illness and disability and disfigurement. The course will investigate the treatments offered to patients and who they were treated by. A series of lectures will form the spine of the module introducing the key themes and historiographical debates in this field. The seminars will then consider specific examples and particular historiographical issues in greater depth. The module will move through three main areas; medical knowledge and learning, disease and death, and medical provision in the period.
Crime and Society in England, 1550-1750 - 15 Credits
One way of understanding early-modern English society is to examine the nature of criminal activity, and the perception and response to crime in the period. In this module you will be introduced to a wide variety of criminal activities and behaviours, ranging from the pattern and nature of ‘petty’ crimes, such as poaching and defamation, to more ‘serious’ crimes, such as murder and treason. You will be encouraged to reflect on the motives for crime and what such activities can tell us about early modern society. Considerable emphasis will be place on understanding the system of justice and the nature of law enforcement in the period. To this end, you will identify, consult and undertake qualitative and quantitative analyses of online historical datasets and databases, such as The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, and will be encouraged to reflect on the ethical implications of using such resources for historical research.
The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991 - 15 Credits
This broad survey module will examine the origins, nature and end of the Cold War in a global context between 1945 and 1991. The first section of the module assesses the nature of the Cold War in comparative historical context, before investigating the origins of the Cold War, the nature of superpower conflict, and the global expansion of the Cold War. The module then adopts a thematic approach, concentrating on the ideological, diplomatic, economic, political, military and cultural dimensions of the Cold War of the 1950s through to the 1980s. The module will consider the conflict between the superpowers, but also the effect of the Cold War on the periphery and unaligned nations. The final section of the module deals with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies in Europe following Gorbachev’s rise to power in 1985, and the diplomacy and events that brought the Cold War to an end.
Child Language & Communication - 15 Credits
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.
Clinical Linguistics - 15 Credits
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.
Language & Communication Project - 30 Credits
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 Processing - 15 Credits
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
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 organization 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
Communication and Cultures - 15 Credits
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.
Meaning and Context - 15 Credits
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.
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.
Gender in Language and Communication - 15 Credits
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.
Global Englishes - 15 Credits
This module will focus on the global spread of the English language, which is no longer used only by native speakers but increasingly by speakers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Despite these changes, the native speaker continues to dominate in English Language Teaching. This module will explore various issues in the spread of English, including: the influence of other languages on English; the rise, standardisation, ideology and ownership of English; varieties of English across the world (including ‘New Englishes’, English as a Lingua Franca, pidgins & creoles); attitudes towards varieties of English and the pedagogical implications of these issues for English Language Teaching in the context of Global Englishes.
Corpus-based Studies in English Language - 15 Credits
In this module you will learn how to use electronic databases (corpora) to address research questions in English Language & Communication. We will look at a range of different corpora (spoken, written, different genres and speakers) to see how they are adapted for research both qualitatively and quantitatively. We will explore areas of English Language (including word use, collocations, discourse, gender, language change, language teaching, translation), select suitable corpora for investigation and analyse the data output. In this module we will also address issues in the compilation of corpus data and the way corpus investigations can impact on theories of language.
*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.
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.