About the course

What is it for sounds, gestures and marks on paper to have meaning? What are the various uses to which we can put language, and how does it manage to have the effects it has? How do we learn language? And how does the language we use reflect society, the nature of our thoughts, and what we take reality to be like?

Our BA Philosophy and English Language degree allows you to examine the nature of language, through two distinct approaches. You’ll develop a range of skills in analysing the structure of the English language and how it is used in a variety of situations, while exploring and challenging the assumptions about the nature of language, its limits and how it functions.

In your first year, alongside core linguistics modules, you’ll learn to think critically by examining how language may be used – and misused – in reasoning and persuasion. You’ll also study social and political philosophy, covering topics such as freedom of speech, and examine the nature of mind and reality.

All our philosophy lecturers are active researchers, so you’ll share the excitement of doing original work in a supportive and highly-rated academic community. Our Philosophy team is in the top 15 in the Guardian League Table 2019 and rates as one of the 100 best Philosophy departments worldwide in the 2017 QS rankings.

Our English language lecturers are research-active academics working in cutting-edge areas such as language and gender, formulaic language, corpus studies, bilingualism, bilingual processing and codeswitching.

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 study language-related real-life problems such as plagiarism and crime investigation in forensic linguistics. In Philosophy, you may explore a wide variety of topics, including the option to learn some languages of logic.

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. In Philosophy, there is the option to study more advanced contemporary themes and theories in the philosophy of language, and also to take a module which focuses in particular on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s influential work on the nature of language. 

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) Philosophy
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) Philosophy 2019 Programme specification 2 BA (Hons) English Language

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • An exceptional academic team, conducting internationally renowned research
  • Stimulating, innovative courses that allow you to make rewarding connections between two disciplines
  • CV-building potential through extra-curricular activities

I certainly developed professionalism and employability through studying Philosophy, primarily through the methods of rational and logical problem solving. I acquired a skill that is useful in whatever field one works in. However, it is enterprise that I most notably improved on while at Herts. I had never really considered starting a businesses or working for myself, but while studying Philosophy (particularly my Masters by Research and my undergraduate dissertation) I realised I was learning self-management and combining this with my new proficiency at problem solving sent me down a new path. Since leaving Herts I have set up multiple small business which are growing healthily. This individuality has really helped me find out what I want to do in life.

Rob Baggs

BA(Hons) Philosophy 2010-2013, MA(Res) in Philosophy 2013-2015

Course details

What job can I get?

Over the years many English Language graduates have gone into teaching or speech and language therapy, as well as translation, publishing, journalism, marketing, law and business. 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.

Studying philosophy teaches you to ask penetrating questions and identify flawed arguments – skills integral to many careers, such as law. You’ll develop many other transferable skills sought by employers, such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to communicate ideas in a structured, productive way.

For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with our School of Education. Many graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.

Teaching methods

Philosophy students benefit from being part of a lively and active academic community. You’ll learn through formal courses and extracurricular seminars, while our small group teaching helps you to find your feet in the academic environment. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss critical issues with staff and fellow students, including an optional residential weekend each year.

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. 

Study Abroad

Taking a year’s study abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your understanding of the world. Living in another country offers fresh perspectives and helps create global citizens. Recently our philosophy students have studied in the USA, Canada, Japan and South Korea, enhancing their learning, building their confidence and gaining a greater appreciation of other cultures and societies.

Find out more about our Study abroad opportunities.

Structure

  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Reason and Persuasion 15 Credits Compulsory
    Communication, Interaction, Context 15 Credits Compulsory
    Social and Political Philosophy 15 Credits Compulsory
    Mind, Knowledge and Reality 15 Credits Compulsory
    Ethics 15 Credits Compulsory
    Investigating Language 15 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to English Linguistics 1 15 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to English Linguistics 2 15 Credits Compulsory
    Language and Mind 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Film and Literature 15 Credits Optional
    Language in the Media 15 Credits Optional
    The Meaning of Life 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Graduate Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    Themes in Plato's Republic 15 Credits Optional
    The Right and The Good 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Mind 15 Credits Optional
    Learning and Teaching Language 2 15 Credits Optional
    Knowledge and Discovery 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Art 15 Credits Optional
    English Grammar 15 Credits Optional
    Language and Species 15 Credits Optional
    Language in Society 15 Credits Optional
    Metaphysics 15 Credits Optional
    Sounds of English 15 Credits Optional
    Forensic Linguistics 15 Credits Optional
    Language Competencies in Career Development 15 Credits Optional
    History of the English Language 15 Credits Optional
    Research Methods in English Language & Communication 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophies of Religion 15 Credits Optional
    Virtues, Vices and Ethics 15 Credits Optional
    Logic and Philosophy 15 Credits Optional
    Learning and Teaching Language 1 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Aristotle P 15 Credits Optional
    Child Language & Communication 15 Credits Optional
    Clinical Linguistics 15 Credits Optional
    Language & Communication Project 30 Credits Optional
    Language Processing 15 Credits Optional
    Nietzsche, Genealogy and Morality 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Language 15 Credits Optional
    Communication and Cultures 15 Credits Optional
    Meaning and Context 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Psychology 15 Credits Optional
    Chunky Language: Investigating Formulaic Sequences 15 Credits Optional
    Gender in Language and Communication 15 Credits Optional
    Global Englishes 15 Credits Optional
    Corpus-based Studies in English Language 15 Credits Optional
  • 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

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    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

    UCAS points A Level BTEC IB requirement
    104 BCC DMM 104 points

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    Locations
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

    2020

    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)

    2021

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students