BA (Hons) English Language and Applied Linguistics

About the course

How do humans learn language? We’re all experts in our native tongue, so why can it be so hard to become fluent in a language we learn later in life? By understanding how we learn language, we can understand how to teach it.

Through this BA English Language and Applied Linguistics you’ll do both: English language teaching is an integral part of your course, while you’ll also have the opportunity to learn one of five languages – French, Spanish, German, Japanese or Mandarin. All are for beginners or GCSE level (apart from Mandarin), with the exception of Spanish, which can be taken by those who already have A-level Spanish.

This combined programme of English language teaching and language learning will give you an excellent grounding if you plan to teach English as a foreign language following postgraduate teacher training. Alternatively you could be teaching children in primary or secondary schools whose second language is English.

You’ll take two English Language Teaching (ELT) modules each year. In your final year you’ll study Global Englishes and a compulsory project looking at a particular aspect of English Language teaching. This could involve field work or observing teaching and learning methods in a college setting.

Alongside your ELT studies you’ll take a semester in your chosen language, using language laboratories and practising conversation with native speakers wherever possible. You’ll also be introduced to Linguistics, the scientific study of everything to do with language, from its structure to the ways it reflects society, how it’s used, and how it changes over time.

From forensic linguistics to the study of language disorders, what links your courses is our focus on the applied use of English language.

Across all modules you’ll be taught and supported by research-active academics working in cutting-edge areas such as language and gender, formulaic language, corpus studies, bilingualism, bilingual processing and codeswitching. Their research will inform your own final year projects, which allow you to develop your research skills and learn how to collect and analyse data from vast databases of our infinitely rich and complex English language.

Why choose this course?

We give you:

  • A grounding in one of five languages as an integral part of your English language teaching course
  • An optional year’s study abroad in the country of your chosen language
  • 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 to underpin your original research projects
  • 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 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.

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.

For our English Language and Applied Linguistics students, your grounding in another language opens up a variety of teaching careers after PGCE, including teaching English to non-native speakers. Your language competency is also a valuable addition to your transferable analytical and intellectual skills sought 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.