BA (Hons) English Language and Applied Linguistics

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Gain practical language skills that can lead towards teaching
Gain practical language skills that can lead towards teaching
You can study a European or Eastern language alongside your degree
You can study a European or Eastern language alongside your degree
Use our eye tracking suite for psycholinguistic experiments
Use our eye tracking suite for psycholinguistic experiments

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

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's the course about?

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.

Your main campus is de Havilland

You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.   

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.

Alumni Stories

Alex Olney

Meet Alex Olney who has applied his skills in communication to the gaming industry. He is currently a Senior Video Producer at Nintendo Life.

Current job roleSenior Video Producer
Year of graduation2015
Course of studyBA (Hons) English Language and Communication

University experience

While not his first choice of university, Alex is grateful that he applied to the University of Hertfordshire through Clearing as whilst at the University he discovered and explored his passion for everything linguistic. This passion has had a profound impact on his life since graduating.

He says, ‘Studying a language gave me confidence and a deeper understanding of human and non-human communication and has allowed me to create a distinct idiolect that identifies me as a creator and, more importantly, entertains tens of thousands of people every day.’.

He credits his success to the support he received from his lecturers who encouraged him throughout his studies: ‘The lecturers were not only well informed about the subject matter but had a genuine passion for language.’ He states that they pushed him to explore languages so much so that ‘it became a driving force in my everyday life.’.

Alex also believes that the transferable skills he learnt while at the University have helped him throughout his professional life including time management. He states that he learnt effective time management skills to ensure that he never leaves projects and deadlines to the last minute and plans out in advance what is required.

The future

Alex really enjoys his current role at Nintendo as he likes the hands on nature of producing content but would eventually like to manage and become a head of the video editing department.

‘Studying a language given me confidence and a deeper understanding of human and non-human communication and has allowed me to create a distinct idiolect that identifies me as a creator and, more importantly, entertains tens of thousands of people every day.’

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.