BA (Hons) English Language and Journalism

About the course

In our so-called ‘post-truth’ era of fake news and alternative facts, words have become removed from their original meanings and journalists face a number of challenges in today’s globalised world.

Our BA English Language and Journalism degree introduces you to the scientific study of the English Language and allows you to examine human communication in different contexts. You’ll develop a range of journalistic skills while exploring the ways language reflects society and how it is used for different purposes.

In your first year you’ll be introduced to the practical craft of journalism and explore the law and ethics surrounding journalism alongside core English Language modules. You’ll also explore the diversity of use of the English language including regional variants, pidgin and creole English, language and ethnicity, and slang and street English.

Our journalism team are highly experienced practitioners, who’ll help you develop the skills to produce work in different styles and for diverse markets. You’ll learn how to source stories and get hands-on experience as part of a vibrant student community and through work placements. You’ll take part in News Lab workshops, conduct interviews, write features and join lively group discussions.

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. You’ll also have the opportunity to specialize in news or feature writing, radio journalism or social media.

In your final year you can follow modules in different topics, including child language and communication, clinical linguistics, gender and language, and formulaic language, informed by our academics’ own research specialisms. You’ll also develop your journalism skills portfolio, examine journalism, government and the people.

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • A supportive, research-active academic team
  • Access to huge online databases to underpin your original research projects
  • Transferable skills
  • 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.

Our journalism students gain practical skills through work placements and writing for the University’s newspaper, TV or digital channels. You’ll be able to network with invited speakers and take short industry summer courses.

What job can I get?

Employability is central to everything we do. Our hands-on journalism training equips you to pursue a career in the media, whether in features, news, radio or online. You’ll have opportunities to go on work placements at local newspapers, radio stations or TV channels, where many students have work published.

Over the years many of our English Language 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 those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with the School of Education.

I had overwhelming support from my lecturers. Whenever I had interests that lay beyond the topics covered, they always gave me the freedom to explore those subjects and weave them into my coursework. This individuality has really helped me find out what I want to do in life.

Laura de Haan

English Language & Communication with Journalism (2018)