BA (Hons) English Language and Journalism

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.

Examine human communication and develop a range of journalistic skills
Examine human communication and develop a range of journalistic skills
Build your own portfolio using a variety of platforms
Build your own portfolio using a variety of platforms
Join our vibrant student media club and write for BlueMoon magazine
Join our vibrant student media club and write for BlueMoon magazine

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 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's the course about?

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. We’re also rated TEF Gold, making us one of the best universities for teaching and support. 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.

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.

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.

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)

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.’

Alumni Stories

Kate Stephenson

Meet Kate Stephenson who has excelled in the publishing industry since graduating. She currently works as the Education Editor at National Geographic Kids magazine.

Current job roleEducation Editor
Year of graduation2013
Course of studyBA (Hons) English Language and Communication with Journalism and Media Cultures

Kate Stephenson

University experience

Kate always knew that she wanted to work in the media and her unique degree gave her the flexibility to understand the logistics behind magazines as well as develop her writing and communication skills. The variety of topics and modules covered in her course enabled her to understand a lot about her dream career and enable her to develop valuable skills for working in the industry.

While studying, Kate took every opportunity offered to her. Her lecturers gave her opportunities to network with their colleagues for the industry enabling Kate to secure work experience and explore different career opportunities upon graduation.

She also worked as part of the Students’ Union student media, called Triden Media, writing regularly for their newspaper and magazine. Kate says, ‘Take advantage of every opportunity while it’s on offer and dive in as much as possible.’

The future

In the future, Kate hopes to further develop and grow the project she is working on at National Geographic and their educational content. One of her recent projects was launching their Primary School resource service by writing the curriculum.

‘Take advantage of every opportunity while it’s on offer and dive in as much as possible.’

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.