Our BA English Language and Linguistic degree was rated as excellent for the quality of its teaching and for its practical approach to linguistics by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
If you are intrigued by how meaning is communicated through language or you want to gain a deeper understanding of linguistic structure, this course is perfect for you. You will learn how language works, how sounds combine to form words, and words to form sentences, and how people use language in various contexts and for different purposes. From the spoken to the written, from the internet to politics, you will explore language in all its shapes and sizes.
Linguists are concerned with the formal structure of language and with its functions in society. From the sounds children make to the way people speak to the elderly; from media spin to everyday conversations, the language around us contains hints as to its own development and its role in creating the society we live in. To really understand these implications, this programme takes a lively hands-on approach; we pay attention to 'real language'.
We specialise in both theoretical and socio-linguistics. The programme gives attention to formal and functional aspects of language study, providing grounding in structural analysis (grammar, syntax etc.); however, what makes our approach so distinctive is that the emphasis is placed on the sociolinguistic functions of language.
On the course you will examine the range of different types of language use in contemporary British media such as press, television and radio. You’ll cover topics such as advertising discourse and phone-in talk, as well as news reporting and political interviews. There are also opportunities to apply your knowledge of English language and language learning to critically evaluate techniques used to teach different aspects of English and deal with the practical problem of lesson design.
In your first year, you will gain an in-depth understanding of language structures and basic analytic skills and terminology and be introduced to well-established frameworks for linguistic analysis. You will gain knowledge of language structure, the terminology with which to discuss language and linguistic data, and analytical skills. Modules our students can currently study include Accents and Dialects, Language and Society and Language and Power.
In your second year, you’ll explore how language varies according to social and regional factors, examining topics such as attitudes to language; the relation of language to class; regional, gender and ethnic identity, and the influences of peer groups on how languages are used and why we find variation. You will also be introduced to discourse and conversation analysis, Phonetics and Phonology and will look at how language is used in the media.
In your third year, you will study the biological foundations of language and the contributions of both psychology and linguistic theory in the modelling of the processes involved in the production and comprehension of written and spoken language. You can focus on a wide range of contemporary topics, such as examining the ways in which language may be considered to alienate and oppress women, looking in detail at such topics as sexist vocabulary and naming practices. Other modules you may study include Sign Language and the Philosophy of Language.
Here are some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:
Language Issues in Multilingual Settings
Philosophy of Language
The Linguistics of Sign Language
Second Language Acquisition
"Choosing your own modules in 2nd and 3rd year lets you shape your degree around what interests you the most."
Tracy-Ann Lee, BA English Language and Linguistics
BA Single Honours
BA/BSc Combined Honours
Single or Combined honours
Offers are typically based on 280 points from A-levels, vocational A-levels, or equivalent, including the 14–19 Diploma. Our offers are not solely based on academic results: we also take your skills, achievements and life experience into consideration.
This course offers the opportunity to undertake a semester abroad as part of your degree.