English Language and Literature BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

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Elliott Land CF

Elliott talks about his time at University

About the course

Language matters. It is fundamental to our perception, and our place in the world. It is at the heart of how communities are built and it underpins human relationships. Principles of humour, power and cross-cultural relations are all dependent upon the formation and interpretation of language.

English Literature is one of life's great pleasures. It can be exciting, moving, stimulating and challenging. Literature has been a source of inspiration, entertainment and education for hundreds of years, spanning from the English Renaissance of the 16th century through to the present day. This course gives you the chance to study both literary and linguistic approaches to English, with expert support from staff who are actively engaged in writing and publishing.

You'll be supported to develop knowledge of key language styles and an understanding of what language is and how it works. You'll explore the concepts, modes of analysis and theoretical approaches of different branches of linguistics and will study the role of language in society. Your studies will also help you to acquire a broad-based knowledge of English Literature and criticism from a range of genres. You'll have the opportunity to explore a variety of theoretical perspectives, and to think critically about the relationship between literature, society and the environment, and the cultural, ethical and political issues arising from this. Your studies will be divided equally between Literature and Language.

By studying this course, you'll be preparing yourself for a future career in fields including research, publishing, broadcasting, teaching, writing, advertising, management and politics.

Why study English Language and Literature at Huddersfield?

•  Your studies will be led by published, award-winning lecturers who are all accredited by the Higher Education Academy, with internationally recognized expertise across a range of language related fields (75% of research submitted for the most recent national research audit was rated as either ‘world leading' or ‘internationally excellent').

•  Your learning will extend beyond the boundaries of the classroom, with events such as the Huddersfield Literature Festival, visits to key locations, such as the nearby Bronte Parsonage at Haworth, or to the British Library to see the History of English Exhibition in 2011, and the use of electronic resources.

•  In your second year, you'll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. This will help to increase your future employability prospects and give you the chance to make useful contacts in industry.

•  In the National Student Satisfaction Survey 2016, we scored 92% for overall student satisfaction, ranking us the best in Yorkshire.

Here's what current English Language and Linguistics student Elliott has to say about his course.

See what current English Literature and Creative Writing student Sarah has to say about her course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

4 years inc. placement year

6 years part-time

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year / Part Time


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

You begin by exploring the English language as a system, then concentrate on its application in various fields. You will investigate real language in real life. And in English Literature you'll examine literary form and heritage, the relationship between literature and cultures, and the role literature plays in reflecting and contributing to the human experience.

Year 1

Core modules:

Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics

This module introduces you to the structure of language as a system. You'll be able to explore the basics of linguistic description, using mostly, but not only, the English language to illustrate. The module focuses on the fundamental linguistic concept of ‘levels’ of language, starting from the smallest (sounds) and building up to sentence structure. Emphasis is on the development of practical skills in analysing language structure. This module will be assessed by a mixture of coursework assessments and formal examinations.

Literary Genres

You'll be introduced to literary texts which represent the established genres that form the foundation of Western literary tradition. You'll have the opportunity to explore how they've been adapted, modified and reformed in later periods and across cultures. You'll also have the chance to explore literary conventions and innovations, along with concepts and terms used in the analysis of literary texts. The assessment for this module consists of a mixture of written coursework and presentational assignments.

Option modules:

Choose three from a list which may include-

Thinking Critically

This module introduces you to a range of potential approaches for the study of literature at university level. You'll have the opportunity to evaluate key ideas and concepts from a range of theoretical approaches, taking a critical perspective to the discipline as a whole. You'll then have the chance to explore how to apply these ideas to literary and other texts. The assessment for this module consists of a mixture of written coursework and presentational assignments.

Approaches to Language Study

This module introduces you to a number of theoretical, analytical and methodological advances that have had a significant impact on the development of linguistics as a discipline. You will be introduced to principal ideas in linguistics and practical issues in carrying out research into language. The module thus acts as a precursor to many of the issues that will be explored in greater detail in years 2 and 3 of the course, and is designed to enthuse you about the value of studying language.

Introduction to Stylistics

This module introduces you to the linguistic analysis of literary and other texts. The focus is on describing and explaining the relationship between linguistic choices and poetic effects in the three major literary genres of poetry, drama and prose fiction. In the lectures you are introduced to a range of analytical tools for describing and explaining meaning and effect, and in seminars you are given the opportunity to test out your understanding by applying these tools to the analysis of a number of extracts from literary texts. The emphasis throughout the course is on you developing practical analytical skills.

History of English

This module introduces you to the history of the English language from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day. You'll have the opportunity to focus on how English has developed historically, from its earliest origins in the Old English period, through its development into Middle English and then Early Modern English, to its present-day status as a global language. The key theme of the module is how English varies over time, and you'll be encouraged to examine how intra- and extra-linguistic factors have caused this.

Introduction to Contrastive Linguistics

This module will give you an introduction to contrasting English with another language of your choice, for the purpose of learning more about language structure in general. You'll be asked to compare the given languages at the pragmatic, lexical, semantic, morpho-syntactic and phonological levels. The close examination of difference and universality aims to give you a foundation in key aspects of cross-linguistic study, and skills which are transferrable to language learning, teaching and translation.

Year 2

Core modules:


This module focuses on how the kind of language we use can vary according to such factors as our geographical or social background, the formality or informality of the speech situation and the purpose of the speech event. You'll have the opportunity to consider how the identity of speakers is represented by the way in which they use language. In addition, you'll have the chance to examine the roles that different languages play in different societies, with an emphasis on English in the 21st Century.

Language in the Workplace

This module provides you with the opportunity to undertake a work placement or a work-related activity within a language and/or intercultural context. You’ll be asked to present work for assessment in the form of documentation associated with the placement or activity, a written log evaluation of the process, experience and outcomes, and an oral presentation on related issues and career planning.

Literary Histories

In this module you will develop skills in contextual analysis relating to two different topics in literary studies. You will analyse digital resources, evaluate the arguments of a range of literary critics, and present your own arguments and ideas in a written essay and an oral presentation. The module incorporates a series of skills workshops in addition to the core of lectures and seminars on of two distinct literary topics. You will choose these from a range of options, which relate directly to the research expertise and scholarly publications of individual members of academic staff. The options on offer in 2017-18 are: - Renaissance Chivalry: Playing Knights and Ladies in the Golden Age - Twentieth-Century Fiction - Frontiers & Borders in American Literature - Twentieth- and Twenty First-Century Poetry - The Romantic Period - Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds - Extraordinary Gentlemen

Critical Concepts 1

This module aims to develop your understanding of key theoretical concepts and the productive ways in which these can be used in reading literary and cultural texts. It encourages you to engage with challenging ideas around nation, identity, history and culture.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Conversation Analysis

This module focuses on informal conversation. Fundamental features of this variety will be explored, including the turn-taking system, turn construction units, storytelling, overlap, repair and preference. Discussion will include consideration of approaches to the study of language, and the relationship between language and society as a result of studying conversation analytic findings.

Communication across Cultures

Communication across Cultures provides introduction to culture-specific interactional norms, by comparing linguistic behaviour in a range of target cultures. This module puts strong emphasis on cross-cultural rather than intercultural issues, giving you a wide comparative overview of interactional norms across cultures, with the aim of boosting your practical competence in interpreting cross-cultural differences in terms of language behaviour.


This module focuses on the linguistic analysis of style in language. It aims to improve your skills in text analysis through the introduction of a range of cutting-edge theories, frameworks and methods for literary and non-literary stylistic analysis. You'll have the opportunity to explore the relationship between form and function in language by analysing a wide range of texts and investigating such issues as text style, genre style and authorial style.

Corpus Linguistics

Corpus linguistics focuses on the techniques of computational corpus-based language study. The module concentrates on the analysis of electronic linguistic corpora using corpus linguistics software packages such as AntConc and WMatrix. Corpus linguistics methodologies are used to illuminate such areas of linguistics as grammar, lexicography and stylistics. Additionally, you'll have the chance to examine how to build, store and exploit your own corpora for linguistic analysis.


After considering the scope of pragmatics (language use) and its place in the study of language and communication, this module covers its major conceptual foundations (speech act theory, deixis, presupposition, implicature, relevance theory, context) and then proceeds to introduce its major developments and applications (the pragmatic perspective on conversational structure; interpersonal pragmatics, intercultural pragmatics; discursive pragmatics; metapragmatics.)

Field Linguistics

This module introduces you to the history and practice of field linguistics and helps you to acquire the skills needed for successful description of unfamiliar languages. Imagine you are the first literate person to contact an isolated village of speakers of a previously undiscovered language. Your group will have the opportunity to work with one speaker of a language unknown to you, to discover some of the regularities of sounds and structures that make up this language.

Phonetics and Phonology

This module develops your skills in the phonetic and phonological approach to language analysis. It will build upon your knowledge from Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics, while introducing new levels of phonetic and phonological analysis. This module will cover the basics of acoustic analysis of speech, commonly used phonological notation, and the position of phonology within linguistics. You will be introduced to a new piece of software to conduct acoustic analysis of speech and also be provided the tools to analyse and describe sound alternations in different languages.


The aim of this module is to develop the tools of syntactic analysis and description that you began to acquire in 'Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics'. You will be introduced to a more formal syntactic framework, specifically Minimalist Generative Syntax, which will be contrasted with other generative and non-generative approaches. You will be introduced to the theoretical motivations behind Minimalism and apply the theoretical apparatus to solve syntactic problems. This will provide a more nuanced understanding of the grammatical features of language, how languages differ and how grammatical relationships are realised.

Year 3

Core modules:

Advanced Critical Practice

In this module you will consolidate the skills you have previously developed in critical analysis and use them to develop rigorous independent responses and innovative ideas that engage with the subjects of current debates in two separate fields of literary study. You will choose these from a range of options, which relate directly to the research expertise and scholarly publications of individual members of academic staff. The options on offer in 2017-18 are: - Renaissance Chivalry: Playing Knights and Ladies in the Golden Age - Twentieth-Century Fiction - Frontiers & Borders in American Literature - Twentieth- and Twenty First-Century Poetry - The Romantic Period - Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds - Extraordinary Gentlemen

Critical Concepts 2

This module aims to enhance your understanding of key theoretical concepts, inviting you to choose a particular literary topic and conceptual focus for your own original analysis of works of literature in relation to other fields of intellectual debate such as historiography, philosophy or film studies. It encourages you to challenge and build upon the concepts and methodologies that have underpinned literary criticism in the past by engaging you in interdisciplinary perspectives and advanced debates in contemporary literary theory. The module incorporates a series of concept workshops in addition to a core of lectures and seminars on a distinct literary topic, which you will choose from the range of available options. These options relate to the research expertise and scholarly publications of individual members of academic staff. The options on offer in 2017-18 are: - Renaissance Chivalry: Playing Knights and Ladies in the Golden Age - Twentieth-Century Fiction - Frontiers & Borders in American Literature - Twentieth- and Twenty First-Century Poetry - The Romantic Period - Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds - Extraordinary Gentlemen

Option modules:

Choose the Dissertation in English Language and Linguistics and one optional module OR three optional modules from a list which may include-

Dissertation In English Language and Linguistics

You'll be asked to produce an extended piece of work supervised individually by a member of staff. There will be a regular schedule of supervisions and you'll be asked to submit evidence of your progress (outlines, drafts, etc.) at regular intervals. The skills workshops will focus on raising your awareness of research practices, and developing your organisational and self-management skills.

Relations Across Cultures

The module studies a wide range of interpersonal pragmatic practices, focusing on how relationships are co-constructed in interaction. Instead of approaching interpersonal relations as stand-alone phenomena, the module provides an analytic view to encourage you to capture these practices in a single framework, by approaching them as social actions situated in time and space.

Translation in Practice

This module introduces you to the translation theory and provides the instruction and setting for translation practice. You'll have the opportunity to explore translation history and the emergence of translation studies, the current problems and issues in the field. You'll be supported to apply these theoretical concepts to texts, evaluating the difficulties and problems faced in the translation process. You'll be encouraged to examine the tools to overcome difficulties and the vocabulary to describe and criticise translations. You'll also have the chance to explore the practicalities of the translation business, from seeking work to using technologies available.

Audiovisual Translation

This module allows you to explore current issues and practices in a number of aspects of audiovisual translation (AVT), including subtitling, audio description and dubbing for TV and film drama. The module aims to develop your understanding of the effects of decisions made in the process of audiovisual translation, and to use linguistic insights to improve professional practice in this area. You'll have the opportunity to explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of audiovisual translation and gain knowledge of the industry.

Language of Humour

This module focuses on how the kind of language we use can vary according to such factors as the geographical or social background of the speaker, the formality or informality of the speech situation and the purpose of the speech event. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to consider how the identity of speakers is represented by the way in which they use language, and how speakers interact with others in order to achieve particular conversational goals.


This module explores bilingualism and multilingualism, describing the phenomena and learning how they are acquired, practised and lost in speakers. You'll have the chance to explore the social contexts surrounding multilingualism, such as education and community, as well as social attitudes towards multilingualism.

Child Language Acquisition

This module provides an introduction into the way in which children acquire language. Along with overviewing some general issues such as the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar, the module explores the procedure of acquiring social skills through language learning. This ‘socialisation’ process spans expression of one’s emotions via language, through the proper use of conventional language, to distinguishing between the norm of language use in group and individual settings. The module aims to train you to collect and critically analyse language data produced by children.

Face and Politeness

This module is about how people get on – or don’t get on – with each other. It explores why people say the things they say and do the things they do, the effects of these actions on their feelings and sense of self, and how they evaluate what people say and do as polite or rude, friendly or unfriendly, acceptable or unacceptable.

Language and Power

You'll have the opportunity to explore issues relating to language and power and how to apply the techniques of critical linguistics to example texts ranging from casual conversation to political speechmaking. Techniques you’ll have the chance to study include the analysis of naming, transitivity, modality, speech and thought representation, presupposition, opposition, negation and deixis. You'll also be encouraged to read and discuss extracts of the seminal work in this field.

Forensic Phonetics and Forensic Linguistics

This module provides an introduction to forensics as it is applied to both speech (Forensic Phonetics) and text (Forensic Linguistics). On this module you will learn about the roles speech and text play as evidence in the courtroom as well as for criminal investigations. You will be introduced to a range of topics from both forensic phonetics and forensic linguistics that will enable you to situate the use of language in the real world and to analyse speech and written language from a forensic perspective. The topics introduced through this module will be supported by lectures and hands-on lab work.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


As part of the compulsory second year ‘Language in the Workplace' module you will also have the chance to gain valuable experience spending 6 weeks in a work placement or work related activity. The module shows you how the language skills you aim to develop through your course can be applied to communication in the workplace. Some of our students have gained real-world experience in various teaching environments, in publishing houses and in marketing roles. Previous placement providers have included Pen and Sword Books, Oldham Evening Chronicle, Lotherton Hall, Rochdale Law Centre and a range of primary and secondary schools.

The ERASMUS+ exchange provides an optional short term (12 or 24 weeks) opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities where you join in classes and receive credits towards your degree at the same time. We have partnerships with universities in Athens, Ghent, Granada, Hanover, Paris and the USA.

Career opportunities

95% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

As an English graduate, you are valued for the advanced skills you have developed in communication, self-motivation, teamwork, analysis, creative problem solving and persuasiveness. Depending on your specialism, your career choices are as varied and exciting as your degree course.

Our graduates have gone on to a variety of careers within publishing, broadcasting, teaching, writing, advertising, management, politics and local government. A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include BBC, Zurich Financial Services, Brighouse Echo, Ernst and Young*. Others have opted for PGCE study and have become teachers, or continued their studies at postgraduate level. *Source: Linked In

Teaching and assessment

13.6% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, workshops, seminars etc.

You will be encouraged to participate in group and pair work and individual presentations. Assessment includes essays, textual analysis, formal examinations and group presentations.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our English facilities include flexible learning rooms equipped with video conferencing equipment, interactive smart boards with all-round ceiling projection and audio-visual cabinets with the usual cd/dvd playback and pc and laptop connections.

In the University Library and Computing Centre (LCC), you will find English subject specialists to help you find and use source materials. The LCC contains modern IT facilities with 24-hour access and comfortable spaces for you to work alone or in small groups. It also contains our rapidly-expanding collection of linguistics materials, including journal and newspaper articles, books, audio recordings, and a range of electronic databases (such as Early English Books Online) and several linguistic corpora (e.g. the 100-million-word British National Corpus), together with the software for their analysis.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: Business English and Intercultural Communication MA English Language and Applied Linguistics MA English Language and Applied Linguistics MA(Distance Learning) Intercultural Communication MA Communication Cultural and Media Studies (MA by Research) English Language and Literature (MA by Research)


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0)1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.5 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. Linguistics and Modern Languages is a thriving subject area with a strong research culture that is internationally recognised. There are currently two research centres in Linguistics and Modern Languages: the Centre for Intercultural Politeness Research and the Stylistics Research Centre. There are also two research groups within the subject area: the Speech Science Research Group and the Languages and Translation Group. Current individual staff projects also include: Babel and Lingo Magazine, the collection of a spoken West Yorkshire database, Language Unlocked, Language in Conflict, Grist: The Anthology of New Writing and The Anne Clifford Project.

For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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