Have you ever wondered why humans talk but animals can’t? Or where language comes from? You’ll find out in our English Language and Linguistics course. If you want to learn more about how languages are learnt, how people use language both face to face as well as in social media, and why the way we speak says so much about us – this might just be the course for you. You’ll explore why some words are considered ‘bad’ and others ‘polite’. You can also opt to study how our brain processes language and how children learn to talk. The course combines the scientific study of language with theories about communication, gender and language in context.
At Herts, you’ll follow a flexible programme, which allows you to choose some of your modules. These range from forensic and clinical linguistics to child language and language and gender. We have our own eye-tracking suite, which you can use for experiments. You’ll look at language databases, real-life transcripts and recordings, as well as developing research skills. You’ll take part in workshops, discussions, and interactive sessions.
Some of our graduates have pursued careers in education, business and marketing. Others have gone on to teach overseas or study speech-language therapy and psychology. After your second year, you have the option to study abroad or work for a year. This prepares you for the workplace when you finish your studies. If you prefer to go straight to your third year, but still want work experience, we can help you with this as well. There are plenty of ways to get involved in our clubs, societies and student media teams. This means you will leave us with academic and research skills, as well as valuable experience to impress employers.
What's the course about?
In your first year, you will learn about the building blocks of language. Think about grammar, speech sounds and dialects. You’ll study communication and interaction, language in the media and you’ll investigate how to analyse language data.
In your second year, you will build on the first-year modules. You’ll look in more depth at how we produce speech sounds, how a sentence is built and how languages differ. You will choose from a range of optional modules, giving you the chance to specialise in your field of interest. You can take forensic and psycholinguistic modules, look at research methods and even learn about English language teaching. You can also take a subject-specific careers module and get some relevant work experience. We offer a career development module in your second year that will equip you to take up an English Language teaching work placement, whether teaching phonics to primary school pupils or at a special needs school, or volunteering at the Stroke Association. You may also shadow speech and language therapists or help with specialist language teaching in a sixth form college.
Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.
In your final year, all modules are optional. This means you can choose whichever you like, leaving you free to focus on what interests you. For example, can do clinical linguistics, design your own research project and look at the social aspects of language, as well as explore collections of spoken or written language data.