Our BA English Language and Literature enables you to combine your study of the structure, development, and use of English as a world language with your reading of literature written in English from all parts of the globe.
You’ll be taught by research-active academics who bring fresh thinking to our accessible, engaging courses. We’ll introduce you to writers who will open doors to contemporary worlds and cultures remote from your own, and also help you explore more familiar literature in ways that challenge your preconceptions.
You’ll enrich your study of English literature in its cultural and historical contexts through modules on the history of the English language. You’ll balance your reading of poetry and drama with analyses of how language is used in the media, to inform or persuade. The common link between the two disciplines will be your analysis of language and how it operates in literature and in real life.
A core module in your first year will equip you to read and interpret both traditional and contemporary literary texts critically as a scholar of English literature. You’ll also be introduced to English Linguistics, the scientific study of our language, from how language develops in children, to the ways it reflects society and how it changes over time.
Your second-year core modules will focus on English grammar and the sounds of English, and you’ll also study period-based literature from the Renaissance onwards, gaining an understanding of literary history, from Elizabethan verse and drama to the emergence of modernity in the 20th century. A core module in English Literature will introduce you to a range of theoretical lenses that you can apply to your further study of texts. We offer our students a career development module that will equip you to take up a teaching work placement or become a Stroke Association volunteer. You may also shadow speech and language therapists or help with specialist language teaching in sixth form college.
Alternatively, our students can choose a literature-focused work experience module, Literature at Work, which explores English Literature in the classroom and aspects of the literary heritage industry. The module is centered around a six-week work placement where you’ll gain valuable transferable skills. Our students have worked as school classroom assistants, in publishing houses or attractions such as London’s Charles Dickens Museum and Dr. Johnson’s House.
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.
You’ll have the chance to specialise in your final year, tailoring your degree to reflect your own interests. English Literature options include children’s literature, young adult fiction, 21 st century American literature, and literary adaptations, amongst others.
Alongside these, a module on Corpus Studies in English Language will allow you to bring your literature and language interests together. Using Sketch Engine, a text analysis tool that enables you to search vast databases of language, you’ll be able to search literary texts to identify how particular words have been used in novels or literature. With more than 15 billion words available to you, you’ll be able to ask questions no one has asked before and pursue uniquely creative research projects.