University of Hertfordshire - BA (Hons) History and English Language

University of Hertfordshire

BA (Hons) History and English Language

Ever wondered how the past shapes the current world? Or why animals can’t talk but humans can? At Herts, you’ll explore this and more in our flexible joint programme. You’ll learn how people learn (or don’t learn) from past events. You’ll start seeing patterns and parallels between the past and present. Maybe even the future.  

English language allows you to explore the foundations of language. The specialist optional modules include psycholinguistics, forensic linguistics, and clinical linguistics. You can investigate human communication, the psychology behind language and the use of language in different settings. How is language used to identify criminals? History will teach you the links between past and present. Does history really repeat itself?  
Our English Language graduates have gone on to work within various fields, including psychology, speech and language therapy, marketing, and communication. Our History graduates have obtained jobs in research, marketing, data analysis and more. You’ll learn to be critical, identify reliable primary and secondary sources and evaluate data effectively. These are all highly sought-after skills by employers and educational institutions alike.  

English Language  

You’ll learn from lecturers who specialise in a wide variety of linguistic disciplines. This includes psycholinguistics, bilingualism, language, and gender. You’ll learn about the study of speech sounds, known as phonetics, alongside speech production and syntax, the building blocks of human communication. In addition, you’ll analyse real-life data, transcripts, and texts to understand how the way we talk shapes the world around us. You can use the eye-tracking suite to learn about how the brain processes language. Where do people look when they are reading? Or when engaged in a conversation?  

In forensic linguistics, you’ll investigate how language is used to solve crimes. You’ll analyse speech sounds and voice patterns of suspected offenders. Another new and exciting field is sociolinguistics. You’ll explore how people use language differently depending on the context they are in. How does gender affect language use? Can we derive someone’s gender from just reading their texts? Learn about how people make judgments on people’s personalities based solely on their accents and dialects.  


We are lucky to be situated in is one of the most historic counties of England- Hertfordshire. It’s known for its rich past, museums and market towns steeped in history. St Albans, where the traditional hot cross buns are rumoured to have originated, is only a few miles away. You’ll be able to visit the St Albans Cathedral and the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS), which are only a short drive away in Hertford. 

Herts is one of the few universities in the UK with an active Oral History team. Oral history is all about recording people’s stories before they are lost forever. This can be on topical issues, such as immigration or religion. You can even set up your very own project. For example, we've run projects with Watford and Stevenage Football Clubs, local charities, and groups from the wider community, on projects ranging from migrant experiences to the de Havilland Aircraft Company. This optional co-curricular is great for your CV. It helps you develop new skills that employers value. In 2018, some of our students produced interviews for a BBC Radio 4 programme. It was commended in the Public History Prize awards by the Royal Historical Society.   

What's the course about?

In your first year, you’ll learn the foundations of language. You’ll study phonetics, syntax and the building blocks that make up language. You can choose to explore language in societal groups, humans and even animals! In History, you’ll, explore Africa from the 15th to the 19th century, trade between 1600-2000 and the Heritage Industry in England. You can also choose to study 20th Century American culture, which covers music, sport, and entertainment, including early film. 

In your second year, you can take modules on English language teaching, psycholinguistics, forensic linguistics and more. Learn how language is processed in the brain, how children learn language, and learn more about phonetics, phonology, and syntax. All your History modules are optional as well. Explore family life in the 18th century or learn how to make a historical documentary. 

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 fine too. You’ll decide in your second year with us, so there is still plenty of time to think about this. 

In your final year, you can choose from a wide range of modules, from Child Language and Communication to Pacific Histories which explores colonisation, conflict and connections. You also have the opportunity to select to do a final year project of your choosing in either History or English language. 

Entry Requirements

UCAS pointsA LevelBTECIB

GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language and 4/D Mathematics

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Course Details

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6. These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study. Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.   

Year 1

Communication, interaction, context
Belief and disbelief: faith, magic and medicine, 1500 - 1800
Investigating language
The fight for rights: freedom and oppression, 1790s-1990s
Historians' toolkit
Africa and the world, 1450-1850
Introduction to english linguistics 1
Introduction to english linguistics 2
Optional modules

Language and mind
Cashing in: traders and consumers, 1600 - 2001
Language in the media
Introduction to public history
The heritage industry in britain
Leisure and lifestyle: 20th century american music, sport and entertainment

Year 2

Graduate skills
Optional modules

Usa 1861 to 1969: from civil war to civil rights a
Learning and teaching language 2
English grammar
Language and species
Language in society
Sounds of english
Forensic linguistics
Language competencies in career development
History of the english language
Research methods in english language & communication
Learning and teaching language 1
Hearth & heart: family life in the long eighteenth-century
Propaganda in twentieth-century war and politics
Nation & identity: newly independent states in interwar europe, 1918-1939
Making a historical documentary
Making histories: public history work experience
Postcards from the empire: experiences of british imperialism
Maladies and medicine in early modern europe
Crime and society in england, 1550-1750
The age of the cold war, 1945-1991

Year 3

Optional modules

Child language & communication
Clinical linguistics
Language & communication project
Language processing
Communication and cultures
Meaning and context
Chunky language: investigating formulaic sequences
Gender in language and communication
Global englishes
Corpus-based studies in english language

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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