Undergraduate Course

BA English Language and Linguistics

Now In Clearing
BA English Language and Linguistics

Overview

The details
English Language and Linguistics
QQ13
October 2018
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

What is the range of sounds found in human languages? Which of those sounds are used by English to construct words? How are words combined to form meaningful sentences in English, and are the same patterns of combination found in other languages? How does society and social pressure affect the way we speak? How do different varieties of English evolve? These are some of the questions you will address in the course.

Language is central to all human activity from important negotiations between nation states to spontaneous conversations in cafés. Through your study of language, you come to understand the nature of human social life.

Foundational modules in the first and second year will teach you how to analyse linguistic sound systems, word structure, sentence structure, meaning and language use, and apply your knowledge to the analysis of English. You will then be able to make informed choices about areas of English or Linguistics you want to study in greater depth through study options, such as:

  • Varieties of English
  • Phonetics
  • Language, Mind and Communication
  • Conversation and Social Interaction
  • Child Language Acquisition
  • American Languages

We are a leading UK university for language and linguistics research (REF 2014), a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK. You have an opportunity to study different kinds of linguistics from structural linguistics to applied and experimental linguistics.

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

Why we're great.
  • In your final year, all your modules are optional so you can tailor your degree to suit your interests and career goals.
  • You are taught by lecturers who are internationally recognised for their language and linguistics research.
  • You join our diverse community of students from all corners of the globe - the world in one place.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Placement year

On a placement year you can gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

Our staff are internationally recognised for their language research (REF 2014). We maintain excellent student-staff ratios, and we integrate language learning with linguistics wherever there is synergy. Our hands-on approach enhances your experience in the department.

In theoretical linguistics, Louisa Sadler and Kyle Jerro work on the structure of sentences, focusing on English and other languages. Nancy Kula and Yuni Kim investigate how complex words are created and also analyse the sounds of a number of languages.

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In sociolinguistics, Peter Patrick, Rebecca Clift, Enam Al Wer, Vineeta Chand and Ella Jeffries all work on different aspects of how language varies, and investigate the factors that cause such variation such as gender, age, or social class. Peter is also involved in language rights, and offers expert opinions in asylum cases where language is used to determine origin.

In applied linguistics, Florence Myles, Monika Schmid, Sophia Skoufaki, Karen Roehr-Brackin and Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez focus on the learning of second and further languages, whilst Christina Gkonou, Tracey Costley and Neophytos Mitsigkas focus on issues to do with the teaching and learning of English as a Second, Foreign and an Additional Language.

In psycholinguistics, Claire delle Luche and Laurie Lawyer use experimental techniques to understand how children learn language, how adults process language, and what happens when language ability is impaired by disorders.

Specialist facilities

The study of linguistics provides the opportunity for plenty of hands-on experience as well as theoretical work. You might be studying texts, listening to interviews, or analysing sounds, so we provide extensive facilities to allow you to fully engage with a wide variety of linguistic methods:

  • Our ‘Visual World’ Experimental Lab records response times and eye movements when individuals are presented with pictures and videos
  • Our Eye-Tracking Lab monitors eye movement of individuals performing tasks
  • Our Psycholinguistics Lab measures how long it takes individuals to react to words, texts and sounds
  • Our Linguistics Lab has specialist equipment to analyse sound
  • An exciting programme of research seminars and other events
  • Our Albert Sloman Library houses a strong collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
  • Our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
  • Meet other language enthusiasts through our student-run Linguistics Society

Your future

Studying language and linguistics allows you to develop your research and IT skills by collecting and analysing linguistic data using state-of-the-art technology, and a combination of team-work and independent projects enhances your communication, problem-solving, and management skills.

Our graduates have gone on to have careers in a wide variety of fields, including teaching, journalism, advertising, marketing, travel, communications, publishing, speech and language therapy, and business administration.

For example, some of our department’s recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:

  • The British Council
  • English in Action
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Norfolk Constabulary

We also work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

If you have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2018 entry through Clearing. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Structure

Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. Below is just one example structure from the current academic year of a combination of modules you could take. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.

Sounds

This module introduces you to the production of language sounds and their distribution in words, in particular, but not exclusively, in English. You will study the basic principles of phonology and develop the knowledge required to understand and begin to analyse sound systems. You will also discuss phonological processes and investigate the context and motivation of occurrence.

View Sounds on our Module Directory

Understanding Data in Linguistics

Develop three important skills for your future studies in this mixture of lecture and lab sessions: Tools of the trade – brush up on your ICT skills; Presentational skills – get to grips with talking in front of an audience as well as presenting written ideas; Analytical skills – refine your analytical skills for academic and non-academic work. By the time you’ve completed this module, you will be equipped with a skill set will see you through your studies and beyond.

View Understanding Data in Linguistics on our Module Directory

Language in Society

Discover the role of variation in language systems, and learn the techniques and concepts needed to study the way language varies. You will look at geographical, social and historical dialects, explore language myths, and cover topics such as measuring language variation, social patterns and functions of language variation, speaker variables, and the relationship of language variation to language change. At the end of this module, you will have gained a clear understanding of the role variation plays in language systems, and will be able to look critically at the social functions and values of dialects and vernacular language usage.

View Language in Society on our Module Directory

Words and Sentences

Discover how to describe and analyse the structure of words, phrases, and sentences in this introductory half module. With topics including the English parts of speech, word structure and the distinction between inflection, derivation and compounding, and the identification of phrases, you will gain a solid grasp of the foundational material for the study of English linguistics, whilst developing useful analytical skills.

View Words and Sentences on our Module Directory

Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics

What are your skills? And how do they fit in with your career plans? Build your employability skills through this non-credit bearing but obligatory module. Attend workshops and events, engage in activities to raise your employability and build your knowledge of the graduate job market.

View Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics on our Module Directory

Child Language Development (optional)

Gain a thorough overview of key concepts, methods, and theoretical approaches in research on language development throughout the lifespan. Investigate monolingual and bilingual child language acquisition, second language acquisition, language loss, and the attrition of the first language in second language learners, by looking at a broad range of studies, including ongoing studies from the Centre for Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi), at the University of Essex.

View Child Language Development (optional) on our Module Directory

Adult Language Development and Processing (optional)

How are words organised in our brain? How do we understand sentences? What is the relationship between language, music, and the brain? Find the answers to these questions by taking a critical look at findings from a broad range of studies, whilst learning about key concepts, methods, and theoretical approaches in research on language processing.

View Adult Language Development and Processing (optional) on our Module Directory

Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language I (optional)

Do you dream of a career that could take you around the world? This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of English Language Teaching, showing how the theory of linguistics, pedagogy and psychology all shape classroom practice. You will look at the variety, purpose, content and contexts of ELT, focussing on the classroom, the language, and the different participants in the learning process, and will cover everything from the role of the teacher to classroom management.

View Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language I (optional) on our Module Directory

Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (II) (optional)

Build on your knowledge acquired in LG117 in this complementary module, which will introduce you to the fundamentals of contemporary language teaching practice. Discover how classroom practice is shaped by background theory, covering aspects of linguistics, pedagogy and psychology. By the end of this module, you will be familiar with some of the main issues relating to TEFL, know more about the factors which influence second language learning and how they can inform teaching practice, and become familiar with some of the varied outlooks to teaching vocabulary, grammar, comprehension and communication skills.

View Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (II) (optional) on our Module Directory

Phonology

Continuing from LG110, you will build on your existing knowledge, reinforcing the cognitive aspect of spoken language, the way in which sounds combine to make up words, and the interaction between word formation and phonology, as well as phonology in the wider context of phrases. The theory you learn throughout this module can be used to analyse other languages.

View Phonology on our Module Directory

Semantics and Pragmatics

What is 'meaning' as it relates to words and sentences? How is the meaning of a sentence affected by the context it is produced in? These are the fundamental issues you will address in this module. You will examine the relationship between what is said and what is meant, with the first part of the course looking at basic issues in Semantics. The second part of the course will examine the distinction between a speaker's words and what a speaker means by those words – the domain of pragmatics.

View Semantics and Pragmatics on our Module Directory

Analysing the structure of English

Build on analytical concepts introduced in your first year, and investigate a range of key grammatical constructions in English. With an emphasis on description, rather than a particular theoretical approach, this practically orientated module will provide you with a solid foundation for tackling more theoretical options in English linguistics. As well as gaining an understanding of key areas of English grammar and grammatical terminology, you will also equip yourself with analytical, data, and evaluation skills.

View Analysing the structure of English on our Module Directory

Research methods for language and linguistics

Discover the steps involved in undertaking a research project in language and linguistics and develop your own final-year project. Topics include: Reviewing literature; Formulating research questions and hypotheses; Choosing a suitable research design; Data collection; Analysis techniques; Reporting findings. You will learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars and lab sessions to build your knowledge, skills, and confidence in researching, structuring, and writing a research project.

View Research methods for language and linguistics on our Module Directory

Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics

What are your skills? And how do they fit in with your career plans? Build your employability skills through this non-credit bearing but obligatory module. Attend workshops and events, engage in activities to raise your employability and build your knowledge of the graduate job market.

View Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics on our Module Directory

Second language learning (optional)

The module introduces you to the field of second language learning, from an applied linguistics perspective. You will cover key topics and questions in the field, such as how second language learning differs from first language learning, the role of the learner's age in the second language learning process, the influence of the first language on the second (and vice versa), the role of the learning context and social dimensions of second language learning, cognitive processes underpinning language learning, the stages of development of learner language, and the role of individual learner variables.

View Second language learning (optional) on our Module Directory

Psycholinguistics (optional)

How do we receive and recognise speech? How are words and concepts stored in our mind? Building on your knowledge of Psycholinguistics gained in earlier modules, the focus of this module is on language processing. You will study how humans learn, represent, comprehend, and produce language. Topics covered include visual and auditory recognition of words, sentence comprehension, sentence production, language acquisition, and the neural representation of language. You will also have the opportunity to gain some practical experience with the elaboration of a research poster.

View Psycholinguistics (optional) on our Module Directory

Sociolinguistics (optional)

The aim of this module is to examine language variation according to social, contextual and linguistic factors. You will look at how language is actually used, how people feel about it, and how the two are often opposed – including how the structure of language interacts with both. You will consider language as a resource to convey cultural and personal identity, and what it reveals of language attitudes and social structure, and therefore of status and inequality in areas such as social class, gender, age, and ethnicity. You will explore how social identity illuminates variation in language, and cover topics such as regional and social dialects, language rights, and language variation and change.

View Sociolinguistics (optional) on our Module Directory

Language Development throughout the Lifespan (optional)

Building on your existing knowledge of Psycholinguistics, this module aims to familiarise you with processes of language development and language change that may occur throughout the lifespan of an individual. You will look at some of the most common theoretical approaches to language learning and gain an insight into both monolingual and bilingual language development from infancy to puberty. You will also look into how and why some parts of language proficiency may be lost.

View Language Development throughout the Lifespan (optional) on our Module Directory

Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics

What are your skills? And how do they fit in with your career plans? Build your employability skills through this non-credit bearing but obligatory module. Attend workshops and events, engage in activities to raise your employability and build your knowledge of the graduate job market.

View Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics on our Module Directory

Project: Linguistics

What fascinates you about linguistics? Work independently on an extended project of your choosing within linguistics, with supervision from our expert staff. Build your subject knowledge, as well as your research skills and project management abilities.

View Project: Linguistics on our Module Directory

Language Teaching in Different Contexts (optional)

This module explores the different contexts language teachers find themselves in and how this affects teaching practice and course structures. You learn how to develop and enhance materials and appropriate activities in order to get the best from your students.y learning.

View Language Teaching in Different Contexts (optional) on our Module Directory

Exploring Second Language Vocabulary Instruction (optional)

In this module you explore how second languages are taught and the teaching methods that are highly recommended. You will also learn about the research behind these teaching methods and factors that can facilitate or hinder vocabulary learning.

View Exploring Second Language Vocabulary Instruction (optional) on our Module Directory

First Language Acquisition (optional)

Wish to run experiments on child-language acquisition? Examine research on children’s acquisition of English. Understand and critically evaluate the data analysis techniques available. Develop and present your own arguments in a variety of formats, building your knowledge and professional skills for future research.

View First Language Acquisition (optional) on our Module Directory

Conversation and Social Interaction (optional)

How do we bring off the everyday miracle of having a conversation? This introduction to Conversation Analysis (CA) will examine the mechanics of interaction, showing us with how verbal and non-verbal actions are coordinated in time.

View Conversation and Social Interaction (optional) on our Module Directory

Literature and Language Teaching (optional)

How do you select literature for a language class? What are the distinctive features of literature for classroom use? What practical activities can language teachers undertake using literature? Learn to incorporate literature into the language classroom. Examine novels, poetry and drama, and understand how to use drama in the classroom.

View Literature and Language Teaching (optional) on our Module Directory

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching is arranged to allow freedom in how you organise your learning experience
  • Examples of practical work include digitally recording dialect speakers in a small traditional fishing community, or scouring digitised child language databanks
  • Other teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations and learning by teaching others

Assessment

  • You’re assessed through a combination of coursework (assignments, essays and tests) and end-of-year examinations.
  • Weighted 50% coursework and 50% exams depending on which modules you choose.
  • Other assessment methods include quizzes, presentations, portfolios, group work, and projects.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£14,020

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Saturday, October 27, 2018

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision. There’s no need to call us to apply; just do it all online.

Find out more about Clearing

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
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