English Language and Literature (BA)

The single honours degree in English Language and Literature gives you the opportunity to specialise in two stimulating, complementary subjects. You will have the flexibility to focus more on either Language or Literature to suit your own interests and requirements.

This single honours degree allows you to combine English Language and Literature in a cohesive and creative way. The first year is split equally between the two subjects, but in years two and three you will be able to choose to take more of your modules in either language or literature, depending on your own interests and career aspirations.

In English Language, you will be provided with a rigorous grounding in the analysis of the language. You will learn such essential linguistic tools as phonetics, grammar and discourse analysis from those who are helping develop those fields. Since we take a broad approach to language, you will also learn how to analyse the types of multimodal texts (for example combining word, image and sound) that predominate in contemporary media.

English literature offers access to the whole chronological span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. You will be able to study writing in English from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, North America, the Caribbean, India and Australia. In addition, there are modules in creative writing throughout the degree.

The curriculum is not restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.

We offer a challenging course of modules drawn from each subject, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

Distinctive features

  • core modules that provide a solid base for all, but then allow you to carve out a programme that will best fit your interests and career aspirations
  • teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English Literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
  • research-led teaching that allows you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of both English Language and Literature studies
  • a reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment, and digital technology
  • a strong tradition in creative writing, taught by writers making their mark on today’s culture

I've really enjoyed studying at Cardiff, due mainly to the fantastic variety of interesting modules on offer. With modules on sounds of speech, accents and dialects to the visual communication of advertising, to the history of the language from Celtic varieties to Present Day English, there's a module for everyone.

Adam Duce, BA English Language

Key facts

UCAS CodeQ300
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications.
Typical A level offerAAB including an A grade in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points, including 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This full-time course lasts for three years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices.

You will take 80 credits within English Language and English Literature and another 40 credits from the School.

The two core modules (40 credits) in English language provide an excellent grounding in language description, analysis and interpretation and in sociolinguistics. You will also need to take at least two 20-credit optional modules as well as an additional 40 credits, either in English Language, English Literature or Philosophy


Year two

The core ‘Style and Genre’ module introduces you to the study of linguistic style in a broad range of creative and literary texts. The module counts as 10 credits each for Language and Literature.

In English Language you will take one further core module, which covers essential elements of phonetics, grammar and lexical semantics (word meaning), building a common stock of knowledge and understanding.

You will also choose four options across language and literature (either two of each, or three of one and one of the other).

In English language we offer a range of ‘foundation’ modules that provide engaging introductions to key areas of study in English language. The training provided by these modules prepares you to make your choice from the more specialised, research-led ‘extension’ modules in year three.

In English literature you may select from a range of modules based on period, genre or theme, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Style & GenreSE141620 credits
Sound, Structure and MeaningSE141120 credits
Style & GenreSE141620 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Reading Old EnglishSE244120 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Creative Writing ISE241720 credits
Fiction of The Indian SubcontinentSE228320 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
The Post-1945 American NovelSE256620 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Contemporary Women's WritingSE244620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Children's Literature: Form & FunctionSE244720 credits
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Romanticism, Politics, AestheticsSE246920 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Ways of ReadingSE244920 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits
Shakespeare's Tragedies and HistoriesSE247720 credits
Chivalry and Subversion in Medieval LiteratureSE246420 credits
Shakespeare's Late PlaysSE259420 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
Contemporary Irish PoetrySE247320 credits
The Twentieth Century Novel in the British IslesSE245620 credits
Modern and Contemporary Women's PoetrySE247420 credits
Visual VictoriansSE247520 credits
Mapping Wales: Politics and Identity in Contemporary Welsh Fiction in EnglishSE247820 credits
Research MethodsSE131820 credits
Words & MeaningSE137020 credits
Language & GenderSE140320 credits
Children, Language & CommunicationSE131220 credits
SociolinguisticsSE136920 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Language & CultureSE140220 credits
DiscourseSE136220 credits

Year three

In year three you will choose six modules across Language and Literature (either two of each, or three of one and one of the other.

The year three English Language modules are offered in the subject areas in which our staff are currently working, giving you a unique insight into some of the most up-to-date and innovative research. These modules often require you to gather and analyse your own data.

Currently the modules address areas such as communication disorders, forensic linguistics, persuasive communication, language learning and teaching, language and ideology, phonology, corpus linguistics and media discourse.

There are also opportunities to undertake a project or dissertation (20 credits) in a subject of your choice in either of the two subjects, or an extended dissertation (40 credits) on a topic that combines both language and literature (subject to performance in year two).

By year three of English Literature you will have gained an experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts. You will therefore be in an excellent position to choose between a range of more specialised modules in which you will be able to engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts both well-known and possibly less well-known to you.


Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
Creative Writing II: Special TopicsSE237020 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
Creative Writing III: Special TopicsSE237320 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance LiteratureSE258320 credits
French TheorySE257020 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsex'd Females: Women in public life, 1770 - 1800SE258820 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Four English Poets of the Twentieth CenturySE259120 credits
Gender & Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Medical FictionsSE259620 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 credits
Religion, Politics and Sex, 1640-1714SE254820 credits
Medieval Arthurian LiteratureSE229520 credits
Island Stories: Literatures of the North AtlanticSE259820 credits
Dialect in Literature and FilmSE141320 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
The Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
Postmodern American PoetrySE235420 credits
Forensic LinguisticsSE132420 credits
Communicating in RelationshipsSE134420 credits
Communication DisordersSE134720 credits
Persuasive CommunicationSE137120 credits
Dissertation in Language and Communication 1SE138320 credits
Language, Genre and IdeologySE139720 credits
Sound in ActionSE140720 credits
Language Learning and TeachingSE132920 credits
Functions of GrammarSE134020 credits
Dissertation in Language and Communication 2SE138420 credits
Patterns of LanguageSE139620 credits
Media DiscourseSE140820 credits
Persuasion in the Legal ProcessSE141420 credits
Professional & Intercultural CommunicationSE141720 credits
Extended Dissertation in English Language & LiteratureSE138640 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, enabling you to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

How will I be supported?

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.


We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.


What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development

In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Degrees in English Language combine the best of humanities skills (flexibility, communication, critique) and social science skills (technical analysis and systematic method). Common destinations include primary and secondary school teaching, teaching English as a foreign language, (digital) journalism, marketing and public relations, sales and advertising, the civil service and public administration.

English Literature graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.


  • Lecturer
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Crime Intelligence Analyst

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will not need any specific equipment.

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.