Skip to content

English Language and Linguistics (BA)

Entry year

Our English Language and Linguistics course will provide you with a rigorous grounding in the analysis of the English language and the human capacity for language, training you to analyse the multimodal forms of communication that predominate in contemporary media.

Book an Open Day

Course overview

The English Language and Linguistics programme at Cardiff combines the systematic study of the human capacity for language in all its expressions across the world with a particular focus on the English language.

You will learn about all aspects of human language, including how linguistic knowledge is acquired, produced and understood in different contexts, and how it is sometimes lost again, for example through illness or injury. You will discover what all languages have in common, what distinguishes them, how they change over time. You will also study what varieties there are within the same language, such as historical changes, accents, distinct social registers, and differences between spoken and written language.

We offer modules in descriptive traditions of language, such as the study of phonetics, grammar, lexis and morphology, as well as in critical traditions, such as the study of discourse and the relation between language and power. You will study not only spoken and written language but also the many multimodal forms of communication – word, image and sound – that predominate in contemporary and digital media.

You will learn how to use specific software packages to produce multimodal texts such as websites, blogs and magazine covers, to analyse and present numerical data, to identify patterns in large collections (or ‘corpora’) of written and/or spoken language, and to analyse speech in phonetics. We also offer a number of modules that are directly relevant to careers in education, the media, health, and the legal process.

Studying for a degree in English Language and Linguistics develops abilities to analyse and critique the language that surrounds us but also helps develop strong skills in communicating clearly and effectively. Our graduates are known for their ability to combine the best of social science skills, such as technical analysis based on the systematic and critical handling  of data, with the best of humanities skills, such as flexibility and the ability to communicate effectively n written and oral formats.

Distinctive features

  • Lots of freedom to choose modules that suit your interests and requirements, including modules that are directly relevant to careers in language teaching, speech therapy, (digital) journalism, and the legal system.
  • Individual meetings with academic staff, supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.
  • Opportunities to study abroad in Europe and beyond, including Canada and the United States. (for example, through Erasmus programmes).
UCAS code2HS6
Next intakeSeptember 2019
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.

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB. Please note, General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted. 

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM. Humanities and Social Science subjects required.

Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy admissions criteria pages.


Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.


At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

GCSE English Language Grade C or 4, IGCSE English First Language grade C, IGCSE English as a Second Language grade C

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

What the University will provide:

Library, computer labs, specialist software. 


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

In each year of the Programme, you will take Modules to the value of 120 credits, totalling 360 credits for the three years of your degree.

You must pass each academic year before being allowed to proceed. The classification of your degree is based on the grades you achieve in years two and three.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

The first year consists of 120 credits, which must include 40 credits in the two linked core modules. These modules cover all the essential tools of linguistic analysis and introduce you to the basic skills needed for the next two years of your degree Programme. 

The remaining 80 credits are chosen from a list of optional modules. You may include up to 40 credits in English Literature and/or Philosophy in addition to your English Language choices.

Year two

In your second year you will again study 120 credits, including 40 credits from compulsory modules.

You will take at least 40 credits from a choice of four or more relevant modules plus up to 40 credits from the range of other options in English language and linguistics.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Sounds of SpeechSE133620 credits
Words and MeaningSE137020 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Children, Language and CommunicationSE131220 credits
DiscourseSE136220 credits
SociolinguisticsSE136920 credits
Visual CommunicationSE137320 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Language and GenderSE140320 credits
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

In year three you will again study 120 credits.

Your final year will allow you a lot of freedom to tailor your degree to suit your chosen career path and to choose the modules you are most interested in.

You will take at least 20 credits from a choice of three or more options that are particularly relevant to the study of linguistics plus 100 credits from the range of English language and linguistics modules available.

You may also have the option to study a Dissertation (20 credits, 1 semester) or Extended Dissertation (40 credits, 2 semesters) on a topic of particular interest to you. This will depend on you meeting certain grade requirements.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

A diverse range of teaching and learning styles is used throughout the programme. You will attend lectures, participate in seminars and carry out independent research in preparation for each session. Modules usually last one semester and mostly consist of two lectures and one seminar per week, as well as independent study.

The learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but may include such activities as: interactive lectures, seminar discussions of prepared texts/topics, student presentations or  group presentations and small-group work within seminars. You are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable you to take a full part in these activities and are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate.
If you choose to take a Dissertation or Extended dissertation in Year three you will do independent research on a topic of interest to you, with regular help and supervision from a lecturer with expertise in that topic area. 

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will help you reflect on your performance on the course and advise you on study techniques, module selection and career planning (in conjunction with the University’s Career Service). They will also provide a first point of contact if you experience any difficulties.  Each semester, you will have a scheduled “Academic Progress and Personal Development Meeting” with your personal tutor.

We have a designated Employability, Internships and Placements Officer, who ensures that any work experience and placement opportunities are advertised to all students. Another member of academic staff acts as Disability and Diversity Officer and ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. There is also a Study Abroad Coordinator who facilitates the option of spending part of your study at an institution abroad.

All modules make extensive use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials including, for example, links to core readings and other relevant materials, online tests, past exam papers and examples of student work from previous years.

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.

You 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, while 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.

Knowledge & Understanding:

Students completing the Programme will demonstrate:

  • Ability to analyse and discuss core areas of English language and linguistics, including phonetics, grammar, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis.
  • Ability to identify and interpret a range of empirical linguistic phenomena and to use the relevant descriptive terminology.
  • Ability to conceptualize the central role of language in constructing and perpetuating structures of power.
  • Ability to analyse and assess how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning.

Intellectual Skills:

Students completing the Programme will demonstrate:

  • Ability to critically evaluate ideas, arguments and empirical research.
  • Ability to present information and ideas clearly and coherently in both written and oral formats.

Professional Practical Skills:

Students completing the Programme will be able to:

  • Ability to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data.
  • Ability to evaluate the impact of language use in a given context.

Transferable/Key Skills:

Students completing the Programme will demonstrate:

  • Ability to sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the particular conventions of the genre.
  • Confidence to tackle unfamiliar software packages and acquire new IT skills.


Career prospects

We provide our students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

Degrees in English Language and Linguistics 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.

The most common/popular employment options for graduates of this programme include:

  • English teacher.
  • Research assistant.
  • Media professional.
  • Editor.
  • Speech & language therapy assistant.
  • Business and public service professional.
  • Information technology and telecommunications professionals.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.


Next Undergraduate Open Day

Spring 2020




Get in touch


How to apply