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English Language and Literature (BA)

Entry year


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.

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English

Course overview

This rich and rewarding single honours degree allows you to combine your passions for English language and literature.

In English literature the entire chronological span is open to you, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. So too are all genres, from contemporary, crime and historical fiction to poetry, drama, film, music and creative writing. Our curriculum is far from restricted to the printed word, exploring the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture. This variety allows you to shape your degree to suit, whether your interest lies in periods and genres or literary study with analysis of other cultural forms.

Distinct for our focus on the intersection of language with culture, society, politics and mind, English language offers a rigorous grounding in the analysis of the language, taught by internationally-respected experts. You will learn such essential linguistic tools as phonetics, grammar and discourse analysis from those who are helping develop those fields. Supported by our broad approach to language, you will develop the ability to analyse the multimodal text combining word image and sound that predominates in so much of contemporary media.

Bringing a wealth of expertise, our lecturers will share latest thinking in the classroom from the digital humanities to gender, from the gothic to postcolonial studies and far beyond, drawn from their research in our centres of excellence including the Centre for Language and Communication Research. Outside of the classroom, our public platforms Cardiff BookTalk and Cardiff Poetry Experiment are popular and hugely engaging.

This diverse degree also gives you the flexibility to shape your path as you progress. After an equal split in Year One, you can choose more modules from either discipline to suit your interests and career aspirations.

Distinctive features

  • Wide range of English Language modules, offering excellent grounding in language description, analysis and interpretation, with relevance to careers including the media, teaching, and the legal system
  • Teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English Literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
  • Flexibility to pursue modules that suit your interests and requirements
  • Teaching by leading researchers, whose internationally-recognised expertise will enable you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of these two complementary disciplines.
  • Opportunities to study abroad in Europe and beyond, including Canada and the United States.
  • Individual meetings with academic staff, supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor, and an opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities
UCAS codeQ300
Next intakeSeptember 2020
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 including English Literature, English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. 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.

DD-DM in a BTEC Diploma in Humanities or Social Science subjects, plus Grade B at A-Level in English Literature, English Language and Literature (combined A-Level) or Creative Writing.

Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects including 6 in HL English Literature.

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

IELTS (academic)

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

TOEFL iBT

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 (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

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

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You study 120 credits each year of your degree, including cores and optional modules.

In Year One, depending on your individual interests and career plans, you may choose a 60-60 split between your two subjects, or study 80 credits in one and 40 in the other. (You need to take a minimum of 40 credits in each subject.)

Year one offers a foundation for study, designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of your subjects that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in years two and three. The two core modules (40 credits) in English Language provide an excellent grounding in language description, analysis and interpretation. The core module (20 credits) in English Literature develops critical and contextual skills in analysing literary texts and complementary ways of reading. You also have the option to take paired modules (40 credits) that will introduce you the theory and practice of Creative Writing.

Module titleModule codeCredits
How Language Works 1SE111320 credits
How Language Works 2SE111420 credits
Critical Reading and Critical WritingSE214620 credits

Year two

In Year Two, you take 120 credits, including two core modules.

The first core module introduces you to the study of linguistic style in a broad range of creative and literary texts (counting as 10 credits each for Language and Literature). The second covers essential elements of phonetics, grammar and lexical semantics (word meaning), building a common stock of knowledge and understanding in English Language.

You also choose four options (80 credits) across Language and Literature, with a minimum of one from each subject.

Optional modules in English language provide solid foundational knowledge in a range of key areas of study. Topics currently include sociolinguistics, history of English, child language development, language and gender, research methods, digital literacy, and stylistics. The training provided by these modules prepares you to make your choice from among the more specialised, research-led ‘extension’ modules available in your final year.

In English Literature you choose from a range of modules based on period, genre or theme, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts. You can also continue your study of Creative Writing during year two.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Sound, Structure and MeaningSE141120 credits
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Children, Language and CommunicationSE131220 credits
Research MethodsSE131820 credits
Sounds of SpeechSE133620 credits
DiscourseSE136220 credits
SociolinguisticsSE136920 credits
Words and MeaningSE137020 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Digital Literacy and LanguageSE140520 credits
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
The Robin Hood TraditionSE236720 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Children's Literature: Form and FunctionSE244720 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Social Politics and National Style: American Fiction and Form, 1920-1940SE247020 credits
Literature and ScienceSE247120 credits
Dickens in Many MediaSE247220 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
Shakespeare's Tragedies and HistoriesSE247720 credits
Contemporary Poetry: Tradition and InnovationSE248120 credits
GirlsSE248220 credits
Creative Writing: Children's and Young Adult FictionSE248320 credits
Creative Writing: Experiments in FictionSE248420 credits
Creative Writing: MicrofictionSE248620 credits
Creative Writing: Poetry lSE248720 credits
Creative Writing: Playwriting - Stage and RadioSE248820 credits
Creative Writing: ScreenwritingSE248920 credits
Creative Writing: Poetry IISE249020 credits
Creative Writing: The Short StorySE249120 credits
Object Women in Literature and FilmSE249420 credits
Renaissance Poetry, Prose and Drama: The Principal Genres, Issues and AuthorsSE249720 credits
Decadent Men, 1890s-1910s: Wilde to ForsterSE249820 credits
Creative Writing: Stories from the Real World -- NarrativeSE249920 credits
Chaucer's Gender Politics: Chivalry, Sex and Subversion in the Canterbury TalesSE261820 credits
Contemporary British FictionsSE261920 credits
Experimental Early Modern DramaSE262020 credits
Writing MourningSE262120 credits
Philosophy and LiteratureSE262320 credits
Jane Austen in ContextSE262520 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

You study 120 credits.

Depending on your individual interests and career plans, you may choose a 60-60 split between your two subjects, or study 80 credits in one and 40 in the other.

English language modules are offered in the subject areas in which staff are currently working, giving you 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, language learning and teaching, language and ideology, corpus linguistics, media discourse, professional and intercultural communication, and communicating in relationships.

By your final year of English Literature, you will have gained experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts. You choose between a range of more specialised modules that engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts and historical topics and areas both well-known and possibly less familiar to you.

You have the opportunity to undertake research in a subject of your choice in either subject as a Project or Dissertation (20 credits), or on a topic combining both subjects as an Extended Dissertation (40 credits), subject to performance in year two. Alternatively, if you wish to pursue Creative Writing in Year 3, you can take the 40-credit Special Project.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Forensic LinguisticsSE132420 credits
Language Learning and TeachingSE132920 credits
Functions of GrammarSE134020 credits
Communicating in RelationshipsSE134420 credits
Communication DisordersSE134720 credits
Dissertation in Language and Communication 1SE138320 credits
Dissertation in Language and Communication 2SE138420 credits
Extended Dissertation in English Language and LiteratureSE138640 credits
Patterns of LanguageSE139620 credits
Media DiscourseSE140820 credits
The Graphic MemoirSE140920 credits
Professional and Intercultural CommunicationSE141720 credits
Language and Popular CultureSE141920 credits
Phraseology in Theory and ApplicationSE142120 credits
Fictive Histories/Historical FictionsSE246720 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
HitchcockSE254420 credits
Modern Drama: Page, Stage, ScreenSE255120 credits
Gender and Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Bluestockings, Britannia, Unsexed Females: Women in Public Life, 1770-1800SE258820 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Poetry in the Making: Modern Literary ManuscriptsSE259220 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Visions of Past and Future in Children's LiteratureSE259520 credits
Island Stories: Literatures of the North AtlanticSE259820 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
Creative Writing ProjectSE260240 credits
John MiltonSE260820 credits
The American Short StorySE260920 credits
Apocalypse Then and NowSE261120 credits
Criminal ShakespeareSE261220 credits
Scandal and Outrage: Controversial Literature of the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesSE261320 credits
Representing Race in Contemporary AmericaSE261620 credits
Love, Death and Marriage in Renaissance DramaSE262220 credits
Visuality, Culture and TechnologySE262420 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 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.

Learning and assessment

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

20%

Guided independent study

80%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

20%

Guided independent study

80%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

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.

Feedback

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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

25%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

75%

Year 2

Written exams

33%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

67%

Year 3

Written exams

50%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

47%

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

Careers

Career prospects

Our degree in English Language and Literature combines 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.

95% of the School’s 2016/17 graduates reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey).

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 profession

During your degree you can take full advantage of the wide-range of opportunities provided by the Careers Service.

Jobs

  • Lecturer
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Crime Intelligence Analyst
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Saturday 26 October

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