Skip to content

English Language (BA)

Entry year


English Language at Cardiff University has a distinctive character. As well as providing you with a rigorous grounding in the analysis of the English language, this course will train you to analyse the multimodal forms of communication that predominate in contemporary media.

Book an Open Day

English

Course overview

Our English Language degree focuses on the intriguing intersection of language with culture, society, politics and mind and offers a rigorous grounding in all the key aspects of language analysis.

You will learn the essential linguistic tools of phonetics, grammar and discourse analysis from those who are helping develop those fields. Our approach is broad and inclusive of such aspects as the analysis of multimodal texts combining word image and sound that predominates in so much of contemporary media.

Our degree is organised to match a wide range of relevant career options. Core modules provide you with a solid base. You will then be guided to build a programme to suit your interests and developing specialisation, choosing the best optional modules to fit your plans.

Our community is welcoming, international in outlook and home to the globally respected Centre for Language and Communication Research. We pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment, with regular one-to-one meetings.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • Flexibility to choose modules that suit your interests and requirements, including modules that are directly relevant to careers in (digital) journalism, language teaching, speech therapy, and the legal system.
  • Teaching by leading researchers in the subject.
  • Individual meetings with academic staff, supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor, and an opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.
  • Opportunities to study abroad in Europe and beyond, including Canada and the United States.
UCAS codeQ313
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

BBB - BBC. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects but 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 - DMM To include Humanities and Social Science subjects.

Award of the IB Diploma with 665-655 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.

GCSE

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.

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 grade C or grade 4. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language at 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.

Two core modules provide an excellent grounding in language description, analysis and interpretation. You will also take four modules that focus on different aspects of English language and/or communication to complete your credit requirement.

If you wish, you can opt to study two modules in English literature as part of your first year, subject to A-levels attained (English Literature or Language and Literature).

Year two

Two core modules cover all the essential elements of phonetics, grammar and lexical semantics (word meaning), and all the major theories of discourse analysis, building a common stock of knowledge and understanding.

Our optional modules in Year Two provide solid foundational knowledge in a range of key areas of study in English language. 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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DiscourseSE136220 credits
Sound, Structure and MeaningSE141120 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Children, Language and CommunicationSE131220 credits
Research MethodsSE131820 credits
Sounds of SpeechSE133620 credits
SociolinguisticsSE136920 credits
Words and MeaningSE137020 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Digital Literacy and LanguageSE140520 credits
Style and GenreSE141620 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

Third year 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 work in English language 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.

If you wish, you can opt to undertake a project (20 credits) or extended dissertation (40 credits) in your chosen area of research, subject to performance in Year Two.

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, where you are enabled 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

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

19%

Guided independent study

81%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

18%

Guided independent study

82%

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, 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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

58%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

42%

Year 2

Written exams

50%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

47%

Year 3

Written exams

42%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

55%

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 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).

  • 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

  • Speech & Language Therapy Assistant
  • Writer
  • Teacher
  • Lecturer
  • Research Assistant
  • Reporter
icon-academic

Next Undergraduate Open Day

Spring 2020

icon-international

International

icon-contact

Get in touch

icon-pen

How to apply