English Language and Literature (BA)
- Subject area:
- English language and literature
- UCAS code: Q300
- Next intake: September 2021
- Duration: 3 years
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
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.
- 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
The changing nature of the pandemic means it can be hard to predict future plans with certainty. Whatever the situation, we're making every effort to keep our students safe and give them the best possible teaching and learning experience.
ABB-BBB. Must include Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, or English Literature.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ 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 and Social Science subjects, and grade B in A-level Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, or English Literature.
32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL English Language and Literature, English Literature, or English Literature and Performance.
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
At least 62 overall 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.
You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Tier 4 visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Students from the UK
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Students from the rest of the world (international)
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.
Course specific equipment
You will not need any specific equipment.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
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 title||Module code||Credits|
|Language and the Mind||SE1111||20 credits|
|Reading and Writing in the Digital Age||SE1112||20 credits|
|Developing English: History and Society||SE1115||20 credits|
|Understanding Communication||SE1116||20 credits|
|Drama: Stage and Page||SE2139||20 credits|
|Star-cross'd Lovers: the Politics of Desire||SE2140||20 credits|
|Transforming Visions: Text and Image||SE2142||20 credits|
|Transgressive Bodies in Medieval Literature||SE2147||20 credits|
|Ways of Reading||SE2148||20 credits|
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.
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.
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
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.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
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.
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
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
- 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.
- Crime Intelligence Analyst