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English Language and Literature (BA)

Entry year


Why study this course


Study abroad

Adventure into a new culture; open your mind to new ideas and experiences in life and learning.


Tailored to you

With primarily optional modules you have freedom to choose a personalised degree.


Industry experience

Gain skills, confidence and connections through a variety of literary and cultural internships.


Learn from the best

Benefit from research-led content; learn from world-renowned authors, language scholars and literary scholars.

In combining studies in English Language and Literature, you will pursue a Joint Honours programme that will equip you with the skills and knowledge to understand, analyse and articulate solutions for the complex problems facing society today.

In English Language we’ll look at how language is structured and used in the social world. There are two key aspects to doing this: First, knowledge of the relationships between linguistic structures, individual identity, and social organisation. Second, the acquisition of skills for analysing language, not just as it can be used but as it is used in context. In Literature, you will study literature from different periods and cultures, and across the range of principal literary genres. You will not be restricted to studying the printed word: we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, history, technology, language, and everyday life, and our teaching reflects these interests. You will learn how literature addresses social, environmental, and economic concerns with the aim of creating a better, more inclusive world and developing sustainable solutions for the future of the planet.

Acquiring career-enhancing skills, you’ll have the opportunity to analyse and produce different types of texts and work with specialised software. You’ll gain skills from analysing real-world examples of language and learn how to construct arguments and communicate ideas to different audiences.

You’ll graduate with a range of professional skills, including collaboration, communication and critical thinking. You will be aware of the ethical, social and linguistic challenges that face contemporary society and industry, and have the ideas and confidence required to solve them.

Our community is welcoming, supportive, and student-centred. We’re diverse in outlook and home to the globally respected Centre for Language and Communication Research.

Subject area: English language and literature

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

These grades apply to applications received before 30 June 2024. Grades required for Clearing applicants can vary and may be higher or lower. Get in touch to discuss your options.

A level

AAB-ABB. 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 offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.

  • Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
  • Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.

Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL English Language and Literature, English Literature, or English Literature and Performance.

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

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 Student 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.


Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.


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

PTE Academic

At least 69 overall with a minimum of 59 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 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
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Other qualifications from inside the UK


DD 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.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2025 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 academic year.

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 academic year.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 academic year.

Additional costs

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.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

This is a 3 year full-time degree, with 120 credits of study in each year. 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2025/2026 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2025.

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.

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
Research MethodsSE131820 credits
Sounds of SpeechSE133620 credits
DiscourseSE136220 credits
SociolinguisticsSE136920 credits
Words and MeaningSE137020 credits
History of EnglishSE139820 credits
Language and GenderSE140320 credits
First and Second Language AcquisitionSE142220 credits
Medieval Arthurian LiteratureSE229520 credits
Modernist FictionsSE244520 credits
Children's Literature: Form and FunctionSE244720 credits
Introduction to Romantic PoetrySE245020 credits
African-American LiteratureSE245120 credits
Imaginary Journeys: More to HuxleySE245720 credits
Modernism and the CitySE246320 credits
Gothic Fiction: The Romantic AgeSE246820 credits
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Women WritersSE247620 credits
GirlsSE248220 credits
Creative Writing: Experiments in FictionSE248420 credits
Creative Writing: Poetry lSE248720 credits
Creative Writing: ScreenwritingSE248920 credits
Creative Writing: Poetry IISE249020 credits
Creative Writing: The Short StorySE249120 credits
Object Women in Literature and FilmSE249420 credits
Epic and SagaSE249620 credits
Creative Writing: Stories from the Real World -- NarrativeSE249920 credits
Creative Writing: PlaywritingSE250020 credits
Second-generation Romantic PoetsSE258220 credits
Gothic Fiction: The VictoriansSE258920 credits
Contemporary British FictionsSE261920 credits
Philosophy and LiteratureSE262320 credits
Shakespeare's WorldsSE263220 credits
Victorian Worlds: Revolution, Disease, DevianceSE263620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 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
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
Professional and Intercultural CommunicationSE141720 credits
Experimental Approaches to PsycholinguisticsSE141820 credits
Language and Popular CultureSE141920 credits
Phraseology in Theory and ApplicationSE142120 credits
World EnglishesSE142320 credits
The Illustrated BookSE239520 credits
DissertationSE252420 credits
Gender and Monstrosity: Late/Neo VictorianSE256420 credits
Writing Caribbean SlaverySE256820 credits
Utopia: Suffrage to CyberpunkSE258120 credits
Postcolonial TheorySE259320 credits
Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth CenturySE259720 credits
Medieval Romance: Monsters and MagicSE259920 credits
Creative Writing ProjectSE260240 credits
American Poetry after ModernismSE260620 credits
John MiltonSE260820 credits
The American Short StorySE260920 credits
Apocalypse Then and NowSE261120 credits
Representing Race in Contemporary AmericaSE261620 credits
Experimental Early Modern DramaSE262020 credits
Visuality, Culture and TechnologySE262420 credits
Activist Poetry: Protest, Dissent, ResistanceSE262720 credits
Contemporary British Political DramaSE262820 credits
Visions of the Future: Climate Change & FictionSE263020 credits
Encounters With Oil in Literature and FilmSE263120 credits
Romantic Circles: Collaboration, Radicalism and Creativity 1770-1830SE263320 credits
Medieval MisfitsSE263420 credits
Shakespeare's Fractured BritainSE263720 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

Throughout the degree, our aim is to support you to become an independent, creative and critical thinker.

First year teaching provides carefully structured support through lectures and seminar discussions to help you develop key skills and gain confidence. Teaching in Years 2 and 3 is lecture- and seminar-based and moves gradually in the direction of specialisation and independent research. By the final year you’ll learn through guided independent reading and smaller interactive workshops and seminars, discussing new research with internationally recognised academics who are currently working in that area. You’ll have access to all course materials through our electronic learning environment.

In this supportive environment you’ll develop your abilities to closely analyse texts and arguments, collaboratively work through problems, construct your own arguments, and present your ideas clearly to others.  You will also develop skills in communication and collaboration that you can transfer to the world of employment.

How will I be supported?

Your main sources of support are your module leaders, your Personal Tutors and the School Writing Development Centre. You’ll have one Personal Tutor in English Language and one in Literature. Your module leaders have drop-in sessions during teaching weeks that you can attend if you have any questions about course materials or assessments. Personal Tutors can advise you on academic matters, including study skills, careers, and your academic progress, as well as on pastoral matters. You’ll be invited to meet with your Personal Tutors regularly throughout your degree, and they are available for extra meetings as needed. Welsh-speaking students will be offered a Welsh-speaking personal tutor.

The School’s Writing Development Centre provides specialist support for academic writing across the programme. You can access online materials, workshops and one-to-one meetings about any aspect of academic writing to support you with your assessments.

Our Professional Services Team provides academic and student support and is there is to help you with information and guidance if you have any queries. Beyond the school, the university offers a range of support services and events to help you plan your career, manage your emotional, mental and physical health, support you with financial issues, and provide assistance for students with disabilities. These services are co-located at the university's Centre for Student Life. Libraries, study spaces and other resource centres will all be available to you.

How will I be assessed?

Your assessments are designed to cumulatively develop key skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and reflection. These can include critical analyses of texts, essays, exams, critical reviews, presentations, group work and group discussion assessments, analytical tasks, weekly tasks, and reflective assessment of your own skills. In the final year, in English Language, you will work on analysing data and presenting your findings for diverse audiences, while in English literature you will collaborate with others to produce a public-facing piece of work.

You’ll receive regular feedback on your progress as you move through the degree. Oral feedback in lectures, workshops and seminars will help you assess your understanding of the course material and your critical responses to it. You’ll receive formative comments on essay ideas and draft work, and detailed feedback on all marked coursework.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will achieve by the end of your programme at Cardiff University and identify the knowledge and skills that you will develop. They will also help you to understand what is expected of you.

On successful completion of your Programme you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of core areas of English language and linguistics, including phonetics, grammar, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse.
  • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of how language works in the social world.
  • Systematically comprehend literature from different cultures and periods (including pre-1800) and the range of principal literary genres across prose, poetry, and drama.
  • Systematically comprehend the relationships between literature and other cultural forms, such as film, art, music, and material/digital cultures.
  • Systematically comprehend how culture, language, technology, and economics affect how, where, and by whom texts are produced and received.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Apply descriptive terminology relevant to English language and linguistic phenomena.
  • Analyse various types of linguistic data.
  • Develop and explain complex and specialised arguments that support claims in response to the conventions of the genre.
  • Evaluate the impact of language use in a range of contexts.
  • Examine different kinds of literary and cultural materials closely and critically.

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Systematically comprehend and explain ideas, arguments and empirical research with accuracy.
  • Show critical awareness of different writing conventions and writing tools, and have the ability to use and adapt them successfully.
  • Assess and solve problems independently, taking the views of others into account in a systematic and evaluative way.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Organise and communicate complex ideas and arguments in different formats suitable to different audiences, using appropriate referencing conventions.
  • Develop initiative by taking responsibility for structuring and time-managing a research task, working in teams when appropriate.
  • Reflect on and respond to constructive feedback.


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.

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.

Graduate careers

  • Lecturer
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Crime Intelligence Analyst

Next steps


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How to apply

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.