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In the UK for Modern languages and linguistics in The Guardian University Guide 2023

English Language and Linguistics BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): Q310 Full-time; Q311 Sandwich
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: Three years (full-time), four years (sandwich), four to six years (part-time)
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time (day) / Sandwich
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


  • Gain the prestigious Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA), a professional qualification that will open doors to employment worldwide.
  • Complete a work experience placement, meaning you’ll graduate with valuable industry experience.
  • Our students love us! We are top 3 in the UK for student satisfaction in Linguistics (National Student Survey 2022)
  • Study abroad with one of our partner institutions, ISEP or Turing Scheme, including in Australia, Canada, USA, Chile, Japan, Europe and many more.

Language has power. It can shape a mind, influence an idea, or even start a movement.

Linguistics is the science of how language works. And language influences all the big questions in everyday life, from culture and gender, to technology, discrimination, health, law, social justice, ecology, and conservation.

BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics is a practical course designed to develop you into a highly skilled communicator. If you wish to specialise in English language teaching you can also gain the prestigious Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA), a professional qualification that will open doors to employment worldwide.

Career-boosting elements are fully embedded throughout the course with a focus on applying your knowledge and theory with hands-on, practical sessions.  You will explore how language is used in the real world and how it can tackle the big problems including racism, gender equality, and climate change.

You will be supported with a personalised learning environment, a wide range of optional modules, and a range of innovative assessment types, including blogs and videos, professional expert reports, and teaching material.

You can even gain valuable full-time work experience with a sandwich course option, or spend time studying - or even teaching - abroad.

NTU ranks in the top 20 in the UK for Modern languages and linguistics in the Guardian University Guide 2023

Studying a language in addition to your degree through the ULP not only allows you to extend your studies to languages other than English but also gives you the chance to prepare for study abroad as part of your sandwich year. So, if you plan to teach in Japan or Spain, or study at one of our partner universities around the world, studying a foreign language will give you a head start.

What you’ll study

During your first year you will learn the basic skills required to identify, analyse and describe language. From sound and sentence structure to literal and social meanings, you will explore how language is used and understood. You will apply your knowledge to real-life situations, as well as reflecting on your own and your peers’ language use and that of powerful institutions.

In the second year you can specialise your study with a choice of pathways - a work placement, an international experience, or continue your academic study including an option to study for a CELTA qualification.

In year three you may choose to take a year-long placement, either in the UK or overseas, to put your learning into practice.

In the final year, you can specialise even further with a range of optional modules, including an option to advance your TESOL knowledge and skills and explore how language is important for understanding health, legal processes, identity, and sustainability.

Core modules

Sounds of English

Explore the theoretical framework and practical skills for phonetic description and analysis. Learn to transcribe English accurately using phonetic symbols and familiarise yourself with a range of standard and non-standard World English accents.

Morphology and Syntax

Identify the morphological structure of words in English, including the structure and function of inflectional and derivational morphemes. You will learn how words can be divided into different parts of speech, and how to identify these in English.

Language in Everyday Life

Apply the study of language in real-life situations and reflect on your own and others' language use. You'll write an academic blog on the importance of language in your everyday life and through this, be able to understand more about how you are expected to write and research at university.

Semantics and Pragmatics

Examine the relationship between what is said and what is meant by answering questions such as what is meaning as it relates to words and sentences, and how is meaning impacted by context.

Introduction to TESOL

This introduction to practical issues and theoretical concepts involved in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), lays the foundations for a future career in language teaching and related industries. You will learn about lesson planning and have the opportunity to watch experienced teachers in action as well as practice your own teaching through mock-classes in module sessions with others in the class.

Language, Society and Culture

Examine language beyond the level of the sentence, including both spoken and written discourse. You will learn how to analyse language, engaging with both the producers and users of texts.

Core modules

Problems of Language

Learn about the various methods of data collection in applied linguistics, such as recording and transcribing conversational data, designing questionnaires, carrying out interviews and conducting online data collection.

Comparative Linguistics

Explore the diversity of linguistic structures around the world by investigating the lexical, grammatical, and phonological structures of languages other than English. Do speakers of different languages face different challenges when learning a second or other language?

Language and Big Data

Working with real company briefs, or simulated problems, you will research existing data and use quantitative methods in collecting and analysing linguistic and language-related data to find meaningful patterns and solutions.


In the second half of the year you can choose from:

Pathway 1 - Extended work-like experience
Pathway 2 - International exchange
Pathway 3 - 3 optional modules from the list below

Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) | Cambridge English

Use your learning in real-world teaching classes, including preparing lesson plans, materials and evaluations to gain CELTA which is recognized around the world (additional fees may apply - see  Fees and Funding below details)

Language and Technology

Acquire the essential subject knowledge and familiarity with basic types of language technologies, how they work, how they are applied in everyday life. Technologies include machine translation, digital corpus tools, and natural language processing (NLP) amongst others.

Language, Inequality and Social Justice

Social justice is an important research topic that is inextricably linked to language use. Whether it’s racial abuse on social media, prejudice against regional accents in schools, or sexist advertising campaigns, discrimination is a social issue that affects us all in one way or another. This module examines how language can be used to both promote social justice and tackle prejudice and discrimination in a range of institutional and everyday contexts. This module is especially appealing if you wish to pursue a career in advocacy, human resources or journalism.

Communication Disorders

Explore how language can be affected by a range of physical and mental conditions, as well as looking into the profession of Speech and Language Therapy.

Language and Local Community

Examine the ways in which language can vary in communities, considering issues such as accent, dialect and identity. Develop a critical and informed stance about language-related issues in sociolinguistics including issues such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity and age.

You may choose to take an optional year-long placement in Year Three, either in the UK or overseas.

Placements options are wide ranging. You could find yourself working with a local council on a public health campaign, reviewing teaching materials at a college, teaching English overseas, or working on supporter communications for a charity or NGO.

You will be supported by our experienced Employability Team to source a suitable placement.

Core modules

Major Project in Linguistics

This is your opportunity to explore a subject of your own choice in more detail. This can take the format of a dissertation or another agreed output - such as a report, and  allows you to collect and analyse naturally occurring language data.



Discussions around ecology and sustainability are increasingly important in modern society. This module introduces you to how discourses around sustainability and ecology have an impact upon modern attitudes around ecological preservation and sustainability. You will examine language use from various contexts, including in the farming industry, by local, national, and international governments, and by marketing companies and businesses.

Forensic Linguistics

Examine language and the law, crime and justice. You will review language in the criminal justice system, including the linguistic disadvantages that  witnesses, victims and suspects face in legal contexts. You will also look at the role of the forensic as expert witness and the different ways in which language analysts can provide investigative assistance to the police and reliable evidence to the courts.

Language and Heritage

Increase your knowledge about the ways language forms a crucial part of people's identity and heritage. You will examine sociolinguistic issues around the role of language in communities, including language usage in multilingual societies and language policy.

Language and Health

Learn how language plays an integral part in the provision of healthcare and the communication of health-related topics. You will consider questions like: how do institutions aim to inform and educate the wider public around issues relating to public health? How can language be used to create and challenge ideologies about ability and disability in modern society? What are the best practice for healthcare workers to communicate to their patients?

Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy

This introduction to theories of second language acquisition and research findings that inform teaching methods and approaches will extend your knowledge of language teaching materials. It is ideal if you wish to teach English as a career.

Advanced TESOL

This continuation from the CELTA module in Year Two extends and develops your teaching skills to effectively work in specialist areas such as online classrooms, English for academic purposes (EAP), and English for specific purposes (ESP). You will learn how to engage learners in online teaching, how to develop materials to meet the needs of EAP and ESP students, and how to teach English to such advanced learners. Importantly, you will gain experience teaching in these contexts, allowing you to apply the theory discussed in the classroom to real practice. Teaching may include micro-teaching to peers and teaching with actual language learners.

Language, Gender and Sexuality

Explore the relationships between language, gender and sexuality by examining past and contemporary debates in the field, such as whether language is inherently sexist, and how increased awareness of gender diversity impacts on how people use language and are referred to by others. You will also examine how expectations of gendered behaviour can infiltrate our daily lives, from newspaper representations of female celebrities to the gendering of consumer products.

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a variety of teaching and learning experiences which will include:

  • lectures and seminars
  • interactive workshops
  • group projects and presentations
  • case studies and transcripts
  • company briefs and projects
  • Field trips

The course is highly practical with hands-on teaching sessions and analysis of real-world examples and projects. In some modules you will develop your own teaching materials which you can use on placements and in your career portfolio.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more about international exchanges.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Further information

100% of NTU's research submitted to the 'Communication, Cultural & Media Studies, Library & Information Management' Unit of Assessment was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact (REF 2021), and this latest research feeds directly into your course.

Staff Profiles

James Williams

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Jamie Williams is a lecturer in Clinical Linguistics at Nottingham Trent University. He teaches on a range of undergraduate modules within the Linguistics Subject area and supervises postgraduate research

Laura Manzie

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Laura Manzie

David Wright

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr David Wright is a forensic linguist and a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Nottingham Trent University. His research applies methods of corpus linguistics and discourse analysis in forensic contexts,…

James Cooper

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

James Cooper is a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University specialising in second language pedagogy.

Laura Coffey-Glover (Dr)

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Laura Coffey-Glover

Natalie Braber


School of Arts & Humanities

Natalie Braber

Samuel Barclay

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Sam Barclay is a Lecturer in second language acquisition. His research focuses on teaching and assessing vocabulary, and course and materials design.

Careers and employability

Key transferrable skills are emphasised throughout the course and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers.

As a graduate of this course, you will be a language and communication expert with a broad and global skillset that will allow you to enter a multitude of careers. These include:

  • language teacher
  • speech therapist
  • public relations specialist
  • digital marketing specialists
  • journalist
  • editor
  • copywriter
  • technical and medical writers
  • translator
  • communication director and other strategic roles in public service
  • policing and legal services
  • specific management policy roles linked to EDI agendas
  • community development roles that require an understanding the theoretical, ethical and practical issues involved in intercultural communication.

Campus and facilities

Here are some of the free services, student discount and benefits you'll get studying at NTU

We've carefully considered what benefits and services you need for your studies, so when you join NTU you'll get free printing and materials credits, access to our free WiFi, a copy of Microsoft Office, and even borrow a laptop if yours is out of commission.

For life outside your lectures, you'll enjoy access to over 60 sports clubs and 130 student societies, discounted travel and bike hire, free language learning, award-winning student support and an entertainment programme which is second to none.

See all the benefits and free services you will enjoy as an NTU student.

Books and library resources

In our library you’ll have access to an extensive and diverse range of books including those on your reading list.

The library's online resources and NTU Online Workspace (NOW) also provides digital access to the core resources for your modules and a wide range of specialist collections, texts, and databases

Nottingham Trent University has its own Blackwell’s Bookshop which stocks relevant academic texts plus a wide range of bestselling novels.

IT Resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the campus, with PCs providing access to: Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services (with a free printing allowance for each student). Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.


Current students run societies in a range of Humanities and Arts subjects including History, Medieval, Film, Filmmaking, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, and the Book society.

There are also a number of media channels which our students get involved in such as the NTU radio station FlyLive, our student magazine Platform, and TV station TrentTV.

Find out more about student societies at the Student Union website.

Entry requirements

  • 112 - 120 UCAS tariff points from four A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.

Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form

You will need the equivalent to:

  • 120 UCAS tariff points from four A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before. This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional Costs

Students taking the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) will be required to pay the Cambridge English exam fee. The fee may change annually, but as a guide it was £162 in 2021. All other course fees for CELTA are covered in your tuition fee.

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.


If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Please see our fees page for more information.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Additional Costs

Students taking the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) will be required to pay the Cambridge English exam fee. The fee may change annually, but as a guide it was £162 in 2021. All other course fees for CELTA are covered in your tuition fee.


We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

UCAS Codes:

  • Three year, full-time degree: Q310
  • Four year sandwich degree: Q311

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Need help with your application?

For admissions related enquiries please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Ask us a question

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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