BA (Hons)

English and Linguistics

Girl writing at desk with books
  • UCAS code(s): QQ13
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information


English and Linguistics have a natural synergy; you’ll learn about the nature of language and gain an in-depth understanding of the forces that have shaped it over time.

Course overview

The course will equip you with the tools needed to analyse language, and discusses the immense power that language has to construct meaning. You’ll study literature from the Renaissance period to the 21st Century, as well as professional and creative writing.

The course is extremely flexible, offering a wide range of optional modules that allow you to pursue your passion and interests. It combines aspects of a traditional English and Linguistics degree with elements that are at the cutting-edge of English and Linguistics today. By the end of the course, you’ll have a deep appreciation of the origins, appreciation, and the rich diversity of the written and spoken word.

Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section for more information.

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My Inkspiration – Salman Rushdie
Here at NTU, we're enthusiastic about the English subject and wish to express a similar enthusiasm to our students. It's much more than a job: it really matters to us that you are inspired, passionate, challenged and motivated by your studies. Here, we talk about the authors who have inspired us and instilled in us a passion for the subject that we teach.

What you'll study

There is a lot of flexibility in the structure of a Joint Honours degree, allowing you to tailor a package to your developing academic interests.

During your first year, you’ll study four core modules which provide a clear and exciting framework for your development at later stages.

In the second year you’ll study three core modules. You’ll also be able to select a number of optional modules based on your individual interests or spend the second half of the year on international exchange at one of our partner universities.

In the final year, you’ll undertake a dissertation on a topic of your choice and select four optional modules. You must select at least one module from each subject.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Foundations in Literary Studies

    This module provides the foundation for your studies. You’ll explore some of the most significant transformations that have taken place in the ways that texts are both written and read. The idea of 'great' English literature – indeed, even the idea of English literature – has been rigorously examined and vigorously contested in recent years, and this module considers some of the most important developments that have changed which texts we read and how we read them.

    American Literature: Writing Self and Nation

    This module introduces many of the authors, literary movements, and historical events that shaped American literature from the birth of the republic to the contemporary period. You’ll read writers such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Tennessee Williams who call for a national tradition or assume the task of defining it.

    Introduction to Language and Linguistics

    This module will raise some of the questions that make language one of the most fascinating subjects in the humanities and will provide you with the tools you'll need to study any aspect of language.

    You’ll learn how we can examine the sounds, words and grammar of a language such as English and what this tells us about the way speakers use language.

    Language in Context

    This module explores the English language from the point of view of its structure, its history and its unique role today as a global language.

    You’ll explore different perspectives on studying English in its various social, historical and cultural contexts. In doing so, you’ll consider applications of the core tools of linguistic analysis in the study of English language and in examining the wider world.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Culture and Anarchy

    This module explores the ways in which the tension between ‘culture’ and ‘anarchy’ has repeatedly surfaced as a driving force in the development of English literature, animating creative expression and shaping critical debate. Taking the broad historical period ranging from the late 19th to the late 20th Century as its backdrop, the module focuses on a number of significant moments at which various understandings of ‘cultural’ and ‘anarchic’ activity have impacted upon the social landscape, and on literary texts themselves.

    Applying Methods in Linguistics

    This module will introduce you to a range of methods of data collection, project design and data analysis. You’ll acquire the skills and methods which will help prepare you for your dissertation in the final year. At the end of the module, you’ll be required to produce a research proposal in response to a simulated real-world briefing.

    Humanities at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives.

    English optional modules

    Renaissance Literature, 1485-1660: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

    This module explores the dramatic writing of the Early Modern period, concentrating on writers such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson and Middleton.

    Throughout the module, you’ll become familiar with the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. You’ll also consider the critical responses to, and adaptations of Renaissance writing in our own time, whilst exploring the issues raised by Renaissance writing such as those of gender, sexuality or race.

    British Women Writers between the Wars (1918-1939)

    The years after the First World War saw historic changes affecting the social and economic lives of British women. For the first time women were granted the vote on the same terms as men, and the opening up of professions to women permanently shattered the Victorian ideal of womanhood as the ‘Angel in the House’. Newspapers and magazines of the period were full of images of the ‘modern woman’ who became an emblematic figure for modernity in the interwar years.

    This module will explore the ways in which a new generation of professional women writers represented women’s experiences of modernity across a range of literary texts written during the years between 1918 and 1939.

    Romantic Revolutions 1780-1851

    1780-1851 was a period of political, poetic and social revolution in Britain. By studying poetry and prose of the period, you’ll investigate how far revolutionary social and political change is reflected in the experimental themes and forms of Romantic writing, and the module will be attentive to the development from earlier to later Romantic writing.

    Writing Works

    During this module, you’ll study and produce writing in different genres, gaining knowledge of craft issues and learning how to apply them to many different forms.

    American Topics

    American Topics engages in the focused analysis of the representation in American texts of a particular theme or themes. So, for instance, the module might focus on Writing Landscapes, and would concentrate on agrarian and urban landscapes within the American imagination, on region and landscape (e.g. New England literary culture or the South), and on the American sublime. If the focus is on African American Identities it would cover the history and heritage of slavery, the Harlem Renaissance and the literature of the Civil Rights movement.

    Literature in Theory

    This module explores the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, examining the way that psychoanalytic theory has reshaped our encounter with literary texts. Building on your understanding of the relationship between critical thinking and literary production and analysis, the module discusses the development of psychoanalysis from its origins to its application by contemporary literary critics. Reading a range of clinical, theoretical and literary texts, you will think about how different approaches to the human psyche have been understood and employed by different readers and writers in different places and at different times.

    Linguistics optional modules

    Communication Disorders

    The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists estimates that 2.5 million people in the UK have a communication disorder. Of this number, 800,000 people have a disorder that is so severe that it’s hard for anyone outside their immediate families to understand them.

    This module will introduce you to the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders that make up these large numbers.


    Language variation refers to the way in which language changes in response to different social practices. Common sense tells us that language varies with situation and in the course of this module we will explore the different aspects of language variation, drawing on your own experiences and perceptions of language use. For instance we are aware of different accents and dialects across the country; we can all vary our language depending on whether we are talking to an adult or a child.

    The aim of this module is to raise your awareness of the linguistic consequences of the contexts of culture and situation.

    Child Language Acquisition

    This module will allow you to investigate the course of language acquisition from birth to the age of four, paying particular attention to the development of phonetics, lexis and grammar. There will also be the opportunity to focus on fields such as social and pragmatic development and the chance to compare ‘normal’ development with groups of special populations where children may come across particular problems with language learning.


    Phonetics is the scientific study of speech sounds. This module will cover physiology, the study of the human organs of speech and articulation, the study of the consonant and vowel sounds which the human vocal apparatus is capable of producing.

    This module will equip you with a tool of description which may then be employed in other linguistic work e.g. in sociolinguistic project work.

    Discourse Analysis

    Discourse analysis is the study of naturally occurring language across extended texts, both spoken and written. The module begins by surveying the various approaches and issues within discourse analysis, before introducing a critical element to analysis and finally applying the methods across a range of discourse types. The module aims to provide a systematic linguistic toolkit for analysing discourse, and to show how the tools can be applied to a wide range of spoken and written texts. It also aims to offer a solid grounding for all of the third year modules in the Discourse pathway.

  • Year Three

    Core module


    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.

    English optional modules

    Early Modern Poetry and Prose

    This module introduces you to authors writing poetry and prose in the 16th and 17th Centuries. You’ll become familiar with some of the following literary genres: the sonnet, the epic poem, the epyllia, ‘metaphysical’ poetry, satire, political allegory and radical writing. The module will greatly expand contextual knowledge, and explore political and religious context, as well as the application of appropriate theoretical approaches (e.g. cultural materialism, gender theory).

    American Specialisms

    American Specialisms provides you with an opportunity to pursue the advanced study of one or more American literature specialisms, normally developed from recent and current research being carried out by tutors. It encourages you to intervene in current debates in American literature and to consider how the subject is being shaped by contemporary thinking. The focus will vary from year to year. Although the module may involve detailed focus on a highly specific aspect of American literature, you’ll be encouraged to understand this aspect in relation to broader developments in American culture.

    Reading Gender and Sexuality

    This module examines the politics and aesthetics of gender and sexuality in relation to the writing of 20th-century and contemporary literature. It historicises and submits to sceptical analysis central concepts in the period's conceptualisations of fixed gender identities and sexual identities. Key terms for analysis include: femininity, masculinity, androgyny, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, ethnicity, and 'difference'. These are related to literary texts from a range of cultures and from four main periods: the early 20th Century, the mid-century, the period of the sexual revolution and the contemporary.

    Postcolonial Texts: Narratives of Liberation

    This module focuses on postcolonial texts (fiction, poetry and film) and considers the relationship between acts of representation and the politics of anti-colonialism and postcolonialism. It introduces you to the historical, political and cultural contexts of the postcolonial world, as well as to a range of texts produced in postcolonial societies.

    Travel Writing: Texts, Contexts and Theory

    Led by members of staff from our highly regarded Centre for Travel Writing Studies, this module provides an overview of travel writing. It examines criticism and theories of the genre (including arguments about whether it constitutes a genre at all). You’ll be invited to consider the relationship of travel writing to society and to other forms of literature, both canonical and non-canonical.

    Gothic Rebels and Reactionaries

    This module will begin by exploring Romanticism’s Gothic impulse, examining the rise of the Gothic Romance in the late eighteenth century, before investigating its development into the 19th Century. Each week, the module will consider a key literary text from the period alongside a theoretical issue in order to establish a critical vocabulary from which to interpret and understand Gothic’s many manifestations.

    Literature in Theory: Writing, Technology, and the World

    This module aims to enable an advanced understanding of debates that have significantly reshaped literary and critical theory in recent years. Contemporary theory is now a very large and diverse field; focusing on specific issues and questions, this module will deepen your knowledge of literature and its cultural and social locations. It will consider how the concept of ‘literature’ and the practise of writing has been profoundly transformed by work that innovatively reshapes the relationship between writing, criticism, and subjectivity.

    Modernism and Modernity

    This module explores some of the central features of the many transnational movements of modernism, examining how the experimental qualities of modernist culture were conditioned by responses to changes in social and technological modernity.

    Linguistics optional modules

    Clinical Pragmatics

    A significant number of clients who are assessed and treated by speech and language therapists have deficits in pragmatic aspects of language. These clients may be unable to recover the implicature of a speaker’s utterance, interpret the meaning of ironic utterances or establish the illocutionary force of a particular speech act. The result is a range of communication disorders that present unique challenges to the clinicians who are involved in their treatment.

    In this module, you'll examine developmental and acquired pragmatic disorders in a number of clinical populations. These
    populations include children with developmental language disorders, autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and mental retardation. Adults with left and right hemisphere damage, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders will also be examined.


    This module will allow you to look at language from a psychological perspective. This will relate the psychology of language to theories of learning, mind and brain as well as dealing with particular aspects of society and culture. By the end of this module you’ll be aware of the central issues of psycholinguistic research and will have an understanding of the various methodologies and experiments which have been carried out within this field of study.

    Language, Gender and Sexuality

    This module will explore key aspects of the study of language and gender, such as theories of language and gender (difference, dominance, discursive approaches), sexist language and language change, language and gender in different contexts (e.g. in the media, in books etc.). It will offer insight into the ways in which research on language and gender has developed and diversified since the 1970s, and in particular how it has responded to the 'post-structuralist challenge' and the shift to discourses and to gender identities. The module will provide you with an opportunity to explore and critically evaluate the discursive construction of both femininities and masculinities, in theoretical and practical ways.

    Clinical Linguistics

    In this module you’ll be invited to apply your knowledge of language structure and function to a clinical context. A range of child and adult communication disorders will be examined. You’ll be introduced to the anatomical, physiological, psychological, audiological and neurological pathologies that underlie disorders of foetal development (e.g. cleft palate), disorders of cognitive development (e.g. Down's syndrome and autism), congenital disorders (e.g. cerebral palsy), acquired neurological disorders (e.g. stroke, brain tumour, dementia, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, head trauma), acquired speech disorders (e.g. glossectomy, dysarthria), hearing disorders (genetic and infection-related), disorders of fluency (e.g. stammering) and disorders of voice (e.g. puberphonia in adolescent males, laryngectomy, vocal nodules and polyps).

    Media Discourse

    This module allows you to explore critically the written and spoken product of both print and broadcast mass media. The module begins by outlining the principles and methods of critical discourse analysis and critical linguistics.

    Forensic Linguistics

    This module will introduce you to the analysis of language in legal settings, which comprises two main fields of enquiry: (i) language in the legal process (ii) and language as evidence. You’ll critically engage with both written and spoken discourse produced within the specialised institutional contexts of the law, and will examine the linguistic strategies used by those within the institution (legal drafters, police, lawyers and judges) and by lay participants (suspects and witnesses).

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

100% of English and linguistics students are  satisfied with the quality of their course ( NSS 2017).

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

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.

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.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (33%) and written (67%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (92%) and written (8%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (77%), and placement (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

Our recent English Joint Honours graduates have gone onto careers in:

  • Local Government – teacher (secondary English);
  • JRS – market researcher;
  • Vision Twentyone – social research interviewer;
  • Lightdragon Ltd, Food Network UK – content producer; and
  • jigsaw systems – product manager.

Other careers could include:

  • publishing;
  • PR;
  • marketing;
  • speech and language therapy; and
  • teaching English as a foreign language.

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

100% of our English joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2015-16).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our international team for advice.

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.

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!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418