BA (Hons)

Communication & Society and Linguistics

Girl sat on sofa with notebook
  • UCAS code(s): LQ31
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

FIND US ON

If you've got two subjects that you really enjoy, or have career ambitions that demand a particular skill set, then a joint honours degree is a great choice for you.

Course overview

It enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining two subjects can give your degree an international or industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our course combinations are designed so that what you learn in one subject will complement and enhance what you learn in the other. In your final year you can choose either to split your time evenly between your two subjects, or to specialise in one.

Communication & Society and Linguistics are two subjects that have a natural synergy. The in-depth knowledge of language and its social functions you’ll gain from your Linguistics modules can enhance and directly influence your understanding of human communications and identity.

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

What you'll study

Communication & Society

Fascinating new forms of politics, economics and creative enterprises are rapidly challenging many core assumptions about human communication and identity. The possession and transfer of knowledge now lies at the heart of daily life and it’s more important than ever to understand various aspects of communication. You’ll look at communication between individuals, groups and organisations, humanity and nature, and the evolving media through which communication takes place.

This course offers a wide choice of interesting and engaging modules. The core of this course draws on Psychology and Sociology, and also includes aspects of Philosophy, History and Anthropology. No previous study in any of these areas is required.

Linguistics

Linguistics is the study of natural language. It covers the study of language structure (grammar), the study of meaning (semantics) and the social functions of language (sociolinguistics). This course will equip you with the tools for analysing language and for conducting your own research. You’ll discuss the immense power that our language has to construct and to constrain meaning.

We’ve recently launched several new modules which draw on contemporary research. This means that you will be studying the very latest developments in clinical linguistics, media discourse and child language acquisition.

You don’t need any prior knowledge of grammar, foreign languages or technical terminology to study this course.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    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.

    Face-to-Face to Facebook: Understanding Communication in an Age of New Media

    Examine how the interaction of technology, politics and society has given rise to wide ranging social, psychological and creative changes.

    Introducing Media Communications: Publicity, Persuasion and Propaganda

    This module introduces you to the field of public and professional media communications, developing a combination of theoretical insights and practical skills. Encompassing introductory examinations of advertising, journalism, public relations and the creative industries, this module develops your media literacy alongside writing and communication skills.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    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.

    Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Explorations of Identity and Selfhood

    Today the concept of ‘identity’ stands as a key term within many different academic disciplines, including geography, history and philosophy, as well as sociology and psychology. However, there is a considerable gap or discrepancy between common sense and more formal academic understandings of identity. This module aims to introduce you to these important debates – starting with our common sense and moving steadily towards more radical understandings of the nature of identity and selfhood.

    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.

    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.

    Sociolinguistics

    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

    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.

    Communication & Society optional modules

    Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 1: The New Creativity

    This module explores at a practical and theoretical level the new modes of creativity which are transforming working methods in the contemporary economy. You'll study the histories of advertising, public relations and journalism. You'll look at the intersections between economic developments, forms of communicative and media technology and the evolution of modern psychology and sociology that have resulted in a proliferation of new types of creativity.

    Communications and Creativity Toolkit

    On this module you'll learn new skills and discover new ways of expanding your understanding of communications and creative industries. You'll combine insights from a range of disciplines and creative practices to generate a 'toolkit' for both the intellectual understanding of communications and creativity, and the practical development of creative practices in various forms.

    Gender and Sexuality

    ‘Gender’ and ‘sexuality’ are key terms within psychology, social theory and ordinary everyday life. They are terms with which all of us are familiar. However, as this module will show, despite this familiarity, these concepts are highly complex – and, indeed, contested. During this module you'll look at the ways in which gender and sexuality have been theorised from a range of different social scientific perspectives.

    Media and Culture in Asia

    This module provides an insight into contemporary media development and cultural change in East Asia, placing this in the context of broader historical, economic and cultural debates. It will examine a wide range of media forms including print media, broadcasting, film and new media technologies, assessing their cultural impact in East Asian societies. It will explore contemporary issues of media development and policy and it will relate these to longer historical contexts.

    Digital Identities: The Politics of Communication in the Globalised World

    This module will develop your understanding of core themes in the study of communications and media. Four interlinking blocks of study take you from the formation of the communicating self through to further examinations of social, digital and global facets of contemporary communications.

  • Year Three

    Core module

    Dissertation

    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.

    Linguistics optional modules

    Psycholinguistics

    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).

    Communication & Society optional modules

    Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 2: Convergence and Creativity in the Digital Age

    This module continues to develop your appreciation of the history, practice and theory of advertising, public relations and journalism. An important recent evolution of these forms in the digital age is characterised by what is known as ‘convergence’. This concept encapsulates the way individuals working in these sectors increasingly have to take on a variety of roles which cut across the traditional boundaries of each sector and learn to use a variety of working practices and technologies.

    As well as continuing to study theoretical and critical academic perspectives on these developments, you'll take part in workshops to help you further develop the writing, digital literacy and image analysis/creation skills that are central to success in these areas.

    Self in Crisis: Power, Prejudice and Otherness

    This module brings together a range of debates in contemporary society about the nature of identity or selfhood that centre around claims that it is, in various ways, in a profound state of crisis. One part of this module will consider these ideas through a social-psychological examination of one of the most frightening crises of the 20th Century – the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews.

    DJ Cultures: History, Theory and Technique

    From obscure roots, the art of DJing has in recent decades exploded into the limelight as a major form of popular culture. No prior experience of DJing is required to take this module, which combines a basic ‘taster’ introduction to DJ technology and the practical techniques of DJ performance with a theoretical consideration of various styles of DJing, their histories, their related musical experiences and their wider cultural significance and influence.

    Trans-National and Alternative Media

    On this module you’ll examine the growth of ‘alternative’ forms of media practice which fall outside the mainstream of corporate forms of communication and which reach beyond national boundaries to generate ‘trans-national’ communities, campaigns and other social and political movements.

    Humanity in the Natural World

    This module helps you to look at the relation between humanity and nature from psychological, cultural, and historical perspectives. You’ll examine questions such as: Is industrial civilisation simply an extension of nature? Is the 'environmental crisis' a symptom of a deeper alienation from the natural world? You'll also consider whether capitalism and technology are inherently destructive to nature, and will assess the possibility of 'greening' industrial civilisation.

Course specification

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

NTU’s linguistics courses are in the UK’s Top 15 for student satisfaction (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 (67%) and written (33%)
  • 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 placements (2%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

91% student satisfaction rate for linguistics (NSS 2017).

Careers and employability

Your career development

Because you’ll develop such a wide range of skills and knowledge, your career options are really broad. In addition to the course content, you’ll develop key transferable skills including written and oral communication, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. Plus you’ll become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

100% of our communication & society 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:
Tel: +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:
Tel: +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