Language has a profound influence on the way we see, construct and interpret the world around us. It shapes our identities and culture and can be used to manipulate the way we think. The English Language degree examines a wide range of varieties of English in their social, cultural and historical contexts. It teaches you how to closely analyse texts ranging from everyday discourse to fictional narratives to the language of the media.
Studying English Language provides you with a sound knowledge of how language is structured, how it developed and spread globally, and how it functions both in society and in our minds, but it also equips you with a variety of practical critical and analytical skills. We pride ourselves on offering a challenging and stimulating degree with a wide range of innovative teaching and assessment methods, with an emphasis on how language is used for professional purposes and the practical skills valuable in selected careers.
You will be taught by academics who are actively engaged in research and have published in their specialist fields. You will also benefit from the University’s Special Collections in the library, home to over 75,000 printed materials and complemented by an environmentally controlled vault that houses rare books and manuscripts from as early as the ninth century, as well as partnerships with Liverpool’s cultural and educational institutions. With a strong commitment to small-group teaching and the personal development of all of our students, we strive to support you in the pursuit of academic excellence.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars which are smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You also have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week.
If you are studying English Language as a Single Honours degree, in your first year there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 teaching hours in your second and third years. If you are studying English Language as a Combined Honours degree, in your first year there are approximately 6 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 5 teaching hours in your second and third years.
On top of teaching hours, you will also be expected to spend a number of hours each week studying independently, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments you may have.
Assessments consist of essays of various types, portfolios, language analyses, learning journals, group presentations and written exams. In the final year, building on work from your first two years, you undertake an independently researched dissertation, which you also present at an internal Honours Conference.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.
*Please note these topics marked with a * are only studied on the single honours degree.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
Lectures and seminars on Language and Society, History and Change, and Understanding Language provide the core to your first year. You examine key issues in sociolinguistics and look at multilingual societies from a variationist perspective. You also gain insights into language use and development across time, as well as learning what language is and how it works on all its levels: phonetics and phonology, grammar, semantics and pragmatics. You will analyse the social, geographical and historical variations of language. You learn about the International Phonetic Alphabet, the structure of words, the different classes or groups to which words belong and how they combine into more complex syntactic structures.
Single Honours students also study the language of literature, which introduces the basic principles of stylistics and the ways in which language is used for artistic purposes. You also study language endangerment, policy and planning, and have dialectology sessions. You study Old, Middle and Early Modern English to gain a deeper understanding of how language exists within the historical and cultural context of its times, gaining practical skills in translation and analysis. Finally, writing workshops and research seminars provide you with the tools and skills to produce well-written and well-researched academic work.
Your second year introduces you to the theories and methods of linguistic analysis. You explore the ways in which discourses operate as practices, and look at cognitive processes, with a particular focus on child language acquisition. You develop your knowledge of how language is used for professional purposes, giving you a sound basis for possible careers in speech therapy, forensic linguistics and teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Single Honours students undertake a deeper analysis of how English is used to create meaning, style and effect in literary texts in the stylistics of narrative. You also examine internal and external processes of language change taking into account developments of language on all levels of usage and in different contexts, including digitally-mediated communication. You also study linguistic anthropology, looking at the interactions between language and culture, as well as language and identity, and philosophical questions raised by language.
In your final year, you build on analytical techniques to explore the ways in which power is encoded in language in a range of contexts. You also investigate how present-day sociolinguistic theories can be applied in order to gain a better understanding of the key issues in individual, societal and cognitive multilingualism. Digital humanities investigates how digital methods and tools can be used to create and share knowledge in the humanities, with a particular focus on linguistics. There is a choice of more focused research seminars, which could include "Language, religion and media", "Language, gender and sexuality", "Language in education", or "Pragmatics". You also complete a research project.
Single Honours students can study language and humour, applying theories to help illuminate how language and cognition are central to the construction and interpretation of humour. You also examine the linguistic, social and cultural implications of the global spread of English. You study communication across different cultures and social groups, including communication processes and problems that appear within varied contexts such as religious, ethnic and social settings, and you will also be able to select research seminars, which could include "Language and negation", "Language and emotions", or "Language and conflict". Finally, you complete a dissertation.
A degree in English Language opens many doors and English Language graduates gain knowledge and skills that allow them to enter a wide range of careers. Many of our graduates go on to employment in fields such as publishing, education, journalism, media, broadcasting, marketing and public relations. The subject-specific knowledge gained also provides grounding for careers in language therapy, language teaching and forensic linguistics, with further training.
Throughout your degree, you will have the opportunity to explore career options and opportunities for further study. You will acquire many highly valuable critical skills throughout the course of your English Language degree; these include a sophisticated level of analytical thinking and advanced communication, writing and organisational skills, all of which significantly enhance your CV. To many employers, these skills are highly sought after and are often more important than the actual subject of your degree. An English Language degree also provides an excellent basis for postgraduate study.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
As well as your tuition fees, you also need to consider the cost of key books and textbooks, which in total will cost approximately £200.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
The International tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are £11,400 (provisional) per year for full-time undergraduate courses.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is also available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects:
|English Language and Accounting & Finance (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Business Management (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Childhood & Youth (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Criminology (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Drama (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Education (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and English Literature (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Geography (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and History (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Human Biology (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Interactive & Immersive Performance (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Law (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Marketing (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Media & Communication (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Music Production (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Philosophy & Ethics (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Politics (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Psychology (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Religious Studies (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Social Care (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Social Policy (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Special Educational Needs (with Foundation Year)|
|English Language and Tourism (with Foundation Year)|