BA English Language / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Our BA English Language course is ideal for analytical minds who want to delve into the science of language - an everyday phenomenon which impacts our lives on an individual and a global scale.

English Language covers the history of the English language and the variation between English dialects in the UK and further afield.

You will acquire the skills required for analytical language study alongside the means to apply those skills to the study of historical and present-day English.

In addition, you will practise key transferable skills, such as essay writing and how to give a presentation.

English Language at The University of Manchester is unrivalled in its breadth of subject areas and theoretical approaches.

Our strengths include, among others, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and child language acquisition, forensic linguistics, phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and quantitative corpus-based approaches.

You'll be encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects.

For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK and storyboards for the use in fieldwork.

Special features

Placement year option

Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.

Study abroad

You may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during Year 2.

Exchange partners are offered through the Worldwide Exchange scheme (eg USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore).

Study an additional subject

Flexible Honours may allow you to study an additional arts, languages or cultures subject.

Teaching and learning

You'll be taught through a mixture of:

  • formal lectures
  • tutorials
  • one-to-one supervision.

You'll spend approximately 12 hours each week in formal study sessions and further time in independent study.

In your independent study time, you may be reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working as part of a team of students. You'll also have the opportunity to study a modern language.

In your final year, you'll have the option to write a 12,000-word dissertation. You'll undertake research on a topic of your own choice under the supervision of a member of staff in English Language and Linguistics.

Coursework and assessment

Our courses are assessed in various ways, for example, written examinations, oral presentations and different types of coursework.

Coursework may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research.

Course content for year 1

You'll study the foundations of English grammar and the sounds of English.

You'll be introduced to the history of English and the variations of English in the UK and further afield, as well as learn how to investigate English using corpus methods.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Mandatory
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Mandatory
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

Tailor your degree to suit your interests. While studying two compulsory units in subjects like language change, sociolinguistics, stylistics or pragmatics, you'll choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in specialist fields including phonology and experimental phonetics, multilingualism, and psycholinguistics.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20342 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Have complete freedom of choice among a wealth of different course options spanning subjects as diverse as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, child language development, formal semantics and syntax, and forensic linguistics.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Phonology LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20342 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Topics in the Study of Meaning in English LELA30031 20 Optional
Cognitive Linguistics LELA30182 20 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
English Phonology Past and Present LELA30441 20 Optional
The Study of the Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Language Policy and Planning LELA30752 20 Optional
Minimalist Syntax LELA30972 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA32011 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA32022 20 Optional
Computational Linguistics LELA32051 20 Optional
Discourse as Social Practice LELA32062 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 28 course units for year 3

What our students say

Except for a few compulsory modules, the course design is really flexible, and you can therefore pick the modules which interest you most, ranging from studying the old English language to the different dialects of English in the UK today.

Alex Flowers, English Language BA

Facilities

Phonetics Lab
Undergraduate students can use the Phonetics Lab under supervision.

You will access resources to enhance your learning, including an extensive collection of linguistics texts and our psycholinguistics and phonetics laboratories, with facilities for:

  • signal analysis
  • speech synthesis
  • laryngography
  • electropalatography.

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk