BA English Language and English Literature / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Our BA English Language and English Literature joint honours course will enable you to delve into the science of language while exploring a wide range of texts dating from a variety of periods. 

You will be taken on a broadly chronological journey of English Literature from the Anglo-Saxon period through to the present day. 

In addition, you will investigate the sounds, words and grammar of the English language, and you will discover where English comes from, how it developed over time, how it varies across the UK and further afield, and how it is used in different situations. 

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. 

You will practise key transferable skills such as essay writing and how to give a presentation. 

You can also broaden the scope of your studies to investigate the interaction between psychology and language (psycholinguistics), child language development, and explore a range of methodological approaches used in study of English Language and English Literature. 

You will become part of a thriving community of students, lecturers and writers at The University of Manchester, based in the heart of a UNESCO City of Literature that has produced some of the world's greatest writers and has a thriving literature and arts scene, including major events like Manchester Literature Festival.

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).

Literature events

Manchester Literature Festival holds literary events across Manchester throughout the year, many in partnership with the University.

The Centre for New Writing also hosts a regular public event series, Literature Live, which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to read and engage in conversation.

Unique collections

John Rylands Library on Deansgate is part of the University and offers the rare opportunity to see a Gutenberg bible, Shakespeare folios and other archival treasures.

Get involved with interesting projects

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively. For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK and storyboards for the use in fieldwork.

Meet like-minded students

You can get to know your fellow students outside of your course by joining the English Society or volunteering to work on the student-run Sonder Magazine.

Teaching and learning

You'll be taught through a mixture of:

  • formal lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars.

You'll spend approximately 12 hours each week in formal study sessions. For every hour spent at university, you will be expected to complete a further two to three hours of 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.

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.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

In English Language, you'll study the foundations of English grammar and will be introduced to the history of English and the variations of English in the UK and further afield. You may also choose additional optional units, including those in which you learn about the study of meaning or of sounds, or learn how to investigate English using corpus methods.

In English literature, you will sample a wide variety of literature and cultural theory and develop a solid basis of knowledge and skill which you'll build on in your second and third years.

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
Reading Literature ENGL10021 20 Mandatory
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Mandatory
Mapping the Medieval ENGL10051 20 Optional
Theory and Text ENGL10062 20 Optional
Literature and History ENGL10072 20 Optional
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

You will tailor your degree to suit your interests in both areas. While studying two compulsory units in subjects like language change, sociolinguistics, stylistics or pragmatics, you may additionally choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in specialist fields such as phonology and experimental phonetics, and psycholinguistics.

In English Literature, you can tailor your studies by selecting from a wide range of options: from medieval and early modern literature to Victorian, 20th century and contemporary writing and film.

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
American Literature and Social Criticism, 1900-Present AMER20481 20 Optional
Uncle Tom's Cabin as Global Media Event AMER22662 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL20002 20 Optional
Chaucer: Texts, Contexts, Conflicts ENGL20231 20 Optional
Shakespeare ENGL20372 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and the Body: Theories and Histories ENGL20482 20 Optional
Writing, Identity and Nation ENGL20492 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL20901 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL20902 20 Optional
Renaissance Literature ENGL21151 20 Optional
Old English: Writing the Unreadable Past ENGL21161 20 Optional
Satire and the Novel: English Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century ENGL21182 20 Optional
Modernism ENGL21191 20 Optional
Romanticism (1776 - 1832) ENGL21521 20 Optional
Victorian Manchester: Culture and Economy ENGL21622 20 Optional
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
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 32 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will have complete freedom of choice among a wealth of different course options in both subjects. In English Language, you can choose options spanning subjects as diverse historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, child language development, formal semantics and syntax, and forensic linguistics.

You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth. For the English Literature component, you may wish to enrol on to the long essay unit (if you haven't opted for the dissertation above), and then you will choose the remaining units from the optional list.

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
Occupy Everything AMER30422 20 Optional
Beat Writing AMER30791 20 Optional
American Hauntings AMER30812 20 Optional
Long Essay ENGL30002 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30121 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30122 20 Optional
Narrative Theory and Victorian Fiction ENGL30171 20 Optional
Culture and Conflict: Neoliberalism and Cultural Production ENGL30261 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL30901 20 Optional
Irish Fiction Since 1990 ENGL30941 20 Optional
Writing India in English, 1880 - 1964 ENGL31112 20 Optional
Radical Turns: Culture and Politics in the 1930s ENGL31141 20 Optional
Eros: Love and Desire in Victorian Poetry ENGL31201 20 Optional
Transnational Shakespeare: Texts, Places, Identities ENGL31212 20 Optional
Apocalypse: Early Modern Imaginings ENGL31271 20 Optional
Dreaming the Middle Ages ENGL31422 20 Optional
An Introduction to Contemporary African Literature. ENGL31531 20 Optional
Things that Talk: Nonhuman Voices in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture ENGL31622 20 Optional
Introduction to Screenwriting ENGL31951 20 Optional
Gendered Experiments: Women's Innovative Writing in the Twentieth Century ENGL33061 20 Optional
Sex, Disease and the Body: 1660-1800 ENGL33081 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction ENGL34052 20 Optional
Romantic Venice ENGL34072 20 Optional
Vital Matters: Medieval Ecologies ENGL34111 20 Optional
Humans and other Animals in Contemporary Literature ENGL34122 20 Optional
Writing Revolutions:Radicalism, Activism, Citizenship 1640-80 ENGL34131 20 Optional
Literary and Sexual Experimentalism Between the Wars ENGL34141 20 Optional
Contemporary South Asian Literatures ENGL34151 20 Optional
Literary Landscapes ENGL34162 20 Optional
Imaginations of the Future: People, Earth and Power ENGL34172 20 Optional
Anthologizing Modern and Contemporary Poetry ENGL34192 20 Optional
World Literature and Climate Crisis ENGL34212 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
Dissertation LELA30000 40 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 59 course units for year 3

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.

In addition, you will have access to a wide range of other facilities to enhance your studies at Manchester, including the University Library and John Rylands Library.

You will also have the opportunity to enjoy Manchester's many other cultural assets for both study and recreational purposes, including the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum.

Find out more on the facilities pages for English Language and English Literature .

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