Year two modules

Compulsory modules

English Grammar 

(20 Credits)

The module expands students' core knowledge of grammar gained in first year. The chief goal is to equip you with an in-depth, analytically-minded understanding of modern English grammar, and you will also be asked to critical evaluate contrasting approaches to the concept of grammatical description. By the end of the module, you should be confident in analysing clauses and phrases, and discussing word classes. You will have considered subordination and sentence structure and the relationship between grammar and lexis. Analytical work is illustrated by reference to genuine written and spoken texts, and explores the significance of grammatical choice in the overall design and effect of texts. The material in this module will contribute directly to the independent research work to be conducted in your final year research.


English Phonology and Morphology 

(20 Credits) 

The module expands students' core linguistic knowledge gained in Level C modules, especially in the areas of phonology (especially) and morphology (to a lesser degree). We will study the pronunciation of continuous speech, phonemes and allophonic variation, intonation, accents, accent-prejudice, and the specific speech-production difficulties of EFL/ESL speakers of particular native languages; within morphology we will look briefly at English morphophonology, word formation, compound nouns, and verb morphology. We will aim to be orderly and accurate in our description of English sounds and forms, so that your work in other parts of your degree is on a secure descriptive footing. Ideas broached in this module should support and inspire your research modules on the programme (Research Skills in English Language, Dissertation or Independent Essay).

Research Skills 

(20 Credits)

This module supports and prepares students to undertake extensive research projects in English language. It aims to expand students’ understanding of key areas within the study of English language, with emphasis on the methodologies and objectives of language-studies research. It provides students with opportunities to conduct independent research as a foundation for a dissertation or research project. Students are required to conduct both group and independent projects in which they collect and analyse data using appropriate models.


Option modules

You will choose from options such as:

Psycholinguistics 

(20 Credits)

The module provides an introduction to key areas in psycholinguistics. It looks at how language is learned and represented, and at how it develops. The module aims to provide an understanding of the processes which underlie system that we call ‘language’. We examine language as a product of the human mind and thus as evidence of the ways in which human beings organise their thoughts and impose patterns upon their experiences.

Language Acquisition and Literacy 

(20 Credits) 

This module provides an exploration of key issues in language acquisition and language literacy. It expands on the coverage of child language introduced in the first year. The module is divided in two halves. The first half of the semester explores issues around child language acquisition. You will explore theories of language acquisition, engage in discussions on the acquisition process in terms of sounds, words and grammar and discuss issues on bilingual and multilingual language acquisition. The focus of the second half of the semester is on theories on early literacy, looking at how children move beyond acquisition to learning how to read and write. One of the highlights of this module is the opportunity to visit nurseries to observe how language acquisition occurs in a naturalistic setting.

Sociolinguistics 

(20 Credits)

This module explores the relationship between language and society, examining how variation in sound, syntax, morphology and lexis distribute across different aspects of society - for example, the correlation between the use of particular linguistic forms and social class groups, genders, age groups and geographical areas. The module considers the associations that develop between aspects of a speaker's identity and different linguistic forms, the role of prestige (overt and covert), stigmatization and the significance of one's social networks and communities, and how these facets of variation lead to large-scale changes in the English language. It builds on the knowledge introduced in first year.

History of English Language 

(20 Credits)

This course introduces students to the historical development of the English Language. It explores the language of literary and non-literary texts in English, produced at various stages of its development, in order to study the linguistic processes underlying the history of the language, and the society behind that language. It considers how different aspects of English, including vocabulary, spelling and morphology, have been affected by social changes, such as invasion, culture, and technology, and the difficulties encountered when trying to explore the language use of past societies based on limited written evidence. Students will be instructed in the use of research tools, such as historical corpora and lexicographic resources, for the exploration, analysis, and description of language from a historical perspective.