Year two modules

Compulsory modules:

English Phonology and Morphology   

This module expands the core linguistic knowledge gained in the first year module Sounds, Structures and Words, exploring more complex topics such pronunciation in continuous speech, the theoretical status of the phoneme, word formation, verb morphology and the grammatical functions of the verb group such as modality, tense, aspect and voice. 

English Grammar 

This module expands the core linguistic knowledge gained in the first year, especially in the areas of grammar and grammatical function in text, using a systematic model of grammatical analysis, aiming to provide an in-depth, analytically-minded understanding of modern English syntax. 

Research Skills in English Language 

This module expands students’ understanding of key areas within the study of English language, with emphasis on the methodologies and objectives of language-studies research. It provides opportunities to conduct independent research as a foundation for the final year Dissertation or Language Investigation. Students are required to conduct both group and independent projects in which they collect and analyse data using appropriate models. 

Language options may include:

Analysing Written Language

This module looks at the linguistic features of discourse in more detail; both spoken (predominantly conversations) and written language.  We will look at a variety of different kinds of texts, including literary discourse (for example, how language is used to specify features of characters, or represent their speech and thought) and political texts (for example, how a view of reality is constructed through language, e.g. by making use of evaluation and rhetorical features).

History of English Language 

The module covers the key stages of the historical development of the English Language, from the Anglo-Saxons to the age of Twitter, and looks at 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. 

Language Acquisition and Literacy

The module expands on the coverage of child language introduced in the Level 1 modules. It explores theories of language acquisition, with discussions on the acquisition process in terms of sounds, words and grammar, and considers theories on early literacy, looking at how children move beyond acquisition to learning how to read and write.


This module explores the relationship between language and society, examining 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.