English Language and Linguistics first year modules

Compulsory modules

Applied Linguistics

In this module students will consider the ways in which linguistic ideas, insights and methods can be applied in fields such as teaching, translation, social research and forensic science. The topics covered directly feed into many of the modules that students can choose to study in the second and third years of the programme.

Fundamentals of Language: Grammar and Discourse

This core module focuses on the areas of syntax, semantics, and discourse/pragmatics. Topics covered include how words can be classified according to their grammatical properties, how they are related to each other in sentences, and how speakers understand utterances in specific contexts of interaction and make sense of each other’s communicative intentions.

Fundamentals of Language: Sounds and Words

This core module explores foundational concepts and issues in the study of English language and linguistics. In particular, the module focuses on the areas of phonetics/phonology, morphology, and lexical semantics. Topics covered include how the sounds of a language pattern and how they can be described, how words enter the language and how they relate to one another and carry meaning.

Investigating Language 

This module is designed to develop students' understanding of key issues in research into the English language, with emphasis on the methodologies and objectives of language-studies research. It will begin to develop their skills in conducting and writing up their own research projects. Students will undertake small-scale research projects in which they will collect data and analyse it according to descriptive frameworks that they are studying in this and the companion modules.

Professional Communication

This module follows on from Thinking, Reading and Writing at University by asking students to consider the variety of forms and styles that might be required for communication in a range of professional settings. The ultimate aim of the module is to help students develop a range of transferable oral, written and interpersonal skills which are directly relevant to professional life and will thus contribute to enhancing their employability prospects.

Theories of Language

The aims of this module are to provide students with a sound basic knowledge of the major theories of language that have been developed within the discipline of linguistics from the beginning of the 20th century up to the present day, and an awareness of the key figures associated with each of these theoretical traditions. It introduces structuralist, generative, functionalist, and cognitive approaches to language, and discusses how those approaches have dealt with some of the ‘big questions’ in language theory, such as how we learn language and how language relates to other human (and animal) forms of communication.

Thinking, Reading and Writing at University 

This module provides an important first step in adjusting to the requirements of study at university level. It considers how study at this level differs from what students may have experienced previously, focusing on the development of critical thinking, close analytical reading and academic writing. Over the course of the module, students will be introduced to key methods of critical reading and analysis and persuasive writing, and provided with opportunities to practice these skills.