Degree In English Language And Literature

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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English Language and Literature Degrees: Courses Structure, Specializations  & Career | Top Universities

BA English Language and English Literature / Course details

Course description

This course will give you the opportunity to experience teaching from across two areas of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, bringing together expertise across a wide range of subjects.

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 will also have the opportunity to 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.

English Language and Literature – iimtsd

You will be able to apply to spend one semester studying abroad during the second year of your degree. Exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus or the Worldwide Exchange scheme.


Our Joint Honours degree in English Language and Literature affords learners the opportunity to explore the nature of human language in its individual and social context, as represented in particular by English. The degree programme encourage students to engage with a significant range of literary genres, and some non-literary genres, including those associated with film and music, with texts in the English language from the British Archipelago, the United States and other English-speaking communities, ranging historically from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day.By the end of the degree students will have an in-depth understanding of the structural, historical, and cultural aspects of English. Students will have learned to think analytically and have developed a range of academic, presentational and organizational skills which are both appropriate to the subject and transferable to the wider context of employment and life-long learning.

Special features

Students may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during the second year of their degree. For more information consult the  Study Abroad Programme website .

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials.  You will spend approximately 12 hours each week in formal study sessions.  For every hour spent at University you will be expected to complete a further 2 – 3 hours independent study.  You will be encouraged to take part in group work as well as individual learning.

Coursework and assessment

English Language (Joint Honours) BA (Hons)

The BA (Hons) in English Language and English Literature is assessed in various ways, for example by written examinations, oral presentations and written coursework. Coursework may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research. Many courses are assessed through a mixture of techniques. In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

  • Students will take 60 credits in English Language and 60 credits in English Literature.
  • Compulsory courses consist of Language, Mind and Brain, English Grammar & Morphology, and History & Varieties of English, and Reading Literature. You will also have the choice of studying either Theory and Text or Literature and History, in addition to Mapping the Medieval.
  • Students will also be enrolled on English Literature Tutorials (a not for credit, lecture only course to which you are encouraged to attend if your timetable permits)

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 LiteratureENGL1002120Mandatory
English Word and Sentence StructureLELA1030120Mandatory
History and Varieties of EnglishLELA1034220Mandatory
Mapping the MedievalENGL1005120Optional
Theory and TextENGL1006220Optional
Literature and HistoryENGL1007220Optional
Languages of the WorldLELA1007120Optional
Language, Mind and BrainLELA1020120Optional
The Sounds of LanguageLELA1032220Optional
Study of MeaningLELA1033220Optional
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Course content for year 2

  • Students will choose at least one course from the following English Language modules: Phonology, Syntactic Theory, and the Logic of English.
  • Students will then choose two from the following: Introduction to Old English, The Linguistics of American English, Middle English, and Language Variation and change.
  • Optional courses in English Language include subjects such as Child Language development, Typology, Societal Multilingualism, Phonetics, Pragmatics, Semantics, and Quantitative methods.

Students will choose modules in English Literature from three lists

  • List A: Chaucer: Texts, Contexts, Conflicts, Shakespeare, Satire and the Novel, English Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century, Renaissance Literature, and Old English: Writing the Unreadable Past
  • List B: Writing, Identity and Nation, Victorian Manchester: Culture and Economy, Romanticism (1777-1832), Modernism, Gender, Sexuality and the Body: Theories and Histories, Creative Writing: Poetry (Competitive Entry), Creative Writing: Fiction (Competitive Entry)
  • List C: From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and Culture, American Film Studies, Twentieth-Century African American Literature

Course units for year 2

English Language and English Literature BA (Hons)

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
Variation and Change in EnglishLELA2007220Mandatory
Old and Middle EnglishLELA2009120Mandatory
American Film StudiesAMER2007220Optional
From Jamestown to James Brown: African-American History and CultureAMER2014120Optional
American Literature and Social Criticism, 1900-PresentAMER2048120Optional
American ModernismAMER2212120Optional
Mapping the MedievalENGL1005120Optional
Creative Writing: FictionENGL2000120Optional
Creative Writing: FictionENGL2000220Optional
Chaucer: Texts, Contexts, ConflictsENGL2023120Optional
Displaying 10 of 39 course units for year 2
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Course content for year 3

  • In Year 3 you will be able to choose from a range of English Language modules including Phonology, Historical Syntax, Language Change across the Lifespan, Language contact, Language Development, Second language acquisition, and Speech communities. You will also have the opportunity to write a dissertation.
  • For the English Literature component of your degree you will be enrolled on the long essay unit (worth 20 credits). Your remaining unit will be selected from four lists as shown below:
  • List A: Revenge Tragedy: Wild Justice on the English Renaissance Stage, The Word: Performing, Writing, Reading the Bible, c1380-c1611, Transnational Shakespeare: Texts, Places, Identities, Troy Stories, Things that Talk: Nonhuman Voices in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture, FromHenry V to Game of Thrones : Imagining the Early Modern
  • List B: Crime and the Law in 18th and 19th Century Literature, Eros: Love Poetry in the Nineteenth Century, – Lord Byron, Writing Workers/Workers Writing, Gothic: Politics, Sexuality and Identity in British Gothic Writing, 1789-1900, Imagining the Body in the Long Eighteenth Century: Materiality, Mortality and Disease, LOL: The Serious Business of Comedy in Fiction, Theatre, and Film
  • List C: The Great War: Culture, History, Theory, Contemporary Post-Colonial Fiction and Film,Ulysses, Crossing Over with Tilda Swinton: Feminist and Queer Theories of Cinema, Politics and Culture; Culture and Conflict: Neoliberalism and Cultural Production; Gendered Experiments: Women’s Innovative Writing in the Twentieth Century; Dante in Modernism; Contemporary Irish Poetry and Fiction; Kipling, Forster and India; – Creative Writing: Fiction (Competitive Entry);  Creative Writing: Poetry (Competitive Entry)
  • List D Conspiracy Theories in American Culture; American Crime Fiction: Genre, Commerce, Ideology; Beat Writing; Love American Style; Occupy Everything.


Why Is an English Language and Literature Degree a Good Career Choice?

The University of Manchester and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures have outstanding facilities available for studying.

  • The University of Manchester Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Britain and its Special Collections contain invaluable visual resources.
  • The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state of the art study and learning centre in the heart of the Oxford Road campus boasting an onsite café, an impressive atrium providing a social meeting space with wifi access and flexible study spaces and environments throughout the building.
  • The Department of Linguistics and English Language benefits from a full service phonetics lab, details of which can be seen here:
  • The University of Manchester owns the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, giving you unique access to outstanding art gallery and museum resources.
  • The University’s Language Centre is a state of the art open learning facility which allows you to pursue effective independent study. It consists of a library of books and audio-visual resources, language laboratories and multimedia studies comprising a combination of PCs, DVDs and TV/DVD players.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]


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