BA (Hons)

English Language


Language is central to our lives and how we communicate. Learning how languages work opens doors to cultures, communities and opportunities in the global workplace. English Language at Winchester focuses on real-world application of language, exploring how it is used and what it tells us about our society, culture and mind in the past, present and possibly future.

Table full of cubes with different letters of the alphabet on

Course overview

The programme’s coherent but varied range of topics takes you on an absorbing journey through the linguistic make-up of English, engaging with real-world language in aspects of discourse analysis and anthropology and concepts such as multimodality and materiality. Alongside this, you may choose from a diverse range of modules such as Postcolonial Fictions, Political Philosophy, Social Media and Critical Reading.

Over the course of three years, our supportive staff help you become a confident and analytical linguist with the skills to excel in a range of fields in the modern employment market.

And you won’t always be cooped up in a lecture theatre. Independent and group learning is a core seam of the three-year course. You have the chance to undertake a volunteering placement in your second year. And there are opportunities to attend optional field trips – previous students have visited places of interest within Winchester and as far afield as Germany.

In Year 1, you are introduced to key concepts and skills to build a solid understanding of syntax and morphology, phonetics and phonology and semantics and pragmatics. Possible optional modules cover media studies, poetry, politics and more.

Year 2 offers introductions to more specific schools of linguistic research, such as sociolinguistics or periods of historical linguistics, among others. Optional modules may include Language and the Mind, Language Acquisition and Forensic Linguistics.

Your final year culminates in an extended piece of work, either a dissertation or an independent project, which enables you to explore a topic that is especially interesting to you or relevant to your career aspirations, overseen by a staff member in that area.

Optional modules may include Ethnography, The Evolution of Language or English in the World.

With a thorough grounding in language and fresh insights into other cultures and the nature of communication, graduates enter a wide range of careers including speech and language therapy, writing, publishing, media work, human resources, teaching and advertising. Others pursue careers in teaching English as a foreign language.

What you need to know

Course start date



Winchester campus

Course length

  • 3 years full-time
  • 4 years sandwich
  • 6 years part-time



Typical offer

104-120 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  • Study English as a global language, sharing experiences with different cultures and communities
  • Develop a deep understanding of the fundamentals of the English language, its historical evolution and its role in constructing identities, social relations and practices
  • Gain valuable transferable skills in data collection and analysis, critical thinking, presentation skills, academic writing and independent research
  • Opportunities to undertake a volunteering placement in Year 2 and attend optional field trips

Course details

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
Independent learning: 984 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
Independent learning: 972 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
Independent learning: 984 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Teaching Hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

81% coursework
0% written exams
19% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

75% coursework
13% written exams
12% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

82% coursework
13% written exams
5% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to


Approaches to Language Study

This module serves as main introduction to English Language Studies. It combines an overview of the relevant fields of study within the discipline with first training in some of the methods you will be using throughout your time at university. Some of the topics you might recognise, such as Discourse Analysis or Language Acquisition. Others, like Cognitive Linguistics, for example, might be new to you. The methods and skills we train will include how to do a field study and how to make the most of the library. We will also explore how to write essays and work on your presentation skills.

Understanding Language 1: Syntax and Morphology

The Understanding Language modules will introduce you to the main levels of analysis that we use in linguistic investigations. You will revisit concepts from them throughout your degree. This module explores two building blocks that hold language expressions together: words (morphology) and sentences (syntax). We will discuss how words are created and then changed into other words, and how the way sentences are strung together influences what they mean. We will learn how we can take them apart to identify the parts, and how that can help us clarify ambiguities or to compare different ways of saying similar things.

Understanding Language 2: Phonetics and Phonology

The Understanding Language modules will introduce you to the main levels of analysis that we use in linguistic investigations. You will revisit concepts from them throughout your degree. This module will discuss how language sounds are produced (phonetics) and how we use them in order to make sense of them as English language units (phonology). The module will introduce basic linguistic principles and terminology as well as methods for the transcription and analysis of phonetic / phonological features.

Understanding Language 3: Semantics and Pragmatics

The Understanding Language modules will introduce you to the main levels of analysis that we use in linguistic investigations. You will revisit concepts from them throughout your degree.

This module will introduce you to what meaning is and how we create and shape it in and through our language. We will find out whether meaning is attached to a word, or what our mind has to do with it. Or is it a social construct? How does figurative meaning work, and how does that help us to make sense of texts? Are meanings related? And where is the logic in all of that? We will also look at some aspects in which semantics and the neighbouring field of pragmatics overlap. This will include some work on speech acts, and will show us how much of what we say and understand is a question of perspective.

Current Affairs

Students will rotate between different members of the teaching week fortnightly. Each tutor will offer a reflection on a current item of local, national, or global interest through the filter of their specialism and thus provide an understanding of the links between our subject and the world around us. The students are encouraged to also make their own connection between the any area of linguistic investigation and what they themselves find in the news, and they will first come in contact with ethical, methodological, cultural etc implications concerning the investigation of the topic at hand.

Language CSI

The investigation of language has become more prominent in forensic investigations within the last decades. Some of these areas of investigation, such as plagiarism cases and author identification, are also relevant in an academic context. This module will utilise such links between academic scholarship and forensic case studies in order to introduce the students to some of the most vital pitfalls and most necessary skills in relation to their language degree. The investigation of a (supposed) case of plagiarism, for example, will allow us to explore the nature of plagiarism and the dangers of academic misconduct as well as methods for their detection.  The module therefore offers a first glimpse into the field of Forensic Linguistics alongside an introduction to academic practice.

History of the English Language

The history of the English language is a long and complex one. It covers several centuries and several continents, and encompasses a wealth of linguistic, cultural, and technological changes. This module will look at the different stages of the English language and explore the features which characterise each of them. It will also look closely at how these features change between each of these stages, and how we can describe and discuss them quantitatively and qualitatively. In doing so, we will consider the most appropriate methods for dealing with the various types of data, and what limitations there are on our interpretations and analyses.


Research Methods

The module will acquaint students with a variety of research methods and help them develop an understanding of the appropriateness of them in any given context. For this reason, the module is designed around a mid-scale research project which will help to prepare students for the extended independent study module. Building on knowledge from earlier, topical modules students will acquire more insight into diverse research methodologies relevant for linguistic study and allow them to apply these to a problem. Hypothesis formulation and evaluation, statistics, and experimentation will be an integral aspect of the module. Picking their own topics, students will work with each other in groups from the beginning and provide peer support through the research, analysis and writing process.

Optional modules
  • Discourse Analysis - 15 credits
  • Language and the Mind - 15 credits
  • Cognitive Linguistics - 15 credits
  • Language Acquisition - 15 credits
  • Forensic Linguistics - 15 credits
  • Onomastics - 15 credits
  • Evolution of Language - 15 credits
  • Old English language, literature, and legacy - 15 credits
  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics - 15 credits
  • Language and Identity - 15 credits
  • Qualification for English Language Teaching - 15 credits
  • Volunteering for English Language and Linguistics - 15 credits
  • English on the Periphery – Varieties of English - 15 credits
  • Language, Death, Revival and Change - 15 credits



Students will choose either the Dissertation module or the Extended Independent Study (Practical) module.

The dissertation is an extended, independent research project on a topic of the student’s choice (subject to approval). While study is primarily student-driven, supervision will be provided by tutors who teach and/or research in the respective subject area. The classroom-based sessions have two foci: the further development of IT, editing and time management skills appropriate for a project of this kind; the writing workshops are an integral part of the module to help working on developing good writing habits. In addition, employability-focused sessions will provide support for activities, such as interview preparation and CV writing.

Extended Independent Study (Practical)

Students will choose either the Dissertation module or the Extended Independent Study (Practical) module.

This extended independent study focuses on the practical application of the subject, for example in form of a community project. In this case, the practical element is not part of the research, but part of the output. Documentation of the practical work will be accompanied by a rationale which demonstrates a substantial engagement with critical debate and scholarly method relevant to the project at hand. Proposals will be subject to approval by supervisors and external agents who collaborate on the practical side.

Optional modules
  • Crafted Text - 15 credits
  • Language Death, Revival and Change - 15 credits
  • English on the Periphery – Varieties of English - 15 credits
  • Ethnography - 15 credits
  • Ideology and Semiotics - 15 credits
  • Language and Identity - 15 credits
  • Old English language, literature, and legacy - 15 credits
  • Onomastics - 15 credits
  • Evolution of Language - 15 credits
  • Speech and Language Disorders - 15 credits
  • Language Crimes - 15 credits
  • Cognitive Linguistics - 15 credits
  • Language and the Mind - 15 credits
  • Discourse Analysis - 15 credits
  • Languages in the British Isles - 15 credits

Entry requirements

104-120 points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

A-Levels: BCC-BBB from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. BBB is comparable to ABC in terms of tariff points)

BTEC/CTEC: DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications

International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4, including a pass in English, or in a related subject in the areas of arts, humanities or social sciences, including drama, theatre, communications, history, theology or philosophy.

T Level: Merit in a T Level

Additionally, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest.

300-320 International points required

If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by contacting our International Recruitment Team via our International Apply Pages.

2024 Course Tuition Fees

  UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 


Year 1 £9,250 £16,700
Year 2 £9,250 £16,700
Year 3 £9,250 £16,700
Total £27,750 £50,100
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,850 £3,340
Total with Sandwich Year £29,600 £53,440

Additional tuition fee information

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:



Students may incur travel costs on optional volunteering placements in the second year of study. Indicative cost is £5-30 per day.

Field trips

Module leaders may choose to take students on short field trips. Student would be expected to cover the cost of travel to the field trip location. Indicative cost is £40-£60 per trip.

Disclosure and Barring Service

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.


Core texts

Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due the nature of the course sometimes students are recommended to purchase a copy for their own use. It is also possible for students purchase second hand copies. Indicative cost is £50-£170.

Printing and binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.


We have a variety of scholarships and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you're eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards page. 


Graduates enter a range of careers including human resources, speech and language therapy, writing, publishing, teaching and advertising.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023, HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

Student with careers staff member
“English gives you that mindset of being able to argue with someone, look at different sides and find your own position.” Vicky, BA (Hons) English Literature student

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