English Language
BA (Hons)

Overseas study available
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study English Language at Salford


With a practical and applied focus designed to meet the needs of the 21st Century English Language specialist, this course engages with the creative media industries to give you the transferable knowledge and skills most valued by employers in today’s job market


Learn from a dedicated team of internationally recognised researchers with an excellent track record in research-led teaching and student support


A wide and exciting range of introductory and  advanced modules allows you to follow your own interests in the study of English language

Course Summary

Language is at the centre of most human activities, including the arts, media and creative industries. With an estimated 1500 million speakers as a first, second and foreign language, English has achieved a genuine global presence.

This course focuses on the nature, acquisition, origins, and use of the English language. It explores the fundamental questions of what language is and how it relates to the other human faculties. In answering these questions, you will study English as a cultural, social and psychological phenomenon.

This course will give you the skills and specialist knowledge required to analyse the English language from different perspectives: how it is structured and acquired, how it varies across speakers and geographic regions, how it influences the way in which we communicate with others and think about the world, and how it is used in context.

You will develop hands-on experience in collecting and identifying patterns in English language data and texts, and learn to critically analyse evidence and arguments. You will also acquire key skills for employability in research methodologies, information technology, critical thinking, and written and oral communication.

This course will open up excellent opportunities for employment in a wide variety of fields, including teaching English in the UK and abroad, business and management, the civil service, human resources, speech and language therapy, library and information management, journalism, publishing, advertising, marketing, media and communications.

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Course Details

The flexible structure of this course is designed to give you a thorough foundation in English language in the first year of study, and then to allow you to specialise or to study the full breadth of the subject in the second and third years. This flexibility allows you to tailor your degree to suit your developing interests and career goals.

The course covers a range of aspects of the study of language including topics specific to the description of English. You can also choose to study ‘outside’ modules in English Literature and Creative Writing, as well as a modern foreign language. This can be an excellent opportunity to develop a broad range of skills that will further enhance your employability.

If you are interested in travelling and broadening your experience, this course also offers you the opportunity to complete part of your programme of study at one of our European partner institutions under an ERASMUS European exchange.

Course Structure

Year 1  

This module is a basic introduction to the grammatical properties and sound patterns of English. It starts with the description of speech sounds, it moves to the study of word structure, and it ends with a description of the basic architecture of sentences in the language.
Do you think you have an accent? This module will show you that you do! Starting with an investigation of the difference between an accent and a dialect, you will examine the structure of a number of different varieties of English and will consider how these fit into the wider study of English Language.
You will be introduced to the social and cultural history of the English language and explore the ways in which linguistic theories can inform textual interpretation. You will examine historical and ongoing changes in the uses of English words and develop the ability to discuss language in relation        to its historical and social contexts.
Communication is possible because languages are meaningful. This module offers a general introduction to the concepts and methods in the study of meaning and its role in human communication. You will examine how meaning is conveyed in language and how context affects the way in which sentences are understood.
This module will introduce you to the psychological underpinnings of language acquisition, comprehension and production. You will gain hands-on experience of experimental methods and develop an understanding of the mental processes and representations involved in learning and using language.
This module will equip students with an understanding of how English language as an academic field of enquiry developed and introduce students to a number of the sub-disciplines of linguistic study. It will also foster an appreciation of how research in English language and linguistics is carried out, enabling students to understand how original research impacts upon the body of linguistic knowledge and see the direct links between the discipline, the skills it develops and the world of work.

Year 2  

Starting from an investigation of a wide range of grammatical phenomena and constructions in modern Standard English, you will develop a firm grounding in the analysis of the structure of English sentences. You will learn how to analyse and think critically about data, how to formulate rules and hypotheses,        and how to test them.
You will be introduced to key periods in the history of the English language and characteristic features of the language in these periods. You will explore language change with reference to the different levels of language and regional variation and change in English dialects.
This module will introduce you to the intricate relationship between language use and aspects of social structure. Building on the work done in Varieties of English, you will examine the role of linguistic variation in the negotiation and construction of individual and group identity. Topics studied        include multilingualism, bilingualism, language contact and language change.
The British National Corpus is a vast collection of over 4,000 English texts, providing a unique record of contemporary spoken and written English. In this module you will gain hands-on experience in using this and other computer-based corpora of English to answer questions about language structure        and use.
The sound system of English is organised by subconscious principles that shape the content of speech sounds and their patterns of occurrence. This module introduces you to the sounds of speech, syllable structure and word stress in English. You will learn how to describe and classify consonants and        vowels, transcribe speech sounds, and identify and analyse syllable structure and word stress.
How can we understand the meaning of sentences we have never heard before? You will examine the role that truth plays in the study of meaning, and learn how to analyse the meaning of English words and sentences. The module will also prepare you to seek answers to further questions about meaning in English.
This module will trace the origins and development of prescriptive attitudes and linguistic insecurity, and the extent to which these ideas are relevant to contemporary users of English. Topics include received pronunciation, grammar and ‘morality’, and politically correct language.
Children master the basics of their first language without formal instruction from a very early age. How do they do it? What exactly do they learn? What stages do they go through? You will examine the answers to questions like these by studying the cognitive mechanisms behind the acquisition process.
This module introduces you to key concepts underlying TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) methodology. You will become familiar with the basic approaches, materials and procedures and the principles of lesson planning and classroom management.

Year 3  

How does communication work? In this module you will examine key aspects of communication which result from the interaction of linguistic meaning, context, and principles of human cognition. You will study how language is used in context by analyzing data drawn from your own experience in communication.
What does it mean to be ‘northern’? Where is the north and where does it begin and end? Using both archive and contemporary recordings of northern speech, this research-based module will enable you to carry out a project on an aspect of northern identity as expressed through language in        the interactional and media domains.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of selected topics of current interest in English language. The module will build on the concepts, theories and methods you have studied in your degree programme, further developing your knowledge of the latest research in your discipline area.
You will examine issues of current relevance in the study of language use from the interdisciplinary perspective of psychology, linguistics and the philosophy of language, such as the relationship between explicit and implicit aspects of communication or the interpretation of figurative language.
Words play an integral part in our ability to use language creatively. This module is a detailed introduction to the study of words. You will explore the processes of word formation in the language, and the rules governing the internal structure of English words.
How does the brain transform thoughts into speech? How can we process the language we hear so effortlessly? You will examine the psycholinguistic models that aim to explain our unique ability to produce and understand speech, and to communicate through language.
Names are all around us, and this module explores the linguistic structure, history, development and political significance of names and naming, focusing on the UK but with reference to other countries as well. You will have an opportunity to examine the names of people and places in real life and in        literary and other creative contexts.
You will develop an understanding of the global context of English language teaching and of the approaches, materials, and techniques of English language teaching to non-native speakers. You will be introduced to language learning needs analysis and develop the ability to plan and manage sequences of        English language lessons.
This module will allow you to work independently to investigate a topic related to the modules you have studied during your degree. You will plan, research, and present a sustained piece of academic writing. You will select, interpret and evaluate the knowledge acquired, and generate your own ideas        and personal response to it.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
UCAS tariff points 104-120 points
GCE A level No specific subjects required. General Studies and AS levels are also considered.
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma 104-120 points
Foundation Degree The International Foundation Year (IFY) programme is for international students who have not fully met the requirements for direct entry to UG courses. In some cases students will choose to take IFY in order to become accustomed to studying in the UK system in spite of already having the required standard for Level 4 entry. Academic subjects: Students will have the equivalent of GCSE grade C in relevant academic subjects.
Scottish Highers 104-120 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-120 points
International Baccalaureate 25 points
Other Qualification Home UG candidates may be considered entry onto the course via the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. This scheme considers factors other than traditional qualifications such as ability to study at Higher Education level and also previous experience. Appropriately experienced International UG applicants may be considered in line with the University’s APL procedure.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

This course is ideal for anyone who is interested in the study of language in general and English in particular, and who aspires to build a career as an English language specialist.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education.


This course is delivered through a combination of:

  • Lectures: Presentations or talks on a particular topic
  • Seminars: Discussions or classroom sessions focusing on a particular topic or project
  • Tutorials: Meetings involving one-to-one or small group supervision, feedback or detailed discussion on a particular topic or project
  • Project supervisions: Meetings with a supervisor to discuss a particular piece of work
  • Practical classes and workshops: Sessions involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique
  • External visits: Visits to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study.


You will be assessed through a combination of:

  • Coursework exercises
  • Essays and reports
  • Group presentations
  • Portfolios of work
  • Written examinations


Language is at the centre of most human activities, including the arts, media and creative industries. According to recent estimates, English is currently spoken as a first, second and foreign language by approximately 1,500 million people and has achieved a genuine global presence, firmly establishing itself as an international common language.

This course places strong emphasis on the development of key skills for employability, including through access to the Wordscope project and the Salford Advantage scheme. You will be able to explore further opportunities for work placements and internships linked to the training received as part of your studies.

Career Prospects

The knowledge and skills you will gain in this course are marketable in most career areas. This course is tailored to the needs of employers and is your route to a variety of rewarding careers, including (but not limited to): teaching English in the UK (in the primary, secondary, and further education sectors) and abroad, business and management, the Civil Service, human resources, finance, and specialised areas such as counselling, speech and language therapy, library and information management, journalism, lexicography, publishing, advertising, marketing, media, PR and communications.

Careers & Employability staff work across campus throughout the year to provide students like you with access to useful resources. You can ask questions at drop-in sessions, get expert help with your CV and job applications and more.

Alumni Profile

“I chose to study English Language at university because I had really enjoyed studying it at A level. I decided to study at Salford as they had a wide range of modules available for me to study, with the added ability to combine topics from English language, literature, and linguistics.

One of the biggest advantages of studying at Salford was the close contact and support I had from both academic and professional staff. I had regular detailed feedback on my assignments, and was actively invited to discuss my work with my tutors. Most lecturers followed an open door policy, meaning that if you had a query about your work you just had to send an email and arrange to meet. Talking to my friends from other universities, it seems that this kind of support is unique to studying at Salford.

Throughout the course we were actively encouraged to think about our employability. The skills I developed enabled me to successfully gain employment on a graduate training scheme a week after graduating.

I am currently one of 16 graduates across the country on the Higher Education Graduate Training Programme. The scheme was designed to equip graduates with the skills and experience to enable effective leadership and management within the Higher Education sector, and Salford is one of only eight universities involved in the scheme - demonstrating the institution's distinctive commitment to graduate employment.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed my three years at Salford. As a student at Salford you are encouraged to succeed and develop yourself academically and outside of your studies, and for me that is what going to university is all about.”

Jessica Clark studied English Language at the University of Salford and graduated in 2012.

Links with Industry

This course responds to the needs of industry in developing subject expertise and transferable skills appropriate to a wide range of careers.

The English Subject Group has close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:

  • The BBC and ITV
  • The International Anthony Burgess Foundation
  • The Working Class Library Museum
  • The Imperial War Museum North
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • The Octagon Theatre, Bolton
  • Oxford University Press
  • The Linguistics Association of Great Britain
  • The Linguistic Society of America
  • The British Library
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • Scottish Language Dictionaries
  • The Scottish Parliament

There are also employability-linked opportunities with a large number of primary and secondary schools, enabling vital experience for would-be teachers.

Placement Opportunities

Further Study

Fees and Funding


The Gateway is a stunning new building currently under construction on our main Peel Park campus. Once finished, it will be the home of the School of Arts & Media and will contain state of the art facilities including a theatre, performance and rehearsal spaces, photography and recording studios, café areas, computer suites and a roof terrace. The project is well under way and the building is due to open in early 2016.