Foundations of Language I
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Life without language is unthinkable because language is definitional to being human, and the more we understand about it, the more we understand about our nature and identity. This exciting course focuses on the properties, varieties, history, as well as acquisition and use of the English language, and how it relates to other human abilities. In studying these themes, you will study English—and language overall—as a cultural, social and psychological phenomenon.
During the course, you will be given 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 is just one of our English and Creative Writing programmes, which have risen ten places in the 2020 Guardian university league tables. What's more, this course had 100% overall student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data).
Appreciate how the study of English language draws on and informs other academic disciplines such as psychology, sociology, communication and history, as well as areas of applied interest such as teaching and the creative industries
Learn from a dedicated team of internationally recognised researchers with an excellent track record in research-led teaching and student support
Develop a strong skillset for success and transferable knowledge most valued by employers in today’s job market
You find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our English courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) English Language course.
This is for you if...
You are interested in the study of language in general, and English in particular
You have a passion for the written word and have an active, analytical mind
You are looking for a route to a variety of rewarding careers
All about the course
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 broadening your academic experience, this course also offers you the opportunity to undertake language study as part of the University Wide Language Programme (UWLP). Languages currently on offer include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and British Sign Language.
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 and develop the ability to discuss language in relation to its historical and social contexts.
Foundations of Language II
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.
Varieties of English
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.
Psychology of Language
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.
Researching English Language
This module will equip you with an understanding of how English language as an academic field of enquiry developed and introduce you 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 you 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.
Language Through Literature
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.
Sounds of English
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.
Structure of English
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.
Truth and Meaning
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.
History and Diversity in English
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.
You will also choose optional modules from the below:
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.
The Romantic Period
Study literature emerging in a time of revolution and consider themes such as the rights of man, of woman, and of slaves, the sublime, childhood, empire, the self, and the gothic. This literary period refines and develops literary forms and styles from previous eras, as well as pursuing artistic experimentation, so this module explores language and form in detail in relation to key themes within their historical and cultural context.
Corpus Approaches to Language
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.
Key Concepts and Skills in TESOL
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.
Introduction to Children’s Literature
You will look at the development of literature for children since 1744. We will learn how a child develops and how to create children’s literature, from picture books to young adult novels.
Attitudes to 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.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
The Dissertation is a key feature of the course and provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent and challenging research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on analysis and interpretation in preparation for the written submission. The dissertation expands and hones your research skills, strengthening your ability to engage with complex materials in a productive way and preparing you for further study or a career in the workplace.
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.
Critical Issues in TESOL
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.
Biography: Tradition and Innovation
This module puts theory into practice as we examine the literary history of biography, consider the issues and tensions raised by the post-modern context, and explore them in our own biographical writing. Subsequent sessions will address these questions via a number of themes including the history of biography as a literary practice, historical biography, literary biography, celebrity biography through the ages, theoretical approaches to the practice of biography and innovations within the genre. The researching and writing of your own biographical work will be a key element of the classes.
Rebels, Villains and Discontented Minds
The subject of this module is ‘disobedience’: how it was defined, represented, condemned and, on occasions, celebrated in the 16th and 17th century English literature. In particular we will study the many ways in which authors structure specific discourses around socially marginal characters and outcasts (villains, malcontents, prostitutes whose distinctive qualities can include a disruptive and sarcastic verbal idiom) as key figures in the contemporary cultural and historical discourse.
Language and Communication
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 analysing data drawn from your own experience in communication.
Contemporary Trends in the Study of Language
This is a ‘hybrid’ module that builds on concepts, theories and methods you have studied in your degree programme, further developing your knowledge of the latest research in English language and linguistic inquiry. Some of the themes you will study are the following: The relation between language and thought; language and its relation to other systems of the mind; atypical language development. You will also be introduced some of the most important theoretical debates in the study of language in the 20th and 21st century such as the contrast between Chomskyan linguistics and earlier Structuralist and Behaviourist approaches, and the contrast between formalism and functionalism.
The Language of Names
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.
Shakespeare and the Play of Thought
This module explores the various ways in which cultural intertextuality informs and shapes Shakespeare's approach to character and action. To gain a broader understanding of how Shakespearean drama can be seen as 'the play of thought,' we will analyse Shakespeare's work in terms of literary theories including new historicism, cognitive linguistics, and gender studies.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
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.
What will I be doing?
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
SALFORD SCHOOL OF ARTS, MEDIA AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
All our English courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.
Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry.
Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond.
What about after uni?
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.
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
- The Salford Institute of Dementia
- The Stroke Association
There are also employability-linked opportunities with a large number of primary and secondary schools, enabling vital experience for would-be teachers.
What you need to know
We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals who are genuinely interested in the English language. You should be comfortable working with others, have good communication skills and read widely.
You do not need to be a published writer or experienced performer, but your passion for the written word should be evident.
Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.
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.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Grade C or above in any subject.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 104-120 points
Irish Leaving Certificate
Pass Diploma with 71% overall
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.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2020/21||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£12,960per year|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£14400per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students 2020/21
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.
For more information go to International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID Q303
Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.