Foundations of Language I
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Language is a fundamental part of what makes us human, but how often do we stop and think about it? It’s a crucial tool for us to be able to comprehend and communicate our understanding of the world around us, demanding discipline, observation and imagination. Sound interesting? If so, our BA (Hons) English Language degree is the right option for you.
Designed to delve into the varieties and histories of the English language, this course will give you the training you need to understand how the written and spoken word is structured and acquired. Analysing the English language from a range of perspectives, you’ll also explore how linguistics vary across regions, and how language helps us to form our identities and influence social change.
What’s more, this course received 100% overall student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data).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, and communication
- Learn from a dedicated team of internationally recognised researchers with an excellent track record in research-led teaching and student support
- Develop skillsets and knowledge that will provide instant value to future employers
This is for you if...
You are fascinated by the spoken word and want to develop your understanding of how we structure and acquire language.
You’re well-read and have a keen desire to deepen your skills in critical analysis
You want to advance your knowledge and skill sets to establish a professional career in the creative industry.
All about the course
Over the course of three years, this English language degree will deepen your understanding of the fundamentals of language, its historical development, and its role in constructing identities, social relations and practices.
As you move into the second and third year of your degree, you’ll be given the chance to specialise in the areas of language that interest you most, tailoring your studies to your personal aspirations and career goals. You’ll study language in a unique range of contexts, from the psychology of linguistics to child development. You’ll also broaden your learning experiences with modules in related subjects like English literature and creative writing.
Do you want to expand your academic experience even further? If so, this course also offers 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.
If you want to find out more about what each of our English language modules involve, take a look at our full course breakdown below.
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.
Analysing Media Texts
In this module, we will explore what constitutes a media text in the 21st century. You will learn how to deconstruct media texts using tools from linguistics in order to explore ideology and manipulation in texts. You will explore a range of media texts ranging from news reports and advertisements to political speeches and data from social media. You will analyse a range of media texts using qualitative and quantitative methods from critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics.
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.
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.
In this module, you will explore healthcare communication using a range of theories and methods in linguistics ranging from corpus linguistics to conversation analysis. You will analyse language data from a diverse range of healthcare settings, such as clinical consultations, online discussions, public health campaigns and press reports. In the module, you will learn about the role that language plays in influencing our experiences and beliefs about health and illness, as well as the importance of effective healthcare 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.
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?
Contextual and written work
As part of this English language course, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our Peel Park campus.
You will learn in a variety of ways when studying for this degree.
Lectures are formal teaching sessions that consist of one lecturer addressing a large group of students across a variety of courses.
Seminars are smaller discussions or classroom sessions focused on a particular topic or project. They give you a fantastic opportunity to explore ideas and issues with other students on your course.
Tutorials are one-to-one or small group meetings. During these sessions, you’ll receive feedback and take part in a detailed discussion on a particular topic or project.
In project supervisions, you will meet with your project supervisor to discuss a piece of your work and to get a better idea of how you’re progressing.
Practical classes and workshops are sessions involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique.
And finally, you will take part in external visits. These will consist of going to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course.
An important part of your academic journey is being able to demonstrate where you are in your learning. As part of our English language university courses, you’ll be assessed through a combination of coursework exercises, essays and reports, group presentations, portfolios of work, and written examinations.
Be a part of a creative, supportive community
All our English courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
What about after uni?
So, what will studying English language at university mean when you graduate? Simply put, the possibilities are endless. Equipped with a range of transferable skillsets, our recent graduates have pursued roles in counselling, speech and language therapy and lexicography. And it doesn’t end there. Previous students have also gone on to establish successful careers in areas as diverse as teaching, business management, HR, finance, journalism, marketing and PR and communications.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
This English Language 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
Do you have an analytical mind? Would you like to explore the building blocks of the English language? To gain a place on this BA (Hons) English language course, we’re looking for you to be inquisitive and self-motivated, with a real thirst for knowledge. You should be comfortable working with others and have good written and verbal English skills. English language degree courses require you to manage your own studies and carry out independent research, so it’s essential that you’re well-organised. It will also be advantageous if you read widely.
Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2021/22 academic year.
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||2021/22||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£14,400per 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
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our 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.