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English Language and Linguistics

BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) - combined

School of Education

Why has English become the global language of communication? How are images and symbols used to impart meaning? What are the social and psychological patterns of human language use? How do children learn language? How do bilingual speakers’ brains process different languages? If you want to understand language use in today’s globalized world, English Language and Linguistics is the course for you.
You will look at the relationship between language and identity in terms of gender, ethnicity, religion and sexuality, and how you change the language you use according to social contexts. Learn about intercultural communication and study the use of language and non-verbal communication in areas such as journalism, advertising and public relations.
You will also:
– Examine how individuals learn language and become adept users of language both as children and adults
– Learn about the history of the English Language and how (and why) it has changed over time
– Explore how sounds are produced and how words are structured and created
– Discover how language analysis can assist in the solving of crime
– Learn about the relationship between language and thought and how language is processed in the brain to allow us to    communicate as quickly and effortlessly as we do
Our English Language and Linguistics degree is a mix of theoretical and practical work – you can also learn about how to teach language (you can apply for the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) at a reduced cost and have opportunities to teach in Latin America or locally in the UK). English Language and Linguistics is ideal preparation for careers in education, the media, public relations, tourism, hospitality, marketing and advertising.



Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will have the flexibility to choose modules that allows for a range of interests in Applied Linguistics from English Language Teaching to Forensic Linguistics.
  • You will benefit from access to specialist lecturers with a wide range of interests who research and publish in many of the areas you will be investigating, including ESRC funded projects in Corpus Linguistics, and publications in key international journals on topics such as the language of ritual, language teaching and sociolinguistics.
  • You will have opportunities to develop an international perspective. You can spend part of your degree programme studying at a university abroad either in Europe or places further afield such as Australia and Hawaii. There is also the opportunity to go on a School of Education trip to explore the use of English language in education in international contexts.   
  • Oxford Brookes has a partnership with Cognita, a UK based Education group, and you will be able to apply to undertake a twelve week teaching experience in bilingual schools in South America.
  • You will have opportunities to apply your knowledge of language and communication through volunteering opportunities, such as supporting local primary school children in Oxford in their learning of English (Jacari.org). We have also had students who have had undertaken work experience with national and local newspapers and as well as with local Public Relations companies.
  • This course will provide you with excellent career prospects in a broad range of areas such as teaching; publishing; journalism; television; public relations; advertising and commerce. Graduates of this degree have gone onto postgraduate study; for example including PGCEs, Master courses in areas such as TESOL, Forensic Liguistics, Speech Therapy, as well as a PhD in Forensic Linguistics. Every year we run an alumni event where you will have the opportunity to meet recent graduates working in a variety of professions. 

The course is composed of modules which will introduce you to a variety of interdisciplinary concepts and research interests in language and communication. It is based around four strands of study:

  • Cognitive Linguistics (language and the mind) and Language Learning
  • Sociolinguistics (language and society)
  • Descriptions of Language in Use
  • Research Methodology

The orientation of the course is Applied Linguistics so we have to look to apply these theoretical strands in the real world. Two key applied themes that are explicitly integrated into the course are:

  • Education - with an interest in how we acquire language (as individuals and a species), as well as the learning and teaching of language
  • Persuasive discourses - critically studying the use of language in areas such as Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations and Media Formats

In Year 1 you will begin by taking core introductory modules which will give you a thorough grounding in the four key strands as well as research in Applied Linguistics.  

In Years 2 and 3 you will develop these interests and begin researching particular areas and issues in more detail. The list of modules below give some indication of this range. You will also develop your understanding of research in language as you move towards your dissertation in Year 3.  

The University’s undergraduate programme, which allows you to study part-time as well as full-time, also gives mature students the flexibility they need to combine study with work or family commitments.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1

  • Understanding Language: System and Use (compulsory for single and combined honours)
  • Introduction to Discourse Analysis (compulsory for single honours, recommended for combined honours)
  • Sociolinguistics (compulsory for single and combined honours)
  • Introduction to Applied Linguistics (compulsory for single honours, recommended for combined honours)
  • Language Acquisition (compulsory for single honours, recommended for combined honours)
  • Understanding Communication (recommended for single and combined honours)
  • Understanding Media (recommended for single and combined honours)
  • Understanding Culture (recommended for single honours)
  • World Literature (recommended for single honours)

Years 2 and 3

  • Analysing English Language (Hallidayan linguistics) (compulsory for single and combined honours)
  • Research Methods English Language and Communication (compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)
  • Analysing Spoken Discourse (alternative compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)
  • Language, Culture and Globalization (alternative compulsory for single and combined honours)
  • Critical Linguistics: power and resistance (alternative compulsory for single and combined honours)
  • Language and the Mind (alternative compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)

Year 3

  • Subject to Discourse: Language and Literacies (compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)
  • Research Project / Dissertation (compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)

Optional modules for single and combined honours in year 2 and 3 include:

  • English Language Teaching
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Critical Media Literacies
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Language and Identities
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Language Teaching: Learning and Creativity
  • Educational Sociolinguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Stylistics
  • Work and community-related learning

Modules in detail » Module diagrams »

Work placements

There are opportunities for students to undertake work experience in areas such as Public Relations. Work experience can be organised by the student or in conjunction with the university.

Students will have to pay for any travel costs to attend work experience.

Field trips

We are always keen to explore ways in which you broaden your experience of education and development. In the past we have visited The Gambia developing long standing relationships with schools and colleges and we are actively exploring international opportunities in other parts of the world, aiming to be responsive to students' needs and interests.

Please note that field trips are optional and an additional cost on top of course fees. The approximate cost for the Gambia trip in 2018 is £1200.

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree. Several students have recently studied in Australia at universities where there are strong academic links with our programme. These include Griffith University in Brisbane and Macquarie University in Sydney.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Learn more about English Language and Communication student experiences

Meredith Sneddon

Jess Fisher

Dawn Yardley

Dylan Williams

Additional costs

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading this is at their own discretion.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Most modules have a combination of lectures and seminar-style discussion based on weekly readings.

Participation and discussion are important features of the English Language and Linguistics course – not only because of the subject which is being studied, but also because we believe people learn more effectively this way. You will have the opportunity to discuss and challenge a wide variety of critical views and perspectives in your seminars.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 17%83%0%
3 12%88%0%

Approach to assessment

Assessment is based on coursework and takes a range of forms, such as written classroom tasks, essays, group projects, seminar presentations, and analyses of texts. 

In your final year you write a dissertation on a subject of your choice (in consultation with your supervisor). A wide range of dissertation topics are potentially available to research. Previous topics have included:


  • discussion of Hip Hop videos
  • the language of twitter feeds
  • parent, child interaction
  • celebrity facebook home pages
  • death row statements

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 0%0%100%
2 0%0%100%
3 0%0%100%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points


If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: English Language at grade C / grade 4 or above, or equivalent

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is the ideal city in which to study English Language and Linguistics. It has a vibrant literary community and is home to many writers as well as publishing companies. Cultural and literary events, such as the Oxford Literary Festival, take place throughout the year and Oxford also has a number of world-class libraries such as the Bodleian, and archives, collections and museums, including the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers Museum and Modern Art Oxford.

As a student in Oxford you'll be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region and in a centre for leading industries, which will provide you with a host of work and other learning opportunities.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Graduates in English Language and Linguistics can choose from a wide range of career paths, particularly where an international dimension might be involved.

Due to an increasingly globalised world, our working lives become ever more cross-cultural in nature as we communicate and interact with people across cultures as well as across geographical borders.

If you have an interest in people, cultures and human diversity, relevant employment sectors might include teaching, both in the UK and internationally, tourism, marketing, the media, public relations, law, and international companies and organisations.

Jobs now being undertaken by recent course graduates include:

  • TEFL teaching in South America
  • working in broadcast Media (BBC and ITV)
  • online publishing
  • academic publishing
  • digital marketing
  • BBC Radio Producer
  • Journalist (Times Online)
  • retail manager
  • event manager
  • speech therapist
  • primary and secondary teachers
  • working in the UN Public Information Dept in Geneva

Every year we run an alumni event where you will have the opportunity to meet recent graduates working in a variety of professions.

Further study

Students have gone on to apply for a range of master's courses such as Forensic Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, TESOL, PGCE Primary and Secondary, and International Relations. A recent graduate is currently studying for a PhD in Forensic Linguistics. Click here for more information on Postgraduate courses at Brookes.