Accessibility statement

Old English



In this module you will develop your understanding of the linguistic system of Old English (phonology, morphology and syntax) beyond the introductory levels covered in History of English I and II. This knowledge will be developed and supported through data analysis and close, linguistically informed readings of Old English texts.

By the end of this module, students will:

  • have an understanding of some of the major aspects of the linguistic system of Old English (phonology, morphology, and syntax)
  • be able to read and analyse Old English in a linguistically informed way

This module will be capped at 20.



Students must have successfully completed:

  • E02C History of English I (LAN00002C)
  • E01I History of English II (LAN00001I)



Contact hours

A minimum of 24 contact hours over two terms, made up of lectures and practicals.

Teaching programme

Spring 2-5 Old English grammar
Spring 7-10 Reading Old English prose
Summer 1-3 Old English poetry
Summer 4 Open exam

Teaching materials

  • Swanton, M.J. (2005). An Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Exeter: University of Exeter Press.
  • Quirk R. and C.I. Wrenn (1994). An Old English Grammar. (Religious Studies; 34). Northern Illinois University Press. Reprint edition. [This is a cheaper edition of the original Quirk and Wrenn red cover grammar, which would also be fine].

Assessment and feedback

Assessment and feedback

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Exercises and quizzes with oral or written feedback as appropriate.
  • Weekly reading of Old English texts with oral feedback on developing reading and analytic skills.

Summative assessment and feedback

  • Open examto be submitted Term 3, Week 4
    • Weight: 50%
  • Closed examin Term 3, weeks 5-7
    • Length: 2 hours
    • Weight: 50%

Written feedback on summative assignments will be provided within 3 weeks.


Transferable skills developed in this module

All modules provide an opportunity to work on general oral/written communication skills (in class and in assessments) and general self management (organising your studies), alongside the specific skills in language or linguistics that the module teaches.

In addition, this module will allow you to particularly develop skills in the application of data analysis skills. In this module you will have the opportunity to analyse primary linguistic data (Old English texts). You will apply your existing linguistic knowledge and skills to solve new problems and tackle new questions.

Follow this link to hear how past students use transferable skills from their degree in their current jobs.

About this module

  • Module name
    Old English
  • Course code
    E51H (LAN00051H)
  • Teacher
    Ann Taylor
  • Term(s) taught
  • Credits