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BA (Hons) English/Linguistics

The Art and Science of Language

2017/18 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2017 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2017/18)

International fees

£16,290 per year (2017/18)

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A combined English and Linguistics course offers one of the most stimulating university degrees.

Studying English will give you new ways of thinking about the world and new possibilities of expression. Studying Linguistics will let you look through the window of language into the human mind and to understand what you see through it. Studying English and Linguistics together allows you to study both the art and science of language.

Staff in both departments are world-renowned for their research, which covers every period of history, many major languages and most literary genres, and all areas of the world.

The Department of English and Related Literature is in the top 25 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, and the Department of Language and Linguistics is in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 top 100.


Interdisciplinary teaching

You'll benefit from our interdisciplinary research and teaching with critical thinking and transferable skills.

Course content

All combined course students take 120 credits each year, adding up to 360 credits across the course of your degree. In the first year, you will split your studies equally between the English and Linguistics components of your degree. In Years Two and Three, it’s possible to vary the balance and devote more time to either English or Linguistics. You’ll cover a vast range of topics on English and foreign languages, linguistics, and literatures. Our international outlook takes account of global contexts and we offer an innovative curriculum.

NB: This information reflects the current course content and structure, which may be revised from year to year.

Study abroad

We are proud of our international outlook. If you’re also interested in studying abroad, there are a number of options both in the English-speaking world and in Europe. 

Year 1

In the first year of your degree, we’ll introduce you to the undergraduate study of English and Linguistics. Our modules will give you the skills you need to start doing literary and linguistic research, and advice on how to combine the two disciplines.

English/Linguistics students take the following three modules in English, which are worth 20 credits each. These modules are designed to lay the foundation of literary study for your whole degree.

  • Approaches to Literature I (Autumn) and Approaches to Literature II (Spring) – Get a feel for the shape of literary history by studying works from the medieval, early modern, eighteenth-century and Romantic, and modern periods on these linked modules.
  • Key Concepts – A year-long foundation module that provides you with important critical and methodological contexts for the study of literature.

You will also take a further 60 credits in Linguistics:

  • Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Syntax (20 credits)

One from:

  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics (20 credits)
  • History of English I (20 Credits)

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In the second year of your degree, you’ll choose from a range of intermediate modules across the English and Linguistics departments.

English/Linguistics students take a minimum of 40 credits in each department in Year 2. For example, you may choose to take 40 credits in English and 80 credits in Linguistics (or vice versa) in order to make up your total of 120 credits for the year. You will choose from the same English options as our single subject students. These include a choice of modules covering Medieval, Renaissance, Eighteenth-Century and Romantic, and Modern Literature, as well as Critical Questions, our World Literature offerings, and our Topic Modules.

In Linguistics you will take Introduction to Language Acquisition and one of two intermediate modules in syntax or phonetics and phonology. In addition, students can choose modules such as History of English II, Old English I, Structure of a Language: Modern Hebrew, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Year 3

In the third year of your degree, English/Linguistics students take a minimum of two Advanced Option Modules in English, alongside a minimum of 40 credits in Linguistics, on varied topics such as English Corpus Linguistics, Language, Behaviour, and the Social Mind, Language and Discrimination, and Neurolinguistics.

You also have the option of undertaking a year-long dissertation, one of the distinctive features of the English/Linguistics degree at York. This can either be an English Literature Dissertation or a Bridge Dissertation; the latter invites students to undertake a research project that brings the study of English and Linguistics together, and is supervised by a member of staff in each department. Each version of this advanced module offers you the chance to use all the research and writing skills you will have developed at York. 

* Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Read diverse texts closely and critically, interpreting them with reference to the period and tradition in which they were produced, synthesizing information from secondary sources where appropriate. 
  • Analyze the affective power of language and narrative, and their cultural and political impact, and use this awareness better to understand the world and influence others. 
  • Select and deploy qualitative and quantitative research methods acquired through the study of the nature, use, and acquisition of language. 
  • Propose creative and principled solutions to linguistic problems and contribute them effectively to interdisciplinary teams, forming a bridge between humanities and scientific disciplines. 
  • Appreciate, engage with, and synthesize arguments from a variety of external standpoints, and interrogate their own assumptions, developing their critical practice in the light of self-reflection, peer review, and advice and feedback from others. 
  • Identify and formulate novel questions which advance critical debate within a range of disciplines, and approach them both individually and in teams, using advanced written and oral skills. 
  • Show sensitivity and perceptiveness concerning aspects of social, cultural, and political realities where language plays an important role and be able to highlight the relevance of literature- and linguistic-related issues in a globalized and interconnected world.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2017/18

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,290

Additional costs

You'll need copies of the texts set for each module. Where possible, the Department works to arrange digital copies via the University Library. Where this is not practical, you'll be instructed in advance of the start of each term about the texts and editions you'll need to purchase (whether new or second-hand).

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

Work placements and study abroad

Going on a work placement or year abroad? You’ll pay a reduced tuition fee for that year.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

The Department of English and Related Literature offers an Annual Overseas Bursary of £1,000. 

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

In English, you’ll learn through a programme of seminars, lectures, workshops, and one-to-one consultations. We emphasize small-group teaching, which means you’ll mainly be taught in seminars.

In Linguistics, you’ll learn through a mix of seminars, lectures, practicals, and labs, as well as through independent study. Class sizes decrease as you advance through the degree. Lectures are accompanied by small-group teaching in seminars and practicals.

York’s English and Linguistics degree is renowned for its flexible and innovative approach.

  • You can expect an average of seven hours of contact time a week — and sometimes more, depending on which modules you choose to study.
  • Our cutting-edge research informs all our teaching activities.
  • Our staff are world-leading experts, but are friendly, approachable, and accessible – they all have two open office hours a week.
  • We organize many guest lectures and readings by well-known critics, linguists, and writers.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Department of Language and Linguistics on Campus West.

Your contact hours will be divided between Vanbrugh College, Derwent College and Spring Lane, with other nearby locations on Campus West.


Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

The Department of English and Related Literature employs a variety of assessment methods, including group presentations and closed exams, but with a strong emphasis on essay writing. Your main mode of assessment will be essays, which will range from short exploratory exercises to more detailed discussions on a topic of your choice, to the optional 7,000-8,000-word dissertation in your final year. We offer high levels of feedback and ample opportunities for students to meet with staff to discuss their written work.

The Department of Language and Linguistics also uses varied assessment methods, including closed and open exams, coursework, extended essays, group oral presentations, lab reports, and practicals. 

Careers and skills

Studying English and Linguistics at York will provide you with numerous career possibilities. You’ll learn presentation, language, and critical thinking skills during your combined degree, and gain expertise in complex analysis and research. These skills suit a wide range of careers, from law and teaching to national and local government and the creative industries.

Our English alumni 
Our Linguistics alumni

Career opportunities

  • Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations
  • Arts Administration
  • Civil and Diplomatic Services
  • Creative Industries
  • Journalism and Broadcasting
  • Law
  • Librarianship
  • Postgraduate study
  • Publishing
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Teaching, including Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Translation Services

Transferable skills

  • Ability to analyse and compare complex texts
  • Communication and teamwork skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Data interpretation
  • Experience of researching and debating challenging topics
  • Independent study skills
  • Logic and rhetoric
  • Proficiency in presenting findings cogently and persuasively using information technology

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels
  • AAB, including an A in English at minimum (English Language and Literature is also acceptable).
  • We don’t accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits from units awarded Distinction.
9 credits from units awarded Merit or higher.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2, including D3 in English.
European Baccalaureate 80 overall, with 85 in English.
International Baccalaureate 35 points, with 6 in Higher level English.
Irish leaving Certificate H1 (English) H2, H2, H2, H2, H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB at Higher level.
AB at Advanced Higher level, including an A in English.
Other qualifications




English language

Our English language requirements for international applicants can be found on our Entry Requirements page.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

2017 entry application deadlines

  • 15 October 2016: The closing date for Medicine applicants at the Hull York Medical School.
  • 15 January 2017: The deadline for equal consideration for all other courses (not Medicine - Hull York Medical School). We will consider applications received after this date if places are available. We cannot guarantee applications submitted after 15 January deadline will be given the same level of consideration as those which arrive by 15 January.
  • 30 June 2017: The deadline for late applications - although we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications received after this date will be held for Clearing (for applicants who haven't received any offers).

We look for intellectual and literary curiosity, open-mindedness, and analytical ability.

Normally, only mature candidates and those with special circumstances and/or qualifications will have an interview. Interviews will usually be a half-hour conversation about your interests. We’ll also ask you to bring along some of your recent essays.

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Department of English and Related Literature

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