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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>English / Linguistics (BA)

Overview The Art and Science of Language

UCAS code


Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)


3 years full-time

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.

You can discover more about the Department of English and Related Literature’s exciting degree programmes by watching our video.

A leading centre for research in Europe – find out what it’s like to study Linguistics at York or hear from our staff and students in our video.

Course content What you’ll study


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.

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. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

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. 

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. 

The Department of English and Related Literature is second overall in the UK for research performance, while the Department of Language and Linguistics is second in the UK for their proportion of world-leading research activity (REF 2014).

Both departments are part of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, which is ranked in the top 25 in the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

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.


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 Where you’ll go from here

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 How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS. 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.

A-levels and GCSEs

  • AAB, including an A in English at minimum (English Language and Literature is also acceptable).
  • We don’t accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • AAAAB at Higher level.
  • AB at Advanced Higher level, including an A in English.

Cambridge Pre-U
D3, D3, M2, including D3 in English.

Access to HE

  • 30 credits from units awarded Distinction.
  • 9 credits from units awarded Merit or higher.

International options

International Baccalaureate
35 points, with 6 in Higher level English.

Irish Leaving Certificate
H1 (English) H2, H2, H2, H2, H3

European Baccalaureate
80 overall, with 85 in English.

English language

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

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions