English Language and Literature BA

Explore English language and literature, how they work in society and their role in the world today, and develop your communication and analytical skills by studying a BA (Hons) English Language and Literature degree course at Aston University.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 years with integrated placement year /

3 years without integrated placement year (option only available for international/EU students)

UCAS code(s)

Q321

Start date

Overview
Explore English Language and Literature at Aston University

Why study English language alongside literature?

Dr Marcello Giovanelli gives a quick one-minute insight into the English Language and Literature course at Aston University.

Is English a killer language?

Professor Sue Garton explores whether English is a killer language in this three-minute lecture.

How literally is 'literally' changing?

Dr Robbie Love explores how the meaning of words change over time in this three-minute lecture.

Best Placement Service

Here to support you.

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service' at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022.

 

Click here to find out more.

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

As an English language student at Aston, you’ll gain theoretical knowledge and understanding of the English language, along with an exploration of social processes, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships.

You’ll learn from world-leading academics with cutting-edge research and teaching experience in fields such as ethnic and gender equalities, global change, theories of social change, forensic linguistics, language, gender and teaching English to speakers of other languages.

On the literature strand of the course, you’ll get a broad introduction to literary genres and periods from the seventeenth century to the present day, and consider all literature’s different manifestations, from graffiti and blogging to poetry, novels and street theatre.

You’ll study literacy as a social practice and will explore how and why people read and write at all levels of society. We will equip you to critically engage with a variety of texts across literary genres and periods, and you’ll be able to develop your skills as a writer through our creative writing module.

In the third year of your course, you’ll spend a year on placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options, adding further value to your degree, and in your second year we’ll make sure you’re ready to get the most from this opportunity.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS.

Post-study work visa

Graduate Immigration Route

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Find out more information about the Graduate Immigration Route.

 

Modules

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Language Study
  • Introduction to Discourse Analysis
  • Language and Society
  • The Novel through Time
  • Reading Poetry
  • Rewriting Shakespeare
  • Stylistics
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Reading and Society
  • Writing and Ideology
  • Written Text Analysis
  • Spoken Discourse Analysis

 

Optional modules:

  • Post-apocalyptic Fiction
  • Introduction to Corpus Linguistics
  • Literature in Film
  • Professional Communication
  • English Language Teaching
  • Language at Work
  • Language of the Law
  • Language in the News Media
  • Language and Style
  • Sociolinguistics
Year 3

The Aston placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and is compulsory for all home students. International/EU students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.

Find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • Dissertation

 

Optional modules:

  • Cognition and Style
  • Marriage in Literature: Class, Race, Gender and Money
  • Language and Literature in Education
  • Ghouls, Goths and Vampires
  • Reading and Wellbeing
  • Creative Writing
  • Learning English
  • Multimodal Communication
  • Language as Evidence
  • Leadership and Management Communication
  • Advanced Leadership and Management Communication
  • Language Contact and Globalisation
  • Advanced Corpus Linguistics

 

Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC (standard offer)

BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)

BCC (contextual offer*)

IB

29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects.

Standard level Maths and English grade 4 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

BTEC, Access & other

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.

T Levels

The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • T-Level - Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D
  • T-Level - Digital Production, Design and Production Grade D
  • T-Level – Education and Childcare Grade D
  • T-Level – Onsite Construction Grade D
  • T-Level – Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D
  • T-Level – Digital Business Services Grade D
  • T-Level – Digital Support Services Grade D
  • T-Level – Health Grade D
  • T-Level – Healthcare Science Grade D
  • T-Level – Science Grade D
Further requirements

GCSE Maths – grade C/4

GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

Learn more about admission to this course

View our Admissions Policy.

All applications are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed carefully, including previous and predicted qualifications, experience, reference and your motivation to study the course. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.

*Click here for details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme.

Entry onto our Foundation Programme may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved. Aston University welcomes applications from students with a wide range of qualifications from the UK and overseas, including combinations of qualifications. If your qualifications are not listed here and you wish to check whether they meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the university.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage. 

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. Find out more.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

As an English Language and Literature student at Aston, you will be involved in lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. We often bring contextual debates into the classroom, so many of your modules will be in a workshop format, alternating theoretical input with practical analysis, and allowing you to test out your understanding in discussion with other students and your tutor. There are also opportunities for group and collaborative work. Students undertake a major piece of independent research in the final year.

Study skills

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated an academic supervisor for this work and a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in online student guides and module handouts, which include full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year. Exams take place in January and May/June. Students who are made an offer will receive a detailed course specification which forms part of our terms and conditions.

Personal development

The course will develop your communication, critical thinking, team working and presentation skills - all of which are in high demand by employers. What’s more, you’ll undertake an integrated placement year during the course to further boost your employability.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Robbie Love (English)

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £17,750

During placement year: £2,550

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

Our English Language and Literature graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers, with former Aston students now working at companies such as Bibby Financial Services, IBM, Interserve, CapGemini, Virgin Active and the BBC.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in roles including: Analyst, Digital Marketer, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Project Manager, Recruitment Administrator, Senior Account Executive and Languages Teacher.

NUE

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.

Frequently asked questions

Why study English Language and Literature at Aston?

You can pursue your interest in the English language alongside your passion for English literature, providing you with a great springboard for a wide range of careers. 

What jobs can I get with an English degree?

The course will develop your communication, critical thinking, team working and presentation skills - all of which are in high demand by employers across a range of sectors and industries. What’s more, you’ll undertake an integrated placement year during the course to further boost your employability. 

Why do a placement year at Aston?

A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

 

 

Chat with current students

 
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