English Language BA

The BA (Hons) English Language degree at Aston University trains you to harness the power of the written and spoken word to help you discover how English works in society and become an expert communicator.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)


4 years with integrated placement year /

3 years without integrated placement year

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore English Language at Aston University

From journalism and writing to teaching and marketing, our students are all here for a reason. Discover how you can become an expert communicator with an English degree 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.

NUE careers award

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University has been voted ‘best university placement team’ in the National University Employability (NUE) Awards 2022.

Society matters podcast

Whatever the matter,
Society matters.

Hear about some of the fascinating academic research taking place into current issues facing our society.

Click here to listen now.

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

By studying English Language in-depth, you will develop critical awareness and gain invaluable communication, analytical and critical skills for your future working life. The English Language programme has been designed with your future in mind, linking your studies to professionally relevant contexts with practical applications. It is directly informed by the research expertise of our staff, who specialise in disciplines including forensic linguistics, language education, workplace communication, corpus linguistics, and literary linguistics.

We study everything from political speeches and news reporting to casual conversation and social media, providing you with the opportunity to develop skills in linguistic analysis by describing the features of spoken and written language in technical detail, as well as collecting, managing and working with linguistic data. You’ll study literacy as a social practice and explore how and why people read and write at all levels of society. You’ll learn about how English is changing over time and how it is learned and taught. You’ll develop theoretical knowledge and cutting-edge linguistic skills with applications in legal, educational, and business contexts and beyond. We will train you to critically engage with a variety of texts, and you’ll have the chance to develop your skills as a writer through our creative writing module.

We will equip you with the knowledge and analytical skills that will enable you to think critically and work independently. This includes how to design a research project, interrogate texts rigorously, collect and handle data and, most importantly, develop an advanced analytical mindset. This training will be essential for your final-year dissertation, during which you will carry out your own individual research project. This experience will provide you with a skillset that is highly desired in a wide range of industries and areas of work.

An optional placement year offers the chance to apply your learning in a work or study placement in the UK or overseas. Whether you choose to study abroad, work for a company or to teach, Aston University's links with employers, schools and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability.

International students

Information for international applicants

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. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

For more information on applying as an international student, visit our webpage: www.aston.ac.uk/international/students-applying


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.

Foundation programme

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 while 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



Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Language Study
  • English Language Across Time and Space
  • Introduction to Discourse Analysis
  • Language and Society
  • Practical Applications of Language Description
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Spoken Discourse Analysis
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Working With Language Data
  • Written Text Analysis


Optional modules:

  • English Language Teaching
  • Language at Work
  • The Language of the Law
  • Language in the News Media
  • Introduction to Corpus Linguistics
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Reading and Society
  • Language and Style
Year 3

This course is available as a 3 year BA without a placement, or a 4 year BA with an integrated sandwich placement. Both options are available to home, EU, and international students.

Find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Applied English Linguistics


Optional modules:

  • Learning English
  • Multimodal Communication
  • Language as Evidence
  • Leadership and Management Communication
  • Advanced Leadership and Management Communication
  • Language Contact and Globalisation
  • Reading and Wellbeing
  • Creative Writing
  • Cognition and Style
  • Language and Literature in Education
  • Advanced Corpus Linguistics
  • Child Language Development


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*)


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

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.

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, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

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.

Please note that General Studies does not contribute towards the UCAS points requirement but is welcomed as an additional qualification.

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.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.  

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

You will engage in a range of learning activities including lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, group work, project work, and independent study. Many of your modules will be taught in a seminar format, bridging theoretical input with practical activities, and allowing you to develop your understanding in discussion with your tutor and fellow students. You will complete a major piece of independent research (a dissertation) in the final year.

Study skills

At university, 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 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 a standardised online learning environment, which provides full details of all modules, including week-by-week breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.


Assessment is through a combination of exams, coursework, essays, portfolios, presentations, and an extended dissertation in your Final Year. Exams take place in January and May/June.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Robbie Love (English)

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees: TBC

During placement year: £2,500

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 and funding


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

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 have the option to undertake an integrated placement year during the course to further boost your employability.

An English Language degree from Aston will stand you in great stead for a range of careers, from teaching to forensic linguistics. English graduates go on to a variety of professions in industries including publishing, marketing, education, journalism, entertainment, politics, and law.

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.


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 at Aston University?

Employed Aston University English graduates earn £5,300 (23 per cent) more than the UK average, five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2021). English at Aston University was ranked 2nd in the UK for ‘graduate prospects’ (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021). A whole range of potential careers are available after graduating, across the public, private, and third sectors.

Is a placement year useful for English Language?

The innovative Aston placement year offers the chance to apply your learning in a work or study placement in the UK or overseas. Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work. Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

The optional placement year helps to demonstrate to employers that you are able to transfer your knowledge to a real-world environment. A placement also helps you to understand the type of career you may want to establish once you graduate. Recent English Language graduates have spent their placement year working in countries including France, Spain and Vietnam.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. 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 is also a great place to live.

Aston University'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 Sciences will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.

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