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English Language and Literature (BA)

  • Q300

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The single honours degree in English Language and Literature provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects. Many students find studying the two English subjects together both stimulating and rewarding as they interact and illuminate each other. On the Language side, you will be provided with a rigorous grounding in the analysis of the English language. You will learn such essential linguistic tools as phonetics, grammar and discourse analysis from those who are helping develop those fields. Since we take a broad approach to language, you will also learn how to analyse the types of multimodal (e.g. word+image+sound) texts that predominate in contemporary and new media. English Literature offers access to the whole chronological span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century. You will be able to study writing in English from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, North America, the Caribbean, India, and Australia. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word: we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language, and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests. The School offers a challenging programme of modules drawn from each subject, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.

Please note that this integrated degree replaces the Joint Honours degree and is intended to allow students to combine the two subjects in a more cohesive and creative way.

English Language and English Literature

Key Facts

UCAS Code Q300

3 years

How to apply
Typical places available The School of English, Communication and Philosophy admits around 360 students every year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 1500
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Admissions Tutor Dr Mercedes Durham
Tel Number 029 2087 4243
Email address  
School website

This Single Honours degree enables you to combine the study of English Language and English Literature by choosing from the full range of modules offered by each subject. Although you spend half of your time on each subject, the flexibility of the degree means that you can specialise in different areas across the programme.

Year 1 is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the two subjects that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in the following years. In Years 2 and 3 you select from a range of literature and language modules in which you will build on the foundation year, developing high-level skills. The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a graduate who is attentive to both literary and linguistic features of texts and discursive practices, sensitive to the nuances of language and style and developing analytical and professional skills that employers will value.

English Language is concerned with the structure, use and significance of language, with a particular focus on the English language as it is spoken and written across the world in many different social and professional settings. It studies spoken, written and multimodal texts but also how speakers and hearers learn, interpret and evaluate language and communicative contexts. Studying for a degree including English Language develops abilities to analyse and critique the language and communication that surrounds us but also helps to develop strong skills in communicating clearly and effectively. English Language graduates are known for their ability to combine the best of social science skills, such as technical analysis and systematic method, with the best of humanities skills, such as flexibility, communication and critique.

The English Language element of this degree programme combines a strong foundation in the analysis of language and communication, with plenty of opportunities for students to pursue specific academic and career-related interests. There are modules in descriptive traditions of language, such as the study of phonetics, grammar and child language, but also in critical traditions such as the study of discourse and the relation between language and power. The School also offers a number of modules that are directly relevant to career areas in education, the media, health, and the legal process.

The English Literature element of this degree programme offers opportunities to study all periods of literature in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century and from many different parts of the world. In Year 2 you select from a range of period-, genre- or theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts. In Final Year there is a range of more specialised modules in which you can pursue interests developed in the previous two years and engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you further to develop analytical and presentational skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate study. The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a careful, attentive, and informed reader, sensitive to the nuances of language and style and able to articulate your responses to texts in writing which is precise, stylish, and effective.

The Cardiff BA in English Language and Literature will be taught using the following methods:

  • Weekly lectures
  • Weekly small group seminars
  • Contact via Virtual Learning Environments.

Most of the assessment in English Literature is by assessed essay, while English Language uses a combination of assessed coursework and exams. Where appropriate, some modules in Years Two and Three also make use of other modes of assessment such as student presentations, journal entries, or portfolios of creative writing; there are group presentations; exercises involving data analysis or other forms of linguistic analysis; visual design projects; in the final year students also have an opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their own choice.

It is possible to do formative written for all modules: this does not count towards the mark for the module but provides you with valuable practice in developing and expressing your ideas. Feedback is given on all formative and assessed work.

Typical A-level Offer  AAB

including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core plus AA at A Level. Must include grade A in English Literature or English Literature and Language.
Typical Int Bacc Offer  36 points, including 665 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature.
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy provides its students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

English graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media. As a graduate in English at Cardiff you will have shown yourself to be able to:

As a graduate of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff you will have shown yourself to be able to:

  • Grasp complex issues with confidence
  • Ask the right questions of complex texts
  • Have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options
  • Analyse these critically and reflectively
  • Identify and apply relevant data
  • Propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence and critical analysis
  • Do so clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech.
  • Work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • Articulate well-researched ideas with the right degree of assertiveness
  • Learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights in revising your work and in future work on different topics
  • Demonstrate enterprise and initiative in researching your topics and developing your point of view
  • Work as part of a team, developing qualities of respect for the ideas and arguments of others and a collaborative approach to inquiry and problem-solving.
  • Develop a range of communicative skills, including the use of IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Miss Carol Rees  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4243 



School Website:

More information

School of English, Communication and Philosophy