Communication and English Studies BA (Hons)

Communication and English Studies students discuss work in the Third Space
Mode of Study
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2019


If English isn’t your first language and you want to develop your communication skills while focusing on either communication for business, marketing and management or communication studies and linguistics, this is the course for you.

This BA (Hons) Communication and English Studies degree course is aimed at non-native speakers of English. You'll develop your abilities using various communication styles while enhancing your English skills.

You'll learn the communication skills needed in the global economy as you develop your proficiency in the English language. This gives you an advantage in the international job market when you graduate. You’ll be set for a job across sectors including business, marketing, retail and finance.

Depending on your current level of study, you can follow the course for one, two or three years.

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Build your understanding of written and spoken English by exploring how we use it in different contexts across a variety of mediums
  • Understand the terminology of the marketing and management industries to prepare you for your future career
  • Learn and study for varied assessment types – including presentations, group projects, essays and written coursework
  • Focus on specialist topics such as the language of literature, marketing or mass communication
  • See how language changes across different media
  • Receive support from the University of Portsmouth Global Team and a community of more than 4,000 global students from over 100 countries
Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course if you're eligible to work in the UK.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies.

Careers and opportunities

The combination of subject knowledge and English language skills you'll develop on this course gives you an advantage in the international job market.

After the course, you could work in areas such as:

  • trade
  • public service
  • finance
  • marketing
  • management
  • retail
  • the leisure industry

You could also set up your own business or do postgraduate study.

You'll get help and advice with your career for 5 years after you leave the University from our Careers and Employability service.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

  • For year 1 and 2 entry applicants require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 5.5 with no component score below 5.5.
  • For year 3 entry applicants require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

    See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £12,800 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • English Language Grade 4
  • Multimedia Listening
  • Language, Society and Mind
  • How Language Works
  • Studying at University
  • Starting Language Research

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units currently include:

  • English Language Grade 5
  • Professional Communication For Business

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Business Communication 2
  • British Culture
  • Meaning In English
  • English Forms and Functions
  • Language of Human Resource Management
  • Communication and Culture
  • The Language of Literature
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Clinical Linguistics
  • A Modern Foreign Language

Core units currently include:

  • Independent Project
  • Communication Theory
  • Digital Communication
  • Either English Language Grade 6 and Business Communication 3 or Workplace Discourse and Writing to Persuade

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Translation: Theory and Practice
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Analysing Media Discourse
  • Understanding Britain Today
  • Intercultural Perspectives On Communication

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • IT learning and digital lab work
  • seminars
  • language classes

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • exams and tests
  • presentations
  • projects
  • 4,000 word dissertation

Dissertation topics in recent years have included the use of humour in meetings; fast fashion in China; marketing Levi jeans in Hong Kong; Arabic and British English phonology; and the significance of skin bleaching in West Africa and France.

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – PQ93
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.