Mode of StudyFull-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start dateSeptember 2023
Language shapes our experience of the world – from our social and emotional lives, to our experience of society, work, politics and culture. Immerse yourself in the nature of spoken and written language, and how it's used in everything from digital communication to forensic investigation.
You'll study how language works, including the relationships between language, the mind, and society, and how language varies through time, place, culture and identity. You'll explore the different ways people use language and what they use it for. Discover methods for analysing spoken and written language, how we learn language and how we teach it.
You'll develop sought-after skills including communication, creativity and critical thinking. You'll be taught by expert researchers and study alongside students within the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics – bringing opportunities to learn from the latest research and build intercultural relationships.
- Discover how the use of language affects perceptions of important contemporary issues, such as gender, sexuality, education and globalisation
- Learn the linguistic skills to spot how language persuades and prejudices people – from what drives social movements on social media, to relationships in the workplace
- Develop the skills employers want, including analysis, criticism, negotiation, argument and problem solving
- Tailor your degree to suit your career ambitions, including options that equip you to work internationally, such as intercultural communication and teaching English as a second language
- Learn from dedicated, expert researchers from the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics who specialise in areas including corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, professional communication, sociolinguistics and translation
- Have the opportunity to build skills in ‘corpus linguistics’ analysis – essential skills in a world where working with 'big data' is the future
Options to customise your degree
You can choose to customise your degree depending on your interests and ambitions, by specialising in English literature or teaching English as a foreign language.
If you want to combine your study of English language and linguistics with a passion for English literature, you can choose to take a look at our pathway degree: BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics with Literature.
If you’re interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) you can upgrade your qualifications with the Trinity College London Certificate – an internationally recognised TESOL qualification.
You’ll need to pass an additional entry test and interview to add TESOL to your studies.
- A levels – BBB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, to include English or another Humanities/Social Science subject (calculate your UCAS points)
- International Baccalaureate – 25
You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Why study English Language and Linguistics?
"Language is a really powerful thing." Meet the students and lecturers from our BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics course, discover what they love about the subject and how it can help in your future career.
Lucy: Language is a really powerful thing. I think it's so powerful that you don't even notice that you can do so much with it. But studying that is really interesting, and I just had a moment where I was like, this is the course I want to do.
William Forsyth: The BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics consists of three years between the second and the third year, you can have a placement year. Some of the topics we cover on the course lead into a lot of things that people want to do afterwards, so we have quite a lot on education. For people who want to go into publishing and marketing, using social media, we have clinical linguistics for people who want to go into language therapy and that kind of thing. We have forensic linguistics.
Grahame Luff: Forensic linguistics is the study of language applied to forensic situations in context, i.e. looking at written documents and speech and using that to solve crime. The skills that students will learn will be analytical skills, the ability to take new ideas and concepts and apply them to different situations.
William Forsyth: We have two modules aimed specifically at teaching English to non-native speakers. The first one is called TESOL, which is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. And the second one is an accredited module examined by Trinity.
Rebecca Hamlet: Trinity is a recognised teaching qualification and it qualifies students to teach in language schools all over the world and TESOL is the input for that. They are assigned to a tutor, they work with a class and they deliver lessons with feedback and support from their tutors.
William Forsyth: By undertaking the BA, that will allow them to go and do a Master's course, there's then the opportunity to do a PhD, set up their own consultancy service or join the police.
Rebecca Hamlet: Many jobs involve language and linguistics because it is about communication. I can't think of many careers where understanding about language wouldn't be enormously helpful.
Alexander: I've definitely taken an interest in forensics as well as the language of law. So I've applied for various Master's along the line of forensic accounting as well as a conversion to law. But this courses has definitely helped me get a much clearer line of what I'd like to do moving forward.
Max: I think what made me really realise that I loved the course was during the start of COVID-19, it was a difficult time for a lot of students, and a lot of people in general. I still found myself enjoying the lectures, even from a distant learning point of view. And then when coming back into the classroom this year, really made me go, "Okay, I've loved it online and now I love it in person."
William Forsyth: The reason why I would recommend students coming to Portsmouth is that the teaching staff are excellent, the provision that the teachers provide is excellent and the support that students will receive here is also excellent.
Lucy: When I visited the University of Portsmouth, it just clicked for me because I'd visited a number of other unis and it just didn't feel right. But when I visited here, I just loved the closeness of everything to each other and it just felt right.
Rebecca Hamlet: Language and linguistics has many, many different aspects because at the end of the day, language is everything. We are surrounded by it. It's powerful and we need to know how it works in society.
Careers and opportunities
You’ll graduate with specialist expertise in language and linguistics, plus sought-after employability skills including:
- analytical techniques and reasoning
- communicating clearly to diverse audiences
- data collection and interpretation
- developing persuasive, evidence-based arguments
- problem solving
Previous graduates are now applying these skills in a diverse range of sectors and industries. If you decide to pursue a career that’s closely related to your studies, you could apply for jobs in writing, editing or publishing. Or employ your research and analysis skills to go on to postgraduate study, in areas such as speech therapy, communication studies, law and marketing.
This degree course gives you the freedom to explore topics and find areas you're most passionate about, and the foundation to pursue these areas after graduation. Further study in forensic linguistics could open up possible careers in law enforcement, criminal justice or legal firms. You could also develop your linguistic talents to work as a speech therapist or train actors to master different dialects.
What areas can you work in with an English language and linguistics degree?
You could work in any of the following areas:
- technical writing
- teaching English
Previous graduates have gone onto further training and work in various fields, including:
- the armed forces and police
- local government
- health services
- public relations and marketing
- speech and language therapy
Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate
Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
Placement year (optional)
After your second year of study, you can choose to do a paid work or research placement year. This lets you put your new skills to work while developing valuable links with employers.
It’s fantastic for your CV and will really help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. With mentoring and support throughout your placement, you’ll have our support to get the most from the experience.
Previous placement destinations have included:
- 7 Stars – a media company in London
- Babylangues – a company helping infants and toddlers learn English in France
I enjoyed the range of units that my course offered. My favourite unit was forensic linguistics, as this was something I had never covered before.
What you'll study
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- How Language Works
- Language, Learning & Teaching
- Language, Society & Mind
- Researching Language and Professional Practice
- Working with Texts
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- English Forms And Functions
- Meaning In English
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Analysing Media Discourse
- Clinical Linguistics
- Crime Writing
- Forensic Linguistics
- Intercultural Perspectives on Communication
- Modern Foreign Language
- Learning From Experience
- Literary Heritage
- Managing Across Cultures
- Neo-Historical Fiction
- Second Language Acquisition
- TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
- The Language of Literature
- Trinity Certificate Teaching Practice
- Women’s Writing in ihe Americas
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
- Creative Activities in the Language Classroom
- Digital Communication
- English in an Historical Perspective
- English in the World
- Gender, Language and Sexuality
- Holocaust Literatures
- Introduction to Teaching
- Learning From Experience
- Magical Realism
- Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
- Researching English Vocabulary
- US Masculinities
- Workplace Discourse
- Writing to Persuade
Changes to course content
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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- online activities
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- case studies
- book reviews
- written work
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 you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
As well as support from faculty 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
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.
You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.
If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Course costs and funding
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
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.
Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
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.
You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.
These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.
During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, this discount amounts to 90% of the year’s fees.
Tuition fees for that year are:
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)
The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.
Enhance your degree with an internationally recognised qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: the Trinity College London Cert TESOL. This opportunity is conditional on a successful performance in an entry test and interview in order to fulfil professional requirements.
There's no cost if you take the Trinity College London Teaching Practice module as one of your options.
If you choose to take this module outside your planned curriculum, there's a fee of £355.
How to apply
You can still apply for this course to study with us in September 2022 by using Clearing.
Once you have your exam results:
Our Clearing hotline will be open as follows:
- 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday
- 9am - 4pm Fridays
- Thursday 18 August (A and T level results day) 8am - 8pm
- Friday 19 August 8am - 7pm
- Saturday 20 August 10am - 3pm
To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – QQ31
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also 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.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.