Language powers literature and is fundamental to everything we do: it helps us communicate ideas, express our feelings, persuade, and present ourselves to different audiences. English Language and Linguistics is therefore an ideal complement to literature, where an understanding of how language works is important.
Combining theoretical and practical elements, the programme explores
both the structure of language and its relationship with culture,
society, and the mind. A broad choice of theoretical topics encompasses
such areas as syntax, phonetics and phonology, morphology,
sociolinguistics, language acquisition, semantics, pragmatics, literary
stylistics and critical and cultural theory, while modules in language
learning and teaching, creative and media writing, and language and
media have a more vocational focus.
Within the English Literature element of your degree, you study traditional areas (such as Shakespeare or Dickens) and examine American works, for a broader perspective on English-language literature. You can also explore creative writing and recent developments in literary theory. These studies, combined with English Language and Linguistics, give you a powerful insight into the workings of literature, the mechanics of language and its cultural impact.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
BBB including English Literature or English Language and Literature grade B
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve MMM plus A-level English Literature or English Language & Literature at B.
34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including HL English A1/A2/B at 5/6/6 OR English Literature A/English Language and Literature A (or Literature A/Language and Literature A of another country) 5 at HL or 6 at SL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/placement year), 6 years part-time
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
Changing Literatures: From Chaucer to the Contemporary aims to introduce students to the major forms of literature: poetry, prose and drama, with a core emphasis on innovation. Students will examine the formal structures and generic features of these major forms and, through studying specific examples, observe how these forms change over time and in response to changes in authorship, literary production, and audience/readership. Students will also be exposed to contemporary literary forms, such as literature written via social media (Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram), literature created by Artificial Intelligence, experimental literature, and asked to critically assess them in relation to traditional forms of literature. Embedded in this module will also be the development of writing and research skills that will equip students to manage successfully the transition.
Adventures in Criticism introduces students to literary criticism, leading them through some of the best and most influential examples from its history, and guiding them on their journey to becoming literary critics themselves. On the module they will read and discuss a wide range of literary-critical texts addressing different genres, periods and theoretical frames. Through these readings, they will make connections between critical approaches and think about how they might inform their reading practices on this and other modules. The module will help students understand the significance and usefulness of criticism and will develop a sophisticated understanding of the dynamic relationship between literature and criticism. The module also includes a series of writing workshops aimed at supporting and developing key writing skills in relation to literary criticism.
This module will focus specifically on the level of language we call grammar. Each week students will focus on a particular aspect of English grammar (e.g. word classes, grammatical functions, sentence structure) from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Students will be provided with analytical tools for understanding and constructing arguments about linguistic structure (e.g. morpho-syntactic tests, constituency tests). Through being provided with a conceptual framework for description and analysis, students will gain a deeper understanding of English grammar, whereas practical application will enable students to be more critical of their own written work, and thus also to develop and hone their writing skills.
The module is particularly useful for students who are studying language or literature, as it enables them to compare styles in light of grammatical information and provides them with analytical skills for understanding language and language-related behaviour. Likewise, the module is also useful for students wanting to improve their writing in an academic context as well as those contemplating a career in publishing, journalism or teaching, in which the ability to express oneself accurately and succinctly is essential.
This module will begin by offering a basic description of speech sounds, with emphasis on those used in English and detailed descriptions first of consonants, and then of vowels. The gaps between sound and orthography will be highlighted as symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are learned. The course will then move from phonetics (the study of speech sounds) to phonology (the study of the sound systems in language), focusing on phonotactics and other phonological rules of English. At the end of the term, basic prosodic concepts such as stress, rhythm, intonation and phrasing will be discussed. The main focus of the module will be on the standard variety of English spoken in the UK (often referred to as Received Pronunciation, or RP), but phonetic and phonological variation in non-UK and non-standard varieties of English will also be discussed (rhotic vs. non-rhotic varieties; luck-look merger).
This module presents and discusses the properties of human language, explaining how the discipline of Linguistics investigates and theorises about these properties. It familiarises the students with the goals and principles of Linguistics, as well as their development over the years. Students will also learn about core concepts and debates (e.g. language universals, relationship between language and cognition).
The course offers an introduction to major themes in sociolinguistics. It will begin by exploring how our notions of 'language', 'dialect' or ‘style’ are constructed, and from there explore notions of ‘correctness’ in language, and their origins. It will then consider how social relationships are reflected and encoded in different languages, for example in kinship terms, terms of address, or politeness forms, and how individuals are placed – or place themselves – socially through their linguistic choices.
The middle part of the module will explore language variation and change, and the social parameters which correlate with them. It will conclude by analysing issues arising from the interplay between language and identity in multilingual societies: bi- and multilingualism, code-switching, language death and its causes, language revival and language revitalisation.
This module introduces linguistic approaches to the study of meaning and communication, emphasising the processes of decoding and inference through which interpretations are constructed. Relevant theoretical work in the fields of semantics and pragmatics is outlined, discussed and evaluated critically. Students explore intersections and differences between verbal meaning and meaning construction in both spoken and written discourse. The module also explores controversies over utterance or text meaning, connecting debates about how meanings are constructed with questions pertaining to boundaries of reasonable or warranted interpretation.
The module introduces students to the study of Stylistics as a systematic way to explore and analyse literary texts. Particular aspects of the structure of English will be related to literary texts from the three main genre. The first block considers linguistic choice and its relation to style and meaning, the levels of language, sound meaning and effect in poetry and figurative language and metaphor; the second block examines style and style variation in prose fiction, point of view and speech and thought presentation; the third block examines conversational structure and character, discourse structure and strategies, and impoliteness and characterisation in drama text. The lectures introduce theoretical and methodological material and the seminars enable the student to produce their own analyses with reference to specific stylistic features.
This module focuses on the global spread of the English Language as an aspect of historical and contemporary cultural and commercial events. Students will get the opportunity to compare varieties of English both in Britain and other English speaking countries, examining the features that distinguish them from each other. These varieties will include British, American and Australian English in addition to other colonial and pidgin and creole varieties. The descriptive focus of the module will also give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained in other modules, in particular: language analysis, phonetics and phonology, morphosyntax and sociolinguistics.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
You can apply to add a year abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year. The year abroad takes place between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. For a full list, please see Go Abroad.
You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the year abroad. The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards your final degree classification.
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.
Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Teaching involves a combination of lectures and seminars, and there may be additional workshops, discussion groups and practical sessions. You have group or one-to-one tutorials for research projects and dissertations, and also have tutorials with your lecturers and seminar leaders to discuss coursework and assignments. In addition, you have access to further information and support via Moodle, our interactive web-based learning platform.
At each stage, some modules are continuously assessed, while others combine coursework and examination. Stage 2 and 3 modules count towards your final degree result.
Modules are taught by weekly seminars. Core modules include a weekly lecture, plus individual supervision is offered for the Long Essay. Assessment at Stage 1 is by a mixture of coursework and examination. Some modules may include an optional practical element.
For graduate prospects, Linguistics at Kent was ranked 1st in The Times Good University Guide 2018, 4th in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
Of English students who graduated from Kent in 2016, 98% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). For graduate prospects, English and Creative Writing at Kent was ranked 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and English was ranked 15th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:
English at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity and scored 92% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021, and was ranked 16th in The Guardian University Guide 2020.
Over 94% of final-year English and Creative Writing students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2020.
Linguistics at Kent was ranked 2nd for graduate prospects and 9th overall in The Complete University Guide 2021, and 12th in The Times Good University Guide 2020.
The programme prepares you for a wide range of careers in areas including:
The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:
Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
This course page is for the 2020/21 academic year. Please visit the current online prospectus for a list of undergraduate courses we offer.
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