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English and Applied Linguistics

Discover how linguistics shape society

We all communicate in many ways; for example, the way we speak to a friend, a grandparent, an employer or a teacher may be entirely different. Study linguistics and you will learn how and why language performs different actions and practices depending on who we are speaking to and where we are, and how this depends on all kinds of influences, such as background, culture and environment. Our curriculum considers language as social in nature and introduces you to the huge diversity of global and cultural contexts where English is used.

Study that benefits your employability

Attributes such as strong communication skills and the ability to work in multicultural teams in international settings are highly sought after by employers. We offer several modules designed to enhance your employability, for example by developing communication skills in the workplace and the use of English for business. An Applied Linguistics course can also develop a career in education; many of our MA students are teachers and study the subject with us to support their professional development.

Challenging and broadening your linguistic knowledge

You’ll explore linguistics both multiculturally and interculturally, and discover how two people who may speak the same basic language – say, an American and an Australian – exhibit many cultural differences when communicating with each other. You’ll look at how people experience inclusion and exclusion because the different accents and dialects they express identify them as a specific cultural group. You’ll look at different environmental contexts in which various languages are at play. You’ll study linguistics not only in conversation but also in narratives, in social media, in education, in business and beyond. You'll study language in the real world and we’ll encourage you to reflect on the language that you see around you and bring your own observations into tutorial and assignments.

During the course, you will be challenged to consider questions such as:

  • How do social media and AI impact on the way we communicate?
  • What is the role of language in establishing or challenging representations of different social groups?
  • How is language used in protests that call for social change?

Learn from pioneering, award-winning linguists

We have won several Teaching Awards for our work in creating learning resources, embedding academic skills into the curriculum, and supporting students with assessment and grammar. Our module Communication skills for business and management (LB170) was a finalist in the 2019 British Council's ELTon Awards in the Excellence in Teaching Innovation category. And our video The Language of Protest won a Bronze Award in the Education and Training category at the 2020 EVCOM Clarion Awards, which celebrate films that promote corporate social responsibility. You can watch The Language of Protest below; please be aware that this film contains strong language.


Ready to choose your course?

Take a look at our modules and postgraduate courses.