English Language and Politics BA(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year
5 years part-time

UCAS Code

A524

About the course

Language is central to the way all aspects of society are conducted, including politics and political systems and debates around the world. This course enables you to study both. It will enable you to investigate language using some of the techniques and frameworks of modern linguistics and help you to understand how English functions in so many diverse ways and in different contexts. You will also develop a thorough understanding of the major political and historical perspectives which underlie current debates on the nature, structure and content of politics and in various contexts. You will learn how language is central to politics and political systems at home and abroad. So, for example, in the third year module 'The Language of Power' brings together both fields to investigate the way political ideologies are created and communicated.

The course aims to equip you for the real world by educating you to understand, analyse and critique the communication going on around you and to understand how it contributes to the political system. In your second year, you’ll have the opportunity to take a placement for 5-weeks, as part of the ‘Language in the Workplace’ module or a year-long placement in Year 3. These skills are relevant to most modern careers, but can be closely linked to a wide range of careers in politics and the public sector (e.g. local government and councils).

Our facilities are world-class and include a forensic speech science laboratory, our research and resource centre and conference labs. They're all fully equipped with the tools needed for specialist linguistics work.

Language is essential to the political system and society: it lies at the heart of the way political beliefs and practices are created and maintained. On this course we explore this relationship by studying two closely related disciplines that each provide fascinating insights into a central elements of our culture. We explore the language itself - including its structure and contexts, and the political system - including citizenship, ethnicity, democracy, nationalism and ethics. Options allow for investigation of fascinating topics such as the U.S. and British political systems, film and cinema, terrorism and conflict resolution. On the language side options include the language of power, the language of humour and forensic linguistics. Our students graduate with a set of skills and knowledge that is ideal for a broad range of careers in areas such as teaching, local government, public service, marketing, publishing, and so on. 

None

Liz Holt, Head of English Language, Linguistics and Modern Languages

Course detail

English Language

Core modules:

Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics

This module introduces you to the structure of language as a system. You'll be able to explore the basics of linguistic description, using mostly, but not only, the English language to illustrate. The module focuses on the fundamental linguistic concept of ‘levels’ of language, starting from the smallest (sounds) and building up to sentence structure. Emphasis is on the development of practical skills in analysing language structure. This module will be assessed by a mixture of coursework assessments and formal examinations.

Approaches to Language Study

This module introduces you to a number of theoretical, analytical and methodological advances that have had a significant impact on the development of linguistics as a discipline. You will be introduced to principal ideas in linguistics and practical issues in carrying out research into language. The module thus acts as a precursor to many of the issues that will be explored in greater detail in years 2 and 3 of the course, and is designed to enthuse you about the value of studying language.

Sociolinguistics

This module focuses on the various relationships between language and society. It considers the difference between languages and dialects, how these develop and what constitutes a community of speakers. It explores the way in which language can vary according to a number of factors such as social class, age and gender, and examines how language works to create identity. It also considers macro-sociolinguistic issues involving the role of particular language varieties (with an emphasis on English) in particular societies. The module prioritises the collection and analysis of ‘real’ as opposed to intuitive linguistic data, in order for you to develop an understanding of sociolinguistic principles.

Politics

Core modules:

Introduction to Politics

This module introduces you to conceptual and empirical issues in British and international politics. Through a group presentation and coursework you will explore evolution and reform in modern British politics, particularly through the lens of theories of the state. You will also be encouraged to explore the global as a realm of politics and engage with core debates and analytical frameworks through a final exam.

Issues in Justice; Ethics and Citizenship

This module introduces you to the key themes in political and ethical theory. You'll explore the core ideas of philosophical greats such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant, Mill and Marx and the key questions that have been at the forefront of great minds over the ages. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework, and an in-class test.

Teaching and assessment

14.31% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc. All teaching is supported by opportunities for individual consultation with staff. You will be encouraged to participate in group and pair work, and individual presentations.

A variety of assessment methods are used, in order to take into account different learning styles and skills. Methods used include formal reports, essays, textual analysis, formal examinations and oral presentations.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Entry requirements

To find out if you are eligible for this course, please call our Clearing helpline on 0330 123 227701484 472777.

Placements


As part of the compulsory second year ‘Language in the Workplace' module you will have the chance to gain valuable experience spending 5 weeks in a work placement or work related activity. The module shows you how the language skills you aim to develop through your course can be applied to communication in the workplace.

The course also offers an optional one-year (48 weeks) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.

Some of our students have gained real-world experience in various teaching environments, in publishing houses and in marketing roles. Previous placement providers have included Maiden Voyage.Com, Kirklees Library Services, M-Four Translations, Quest Media, a range of primary and secondary schools, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the civil service, national and local government, Members of Parliament and political parties.

During my time at the University of Huddersfield I secured a placement working in the Houses of Parliament as an aide to my local MP. This experience gave me vital experience in building my career.

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John Anderson, History and Politics BA(Hons) completed placement at Houses of Parliament

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Your Career


As an English Language and Politics graduate, you are valued for the advanced skills you have developed in communication, self-motivation, teamwork, analysis, creative problem solving and persuasiveness. Depending on your specialism, your career choices are as varied and exciting as your degree course.

Our graduates have gone on to a variety of careers within broadcasting, teaching, business development, management, politics and local government. A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include BBC, the Department for Work and Pensions, Leeds City Council, Kirklees Council, Microsoft, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Ministry of Justice UK, Monarch Airlines, Decathlon UK and Health Education UK. Others have opted for PGCE study and have become teachers, or continued their studies at postgraduate level.**

*Percentage of graduates from these subject areas at Huddersfield who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17)

**Source: LinkedIn and Graduate Employment Market Statistics (GEMs)

90-95% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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