English Language and Sociology 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

A523

About the course

Language is central to the creation and maintenance of society in terms of the interactions and communications through which beliefs, structures and patterns of behaviour are passed on. This course enables you to study both Sociology and English Language. 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 sociological perspectives which underlie debates about the structure and functioning of past and present society, and will examine the practical and analytic implications of sociological theory and research in a variety of contexts.

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 society as a whole. 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 the public sector (e.g. local government), charity and campaigning organisations and a broad range of service industries.

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 utterly central to our lives and the society we live in. Through it we have been able to create and maintain the patterns and institutions that underpin our existence. On this course we explore this relationship by studying two closely related disciplines that each provide fascinating insights into how we, as social animals, organise our lives. Different facets and contexts of language are investigated, such as its structure and diversity and its use in a range of contexts such as humour, politics and forensics. Modules such as Pragmatics and Face and Politeness give enlightening insight into the relationship between language and culture. This provides for a unique perspective when studying elements of society such as human rights, health, identity, sexuality and crime. 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, and publishing.

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.

Sociology

Core modules:

Introduction to Sociology - Society and Culture

You'll explore the founding concepts and origins of sociology in the 19th and early 20th Century, and be introduced to key perspectives and approaches within humanist and scientific traditions. You'll also examine different approaches to culture and cultural texts, before going on to study themes within contemporary culture such as cultural identity, the body and consumption, and the self. Assessment on this module will be through coursework, which may be based on the sociological element of the module and on the cultural studies aspect. The coursework will include essays and an annotated bibliography.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include:

Human Rights in Contemporary Society

You'll examine the history of human rights and consider the debates which exist in contemporary society. You'll be introduced to a number of issues including genocide, the death penalty, freedom of expression, immigration, the rights of women and children, assisted suicide and abortion. Key documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act will also be discussed. You'll be assessed through coursework involving the analysis of six contemporary media articles in relation to issues of human rights.

Policy and Society

This module will introduce you to the study of social policy and social welfare. You'll explore theoretical, analytical and conceptual frameworks, and apply them to relevant contemporary case studies and social issues such as the experiences of different marginalised communities in relation to welfare and policy. You'll be assessed through coursework involving a written assignment and a group presentation, during which you will have the opportunity to develop your team working and communication skills.

Teaching and assessment

16.28% 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, charities, law firms, community organisations and commercial businesses.

On my placement, I have learnt how to operate in a team. The most valuable experience whilst working here was gaining an insight into the chaos of putting together an international writing competition.

English Language with Creative Writing Student>

Bethany Ridley-Duff, English Language with Creative Writing BA(Hons) completed placement at Grist Books

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


Our graduates have gone on to a variety of careers within publishing, broadcasting, consulting, teaching, writing, advertising, social services, community, management, politics and local government. A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include BBC, Crown House Publishing, NHS and West Yorkshire Probation. 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).

93% 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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