Download the course booklet to find out more about Lancaster University, how we teach Creative Writing and what you'll study as a Creative Writing student.
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Do you want to combine creating original fiction with an in-depth study of the English language? Then this is the degree for you.
At Lancaster, all Creative Writing students combine writing with study in another subject. You’ll be taught Creative Writing through lectures, readings, practices and discussion in regular tutor-led workshops by practising writers. As a student on the English Language and Creative Writing degree, you’ll join a thriving community, where you can get involved with the Writing Society, poetry nights, and spoken word events in the city. You’ll have the chance to develop your writing skills, cultivating a strong feel for words and their meaning within context.
Our Linguistics and English Language department is one of the largest in the UK. You could be analysing sound patterns or learning more about the tones, nuances and registers of the English language. The two different focuses of this degree reinforce and complement each other perfectly.
In your first year you’ll study the core modules of English Language and Introduction to Creative Writing. You will build up a writing portfolio throughout the year, which counts towards your final mark, and you will have the opportunity to work in small groups to offer supportive constructive criticism on each other’s work. In the second year you’ll move on to Stylistics and Intermediate Creative Writing Workshop. You’ll also be able to select modules such as Discourse Analysis, Creative Non-Fiction: Genre and Practice and English Phonetics. We also offer a series of lectures on the business of being a writer.
Your final year is made up of an Advanced Creative Writing Workshop and options such as a dissertation, Forensic Linguistics or Poetry and Experiment.
Many English Language graduates go on to work in education, publishing, the media and information technology. It is a subject that is useful in fields involving international communication, such as science, trade and international relations. As well as writing, this degree combination is particularly well-suited for careers in publishing, journalism, editing and PR.
Your degree encourages you to cultivate a highly creative approach to projects and fosters a keen sense of imagination, as well as skills in data analysis, and the synthesis and presentation of results. These are the kinds of skills that today’s employers value.
Typically, our graduates are interested in jobs in:
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Teaching (primary, secondary, and English as a foreign Language abroad)
- Journalism, Media and Publishing
- Speech Technology
- Public Relations
Some of our graduates continue their studies at Lancaster or other institutions and undertake postgraduate studies or professional training in the field of languages or linguistics.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
A Level AAB
Required Subjects A level in one of the following: English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in a HL Literature subject
BTEC Considered alongside required A level subject
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.
The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.
This module will introduce students to the English language – how to describe it, how it varies and how it functions in a variety of contexts. You will not only study the traditional linguistic areas of English (e.g. lexis, grammar, phonetics), but also areas that are often overlooked (e.g. letters, spellings) and areas that have more recently come to the fore, such as pragmatics or conversation analysis.
You will learn about and apply linguistic frameworks in the analysis and explanation of variation in English, both present-day and, to a lesser extent, historical. In order to study this variation, you will become conversant with crucial descriptive concepts, such as accents, dialects, registers, genres, and styles, as well as possible explanations for variation.
You will learn about the role of practices and contexts in shaping the English language, for example, how new TV genres have come about; and also about the functions of English, for example, how it can be creatively exploited for the purpose of constructing a joke. Finally, you will learn about the teaching of English, especially as a foreign language.
Introduction to Creative Writing
This course aims to develop theoretical understanding and practical application of skills necessary to the craft of Creative Writing, which includes reading like a writer and navigating reader critiques through workshopping. Students will be encouraged to experiment with various forms and genres, to explore new approaches in drafting and editing their own work, and to engage in critical discourse. Weekly lectures will introduce relevant texts and terminology and offer insight from experienced writers, with seminars/workshops allowing students to practice technique, mature their voice and nurture their writer’s instinct.
Seminar tutors will support students throughout the year with the development of their creative portfolio. Peer and tutor feedback will offer valuable awareness of the reader’s role in the writing process and help to guide the redrafting process through regular workshop submissions. Workshop participation is a required aspect of this course, and students will be required to submit work on a regular basis and to read and respond to the work of their peers.
This module will introduce students to areas and topics across the full breadth of the linguistics discipline. The core areas of phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax will be covered in some depth, whilst semantics and pragmatics will also be included. In relation to these areas, students will get an appreciation of some of the nature of some of the major theoretical debates, whilst they will also acquire some actual analytical skills, using data not only from English, but crucially also from other languages.
In addition to these core areas, a number of important sub-fields of linguistics will be dealt with, including Sociolinguistics, the study of language acquisition and learning, historical linguistics, and linguistic typology.
Finally, a number of applications will be discussed. Indicative topics here are; forensic linguistics, educational linguistics, and language testing.
Developing Academic Practice
This short module provides support for students transitioning from year one to the more independent work expected in year two and beyond. It gives students the opportunity to reflect on the feedback from their coursework and exams in year one, as a foundation for developing the level of academic writing required in subsequent coursework. It also develops students’ awareness of the resources available from the library and how these may be accessed and used, particularly for independent research in coursework and the dissertation, and offers early alerts to the Careers service and planning for life after university. All majors and joint majors with either Linguistics or English Language must take this module in their second year.
Intermediate Creative Writing Workshop
CREW 203 is the entry point into Part II of your undergraduate degree and forms the core offering in Creative Writing. For Joint Honours students, specialist half-units are also available with their selective focus on specific literary forms. CREW 203 allows you to write in any adult literary genre, drawing on the accompanying half-units or exploring new areas of creative work. You will be a member of a workshop group of approximately 12 students. For students taking the course as a minor component in their degree, or as part of a joint honours degree, CREW 203 offers continuity from Part I study in the compilation of a portfolio of original writing. The course is supported by a virtual learning environment (Moodle) that enables the exchange of creative work and critiques, whilst also providing virtual meeting spaces and offering a range of dedicated bibliographic resources to support your creative and critical development.
The module is concerned with the linguistic analysis of literary texts, and particularly with the relationship between linguistic choices on the one hand and readers’ interpretations on the other. It deals with all three main literary genres: poetry, prose fiction and drama. Topics typically include:
- Foregrounding in language: deviation
- Foregrounding in language: parallelism
- Figurative language and thought
- Metaphor, metonymy and pain in verbal and visual art
- Narrative and point of view
- Fictional minds 1: point of view and mind style
- Speech and thought presentation
- Fictional conversations and characterisation
- Fictional minds 2: conversation and autistic characters
- Demonstration stylistic analysis: flash fiction
Child Language Acquisition
This module examines explanations of how we acquire our first language. We bring psycholinguistics and theoretical linguistics together to describe and explain the processes a child goes through in learning their first language. We also look at some more advanced issues such as bilingualism, language impairments, and language development in deaf children. The module is an introduction to language acquisition studies, psycholinguistics and theories of mind and language – looking particularly at the wide spectrum of different explanations for language acquisition.
While this module is intended for students of both English Language and Business, the focus is on language and its use by and in companies, focusing on key areas such as intercultural, gendered and leadership communication. This will be complemented by input on methods and genre, with a view to enabling you to apply the knowledge in your own assessed work.
The module aims to help you develop the skills to be :
- aware of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning
- able to apply knowledge of corporate communication, including genres and audiences, to the analysis and critical examination of authentic data
- able to apply your knowledge of corporate communication to produce your own spoken and written texts in that area
- able to evaluate the merits of linguistic and management theories for the study of corporate communication
- able to apply your knowledge of corporate communication to produce your own texts in that area.
Creative Non-Fiction: Memoir and Life Writing
This ten-week module will give you the opportunity to explore topics, techniques and methods involved in memoir and life writing. We will also pay particular attention to the risks and opportunities – technical, ethical and personal – inherent in this form.
Through a series of seminars and workshops tutor presentations we will explore set texts, do generative writing prompts, and give and receive feedback on works in progress. There you will work towards the creation of some memoir pieces of your own – either a short stand-alone work or works, or a chapter / section from a proposed longer work. You will also be supported in developing some independent research to set your own work in its context in your reflective essay.
At the end of term, each student will have a one-to-one personal tutorial to discuss the reflective essay and decide on the best approach to the portfolio submission.
Discourse Analysis: Looking at Language in Use
The module aims to introduce students to the critical analysis of spoken and written discourse in contemporary social contexts. It provides a range of resources and techniques for analysing texts, and enables students to apply them in looking at use of language as one aspect of social processes and change in postmodern society. Methods include functional grammatical analysis of clauses and sentences, analysis of text cohesion and generic structure, conversational and pragmatic analysis of dialogue, and intertextual and interdiscursive analysis. With a focus on spoken data and conversation analysis, we will also address written texts and introduce Critical Discourse Analysis and provide a focus on institutional discourse. The module aims to support you in:
- developing your capacity for language analysis
- learning to apply academic knowledge and analysis to real world issues and problems
- developing a critical stance towards your social environment in its language aspects
- questioning and challenging social and intellectual authority and knowledge, including what is taught on the module.
The module will cover important aspects of English grammar, stressing the sense in which grammar (in English and in general) is not an abstract system of arbitrary rules but is motivated by meaning and shaped by usage. We will apply this so-called functionalist perspective not only to present-day English but also to the way in which certain grammatical constructions have developed over time. Topics typically include:
- The purpose of (studying) grammar
- Simple sentences
- Word classes
- Grammatical functions
- Sentence structures and functions
- Types and structure of phrases
- Complex sentences
- The passive: form(s) and function(s)
- The grammar of spoken English
This module will provide students with an introduction to the phonetics of English. The first part of the module will cover the initiation, articulation and transcription of speech. We will learn about vocal anatomy and physiology, including the oral cavity, the larynx, and the extrinsic and intrinsic muscles of the tongue. We will also address how sounds are produced, and how to transcribe phonetic variation using the International Phonetic Alphabet. The second half of the module will cover acoustic phonetics and the ways in which we can represent and analyse sounds using computers. Students will learn how to describe the acoustic properties of speech and acquire competence in carrying out particular forms of acoustic analysis. Throughout the module, we will apply some of the above concepts to understanding phonetic variation in English, including various kinds of social and geographical variation.
The purpose of this module is to allow students to pursue interests which are not represented in, or central to, named modules, subject to the availability of qualified staff. Students will engage in a programme of supervised reading and produce an extended piece of coursework.
Introduction to Computational Linguistics
This module introduces students to a range of technologies that require specialist treatment of linguistic data to function. Students will engage with technologies that require text databases (such as text categorisation technologies), as well as technologies that make use of the human speech signal (such as speech recognition and speaker recognition technologies). Students will not only learn about how these systems work, but they will also start to develop the coding skills required to build them. The module will be assessed by two reports that evaluate the performance of language technologies under different data conditions, reflecting the kind of development tasks undertaken in the technology industry.
Language and Pedagogic Practice
This module provides an opportunity for students to explore language, learning and teaching. A particular focus is on classroom language, including whole class, paired and group work situations. This includes consideration of the role of technologies. We will look at a wide span of educational contexts, as we examine language and learning from the early years of schooling to looking at talk in tertiary education. We will see that language varies greatly in character and purpose according to who is involved and for what purpose. We will compare the language and learning opportunities that arise in whole class situations with pair and group work. What do students gain when they work collaboratively to help one another? What kind of teacher questions and responses promote greater learning opportunities? Do some kinds of interaction limit the potential for learning?
Using data from actual primary, secondary and/or post-secondary classrooms, students will develop their ability to analyse classroom language to explore how language fosters and/or sometimes hinders learning. This course will be of particular interest to those students who are curious about language and education, or who are considering working in educational contexts.
This course is complemented by LING209 Literacy and Education. The two modules alternate, so LING209 runs one year and then LING218 runs the following year. Most students therefore have the chance to take both modules, one in their second year and the other in their third year.
Language Origins and Evolution
This module examines explanations of how language evolved in humans. We explore the evolution of the human language capacity drawing on evidence from linguistics, evolutionary theory, primatology and (paleo)anthropology. We consider language as a cognitive adaptation and ask what it is an adaptation for, e.g. instruction in tool making, as a form of social bonding, or as a means of winning a potential mate. We consider the phylogenetic development of language within the species as well as what cognitive and communicative abilities in non-human primates might reveal about the origins and functions of human language.
The Placement Module provides students with an opportunity to undertake a short period of work experience with an employer in the north-west. All second-year students are eligible to apply for an accredited placement that counts towards your degree but the number of students we can accept on this module is limited. If accepted, you will spend 4-5 days working for an organisation which employs graduates in English Language and Linguistics. The Department is usually able to provide travel costs associated with placements in the north-west. Placements are sourced by the Faculty Careers team and include positions in areas such as Publishing, Marketing, Social media and Advertising. Workshops will prepare you for your chosen placement and training will be provided. This module aims to give you a flavour for what it might be like to work in your chosen industry, as well as developing graduate skills such as teamwork, taking direction from managers, confidence and independent working. The course is assessed via a reflective project about your work place experience and learning.
Poetry: Genre and Practice
Course Aims and Objectives: The emphasis in this module is on reading as well as writing poetry; it will also explore how our lived experience translates into poetry through language; and poetry crystallizes or transforms experience through language and form. We will look at the base structures of poetry – from the line-ending to more complex forms like sonnets and sestinas. Students will be encouraged to seek out new reading as a result of seminar discussion. The writing of poetry is largely dependent on your abilities as a reader and interpreter of poems – and of experience. You are expected to keep a journal of your poems and thoughts throughout the course, the contents of which will be used to create the reflective essay for your portfolio.
This module provides the students with theoretical and methodological insights into the field of Pragmatics, which is the discipline of language use in context. We will examine linguistic phenomena such as speech acts, (im-)politeness, the (c-)overt expression of intentions and the ways in which empathy is communicated.
We will consider how human beings progressively acquired the ability to express increasingly complex social meanings (e.g. referring to common sense knowledge when they make a statement) out of comparatively more basic ones (such as merely giving orders or asking questions).
This module provides students with knowledge about how speakers from different cultures and sociocultural backgrounds use language in different ways.
Short Fiction: Genre and Practice
Course Aims and Objectives:
The aims of this course are to provide an opportunity for second year students to develop a knowledge of the short story form, and to develop their experience of writing the form., as well as a knowledge of how the form has developed in the past 100 years. They will gain experience in reading, writing, workshopping and reflecting on short fiction, and will develop a knowledge of the history and development of the form, current theoretical approaches to reading and practice in this form, and an awareness of their own literary context. The course will offer students the opportunity to develop their oral and written communication skills, enhance awareness of their approach to the creative process, and enhance their skills in the critical analysis of texts. This course is then developed by the third year specialization in short fiction.
This module will explore the writing of short stories in a workshop environment through the development of the student’s own work, combined with the directed reading of selected texts. Over the course of ten weeks, you are expected to read and discuss each key text, respond to writing and generative prompts in relation to the workshop themes, and submit your own work for workshopping in two workshops. Students are also expected to explore some of the books and essays listed as ‘supplementary’ reading: the books are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered as having a cumulative effect, in that books discussed early on may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course, you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading. The journal will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio.
Sounds of the World's Languages
In this module you will learn to produce, describe, and transcribe all the sounds in the World's languages. We will describe the physiology of how different sounds are produced and will look at the acoustic characteristics of particular sounds. You will practise transcribing all sounds within the International Phonetic Alphabet, and will learn examples of where sounds are used. For example, we spend time looking at the occurrence of click sounds in South African languages and at how pitch variation is used in tone languages. Seminars will cover the practical aspects to sound production, and we will also spend some time learning how to use computers for speech analysis.
Structures of the World's Languages
This module will cover central concepts around word order, case marking, agreement, alignment, animacy, definiteness and valency changes and teach you to analyse new data from the world’s languages in terms of these topics. You will learn to critically evaluate the extent to which the structures of the world’s languages are shaped by cognition and communication. You will also learn how linguists provide explanations for why languages are structured the way they are, given the functions they serve. It is expected that you will acquire a better understanding of the structure of English as a result of seeing how English differs from other languages.
The Language of Advertising
We all know when an ad has caught our attention, and whether it works for us or not, but what precisely is responsible for these effects? In this module, we will learn how to take ads apart using tools taken from linguistics, rhetoric, and semiotics. We will explore how ad writers make use of the different levels of language: for instance, how they exploit sounds and spellings; how they toy with word meanings and word associations; how they manipulate, and sometimes break, the rules of standard grammar. We will also explore how ads interact with other texts and consider the relationship between words and pictures. As well as analysing ads themselves, we will also learn how to test out our intuitions about them, by investigating how the words, structures and visuals used in the ads are employed in other kinds of texts.
The module provides approaches to analysing media discourses and practices, through introductory readings and detailed case studies. We will critically examine a variety of methods to investigate 'old' and 'new' media, engaging with a diversity of modes and technologies.
There will be an emphasis on language and the internet including Wikipedia, websites, blogging, Twitter and Mumsnet. We also investigate news discourse, the history of broadcasting technology and the Edwardian postcard. Activities in lectures, seminars, and assessments will centre on analysing media texts and practices around them.
Writing for the stage
The module aims to enable you to write for the theatre and develop your awareness of the processes by which a written script makes its way to performance. You will be taught through weekly seminars/creative writing workshops in which you will explore the effects that different staging approaches and performance strategies have on your scripts. Subject to timetabling and logistics, there will be a performance showcase in which you will be actively involved; the showcase will allow you to reflect upon your work in the light of audience feedback. Over the module of the module, you will develop your own writing styles and gain an awareness of the professional requirements of playwriting.
Writing place and landscape
This module is designed for those students interested in writing imaginatively about places and/or landscapes, providing a grounding for writers of poetry, prose fiction and non-fiction in the broad field of nature, environmental and place writing (which has been undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years). You will study key texts that engage with different kinds of place and landscape – from fields and forests to rivers and urban edgelands – and explore your own emergent interests in place writing. You will be encouraged to consider your own work as part of a larger, ongoing literary conversation about place, and to explore those places and landscapes that interest and excite you. The module also contains an element of fieldwork, linking the act of physically walking through a landscape to the practice of reading and writing about it.
Advanced Creative Writing Workshop
CREW 303 is the continuation of Part II of your undergraduate degree and forms the core offering in Creative Writing. For Joint Honours students, specialist half-units are also available with their selective focus on specific literary forms. CREW 303 allows you to write in any adult literary genre, drawing on the accompanying half-units or exploring new areas of creative work. You will be a member of a workshop group of approximately 12 students. For students taking the course as a minor component in their degree, or as part of a joint honours degree, CREW 303 offers continuity from CREW 203 in the compilation of a portfolio of original writing. The course is supported by a virtual learning environment (Moodle) that enables the exchange of creative work and critiques, whilst also providing virtual meeting spaces and offering a range of dedicated bibliographic resources to support your creative and critical development.
Advanced English Phonetics
This module investigates a range of theoretical and practical issues in the phonetics of English, with a focus on the perception of speech. This means that we will be investigating questions such as: Is perceiving speech different from perceiving music or other sounds? How does our knowledge of language influence what we hear? How do people evaluate different voices and accents? In doing so, we will engage in discussion of key theoretical issues, as well as practical computer-based work, such as designing experiments to test aspects of speech perception.
Advanced Short Story: Form and Practice
Course Aims and Objectives
This unit will provide an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and skills of the short story form, history and practice with a more advanced course, which develops from the second year course, Crew 204. Each week you will have the opportunity to discuss, in detail, one or two specimen short stories and workshop your own creative work. Students are also expected to explore some of the books and essays listed as ‘supplementary’ reading: the books are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered as having a cumulative effect, in that books discussed early on may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course, you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading. The journal will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio. Topics covered will include:
- plot, misdirection, and the reveal
- flash and sudden fiction;
- genre (the ghost story);
- rewriting fairytales
The module seeks to provide a closer look at selected aspects of language structure and how they are analysed within various theoretical frameworks. It aims to develop a critical awareness of theoretical constructs and the extent to which they influence not only analyses but also the choice of data to be analysed. Students will also be taught to evaluate the appropriateness of specific analyses for individual languages or facets of language. By the end of the module, you should have a good knowledge of the basic principles, notions and structures of Cognitive Linguistics, particularly of Cognitive Grammar.
In addition, you should develop:
- the competence to analyse linguistic (corpus) data in terms of these theoretical constructs;
- an appreciation of the sense in which Cognitive Linguistics is grounded in cognitive psychology, and how this is different from formalist frameworks such as Generative Grammar and its derivatives.
Corpus-based English Language Studies
This module focuses on the contemporary field of English Language Studies. In particular, it will look at corpus linguistics - a research specialism at Lancaster University - and its application to areas such as the description of English grammar.
The module's programme of lectures will begin with a detailed introduction to the method before moving on, later in the term, to discuss the applications and implications of the method. Meanwhile, lab-based seminars will allow students to acquire and exercise practical skills with the computational tools (such as concordance software) required by the area of study.
Creative Non-Fiction II
This module will explore the writing of Creative Non-Fiction through the development, in a workshop environment, of the student’s own work, combined with the directed reading of a selection of contemporary work and secondary texts. CREW 305 will concentrate on reviews, essays, and cultural reflection. Over the ten-week course you will be expected to read and discuss each key text, and to submit your own work for workshopping on a regular basis. Students are also expected to familiarise themselves with the texts listed as ‘supplementary’ reading below and ‘background’ reading (available on MOODLE): the texts are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered to have a cumulative effect, in that the texts discussed earlier in the term may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading. This journal will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio. This journal will be discussed in an end-of-term personal tutorial with your tutor.
Study of Creative Non-Fiction in year 3 will concentrate on the essay and review forms. “Essays and reviews” will be interpreted in the wider sense in this course. It will study the essay as a form that has evolved over the last four hundred years as a commentary on human existence, at both the deepest and most trivial level. It will treat the review as a form which, at its best, sets its subject in a cultural and personal context as well as dealing with issues of inherent quality and value, and is (often) only concerned in passing with what the writer likes or dislikes.
We will start with taught sessions covering the planning and designing of research in Linguistics and English language. We will cover topics including identifying and accessing relevant literature; formulating answerable research questions; working with data; and ethics and responsibilities in research. This is assessed through a short dissertation proposal. You will then carry out the research project planned in your proposal, working independently but with guidance from a supervisor. This culminates in the second assessment which is your written dissertation.
The module will cover the two main sub-areas of the field, i.e. forensic phonetics and forensic linguistics more generally. Following a general introduction on the nature and history of forensic linguistics, lectures will focus on the two main questions forensic linguists concern themselves with: what does a text say, and who is (are) its author(s)? The issues of trademarks and lie detection do not fit into either of these, but will be covered as well. All aspects of the field will be illustrated with reference to specific (court) cases, which will also help shed light on the evolving status of forensic linguistic evidence in courts of law.
Language and Identities: Gender, ethnicity and class
This module is about sociolinguistics, and in particular about how language relates to identities at different levels – for example, how individuals use language to signal their membership of particular social groups, and how different kinds of social groupings – for example peer groups, communities and nations – identify themselves through language.
The module will focus on three important areas of variation in language within society: gender, ethnicity and class, and will discuss the key research in each of these. Both theoretical and applied aspects of topics will be covered. The notion of ‘Identity’ provides the module with a unifying theme.
This module aims to broaden and deepen your capacity for language analysis applied to real social issues and problems and to encourage you to evaluate research critically and undertake your own data collection and analysis.
Language, Culture and Thought
The module combines classic philosophical approaches with recent state-of-the-art experimental evidence to address a central topic in modern cognitive science: Does the language we speak affect the way we think? And as a result, do speakers with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds think differently? These questions form the core of the so-called linguistic relativity hypothesis, which will be the focus of this module. The module begins by laying down the foundation of the cognitive mechanisms underpinning the interaction between language and thought, such as working memory, semantic memory, and the structure and nature of meaning representations in the brain. The module then examines in detail the different ways in which language may affect thinking and give rise to cross-cultural and cross-linguistic differences between different populations, different individuals, and during first and second language development. Throughout, emphasis will be given to the different experimental methods used and the kinds of evidence that can inform our understanding of the linguistic relativity hypothesis.
Longer Fiction: Skills and Techniques for Approaching a Novel
During this module you will examine, through set reading and writing prompts and tasks, the unique features of long fiction. Through tutor presentations and discussion of set texts, the workshopping of creative writing in progress and the writing of synopses and other planning documents, you will develop competence in approaching a long fiction project. This includes: strategies for planning and structuring, choosing point of view and tense, developing plot, working with setting, addressing theme and characterisation, experimenting with form and considering an ending. Tutor presentations may be provided as online lectures. You will receive regular feedback, according to a schedule that will be circulated in the first week. You will be expected to give written and oral feedback to your peers each week.
Note: this is a course for the development of long fiction projects for adults – work meant for children or young adults is not suitable for this course. You may work in any genre you wish, but we will focus on literary, historical, science fiction, speculative and crime genres during this course.
Narrative and New Media
This module will provide the space for you to work on a creative project that utilises opportunities afforded by new media. New media narratives (please see the list of set ‘texts’ for examples) are often interactive, participatory, immersive and cross-platform and you will be encouraged to design and provide writing samples from a project that engages with these features. During the module you will examine a variety of new media narratives, compare them to non-linear ‘old media’ narratives (books!) and you will work towards placing your own creative work in a literary and critical context.
The topics we will cover will respond to your own project ideas and interests, but may include:
- Interactivity and immersion,
- Space, place, mapping and journeying,
- The problem of character,
- Who is the author? Collaboration and crowd-sourced fictions.
Note: while we will talk about the ways these narratives can resemble games, this is not a module where you will be designing a computer game. You do not need to have any special computer skills – only an interest in the opportunities afforded to writers by new media forms.
Poetry and Experiment
This course aims to challenge the received structures of language in the students' own poetry through a close reading of poets who opened up new frontiers of 20th/21st century literature through their approaches to language. Every seminar will be split in two halves; the first section will be devoted to a close reading of work by a published poet, from Alice Oswald to Ezra Pound, looking at how they stretch or break the lyric formula; the second hour will be a workshop based on critiquing the students' own poetic experiments. In week two, students will receive a basic introduction to Wittgenstein's theory of language games, with each subsequent poet examined in the light of how they try to break the rules of the game. The students' own experiments are encouraged as either continuations of the radical departures first implemented by the poets in question, or the students' own attempts to break from comfortable notions of confessional or lyric poetry.
Psycholinguistics is the study of the psychology of language, which is one of the abilities that makes humans unique. It can cover topics in social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. The exact topics we cover vary each year depending on who is teaching on the module, but we aim to balance these areas and include topics on how children learn language and to read, how language is used in social interaction, how adults process sounds, words and sentences, and what happens when children fail to learn language normally or when adults suffer from brain damage.
Schools Volunteering Module
This module will provide students with an opportunity to work as classroom volunteers in primary or secondary schools over the course of one term.
Topics in Phonetic and Phonological Theory
This module investigates some of the theoretical aspects to speech production and sound structure across the World's languages. We will spend time discussing and evaluating different frameworks for modelling phonetics and phonology, for example generative and usage-based approaches. Then, we will examine some case-study areas which challenge existing theories, for example intonational phonology and the study of historical sound change. This module aims to contribute to questions such as 'How are groups of sounds structured so that we can understand language?' or 'How are sounds stored and processed in the mind?'
Writing Adaptations for Stage and Radio
Course Outline: The module will be taught through a combination of seminars and workshops. Earlier weeks will be focussed on introducing students to the key elements of adapting for radio and theatre; there will be specific tasks relating to the weekly subject. As the term progresses, students will develop their own longer pieces for assessment. Specific adaptations will be analysed in script form, in broadcast form and (where possible) through viewing live recording archives. Topics covered will include:
- ‘Faithful’ versus ‘unfaithful’ adaptations
- Finding soundscapes and stage images in the source materials
- Beginnings and endings
- Locating characters and character voices
- Working within and changing existing story structures
- Script format (and software resources)
- Juggling forms: novels, short fiction, poems and non-fiction in to script; moving between film, theatre and radio.
The module aims to enable students to write script adaptations for the stage and radio. Students will explore the effects of choice when it comes to source text (prose fiction, poetry or non-fiction) and the medium for adaptation (radio or theatre). They will experience the editorial demands of the adaptation process, and will engage with both the overlapping and different strategies for realising work in theatre and radio.
Writing Fiction for Young People
The module will introduce students to the constraints and opportunities of writing for children and young adults (YA). By reading, analysing and responding creatively to the set texts, students will become more familiar with: contemporary practitioners of writing for young people; the expectations of the audience, and the opportunities for innovation.
The module develops chronologically, beginning with picture books and concluding with young adult novels. From the constraints of paper engineering to the opportunities of a multi-modal narrative in picture books; from the constraints of coming-of-age tropes to the opportunities for fresh, inventive language in YA fiction, students will come to appreciate the complexities of writing fiction for young people.
As each week passes, students will engage in a close reading of the set texts and will respond creatively to them. Students will be encouraged to revise their responses for their portfolio. This format will allow students to improve as writers themselves, while also gaining a better critical understanding of the field. They will also form part of a creative community with their peers, encouraging and supporting each other’s learning.
Students will have the opportunity to discuss contemporary children’s reading experiences and expectations. As these readers will grow to become the adult readers of tomorrow, students will consider how childhood reading contributes to the wider ecosystems of literature.
‘No art without the resistance of the medium’, Raymond Chandler once said. This module will build on CREW 205 (Writing Poetry), deepening student engagement with both the writing and the reading process. Poetic form will be explored through a wide-ranging selection of poems (all of which can be found in the set text for the course: The Making of a Poem (ed. Boland and Strand) and Poetry By Heart’s online anthology. We will consider form as historical poetic model and a tradition that has been questioned, adapted, subverted, upcycled, reaffirmed—rather than the binaries of free/formal verse, open/closed form, etc—and there will be particular emphasis on those forms regularly employed or reimagined in a twentieth century and a more recent contemporary context.
A portion of each seminar will be spent discussing the set poems. Students will submit their own poems on a fortnightly basis. The dual assessment (a portfolio of students’ own poems plus a close reading of two of the syllabus poems) reflects the course emphasis on the inter-relationship between reading and writing.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2023/24 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2022/23 were:
Scholarships and bursaries
At Lancaster, we believe that funding concerns should not stop any student with the talent to thrive.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover the cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses.
Additional costs for this course
You will be able to borrow many books free of charge from the university library, however most students prefer to buy their own copies of at least some of the texts. Costs vary depending on whether these are bought new or second hand.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small college membership fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2022, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2023 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Study abroad courses
In addition to travel and accommodation costs, while you are studying abroad, you will need to have a passport and, depending on the country, there may be other costs such as travel documents (e.g. VISA or work permit) and any tests and vaccines that are required at the time of travel. Some countries may require proof of funds.
Placement and industry year courses
In addition to possible commuting costs during your placement, you may need to buy clothing that is suitable for your workplace and you may have accommodation costs. Depending on the employer and your job, you may have other costs such as copies of personal documents required by your employer for example.
Fees in subsequent years
Fees are set by the UK Government annually, and subsequent years' fees may be subject to increases. For international applicants starting in 2022, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year's fee.
English Language and Linguistics
- English Language BA Hons : Q304
- English Language (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q305
- English Language (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q311
- English Language and Chinese Studies BA Hons : TQ13
- English Language and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q4WV
- English Language and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q5WV
- English Language and French Studies BA Hons : QR31
- English Language and German Studies BA Hons : QR32
- English Language and Linguistics BA Hons : QQC3
- English Language and Linguistics (Placement Year) BA Hons : QQC4
- English Language and Linguistics (Study Abroad) BA Hons : QQC6
- English Language and Literature BA Hons : Q302
- English Language and Literature (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q303
- English Language and Literature (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q306
- English Language and Spanish Studies BA Hons : QR34
- English Language in the Media BA Hons : QP33
- English Language in the Media (Placement Year) BA Hons : QP34
- English Language in the Media (Study Abroad) BA Hons : QP35
- French Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : QR11
- German Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : QR12
- Linguistics BA Hons : Q100
- Linguistics (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q101
- Linguistics (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q103
- Linguistics and Philosophy BA Hons : QV15
- Linguistics and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : QV16
- Linguistics and Philosophy (Study Abroad) BA Hons : QV17
- Psychology and Linguistics BA Hons : CQ81
- Spanish Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : QR14
English Literature/Creative Writing
- Chinese Studies and English Literature BA Hons : T1Q3
- English Language and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q4WV
- English Language and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q5WV
- English Language and Literature BA Hons : Q302
- English Language and Literature (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q303
- English Language and Literature (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q306
- English Literature BA Hons : Q300
- English Literature (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q301
- English Literature (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q307
- English Literature and Creative Writing BA Hons : QW38
- English Literature and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : QW39
- English Literature and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : QW40
- English Literature and History BA Hons : QV31
- English Literature and History (Placement Year) BA Hons : QV32
- English Literature and Philosophy BA Hons : QV35
- English Literature and Philosophy (Placement Year) BA Hons : QV34
- English Literature with Creative Writing BA Hons : Q3W8
- English Literature with Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q3W9
- English Literature with Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q3W7
- Film and Creative Writing BA Hons : PW38
- Film and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : PW39
- Film and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PW40
- Film and English Literature BA Hons : PQ33
- Film and English Literature (Placement Year) BA Hons : PQ34
- Film and English Literature (Study Abroad) BA Hons : PQ35
- Fine Art and Creative Writing BA Hons : WW18
- Fine Art and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : WW19
- Fine Art and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : WW20
- French Studies and English Literature BA Hons : RQ13
- German Studies and English Literature BA Hons : RQ23
- Spanish Studies and English Literature BA Hons : RQ43
- Theatre and Creative Writing BA Hons : WW48
- Theatre and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : WW49
- Theatre and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : WW50
- Theatre and English Literature BA Hons : WQ43
- Theatre and English Literature (Placement Year) BA Hons : WQ44
- Theatre and English Literature (Study Abroad) BA Hons : WQ45
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.