Download the course booklet to find out more about Lancaster University, how we teach Linguistics and English Language and what you'll study as a Linguistics and English Language student.
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Flexibility to combine up to three languages
This four-year degree is provided jointly by our Department of Linguistics and English Language and our Department of Languages and Cultures.
A year abroad gives you the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the language and culture. You don’t need to have studied French before as we offer an Intensive course for beginners.
In French Studies we aim to help you become truly fluent. You’ll explore France’s history, culture, politics and social background. You’ll also learn how the English language functions and study traditional linguistic areas such as lexis, grammar and phonetics. In the following year you’ll study core modules such as English Phonetics and Shaping Contemporary France, and develop your French language skills. You’ll also be able to choose from options ranging from Society on Screen to Discourse Analysis. Studying English Language, in tandem with French Studies, will give you greater awareness of language use within context, and should equip you with the skills to identify how language structure interacts with meaning.
The aim of your third year, which is spent living abroad, is to deepen your intercultural sensitivity and your command of the language. You can study at a partner institution or carry out a work placement and practice your language skills in a real-world context. Staff members within the department will work with you to secure accommodation, and help to ensure that you are ready for your year in France.
On your return to Lancaster, your fourth year allows you to develop your French to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages C1/C2 levels, and you can specialise in particular fields of study. Modules could include Psycholinguistics, Translation as a Cultural Practice or Francophone Voices. You could also choose to complete a dissertation on a topic you would like to explore in-depth. Given the range of expertise within our department, our academics will be able to supervise most topics that fit your interests.
The linguistic, communication and interpersonal skills you will have the opportunity to acquire are highly valued by most employers. The linguistics element of your degree is of professional relevance in many areas, from education to business management, advertising to accountancy. Linguistic awareness is likely to provide a real boost when working for international and multicultural companies and organisations, and our degree programme provides a solid foundation for a career in these areas.
Language study is not just about facts, but learning a range of skills in data management and analysis, the evaluation of evidence, and the synthesis and presentation of results. These are the kinds of skills that today’s employers value.
The jobs that our graduates are interested in include:
- Journalism, media and publishing
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Teaching (primary, secondary, and English as a foreign Language abroad)
- 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 French, or if this is to be studied from beginners’ level, AS grade B or A level grade B in another foreign language, or GCSE grade A in a foreign language. Native French speakers will not be accepted onto this scheme.
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 appropriate evidence of language ability
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction accepted alongside appropriate evidence of language ability
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.
Part I French Studies (Advanced/CEFR: B1)
This module is designed for students who have already completed an A-level in French or whose French is of a broadly similar standard. The language element aims to enable students both to consolidate and improve their skills in spoken and written French. A further aim is to provide students with an introduction to the historical and cultural development of France in the past, and also to contemporary institutions and society.
There are three language classes per week, each week, we aim for one of these to be conducted by a French native speaker. In tutorials the emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of French grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills usually under the guidance of French native speakers using audio and video materials.
To explore French culture, you are given the chance to examine how key moments in French history have shaped contemporary French culture, we will look at examples including films, plays, and novels
Advanced modules usually have three classes per week.
Part I French Studies (Beginners to CEFR: A2)
This module is designed for students having little or no knowledge of the French language. Consequently, a substantial part of the module is devoted to intensive language teaching aimed at making the student proficient in both written and spoken French. At the same time, students will be introduced to aspects of French history, culture and society in the twentieth century.
There are four language classes per week, of which at least one is normally conducted by a French native speaker. Tutorials are based on a textbook, and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of French grammatical structures. Listening and speaking skills are developed under the guidance of French native speakers using audio and video materials.
The culture programme consists of a combination of lectures and seminars over 20 weeks. The module looks at how key moments in French history have shaped contemporary French culture (films, plays, novels etc.).
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.
Part I Chinese Studies (Beginners to CEFR: A2)
Would you like to be able to communicate using Mandarin Chinese? Do you want to acquire key elements to become an expert of Chinese culture, society and institutions? We focus on teaching absolute beginners how to speak, listen and read so you can confidently use day-to-day Chinese. You’ll also be given the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture, history and contemporary society.
Learning a language so radically different from English offers an incredible insight into linguistics in action. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore Chinese culture and gain experience in Chinese ICT (Information and Communications Technology).
You will have the opportunity to learn:
- Chinese phonetics including pronunciation and intonation
- The basics of Chinese grammar and key sentence structures
- Academic insights into the uniqueness of Chinese as a world language
- Expertise in listening, speaking, reading and writing Mandarin
- Insights about the graphical element of writing, such as the significance of types of strokes, radicals and their ancestral meaning.
- Elements of Chinese culture, philosophy, economy, institutions and contemporary challenges
“Being a management student, I believe that having a knowledge of Mandarin will be very useful in dealing with the international business world.” Sofia Guimaraes, BBA Management
To explore Chinese culture, you are given the chance to examine how key moments in Chinese history have shaped contemporary Chinese culture, we will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
Beginner modules usually have four classes per week.
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.
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.
French Language: Oral Skills (CEFR: B2)
This module comprises of both oral and aural skills and must be taken alongside the Written Skills module. It builds upon skills gained in the first year.
This module aims to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency in spoken French in a range of formal and informal settings (both spontaneous and prepared). Specific attention will be given to developing good, accurate pronunciation and intonations well as fluency, accuracy of grammar, and vocabulary when speaking the language.
This module also aims at broadening students’ knowledge about different aspects of modern French-speaking society, politics and culture, and contemporary issues and institutions in order to prepare them for residence abroad in their 3rd year.
By the end of this module, students should have enhanced their comprehension of the spoken language, as used in both formal speech, and in everyday life situations including those that they may encounter in Spanish-speaking countries.
French Language: Oral skills (post-Beginners/CEFR: B1))
This module comprises of both oral and aural skills, to be taken alongside the corresponding Written Language module. It builds upon skills gained in the first year of the Intensive course. Students who have taken the Intensive language course in their first year, normally follow this course throughout the second year.
The module aims to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency in spoken French in a range of formal and informal settings (both spontaneous and prepared). Specific attention will be given to developing good, accurate pronunciation and intonations well as fluency, accuracy of grammar, and vocabulary when speaking the language.
This module also aims at broadening students’ knowledge about different aspects of modern society, politics and culture, and contemporary issues and institutions in order to prepare them for residence abroad in their 3rd year.
By the end of this module, students will have had the opportunity to enhance their comprehension of the spoken language, as used in both formal speech, and in everyday life situations including those that they may encounter in French-speaking countries.
French Language: Written Skills (CEFR: B2)
This module comprises of reading and writing skills to be taken alongside the Oral Skills module.
This module aims to consolidate skills gained by students in the first year of study, and enable them to build a level of competence and confidence required to familiarise themselves with the culture and society of countries where French is spoken.
The module aims to enhance students’ proficiency in the writing of French (notes, reports, summaries, essays, projects, etc.) including translation from and into French; and the systematic study of French lexis, grammar and syntax.
You will have the opportunity to enhance your linguistic proficiency, with particular emphasis on reading a variety of sources and on writing fluently and accurately in the language, in a variety of registers.
French Language: Written Skills (post-Beginners/CEFR: B1)
This module comprises of reading and writing skills to be taken alongside the Oral Skills module.
This module aims to consolidate skills you have developed in the first year of study, and enable you to build a level of competence and confidence required to familiarise yourselves with the culture and society of countries where your studied language is spoken.
The module aims to enhance your proficiency in understanding spoken French, as well as in the writing of French (notes, reports, summaries, essays, projects, etc.) including translation from and into French; and the systematic study of French lexis, grammar and syntax.
The module aims to enhance your linguistic proficiency, with particular emphasis on reading a variety of sources and on writing fluently and accurately in the language, in a variety of registers.
Second Year Programme for Academic Skills, Employability and International placement preparation
This module is a non-credit bearing module. If you are a major student going abroad in your second or third year you are enrolled on it during the year prior to your departure, and timetabled to attend the events. These include: introduction to the Year Abroad and choice of activities; British Council English Language Assistantships and how to apply; introduction to partner universities and how they function; working in companies abroad; finance during the Year Abroad; research skills and questionnaire design; teaching abroad; curriculum writing and employability skills; welfare and wellbeing; Year Abroad Preparation Week in the Summer Term.
Shaping Contemporary France: Moments and Movements
This module is divided into four topic areas, usually this comprises of the following:
- Language and linguistic heritage- this topic covers the evolution of French language from a dialect to a national language, explains the relationship between written and spoken language, and shows language variety: argot, verlan and francophonie.
- Centralisation and Regionalisation- this topic aims to enhance students’ understanding of the French political system, gastronomy, agriculture, demographics, management of the territory and environment, and transport and communication.
- Space, Place and the Urban- this topic aims at explaining how the Situationists, Dadaists, Surrealists, Le Corbusier and Henri Lefebvre influenced urbanism.
- Education, Science, Technology and Innovation- this topic covers the development and the structure of contemporary education in the French Republic, and aims at expanding students’ knowledge about modernism and development of technology.
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.
Cross-cultural encounters in World Literatures
What is world literature? How have writers engaged with the concept? How have they explored their role as a writer in the 20th century?
This module explores a range of texts written in a range of languages and genres, examining the engagement of writers with their role in different social, political and historical contexts. Lectures aim to provide an introduction to the genre being studied and address the question of the role of the writer in the context of world literatures. Workshops will focus on a range of set and optional texts of global importance, which will be considered as examples of the literary genre and in relation to material covered in the lecture.
The module is usually divided into five sections, each focusing on a specific genre. Each section will usually comprise three texts, two of which are optional. All texts explore the role of the writer in different social, political and historical contexts of the 20th century, and the ways their writing engages with these contexts.
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.
Economic and Social Change in France, Germany and Spain since 1945
This module explores how post-war economic change has affected European societies, and how socio-political factors in turn have influenced the patterns and outcomes of economic development, over the second half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first century.
The module is structured on the basis of three country-specific modules (France, Germany and Spain), examining how these countries have confronted key moments of economic change, and what the longer-term consequences of that change have been. While the module emphasis is on broad national developments, discussion also covers examples relating to particular industries and major companies.
In lectures, workshops and seminars we will explore the context of reconstruction after World War II and the pattern of subsequent economic development; the relationship between social and economic policies; the development of the three country's economies; the changes of the 1980s and their impact on subsequent years; and the consequences of specific momentous events, such as the re-unification of Germany and how the financial crisis of 2008 affected, and still affects, France, Germany and Spain.
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 Identity in France, Germany and Spain
This module will introduce you to the role that the language used by institutions plays in shaping individual perceptions of identity. It aims to provide you with a basic theoretical framework that allows them to understand the relationship between language and power as reflected in current language policies at regional, national, and supranational levels. It will give you the opportunity to recognise forms of prestige and stigma associated with varieties of the three main languages under study. We aim for this module to raise critical awareness of the portrayal and representation of linguistic variations in the media and in the sphere of literature.
The main topics covered in the course include Language and Power; European language policies; German as a pluricentric language and ‘Gastarbeiter’ language and policies; regional variations of France: Linguistic Diversity: A threat to French National Identity?; The languages and language attitudes of Spain (Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician).
This module is taught in English.
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.
Professional Contexts for Modern Languages
This module seeks to support you to apply your linguistic and cultural understanding in a specific professional context. This module gives you the opportunity to spend time on a work-based placement in the UK or abroad. You will be given the opportunity to develop, reflect on and articulate both the range of competences and the linguistic and cross-cultural skills that enhance employability by working in language-related professional contexts and reflecting on key issues in relation to their placement organisation. There is the opportunity to join a local work placement developed by the department, or for you to source your own placements (subject to departmental approval). Workshops before and during the placement will provide preparation and guidance on sourcing, confirming and then reflecting on academic work. Students will share their experiences and learning with each other by means of end-of-module presentations.
Society on Screen: The Language of Film
How do films deal with topics like terrorism, immigration, resistance and city life? Do they entertain viewers, instruct them, or both?
This module explores European and Latin American films in their social and historical contexts. The main aim is to make connections between the films and such contexts not only on the level of narrative, characterisation and dialogue, but also on that of form and technique.
To these ends, there will be introductory lectures on cinema and society and on film aesthetics and content in the first week of the module. The connections mentioned will be the focus of seminars and presentations within the four core topic areas: terrorism, migration, the city and resistance.
The module usually consists of four strands on cinema and society: Terrorism, Migration and Hybrid identities, The City and Collaboration/Resistance.
Each strand will be introduced with a lecture and followed by seminars on the set films. Students will give a presentation on a short sequence within their allocated film.
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 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
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.
This module aims to give you a background to and insight into the diversity of twentieth and twenty-first century thought and contemporary definitions of culture.
Some key questions explored on the module include: What is 'culture' and how does it work? How do 'art' and 'culture' relate to each other? What do we mean when we talk about the production and consumption of culture? Why does popular culture arouse conflicting responses? What role does the body play in our understanding of culture? How does culture define who we are? Can a work of culture be an act of resistance?
With these questions in mind, this module focuses on texts which raise questions about class, race, gender, and subcultures.
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.
International Placement Year: Intercultural and Academic Reflection
As part of The International Placement Year you will normally spend at least eight months abroad in your third year. You will have the opportunity to:
- analyse the contemporary relevance of a tradition, contemporary social, political or economic issue, or a living part of the regional culture.
- reflect critically on cultural differences observed in everyday life such as social relationships, politics, attitudes to food, drink, religion, etc., explaining them in the context of various historical, social and cultural developments.
- think analytically about your intercultural position and understanding of the relevant culture(s).
- reflect on language use (different registers, varieties of pronunciation and accents, dialects, vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, and aspects of grammar) and the process of the acquisition of skills in the relevant language(s).
The module also aims to enhance and develop your language skills, with all assessments being written in the target language. If you have started a language as a beginner in year one you will spend a minimum of four months in a country where that language is spoken. If you are a joint honours student who is studying two languages, you may choose to spend the year in either of the two countries concerned or, if appropriate arrangements can be made, you can spend a semester in each country.
Lancaster University will make reasonable endeavours to place students at an approved overseas partner. Students conduct either a study placement at a partner University, a teaching assistantship placement with The British council or an appropriate working placement with a vetted employer abroad or a combination of placements (please note that there are some restrictions on British Council placements which usually last for the whole of the academic year).
Joint honours degrees
If you are a joint honours student who is combining a language with a non-language subject, your placement year will provide the opportunity to develop your language skills and cultural awareness, but will not necessarily relate to the non-language aspect of your degree.
Lancaster University cannot accept responsibility for any financial aspects of your International Placement Year.
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.
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.
French Language: Oral Skills (CEFR: C1/C2)
This module is integrated with the French Language: Written Skills module.
Both the oral and the written language modules focus on particular topics of cultural and contemporary interest. The general aim of these modules is to develop further the abilities the students gained during their second year and the year abroad.
By the end of this module, we aim for you to have developed an informed interest in the society and culture of the French-speaking world. They should also have acquired almost native-speaker abilities in both spoken and written language.
French Language: Written Skills (CEFR: C1/C2)
This module is integrated with the French Language: Oral Skills module.
This module has two main aims. The first one is to enhance your linguistic proficiency with emphasis on understanding of spoken and written French, the speaking of French (prepared and spontaneous) in both formal and informal settings, the writing of French, and the systematic study of French lexis, grammar and syntax. The second aim is to increase your awareness, knowledge and understanding of contemporary France.
By the end of this module we aim for you to have an informed interest in the society and culture of the French-speaking world. They should also have acquired almost native-speaker abilities in both spoken and written language.
Autocrats, Caudillos and Big Men: Understanding Dictatorship and its Cultural Representation in the 20th Century
This module will consider different ways in which the concept of ‘dictatorship’ has been understood and critiqued throughout the twentieth century. Considering examples from Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Guinea, Italy, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, students will explore the differences between the Latin American caudillo, European dictators, and the ‘Big Men’ of Africa. Selected critical and theoretical sources will be drawn upon to develop a more critical understanding of dictatorship, including the work of Hannah Arendt, Roberto González Echevarría and Achille Mbembe.
The module will also examine relationships between dictatorship and cultural production. How have dictators represented themselves in their writing, speeches and literature? To what extent have they controlled cultural production and to what end? How, in turn, have they been represented in cultural production? What role do writers, artists and intellectuals play in evaluating and critiquing dictatorship? In turn, can the writer, artist or intellectual be considered to be a dictator in the particular world view he/she projects and/or the rhetoric he/she adopts?
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.
Contemporary Cities in Literature and Film
This module introduces you to major themes that shape the experience of contemporary city dwellers: gender, social inequality, and practices of citizenship. These interlinking themes will be introduced through novels, poetry and films on the following European, North American (with the emphasis on immigrant communities within its cities) and Latin American cities: New York, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Berlin, and Los Angeles.
Each topic will be covered though an introductory lecture and a core text, followed by a range of additional texts for students to analyse. During workshops students will share their findings and opinions, emphasizing on identifying links between the topics studied, aiming to encourage discussion.
The format of the module encourages cross-referencing between the themes of the module (for example, gender and sexuality are relevant to an analysis of social inequality, and vice versa).
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.
Francophone Voices: Literature and Film from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Canada
This final year module will provide you with an overview of the range of literature and culture produced in Sub-Saharan Africa, the French Caribbean and France to better understand the various relationships between France and these different parts of the Francophone world.
You will be given the opportunity to identify and discuss themes that they will find through analysis of a selection of novels and films. These themes will include language and style, and issues addressed by writers and film-makers in relation to identity, gender, culture, history, and representation itself.
Exploration of La Francophonie, the French Mission Civilisatrice, and relationships between contemporary France and her former colonies will provide context for the study of these novels and films. Discussions will be informed by the work of thinkers including Franz Fanon and Edward Said.
This module is taught in English and all texts are available in English.
French Culture in the Digital Age
Technological progress now affects virtually every aspect of Western culture and society and it has become impossible to speak about contemporary culture without taking into account the radical transformations induced by digitization in both practices and concepts. This module introduces you to the most important phenomena and issues that arise in this context in France in particular and allows you to explore how artists use the new possibilities offered by the internet. The discourses about the effects of technology are as wide-ranging as the effects themselves, generating much confusion and often also superficial judgements about the uses and dangers of the Internet in particular. The module therefore begins by clarifying the most important concepts and the problems surrounding digitisation. It then takes a closer look at some of the fascinating cultural artefacts technology has inspired and enabled since the 1990s in the French context, and at the ways in which the life and meaning of "literature" has evolved."
Full Unit Dissertation
This module is assessed entirely through coursework. You are given a chance of pursuing a topic of their own interest, which is not covered in taught options. A dissertation consists of approximately 10,000 words written in English. The topic of dissertation must relate to French/German/Spanish language, or a comparison between two or more, or a general European issue. The other two restrictions on topic choice are: it must be capable of and approached from a serious academic angle and it falls within the range of expertise of a member of the Department’s staff.
Each student will be assigned a supervisor - one of the lecturers from the Department, who will provide regular supervision, and feedback on the first draft of the completed dissertation. The topic is agreed and discussed with the supervisor in the Summer Term of the second year, and preparatory research should begin during the Year Abroad.
Imagining Modern Europe: Post-Revolutionary Utopias and Ideologies in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
This module aims at exploring the nature of the relationship between the individual and society, notions of progress and economic justice, as these are still widely debated topics in contemporary Europe in light of the current economic and political crisis.
This module will use the concepts of utopia, dystopia and ideology as a forum for discussion on the relationship between individual imagination and social discourse in the nineteenth century, as well as the relationship between fiction and political discourse. You will look at the major intellectual debates which influenced the contemporary European thought after the French Revolution.
You will explore the development of major ideologies and cultural movements such as Romanticism, Marxism, Socialism and Positivism, spanning from the period immediately following the French Revolution to the middle of the nineteenth century.
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.
Mirrors across Media: Reflexivity in Literature, Film, Comics and Video Games
The module consists of a combination lectures and seminars. The lectures will introduce you to the broad lines of the history of self-reflexive phenomena in Western culture from Renaissance paintings through Baroque literature and the 18th-century novel to the boom of metafiction and related phenomena in Modernism and contemporary popular culture. At the same time, it aims to provide theoretical bases by introducing key concepts such as self-reflexivity, the fourth wall, frame, metafiction and metanarration, narrative levels, metalepsis, and the way these can manifest in different forms of art. The seminar discussions will serve to put these concepts into practice in the analyses of the texts, films, and mixed media and interactive products. Examples of potential topics might include classics of metafiction in literature (Cervantes, Sterne, Fielding, Diderot, Unamuno, Borges, Calvino, Pirandello, Queneau, Barth..), film (Charlie Kaufman, Almodóvar, Woody Allen…), comics and visual art.
Modernity of Forms and Forms of Modernity in French Literature 1850-2000
The aim of this module is to consider how poets have engaged with controversial aspects of modernity in their works. You will be given the opportunity to explore the relationship between literature and society in French poetry from Charles Baudelaire to Michel Houellebecq.
You will be given the opportunity to explore a selection of French poets’ responses to the rise of industrialisation, the development of mass-culture and the growth of cities, through a variety of themes. They will discover how poets have embraced, questioned and critiqued the temporality of modern life through literary experimentation.
The module will introduce the emergence of new forms of writings associated with the beginning of this period such as the prose poem, free-verse, the manifesto and aesthetic experiments mixing poetry and visual art in the early twentieth century.
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?'
Translation as a Cultural Practice
What makes a good translation and how do translations do good? This module aims to help you understand the practice of translation as it has evolved historically from the 18th century to the present across European and American societies. The materials we study include historical textual sources (philosophical essays on the craft of translation from French, German and Hispanic authors of the 19th and 20th centuries), representative fictional texts reflecting on translation processes, and contemporary documents from the EU directorate on translation, PEN and the Translators' Association. We will also make considerable use of contemporary online resources as exemplified by Anglophone advocates of intercultural exchange such as Words Without Borders. Our aim is to look at translation as both a functional process for getting text in one language accurately into another and a culturally-inflected process that varies in its status and purpose from one context to another. We will pay particular attention to the practical role that literary translators play within the contemporary global publishing industry and consider the practicalities of following a career in literary translation in the Anglophone world.
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
The International Placement Year is mandatory for language programmes and typically costs include: travel to placement country or countries; travel documents – passport, VISA or work permit (if required); proof of funds (if required); accommodation while working overseas; travel to place of work while overseas unless this is paid by the employer. It is possible that there may be further costs e.g. for required documentation, however these are not typical. There may be opportunities to apply for funding and/or a bursary that would help to cover these costs.
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 BA Hons : Q3WV
- English Language and Creative Writing (Placement Year) BA Hons : Q4WV
- English Language and Creative Writing (Study Abroad) BA Hons : Q5WV
- 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
- Chinese Studies and English Literature BA Hons : T1Q3
- Chinese Studies and Film BA Hons : T1P3
- Chinese Studies and French Studies BA Hons : R1T1
- Chinese Studies and German Studies BA Hons : R2T1
- Chinese Studies and History BA Hons : T1V1
- Chinese Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : T1Q1
- Chinese Studies and Mathematics BA Hons : T1G1
- Chinese Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : T1V5
- Chinese Studies and Politics BA Hons : T1L2
- Chinese Studies and Spanish Studies BA Hons : R4T1
- English Language and Chinese Studies BA Hons : TQ13
- English Language and German Studies BA Hons : QR32
- English Language and Spanish Studies BA Hons : QR34
- French Studies BA Hons : R120
- French Studies and Computing BSc Hons : GR41
- French Studies and English Literature BA Hons : RQ13
- French Studies and Film BA Hons : R1P3
- French Studies and Geography BA Hons : LR71
- French Studies and German Studies BA Hons : RR12
- French Studies and History BA Hons : RV11
- French Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : QR11
- French Studies and Mathematics BA Hons : GR11
- French Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : RV15
- French Studies and Politics BA Hons : RL12
- French Studies and Spanish Studies BA Hons : RR14
- French Studies and Theatre BA Hons : WR41
- French Studies with Italian BA Hons : R1R3
- German Studies BA Hons : R220
- German Studies and Computing BSc Hons : GR42
- German Studies and English Literature BA Hons : RQ23
- German Studies and Film BA Hons : R2P3
- German Studies and Geography BA Hons : LR72
- German Studies and History BA Hons : RV21
- German Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : QR12
- German Studies and Mathematics BA Hons : GR12
- German Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : RV25
- German Studies and Politics BA Hons : RL22
- German Studies and Spanish Studies BA Hons : RR24
- German Studies and Theatre BA Hons : WR42
- German Studies with Italian BA Hons : R2R3
- Modern Languages BA Hons : R800
- Modern Languages and Cultures MLang Hons : R810
- Psychology and Chinese Studies BA Hons : C8T1
- Psychology and French Studies BA Hons : CR81
- Psychology and German Studies BA Hons : CR82
- Psychology and Spanish Studies BA Hons : CR84
- Spanish Studies BA Hons : R410
- Spanish Studies and Computing BSc Hons : GR44
- Spanish Studies and English Literature BA Hons : RQ43
- Spanish Studies and Film BA Hons : R4P3
- Spanish Studies and Geography BA Hons : LR74
- Spanish Studies and History BA Hons : RV41
- Spanish Studies and Linguistics BA Hons : QR14
- Spanish Studies and Mathematics BA Hons : GR14
- Spanish Studies and Philosophy BA Hons : RV45
- Spanish Studies and Politics BA Hons : RL42
- Spanish Studies and Theatre BA Hons : WR44
- Spanish Studies with Italian BA Hons : R4R3
- Theatre and Chinese Studies BA Hons : W4T1
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.