We welcome students from across the United States to join our thriving department and make the application process as easy as possible.
We accept a range of qualifications including APs, Honors/Advanced or College-level classes.
2nd for Linguistics
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide (2024)
8th for Graduate Prospects (Linguistics) Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
World top ten for Linguistics (QS World University Subject Rankings 2023)
Why English Language?
English remains the most widely spoken language in the world. English is used every day at work, at home, in conversations with friends, in schools, hospitals and courtrooms, in the news, on social media and in reading great works of literature. Understanding where English came from, how it works, how it is used and how it is changing is key to understanding our society, its identities, institutions and practices, and its creative ideas.
In this fascinating subject, you will study fundamental issues including:
Our extensive catalogue of optional modules also gives you the chance to look at the way English is used in a broad range of contexts, including advertising, politics, media, literature and the law. You will also learn how technology can be harnessed to study patterns in the structures and use of English across large databases.
English Language is not just a fascinating area of study, you will gain a skillset that opens doors to a range of exciting and rewarding careers. Transferrable skills include a capacity for critical thinking, an ability to gather, organise and analyse large quantities of data, and an aptitude for developing new and innovative ideas. You will have the chance to develop specialist skills including in the lexical and grammatical analysis of English, the use of technology to track trends in the way English is used, and crafting language for creative industries.
We are one of the largest departments for the study of language in the country and one of the most highly rated in the world (10th in the QS World Rankings). Studying linguistics at Lancaster means you will be able to:
Language study isn’t just about facts, but also learning to manage data, evaluate evidence and present results. These are all skills that today’s employers value.
Here are some areas that typically interest our graduates:
Some of our graduates continue their studies or specialise with a postgraduate course or professional training in the field of languages or a related area.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring that you gain a highly reputable degree. We are also dedicated to ensuring that you 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 activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development.
Visit our Employability section for full details.
A Level AAB
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
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction
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 email@example.com
Delivered in partnership with INTO Lancaster University, our one-year tailored foundation pathways are designed to improve your subject knowledge and English language skills to the level required by a range of Lancaster University degrees. Visit the INTO Lancaster University website for more details and a list of eligible degrees you can progress onto.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and some which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism.
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. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Within our flexible Part I system, this 40-credit module runs over the course of the year and introduces students to the field of English Language. It is organised into eight units that cover:
Visual English and English Vocabulary
This unit covers the development of English spelling, including changes in letters and punctuation. We also look at the origins and development of English vocabulary and the complexities involved in defining fundamental units, such as words.
English Sounds and Structures
This unit explores the building blocks of speech, the workings of the human vocal tract, and how we can analyse and transcribe speech. It then builds upon this to examine how smaller units are combined into grammatical structures, while teaching a framework for the analysis of sentence structure.
This unit considers how media genres have developed, such as how language is used on TV, in newspapers and online. It also explores how language is used across a range of media, including political speeches, advertising, and campaigning, and how social media may be influencing language in real-time.
In this unit, you’ll explore the richness of English dialects, understanding where they came from and how they might change in the future. In doing so, we’ll also examine how English spread around the world and whether there’s such a thing as ‘standard English’.
Analysing English in Use
This unit will teach you fundamental skills in discourse analysis, allowing you to develop a set of tools for analysing texts and their contexts. This includes analysing how language is used to frame political topics, techniques for persuasion, and language and power.
What is the difference between ‘ordinary’ and ‘literary’ language? In this unit, you will explore creative uses of English, spanning literature, poetry and metaphors. We will also think about creativity in everyday language, showing how seemingly ordinary speech and writing contains boundless novelty and verbal artistry.
One of the most fundamental characteristics of language is that it changes over time. But why does language change? In this unit, you’ll explore the origins of English, how it has changed over time, and how we can use databases of historical language to track changes in writing.
English is the most widely spoken language in the world, but the majority of speakers learn it as a second language. In this unit, you’ll explore issues and opportunities in the teaching of English as a second language, including classroom interaction and the current best practices on how to teach a language.
This module considers the forms of organisation in which gender is produced and reproduced, the structures of power that have developed as a result, and ways in which communities and movements have resisted marginalisation. We will look at the connections between the ways gender manifests in society and culture and the ways in which gender is studies (and not studied) in academic fields. We will also make connections between academic work, feminist movements and diversity activism more generally.
We will introduce you to some of the central aspects of the discipline of International Relations, providing a firm grounding in the major concepts and debates necessary to understand the modern world of international politics. You will have the opportunity to learn about: the dominant features and power relations of the contemporary global system; the nature of sovereignty and security, their expression and limitations; the real-world problems confronting the international community today.
Areas of study typically include:
+ International Relations Theory: the study of how relations between states can and should be viewed and theorised, Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism and Feminism.
+ Regional Studies: the study of some of the key regions of the world, and the politics of their interactions.
+ International Institutions and Law: the international organisations, customs, and rules that govern inter-state relationships.
+ Global Politics and Belief: the study of how religious and ideological belief can shape international politics and the relation of states.
+ International Crises: the study of pressing issues confronting the international community, such as environmental collapse, technological advance, the rise of non-state actors, and terrorism.
+ International Relations and the Domestic: the study of how the domestic agendas can shape and influence international politics.
Because of the increasing interdependence of the national and global, domestic politics and international relations can no longer be properly understood in isolation from one another. To ensure the best possible foundation for a degree in International Relations, in first year, we strongly recommend you also take Politics in the Modern World.
This module provides an introduction to criminology and criminal justice. You will benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach, which allows you to focus on the social, political, cultural and economic contexts of crime, deviance and criminal justice.
The module has a three-part structure and begins with criminological perspectives. This is your chance to delve into a range of key perspectives in criminology including biological, psychological, sociological and feminist. You’ll also consider the ways in which the media influences representations of crime.
In part two we will move on to contemporary criminological issues such as domestic violence, green criminology, serial killing, revenge porn, drugs, sex offending and hate crime. Part three then provides a critical overview of the key criminal justice agencies in the UK (such as prison, police and probation) – at this point we also explore approaches to punishment.
You will be taught by expert lecturers who will introduce you to cutting-edge research. Due to our unique approach to first year, you will study alongside students from across the University, which brings real diversity to the discussions within our small group teaching and workshops, enriching your learning experience.
This module is intended to provide you with the essential knowledge and competencies to undertake the academic study of film at university level. The first term provides you with an understanding of the formal and technical composition of films to allow you to undertake detailed analysis of films, from the level of close scrutiny of individual images, and their interrelation with the soundtrack, to the narrative assembly of shots and scenes. Through the analysis of a range of examples, you will be given the opportunity to become familiar with the key formal and semantic conventions of cinema. The second term aims to provide you with a framework knowledge of world film history. By focusing on a selection of key films and filmmakers, this section of the module will explore historically significant movements and themes within international cinema from the 1960s to the present day. This term is thematically organized around issues of ideology and realism, and explores the shifting social and political status of cinema during the last century. In the third term you will undertake a practical project, working with a small group to produce a short film.
This module is designed to give you a broad and critical introduction to the subject of marketing through a series of lectures and seminars. A comprehensive range of topics is taught at foundational level which you will then explore further in your second and final years. Subject areas that you will study include Understanding Markets, which examines how markets are created and sustained, Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Communications, Marketing Research and Innovation.
Throughout the year, you will be asked to consider how theory works in practice, by examining your own experience of marketing as well as current stories from the press and marketing media. Assessment consists of coursework including an individual essay and a group-based business report, and a summer exam which is largely essay-based. As part of your studies on this module, we will help you to develop all of the necessary academic skills to succeed in your first year at university and throughout your degree.
This module introduces students to key themes in the study of philosophy. Consciously drawing on a broad range of philosophical traditions -- Continental, Analytic, and non-Western -- it aims to present a comprehensive overview of various theoretical sub-disciplines within philosophy, but also to equip students with the ability to reason and think clearly about the most fundamental questions of human existence. The course, though designed as an introduction to the advanced degree-level study of philosophy, will also function as a self-standing introduction to philosophy suitable for those seeking to broaden their understanding of philosophy as it has been practiced throughout various traditions.
The module will involve the study of European and non-European sources, and areas of study will typically include:
1. Epistemology: the study of the nature of knowledge, belief, and the mind's ability to apprehend the world.
2. Metaphysics: the study of the nature of matter, causation, freedom, and being.
3. Phenomenology: the study of the nature and structure of consciousness.
4. Philosophy of Religion: the study of the nature and existence of God and of religious faith.
5. Philosophy of Mind: the study of the nature of mind and the mental.
Within our flexible Part I system, this 40-credit module runs over the course of the year and introduces students to the field of Linguistics. It is organised into six units that cover:
Structures of Language
This unit focusses on the core areas of linguistic description: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The unit introduces students to the structure and meanings of words and sentences as well as the way words and sentences are understood in specific contexts of use.
Language Beginnings and Endings
This unit explores the evolution of language in our species, the way children acquire language and the way second languages are learned as children and adults. It also considers how language can be impaired and how and why languages die out.
Language and Society
This unit considers how languages differ according to social variables like class, gender and region. It also considers the relationship between language and politics and language and culture. The implications of multilingualism and issues of language policy and planning are also addressed.
Language Variation and Change
This unit explores different modalities of language including writing systems and sign language. It also explores the relationships between different languages and the way languages can change over time. Diversity in the world’s languages and the effect language may have on the way people think are also addressed.
In this unit, students are introduced to some of the areas where knowledge and methods from linguistics are applied. You’ll explore the contributions that linguistics has made to areas like forensic science, computer science, health communication, education and literacy.
Methods of Linguistics
In this unit you’ll be introduced to some of the research methods relied on in linguistics, including both qualitative and quantitative methods. You’ll explore the different ways that data is collected and analysed in linguistics through ethnography, corpus linguistics, surveys and experiments.
In this year-long module you will encounter a broad range of literature -- from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, moving from Chaucer, through Shakespeare and Milton, to Virginia Woolf, Alison Bechdel, Paul Muldoon, and many others. You will also encounter a whole range of literary genres including plays, films, short stories, novels, poetry, essays, and the graphic novel. The module is currently focused around themes related to: Englishness and Empire; Authority and Revolution; Gender, Body, and Voice; and Adaptation and Queering. The module concludes with a range of mini-modules relating literary research to real-world scenarios; recent options have included: Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Digital Age; Creating a Literary Podcast; Building Minecraft Worlds for the Teaching of Literature; Creating a Literary Tour; Reading Lancaster Priory; and Re-writing Waiting for Godot.
The module concludes with a range of "mini-modules" relating literary research to real-world scenarios; recent options have included: Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Digital Age; Creating a Literary Podcast; Building Minecraft Worlds for the Teaching of Literature; Creating a Literary Tour; Reading Lancaster Priory; and Re-writing Waiting for Godot.
The details of this module (for example, materials studied) may vary from year to year.
This module is designed for students who have already completed an A-level in Chinese or whose Chinese is of a broadly similar standard. The language element aims to enable students both to consolidate and improve their skills in spoken and written Chinese. A further aim is to provide students with an introduction to the historical and cultural development of China in the past, and also to contemporary institutions and society.
Seminars are based on a textbook, and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of Chinese grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills through discussions and activities and with the support of audio and visual materials.
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.
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.
You will have the opportunity to learn Chinese pronunciation and intonation, the basics of Chinese grammar, key sentence structures, and insights about the graphical element of writing, such as the significance of types of strokes, radicals, and their ancestral meaning.
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.
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.
In seminars, 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 through discussions and activities and with the support of audio and visual materials.
You are also given the chance to examine how key moments in French history have shaped contemporary Francophone culture. We will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
(If you are studying BSc Hons International Business Management you only complete the language elements of this module).
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.
Seminars are based on a textbook, and 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 through structured activities and with the support of audio and visual materials. Each week, we aim for one of your language classes to be entirely devoted to the acquisition and development of oral skills.
To explore Francophone 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.
(If you are studying BSc Hons International Business Management you only complete the language elements of this module).
This module is designed for students who have already completed an A-level in German or whose German is of a broadly similar standard. The language element aims to enable students both to consolidate and improve their skills in spoken and written German. A further aim is to provide students with an introduction to the historical and cultural development of Germany in the twentieth century, and also to contemporary institutions and society.
In seminars, the emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of German grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills through discussions and activities and with the support of audio and visual materials.
You are given the chance to examine how key moments in German history have shaped contemporary German culture. We will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
(If you are studying BSc Hons International Business Management you only complete the language elements of this module).
This module is designed for students having little or no knowledge of the German 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 German. At the same time, students will be introduced to aspects of German history, culture and society in the twentieth century.
Seminars are based on a textbook and the emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of German grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills through structured activities and with the support of audio and visual materials. Each week, we aim for one of your language classes to be entirely devoted to the acquisition and development of oral skills.
You are also given the chance to examine how key moments in German history have shaped contemporary Germanic culture. We will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
This module is designed for students having little or no knowledge of the Italian 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 Italian. At the same time, students will be introduced to aspects of Italian culture and society.
Seminars are based on a textbook and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of Italian grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills through structured activities and with the support of audio and visual materials. Each week, we aim for one of your language classes to be entirely devoted to the acquisition and development of oral skills.
You are also given the chance to examine how key moments in Italian history have shaped contemporary Italian culture. We will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
This module is designed for students who have already completed an A-level in Spanish or whose Spanish is of a broadly similar standard. The language element aims to enable students both to consolidate and improve their skills in spoken and written Spanish. A further aim is to provide students with an introduction to the historical and cultural development of Spain in the twentieth century, and also to contemporary institutions and society.
In seminars, the emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of Spanish grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills through discussions and activities and with the support of audio and visual materials.
You are also given the chance to examine how key moments in Spanish history have shaped contemporary Hispanic culture. We will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
This module is designed for students having little or no knowledge of the Spanish 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 Spanish. At the same time, students will be introduced to aspects of Spanish culture and society.
Seminars are based on a textbook and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of Spanish grammatical structures. You will have the opportunity to develop listening and speaking skills through structured activities and with the support of audio and visual materials. Each week, we aim for one of your language classes to be entirely devoted to the acquisition and development of oral skills.
You are also given the chance to examine how key moments in Spanish history have shaped contemporary Hispanic culture. We will look at examples including films, plays, and novels.
You’ll be introduced to some of the key themes in the study of modern politics, and will have the chance to gain critical insight into the nature and use of political power in the contemporary world. You will learn about: the foundations of the modern nation-state, and the ways in which our institutions can reflect or fail to meet the ideals of liberal democracy; the behaviour of individuals and groups in political contexts; the workings of national constitutions and international organisations; the interaction of global events and domestic agendas.
Areas of study typically include:
+ Political Theory: the study of the scope, nature, and justification of state authority, and the history of political thought.
+ British Politics: the study of the theory, and political reality, of British governance in the twenty-first century.
+ Comparative Politics: the study of the various institutions of the nation-state, in a comparative context.
+ Ideologies: the study of political ideologies such as (neo-)liberalism, (neo-)conservatism, socialism, and fascism, their cohesiveness and social/political function.
+ Political Behaviour: the study of the ways in which agents and groups engage with politics in the age of mass and social-media.
+ Politics and Religion: the study of the relevance of religion to politics in contemporary society.
+ Politics in a Global World: the influence of global movements and events on domestic and international politics.
Because of the increasing interdependence of the national and global, domestic politics and international relations can no longer be properly understood in isolation from one another. To ensure the best possible foundation for a degree in Politics, in first year, we strongly recommend you also take International Relations: Theory and Practice.
What does it mean to ‘think sociologically’? When there are so many academic disciplines and non-academic areas of professional expertise, what is unique and important about starting with the social? This module begins with fundamental questions about the value of sociology in understanding the contemporary world and goes on to explore how the significance of our questions and everyday experiences are transformed when investigating all kinds of contemporary social problems, from inequality to globalisation, sociologically.
This full-year module is organised into different ‘blocks’ that connect themes in sociology – such as the relationship between self and society or between self and power – to both long-standing and newly emerging research. Whether or not you have studied sociology before, this module will introduce you to new areas of sociology, as well as demonstrating how key themes such as consumption, identity, social justice, or culture and media intersect with different sociological questions and sites of enquiry. Lecturers draw upon the ongoing research undertaken at Lancaster, giving you access to current insights that are inspiring change in policy and professional organisations.
The benefit of having multiple topics and themes addressed within one year-long module is that the assessments are carefully designed to slowly build up your research and study skills over your first year of study, whilst still giving you the flexibility to write major essays on the topics that are most interesting to you. The module provides you with a fantastic opportunity to explore new ideas and find new inspiration for understanding how we lead our lives today, and what possibilities there are for change tomorrow.
From mass media to social media, from debates on authenticity and representation in reality-tv to struggles between users and the creative industries on platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
This full-year module enables you to critically examine and analyse a range of media and cultural practices, texts, and technologies in a wide variety of contexts. It introduces you to a number of key concepts and theories that deal with media and culture, and it enables you to become a creative, critical, and confident consumer and producer of media in an ever-changing cultural and technological landscape.
This module is divided into a number of blocks, focusing on a variety of important topics such as: Media and Representation, Media and Practice, Media and Participation, Media and Technology, and Media and Reality. These topics will be discussed and explored with help of a range of contemporary examples, cases, and debates in television, digital games, film, advertisement, popular music, and social media.
One advantage of this full-year course is that it is carefully designed to help you develop skills at presenting your analysis and ideas in different ways, including in group discussions, essays and exam answers. By the end of the module you will be able to interpret and analyse different contemporary media and cultural phenomena with confidence, and be able to support your views and opinions with plenty of academic sources.
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:
This course will provide students with an introduction to the phonetics of English. We will embark on a detailed examination of speech production, including the anatomy and physiology of the tongue, lips and larynx. In addition to this, we will cover different ways of representing speech, including transcribing phonetic variation using the International Phonetic Alphabet, and acoustic phonetics – the analysis of the physics of sound. Along the way, we will apply some of the above concepts to understanding phonetic variation in English, including various kinds of social and geographical variation.
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.
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.
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.
If you follow this course you will:
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.
In this module you will examine the language of ‘legacy’ as well as ‘newer’ media and how it interacts with other modes (for example, images). In the first half of the module, you will typically explore topics relating to ‘legacy’ media including but not limited to the structure of news, news values, broadcast talk, patterns in news discourse. In the second half of the module, you will typically examine topics relating to ‘newer’ media including but not limited to the ethics of social media data collection, hate speech, mis-/dis-information, social media advocacy and activism. You will learn how a range of approaches from linguistics - for example, discursive news values analysis, corpus linguistics, corpus-assisted discourse analysis, multimodal discourse analysis, (digital) conversation analysis, digitally mediated discourse analysis - can be applied to study topics relating to ‘legacy’ and ‘newer’ media.
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.
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.
This module will allow students to undertake a short period of work experience with an employer in the North-West. Students spend forty hours working for an organisation which employs graduates in English Language and Linguistics, or a charity relevant to speech and language therapy. Placements are sourced by the Faculty Careers Team and include positions in areas such as publishing, marketing, social media, advertising, and speech and language therapy. Workshops prepare students for their chosen placement and training is provided. The module aims to give students a flavour of what it might be like to work in their chosen industry, in addition to developing graduate skills such as teamwork, taking direction from managers, confidence and independent working.
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.
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:
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.
In your third year you will study at one of our international partner universities. This will help you to develop your global outlook, expand your professional network, and gain cultural and personal skills. It is also an opportunity to gain a different perspective on your major subject through studying the subject in another country.
You will choose specialist modules relating to your degree and also have the opportunity to study other modules from across the host university.
Places at overseas partners vary each year and have historically included Australia, USA, Canada, Europe and Asia.
During your degree you’ll spend a year as a registered student at one of our approved partner universities in North America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand or Europe.
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.
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.
This module investigates how English varies at any given time and how it changes over time. It introduces you to the (socio)linguistic dimensions along which the language can vary and to the (extra)linguistic processes accounting for the ways in which it has changed. Attention is paid: to all domains of English, ranging from its sounds and structures to its usage; to the methods used by linguists to study variation and change in the language; and in particular to the close relationship between linguistic variation and change. The module covers key theoretical research in the field but also encourages you, especially in the seminars, to undertake your own data collection and to critically apply models and concepts presented in the lectures.
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 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.
This module is about sociolinguistics, and in particular about how language relates to identities at different levels. This includes how individuals use language to signal their membership of particular social groups, and how different kinds of social groupings, such as 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. It 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 course 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.
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.
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.
This module will provide students with an opportunity to work as classroom volunteers in primary or secondary schools over the course of one term.
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?'
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2025/26 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2024/25 were:
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. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.
For students starting in 2023 and 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.
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.
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.
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.
The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your fee status.
Fees are set by the UK Government annually, and subsequent years' fees may be subject to increases. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
We will charge tuition fees to Home undergraduate students on full-year study abroad/work placements in line with the maximum amounts permitted by the Department for Education. The current maximum levels are:
International students on full-year study abroad/work placements will be charged the same percentages as the standard International fee.
Please note that the maximum levels chargeable in future years may be subject to changes in Government policy.
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for students starting in 2025 are not yet available. You can use our scholarships for 2024-entry applicants as guidance.
The information on this site relates primarily to 2025/2026 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.
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.
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