A Level Requirements
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see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Lancaster’s English Literature and Linguistics degree is taught by the English Literature and Creative writing Department, which ranks highly across teaching, research and student surveys, and the Department of Linguistics and English Language, ranked fourth in the Complete University Guide 2016.
Your degree offers fascinating insights into a broad range of literature alongside an in-depth study of the language used to write them. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of a wide range of texts through a careful study of the sound, grammar and meaning systems of different languages.
You’ll begin your degree with courses including English Literature and Linguistics before moving on to more specialised second-year modules, such as The Theory and Practice of Criticism and The Structures of Language. In your final year, you’ll be able to study modules including Topics in Linguistic Theory; From Decadence to Modernism 1890-1945; American Literature from 1900; Shakespeare; and Contemporary Literature.
A Level AAB
Required Subjects A level English Literature or English Language and Literature grade A
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in a HL Literature subject
BTEC Considered alongside A level English Literature or A level English Language and Literature grade A
Access to HE Diploma 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 credits at Merit
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
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module introduces you to some of the most vital debates in an English literary tradition that is constantly being rewritten and challenged, especially in the multicultural, postmodern era of the late twentieth century and beyond. The module starts by concentrating on poetry from the late sixteenth century to the present and examines the rich canonical tradition and how each generation of writers has responded to it. A range of literary genres is also covered including plays, films, short stories and novels in addition to poetry in order to develop the practice of close analytical reading Throughout the module attention is given to the working-class, women, black and Irish writers as well as mainstream English authors. The module also includes a Study Skills component and an introduction to some of the general theoretical issues of reading and interpretation.
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.
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.
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.
This is the core course of English at Lancaster. It is designed to enable students to reflect on the ways in which they approach literature and to introduce them to key concepts in contemporary literary studies. By examining major thinkers like Marx, Freud, Foucault and Derrida, and examining key ideas like ideology, the unconscious, discourse and biopolitics, this course asks fundamental questions about the status and function of literature in society: What is literature? What makes it an object suitable for an academic discipline? Who reads it, produces it, and why? How is literature connected to the critical movements that seem to define literature even as they seek to appreciate and explain it? We ask questions about the relationship between author, text and reader, we analyse various theories about the process or practice of writing and reading as students, as critics, and in general as ‘consumers’ of literature in the culture of today. In relation to the English degree as a whole, 201 aims to equip students with the knowledge, experience and skill necessary to bring a greater sophistication, care and rigour to their literary studies in their final year.
In introducing students to the poetry, prose and drama of the eighteenth century, our emphasis will be on the energy and inventiveness which characterise the literature of this deeply divided period. The first term which covers the literature of 1700 to 1740, will focus of the varied achievements of Augustan satire (Pope, Swift, Gay) and on the development of formal realism in the early novel (Defoe, Richardson). In the second term (post-1740), we will pay particular attention to the work of Jane Austen, but will also look, more generally, at parody and the comic novel (e.g. Fielding and Sterne), and at the taste for Gothic and sentimental fiction.
This course considers how American Literature has evolved from its colonial origins, with particular emphasis on key figures of the nineteenth century. What we call ‘American Literature’ and how we define America and ‘the American experience’ depends on who is writing and to whom. We shall encounter many different voices, many conflicting and contrasting views, a diversity of complex experiences and a great range of writing in form and style (don’t expect the poetic and novelistic forms you are used to in British literature). The course will be broadly thematic in its approach, aiming to build up through recurring themes, images, questions and stylistic features, an increasingly complex picture of the literature created by English-speaking Americans.
This course is divided into four key areas across the two terms: Revolution and Romanticism; Romantic Education: Women and Children; Politics and Poetics; the Gothic.
In the first term, we will begin by examining the relationship between Romanticism and revolution, particularly in terms of the events of the French Revolution which help to define the period. We will then consider how ideas generated during the period related to issues of gender, developing this theme to examine poetry by women, and considering the importance of re-educating as a means for bringing about change within the period. In the first half of the second term, we examine the relationship between politics and poetics for the major second generation poets, examining some of the more complex underlying ideas about the workings of the mind, of identity, and of the imagination as they find expression in the major writers of the period. In the second half, the course will turn its attention to the popular literary movement of ‘Gothic’ which emerges during the Romantic period, exploring its manifestation in a range of texts. The course aims to give students a well-rounded sense of Romanticism as a full development of earlier eighteenth-century ideas and movements as well as a distinct period in itself. We will work out of close knowledge of key texts in order to begin to tackle some of the wider, more abstract ideas such as: nature; imagination; the sublime. We will also consider literary ideas within a broader social, historical and philosophical context.
This course 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 course 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 course 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.
On successful completion of this module, you will:
LING200 is a short course which provides support for students transitioning from Part I to the more independent work expected in Part II. It gives students the opportunity to reflect on the feedback from their coursework and exams in Part I, as a foundation for developing the level of academic writing required in Part II 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 course in their second year.
The course 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. While Term 1 will focus on spoken data and conversation analysis, Term 2 will address written texts and introduce Critical Discourse Analysis and provide a focus on institutional discourse. We anticipate that if you follow this course you will:
Information for this module is currently unavailable.
The course 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. The first part of the course 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 course 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 course, we will apply some of the above concepts to understanding phonetic variation in English, including various kinds of social and geographical variation.
The purpose of these courses is to allow students to pursue interests which are not represented in, or central to, established courses, subject to the availability of qualified staff. Students will engage in a programme of supervised reading and produce an extended piece of coursework (the length will depend on which course is being taken).
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 the module Literacy and Education, which runs in alternate years.
This course 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 focuses on the role of literacy in relation to education. The module introduces students to different understandings of what literacy is and how it can be taught. We will look at literacy policy in English-speaking countries and how governments seek to convince teachers, parents and the wider public of its preferred method for teaching reading and writing. The importance of literacy in education, as both curriculum aim and curriculum tool, will be discussed in relation to pre-school, primary, secondary, further, higher and adult education. The module will also discuss how digital technologies have changed how people read and write and what role digital technologies play in schools.
This course is complemented by the module Language and Pedagogic Practice, which runs in alternate years.
This module surveys formal, generic, historical, cultural, narrative, and theoretical relationships between literature and film across a range of periods, genres, topics, and cultures, paying particular attention to the practice and analysis of literary film adaptation. It also addresses some other modes of literary adaptation (e.g. television, graphic novels, tie-in merchandise, mobile phone applications, etc.).
The course will take us from the closing decades of the Tudor monarchy (1580-1603) to the episodes of power, revolution and restitution that characterised Stuart rule (1603-1688). During this time, English culture saw upheavals in politics that were accompanied by shifts in discourses such as those of gender, religion, sex, science and education. ‘Renaissance to Restoration: English Literature 1580-1688’ will thus examine the literature of change in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, for example Spenser’s provocative Elizabethan verse epic The Faerie Queene, the brilliant and edgy theatre of the likes of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton, and the prose writings of revolutionaries like John Milton and monarchist libertines like Aphra Behn. Our readings will mainly be focused on four topics designed to provide us with ingress into the literature, culture and historical vitality of the period: ‘Love, Sex and Death’, ‘Court, Country, City’, ‘Power and Politics’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’. We will be reading cross-sections from works by many authors to explore these themes from as many angles as possible. We will consider the similarities between a wide range of primary texts but we will also be keen to observe and analyse differences.
The course 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 course, we will learn how to take ads apart using tools taken from linguistics, rhetoric, and semiotics. We will explore how ad writers make use of the different levels of language: for instance, how they exploit sounds and spellings; how they toy with word meanings and word associations; how they manipulate, and sometimes break, the rules of standard grammar. We will also explore how ads interact with other texts and consider the relationship between words and pictures. As well as analysing ads themselves, we will also learn how to test out our intuitions about them, by investigating how the words, structures and visuals used in the ads are employed in other kinds of texts.
The course 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. Seminar tasks will be posted online.
This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of Victorian literature, including novels, poetry, short stories, drama, and social criticism. It seeks to give students an understanding of the role played by that literature in the defining cultural debates of Victorian Britain, as well as explore literary conventions, innovations and debates. The course is structured around four major themes: ‘Progress’, ‘Community and Outsiders’, ‘Scandal, Sensation and Spectacle’ and ‘The Fallen Woman’. The aim of the course is to explore and interrogate the complexity of 'Victorian' attitudes within and across these areas.
The course 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 course, 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:
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 course 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?'
In 21st Century Theory, we will build upon the general introduction to critical and cultural theory given on ENGL201 by focusing on one specific theme in contemporary theory: biopolitics. To explore biopolitics – or the politics of life itself – we will examine a selection of classic theoretical works by Michel Foucault, Georgio Agamben and others and then read them alongside some key literary and filmic texts from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go to the Batman Trilogy. This course will seek to address the following questions. What exactly is biopolitics? How have theorists, novelists and film-makers imagined such concepts as sovereign power, bare life, the state of exception and so on? To what extent might it be possible to resist the biopolitical hold over our political imaginary?
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.
This course examines some of the literatures which have spoken to, from and for the African continent, mostly since 1950 when the great era of decolonization began. It is impossible to provide a comprehensive survey of this diverse field, and the course therefore covers mostly canonical material. The primary reading list refers to sub-Saharan African contexts, from black, white and Islamic perspectives and, of course, by women as well as men. These texts present an extraordinary fictional world, which opens immediately onto urgent realities, including the brutal 'Scramble for Africa', anti-colonial struggles and the state of nations thereafter.
The course will begin with writing that looks back to the First World War and end with writing that anticipates the Second World War. In between the students will explore and interrogate the inter-war ‘moment’ through close attention to a number of other texts. The course will focus on many of the great themes of the period such as exile, unemployment, Englishness, eugenics, militarisation, and political commitment, as well as many of the great cultural motifs of the period such as borders, radios, planes, cars, trains, cameras and telephones. Close attention will also be paid to many of the great intellectual debates of the period such as the nature of history, the role of the State in everyday life, and the place of literary experimentation in time of war. The course will not, though, be limited to what these texts are ‘about’ but will also attend to what these texts ‘do.’ In other words, we shall explore how inter-war writing both reflects the period and indeed participates in the period. The students will, then, be expected to understand the ways in which the texts under consideration exist not only ‘between the acts’ but are themselves acts – acts not only of mourning and warning but also agitation, provocation, resistance, despair, and even (therefore) hope.
In this unit we will look at a selection of biblical texts alongside literary works that appropriate, rewrite and subvert them. We will be thinking about the Bible as literature; the reciprocal relationship between the Bible and literature; and what the Bible does to a literary text. By the end of the course you should be more familiar and knowledgeable about the Bible, its genres, ideas and narratives, and be able to appreciate its literary qualities. You will develop skills of exploring the relation between a literary text and the biblical text it invokes: in what ways does knowledge of biblical texts provoke more profound readings of literature? Do rewritings refine or subvert the Bible? Throughout the course we will also have in focus issues related to reading, interpretation and adaptation that will be relevant to your wider studies.
This module will cover British and American crime writing. It traces the development of crime fiction from the 1840s, clarifying its basic formulas, looking at the evolution of contrasting narrative structures and considering the historical significance of forms ranging from the classic whodunit to the hard-boiled thriller. Beginning with Poe and Doyle, the module moves on to the Golden Age of the detective story (Christie, Sayers, etc.), American tough guy crime stories (Hammett, Chandler, Jim Thompson, etc.), the contemporary noir thriller (British and American), black and feminist crime fiction (Chester Himes, Gillian Slovo) and the detective story’s postmodernist variants (e.g. Hjortsberg). The reading of novels and stories will be supplemented by a selection of films directed by Hitchcock, Mike Hodges, Carl Franklin, and Coen brothers and the Wachowski brothers. Sessions will consist of seminars, small group discussions and occasional mini-lectures.
This half-unit will examine the relationship between British fiction and literary theory as it has developed over the past thirty or so years. The course will examine a range of contemporary fiction upon which theory has had a formative impact. Novels by Julian Barnes, Malcolm Bradbury, A. S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Patricia Duncker, and David Lodge will be read in tandem with the theoretical writings from which they have drawn inspiration. There will be a particular emphasis on the leading French theorists, including Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida and Michael Foucault. The course aims to assess the creative possibilities opened up by radical literary theory, and to trace the ethical and cultural controversies which have surrounded the assimilation of French theory into English culture.
Contemporary Literatures focuses on different kinds of (postmodern, postcolonial/world, Gothic, post-9/11, feminist/queer, experimental) contemporary literature. The course consolidates student knowledge of ways in which writers redress notions of ‘English literature’, including ways in which they both respond to and stimulate critical theory. Beginning in the 1950s, we consider the explosion of new literatures from the decolonising/newly postcolonial world and the rise of new literary forms in the post-war period. The course also emphasises work from the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries, foregrounding, at all stages, English literature in its international dimensions: we read texts from Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and Australasia, as well as from multicultural and devolved Britain. Recurrent themes include borders, margins, haunting, apocalypse, rewriting, migration and metamorphosis; these terms also reflect formal qualities of the texts studied (i.e. aspects of genre, structure and style). The course considers inter-generic forms (e.g. the graphic novel) as well as a range of more standard literary genres (novels; short stories; poetry), highlighting literary experimentation and critically reflecting on notions of ‘the contemporary’.
This course 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 course'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.
LING301 is the module in which you will carry out your dissertation research. The first part, LING301a, is taught in the second term of the second year. The principal focus of LING301a is the planning and designing of research in Linguistics and English language. It will cover topics including identifying and accessing relevant literature; formulating answerable research questions; working with data; and ethics and responsibilities in research. LING301a is assessed through a short dissertation proposal, submitted at the start of the final year, which constitutes 10% of the assessment for the module. In the second part, LING301b, you will carry out the research project planned in your proposal, working independently but with guidance from a supervisor, mostly in terms 1 and 2 of your final year. This is assessed through a written dissertation which constitutes 90% of the assessment for the module.
This unit is compulsory for all English Literature majors, and is taken in the Third Year. The course is intended to give students the opportunity to pursue a topic of their choice in intensive detail, developing research, extended writing and bibliographical skills in a programme of directed independent study. Students will complete a dissertation of 10,000 words, which must be word processed and properly annotated and have an appropriate bibliography. The final assessment will take into account presentation (including annotation and bibliography) as well as the academic content of the dissertation.
From Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow (2003) to Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood (2010), notions of outlawry haunt twenty-first century popular culture and recent academic debate. A fascination with renegade figures is also found in the early modern period. Developing first and second-year work on critical and theoretical approaches to literature, the module examines representations of Robin Hood and pirates in a range of generically distinct sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts.
The aims of this module are to…
This course examines the ways in which England and Englishness have been presented and constructed in poetry and fiction in the modern period with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will consider the ways in which belonging, inclusion, character, landscape and nationhood are produced in imagery, narrative, performativity and aesthetics. Englishness is often invoked explicitly in fictional works but it also works through more subtle forms of gesture, landscape and aesthetics. Students will be introduced to extracts of criticism on national identity and theories of Englishness but the primary focus of the course will be on fictions of England and Englishness and how texts interpolate English subjects and English places.
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 course 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 course 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 course with a unifying theme.
This course 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.
This module introduces students to the study of language change. It aims to show how language change can be investigated and explained, particularly in the light of the most recent developments in (functionally oriented) historical linguistics. English is the primary focus of the course but examples from other languages will be used as well. All levels of language will be covered, from phonetics and phonology, via changes in the lexicon and word meaning to grammar and pragmatics. The module is not only theoretical (how can linguistic theory account for the changes we can observed?), but also has a strong practical component, especially in the seminars, where students will get the opportunity to apply the theories and concepts that were introduced in the lectures to actual data, prominently including data related to ongoing change.
This module introduces some key areas in which language study and social science studies of interaction can help us understand practices in a range of workplaces. It is intended to complement the module Corporate Communication (although this is not a prerequisite for this module). The topics in this module will be applicable to institutions such as social services, non-governmental organizations, technical services, and schools, and be relevant to a wide range of communication-centred jobs including human resources, technical writing, public relations, training, and management.
The course 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 course 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 course 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.
Is it possible to ‘read’ a painting? Can an artist interpret a poem in paint? This course addresses the complex relationship between literature and the visual arts, tracing key debates in aesthetic theory from Romanticism to the twenty-first century. Literature and the Visual Arts will begin with an introduction to key critical terms and an examination of the painting-inspired poetry of, for example, John Keats and W. H. Auden. Subsequent seminars will explore the work of figures such as William Blake, John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites who blur the distinction between literature and art; the revival of the Pop Art tradition and postmodern narrative practices; and, finally, the fusion of word and image in graphic novels including Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The course will draw on the unique resources of the University’s Ruskin Library and rare book archive.
Using a range of texts and genres from 1790s to the 1820s this course will consider the importance of the physical human body, in health and sickness. Examining the historical context in which these texts were written, we will look at such topics as illness, death, doctors, medical treatments, recreational drug use, pregnancy, disability, physical strength, sexuality, sensuality, health, race, gender, physiognomy and phrenology. How did Romantic poets and prose writers imagine the body? What did they think of the distinction between the mind and body or between the body and soul? How was the body understood medically? How are people made ‘monsters’ in the period and for what political purpose? The course will explore how bodies are not to be thought of as neutral or ahistorical but instead as historically-contingent sites of discourse.
This module will be concerned with a selection of difficult but fascinating Victorian texts which in various ways violate the dominant realist code of their day and thus explore the borderland between sense and non-sense, seriousness and laughter, centre and margin. In this respect, the texts are written by those whom, after Michel Foucault, we might call 'Other Victorians.' Indeed, a unifying theme or motif will be the philosophical notion of ‘the Other,’ as first formulated by Hegel at the beginning of the nineteenth century and subsequently reworked by such contemporary theorists as Levinas and Derrida. The module will explore how, in Victorian writing, otherness is staged and imagined in all sorts of ways – including, for example, place, religion, science, consciousness, the future, thought, matter, dimension, tears, boats, and the face. Given that the texts under discussion all, in one sense or another, challenge conventional or rationalist modes of realising the world and do so in ways that raise a number of philosophical questions, students will be encouraged to respond to the texts both imaginatively and philosophically.
This module has the following Subject Specific aims:
‘[T]he Gothic’, as Nick Groom argues, ‘was not simply a reaction to the Enlightenment, and the rise of the Gothic novel is part of a longer history’ (Groom, 2012, p.xiv). In coining the term Premodern Gothic, this innovative half-unit considers some of the ways in which a range of generically diverse texts produced in England between c.1450 and 1600 engage with Gothic tropes and sensibilities - e.g. ghosts, vampires, castles, darkness, magic, terror and wonder - before ‘the rise of the Gothic novel’.
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 course, 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.
The course aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to John Ruskin, a key interdisciplinary figure from nineteenth-century cultural history. On the basis of his critical writings, Ruskin's thought and judgements will be pursued from their foundations in landscape, painting and architecture to their applications to moral, social, religious, scientific, educational and ecological issues. A particular and distinctive opportunity of the course will be its on-site access to the actual manuscripts and drawings held in the world-famous Ruskin Library here at Lancaster University
This module will provide students with an opportunity to work as classroom volunteers in primary or secondary schools over the course of one term. The module will operate in partnership with LUSU Involve (Lancaster University’s Volunteering Unit).
This module will run as a partnership between the Department of English and Creative Writing and the LUSU Volunteering Unit. It will give students planning to go into teaching a chance to experience teaching and classroom practice first-hand, at either primary or secondary level, in a local school during the Lent Term. The 10 week part-time placement will involve classroom observation and teacher assistance, and, in most cases, an opportunity to teach the class or to work with a designated group of pupils. It will also allow students to develop skills around a special project or activity carried out in the school related to the teaching of English. There will be interviews, presentations, and a rigorous training requirement with LUSU Volunteering Unit, including police vetting, and the actual placement in the school, arranged by LUSU staff, will then follow in the second term of your third year.
This course will trace the development of science fiction (SF) in literature and film, providing an insight into the conventions of the genre and, in particular, how the key themes of the science fiction genre have been successfully adapted for the screen. Texts have been chosen from a range of historical periods to enable a consideration of the cultural and historical contexts in which key science fiction texts were produced, and how this effects their development. The course will analyse in detail the formal and generic characteristics of the science fiction novel, and will provide an introduction to the visual aspects of the science fiction film. The course will integrate themes such as encounters with the alien or other (War of the Worlds, 2001, Monsters), the imagination of dystopia (The Dispossessed, Code 46, Moxyland), the future of humanity (Mad Max 2, 2001, Code 46) and questions of human subjectivity, transcendence, love and loss. The module will also constitute an ongoing investigation of the relationship between science fiction film and ‘literary’ SF texts, considering both how the genre is represented through the cinematic form and what happens in terms of narrative structure, plot and characterisation when presented in an audiovisual format.
Ben Jonson claimed of Shakespeare ‘he was not of an age but for all time.’ This course examines Shakespearean drama and poetry in its own time: as a platform in which early modern debates about agency and government, family, national identity, were put into play, and in relation to how we perceive these issues now. The stage was and is a place in which issues of gender, class, race, gain immediacy through the bodies and voices of actors. By examining texts from across Shakespeare’s career, we will explore their power to shape thoughts and feelings in their own age and in ours. We will consider Shakespeare’s manipulation of genre (poetry, comedy, history, tragedy and romance) and the ways the texts make active use of language (verse, prose, rhyme, rhythm) and theatrical languages (costume, stage positions) to generate meaning. The course will consider how, in the past and in the present, Shakespeare’s texts exploit the emotional and political possibilities of poetry and drama
This module examines the work of three of the great writers of the Romantic period, the poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, and the novelist Mary Shelley. Famously, these three writers lived and worked together during the summer of 1816, an episode that produced two of the dominant myths of modern literature, Frankenstein and the Vampire. Throughout their careers these writers were engaged in a creative and critical conversation with each other that addressed major themes including: conceptions of the heroic; the possibilities of political change; literary, scientific and biological creation; the East; transgressive love; gender roles; and the Gothic. The module will provide an opportunity to study these writers’ works in detail and to consider them within their historical, cultural and intellectual contexts.
This course examines the representation of people who are not who they claim to be -- impostors, impersonators and charlatans -- in modern literary fiction from the nineteenth century to the present day. We will consider both the ethics of impersonation (with a particular focus on questions of trust, deceit and manipulation) and the aesthetics of impersonation (the narrative conventions that have evolved to conceal and reveal the figure of the impostor). The course will provide students with a detailed knowledge of different kinds of impersonation and different motives for imposture; it will consider the affinities and differences between impostor narratives and other major narrative traditions, such as the Bildungsroman and the detective novel; and it will reflect on why the figure of the impostor occupies such a significant and problematic place in the modern imagination.
This module examines the representation of sleep and sleep-related states in literature and culture. Most of us will spend about a third of our lives asleep – which is to say that we will spend more time sleeping that doing anything else in our lives. But if sleep is arguably the most common human activity, it is also the least describable. Can sleep – a state that separates us from all sense of time, from language, and from rational self-awareness – even count as a region of human experience? Or is it simply a void that separates one day from the next? How, if at all, can the ‘void’ of sleep be represented in literature and culture? In what ways has literature shaped itself to fill this void? And how has literature responded to the erosion of sleep by modern industrial and post-industrial cultures?
This module will be of interest to students wishing to explore Anglophone fiction in another national context and in an international frame. The Indian novel in English is a fascinating, prolific domain of world literature that, particularly since the publication of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981), has generated a great deal of critical excitement.
The module explores chronologically a range of Anglophone Indian (or 'Indo-Anglian') novels, placing Rushdie's work in literary, historical and cultural context. We will explore, in particular, the relationship between nation and narration, or ways in which writers use different forms and styles to grapple with the diverse realities of modern India, its histories, and its diasporas. Engaging a range of perspectives (gendered, religious and regional), we will consider how and why fiction reflects key aspects of twentieth-century history, such as the legacies of colonial rule, the independence struggle, 'untouchability', Partition, women's rights, democracy, communalist tensions, and migration.
It is currently very difficult to imagine the future other than in dystopian terms, as climate disaster and social apocalypse (perhaps with a nuclear holocaust thrown in for good measure). It would seem, then, that we have great need of a literary form that would speak up for hope, justice and human perfectibility; and that form has traditionally been the genre of utopia. This course tracks through the history and transformations of the genre of utopia, from the Renaissance founding fathers (Thomas More and Francis Bacon), through such late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century practitioners as Edward Bellamy, William Morris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and H.G. Wells, to the great utopias of the 1960s and 1970s and beyond: Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Marge Piercy, Ernest Callenbach and Kim Stanley Robinson. We shall look at utopian theorising – such concepts as ‘kinetic utopia’, ‘critical utopia’ and ‘ecotopia’ – as well as the texts themselves. If you want to leave a decent human future to your grandchildren, start here!
This course treats the theory, history, and practice of Victorian autobiographies, providing students with a detailed knowledge of different kinds of autobiographies by different kinds of authors at different times in the Victorian era. Students who take this course will acquire a detailed knowledge of a significant tradition in Victorian writing.
In the Victorian period, the decaying castles, corrupt priests and ancestral curses that were so prominent in the first phase of the Gothic novel gave way to an increased emphasis on spectral and monstrous others: ghosts, werewolves, vampires, mummies and other creatures of the night. The course will explore these phenomena in their historical, cultural and literary contexts, with particular focus on emerging discourses of gender, sexuality, colonialism and class. The course will pay special attention to visual aspects of the Gothic, examining book illustration, painting and photography from the period and their relationship with Gothic texts. Students will be asked to consider the relationship between newly emergent forms of modernity (from medical discourses to the typewriter) and the preoccupation with history and the past that is a generic feature of the Gothic. Texts will comprise a selection of novels and short fiction, with additional images and extracts from contextual works provided on Moodle and in class.
This module will be centred upon three genres which emerge in the mid-late Victorian period: Detective Fiction; Adventure Stories; Children’s Fiction. It will focus on key texts and writers within the emerging genres by looking at how certain conventions, principles and core concerns develop, as well as considering issues of literary status and canonicity.
The module studies one key text each week but will make connections across texts. Within each session you will explore texts in terms of overlapping themes within a genre, and the issues raised for how subjects are interpreted; as well as thinking about issues of narrative structure and voice, and the involvement of the reader. At the start of each three week period there will be a short introductory lecture establishing themes/ideas and generic issues for the form.
The module will also encourage you to consider the differences made by different forms of representation (e.g. serialisation for adventure stories; illustrations alongside the story for Holmes; initial dramatic representation of Peter Pan).
This course will be attractive to anyone interested in the creative process and how we can respond to it. The course aims to teach you to think in a radically new way about texts by looking at how they come into being, and studying the process of creativity through draft and manuscript materials from famous Romantic writers (Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, Byron, Mary Shelley). The published text will never look the same again!
We will explore the processes of composition in major Romantic and Victorian writers from the earliest stages to the production of the published text and its first reception. As well as thinking about the habits, anxieties and strategies of individual writers (male and female) we will also be looking at the problems such issues create for later readers and editors. At a textual level the course will engage with a number of different forms: contemporary journals, letters, diaries and review articles, considering how to make best use of these forms. The course will trace the changes made to a text through different draft versions and will draw upon manuscript (transcription) material in order to teach you how to respond to such material.
In A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf famously asks ‘what would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister?’, and goes on to explore the obstacles to literary success that she might have encountered. This course follows Woolf’s lead by seeking to redress the historical marginalisation of women writers in the English literary canon through an exploration of how women have come to writing at different historical moments, what they have chosen to write, and how. A selection of texts from the 17th century through to the 21st, encompassing autobiographical forms, the novel, poetry and drama, are used to examine relationships between gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and literary production, and to explore continuities, connections and disparities between representations of female experience. The course is historical in terms of both the range of primary texts it addresses, and also the history of feminist theoretical and critical approaches it provides.
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. 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 visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
At Lancaster, we encourage you to connect the study of language with real-world problems and their solutions. This prepares you for a wide variety of careers.
The study of language and of the process of communication is valuable if you’re interested in careers working with the linguistically disabled. Other possible paths include social work, counselling and the media.
The empirical and analytical methods used in Linguistics are also useful preparation for careers where numeracy and logical thinking is needed, such as computer programming, administration and accountancy.
Your degree provides a useful grounding for roles requiring clear and effective communication that is sensitive to people's interests and needs, including teaching and management.
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.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2018/19 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2017 were:
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For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
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