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BA (Hons) English Literature with Language

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UCAS code: 
Institution code: 


Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).



The BA (Hons) English Literature with Language enables you to combine innovative approaches to literature with cutting-edge research in linguistics. On the course, you will engage with contemporary subjects in literature, including postfeminist approaches to seventeenth-century poetry, Gothic horror in young adult fiction, and the apocalyptic imagination in twenty-first century writing. Alongside these areas, you will study a range of linguistic topics, such as language acquisition and disorders, variation in spoken language, and dialects in literature and film.

Photo by Katie Hayward

Our seminars are led by active researchers and HEA-accredited lecturers dedicated to giving you the best student experience. Here you will have the opportunity to undertake professional practice research alongside a related work placement to enhance your employability.

Our students have worked in a variety of professional environments, including primary, secondary and adult education, educational librarianship, editing and journalism. Over the last two years, 100% of students applying for teacher training have been successful at interview and accepted onto postgraduate courses. Our graduates have pursued Masters level study in the fields of speech therapy and literary linguistics, and seen their work cited at national linguistics conferences.

Suffolk is an inspiring place to study literature and language. The county’s coastal villages and towns attract writers and artists from all over the world, and feature in classic novels by Charles Dickens, George Orwell and Arthur Ransome. The richly intriguing historical development across the region also makes East Anglia a fascinating dialect area for linguistics studies. Share your love of literature and language in a stimulating learning environment that encourages independent thinking, intellectual rigour and academic excellence.

Further information


Course modules

Full-time students typically six modules a year during the first two years of their studies for increased subject diversity. In the final year, students complete a literature, language or combined dissertation in an area of their choosing, along with four other selected modules.

Part-time students may negotiate their programme of study with their tutors to suit their own individual needs and requirements. 

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Linguistics

'Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols' - Edward Sapir

This module equips students with the tools and terminology required for describing language and helps to develop analytical skills. Students explore the basic frameworks of phonology, grammar and semantics, and learn about the development of the English language. The module is of particular use to those wishing to become teachers or to enter language-based fields.

Literary Criticism: Theory into Practice

‘There is nothing outside the text’ - Jacques Derrida

This module enables students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills of analysis and criticism on which to base the rest of their undergraduate work in English. Students will explore various methodologies in the study of literary texts and consider the purpose of literary criticism and its relationship with culture, philosophy and politics.

Staging Scandal: Classical to Contemporary Drama

‘It's so easy for propaganda to work, and dissent to be mocked' - Harold Pinter

This module introduces students to the study of Western drama, covering both its historical and literary development from the classical era through the Renaissance and up to the twenty-first century. Students will explore a wide selection of dramatic works in English and in translation, focusing on plays that have often prompted hostile speculation from audiences and critics.

Skills for English

‘Writing is a way to work yourself into a subject and make it your own’ - William Zinsser

This module enables students to develop skills that are central to the study of English including critical reading, writing, analysing, researching, and presenting. The skills practised on the module will support student work in all other modules of the course and prepare them for professional practice modules where they will be invited to transfer subject-related skills to the workplace.

Poetry Matters

‘In this gorgeous mess of our own gravity’ - Jo Shapcott

This module introduces students to the complexity and pleasure of this literary form. It is designed to help students engage with poetry in a creative and active manner. Students examine a wide range of poetic forms, from canonical texts of the English tradition to digital and performance poetry, including poems in translation. 

Critical Theory

‘Welcome to the desert of the real’ - Slavoj Žižek

Students examine a range of theoretical approaches to texts, including Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminism, postcolonial theory and postmodernism. They are encouraged to engage with theory as an intellectual activity that develops multiple perspectives on a variety of topics such as language, reality, subjectivity, gender, race, and sexuality.

Language Development and Disorders

'Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they're all a projection of you' - Deepak Chopra

The module examines three major frameworks of language: acquisition, production and comprehension. These are examined and analysed through a range of case studies and linguistic data. In addition, Learning English presents and discusses theories and data relating to the acquisition of conversational skills in English, as well as a variety of language disorders. 

Textual Afterlives: Adapting Literature and Film

‘An adaptation may come second, but that doesn’t make it secondary' - Linda Hutcheon

This module introduces students to the literary field of adaptation studies, exploring the afterlives of a range of ‘source’ texts through a critical and creative assessment of processes of textual transformation. Through an analysis of texts where characters’ afterlives also feature in the narrative, students will investigate shifts in media, genre, audience, ideological positions and modes of production and consumption.

Shakespeare’s Sceptred Isle: Power and Performance

'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown' - Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II

This module enables students to undertake a thematic study of Shakespeare’s dramatic work based on the detailed study of four plays, each from a different genre. The plays will be studied both as responses to the political, social and religious changes of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and as works of continuing relevance through a close examination of recent and varied performance contexts.

Transgressive Lines: Poetry in the Seventeenth Century

'That in yourself which you knew not before' - Lady Mary Wroth

The critical and theoretical investigation of a selection of writings by female and male poets offers students the opportunity to consider the discourses that intersect in the poems and reflect on the role of power, ideology, gender and sexuality in their composition and circulation.

Versions of Modernism

'Do I dare Disturb the universe?' - T. S. Eliot

This module introduces students to literary modernism through the study of poems, short stories and novels from the period between 1900-1930. Students explore the radical experiments of modernist writing and critically evaluate how these texts break with conventional representations of reality. They also create short films and text for an online resource about modernism.

Structures of Spoken English

'The exercise of power, in modern society, is increasingly achieved through ideology, and more particularly through the ideological workings of language' - Norman Fairclough

This module represents a more theoretical consideration of textuality, providing preparation for students' own independent research. Students consider core topics and approaches in language study such as language variation, creativity in language use, stylistics, cognitive poetics and critical discourse analysis.

Laboratory Phonology

‘Imagination is the research laboratory of discovery’ - Steven Magee

This module focuses on sound variation and processing. Students explore how similar phenomena can be represented in different phonological models, such as Optimality Theory and Lexical Phonology. This module provides valuable experience for any students looking to continue their skills in research design ahead of final year dissertation projects, as well as those focusing on careers or postgraduate work which incorporates strategic thinking and data processing skills.

Dissertation in English

'Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose' - Zora Neale Hurston

This module provides an opportunity for students to design and carry out an extensive piece of independent research examining an area of scholarship that they wish to pursue. This might have a literary, language, professional, or cultural history focus, and should draw on the appropriate methodological approaches. The work may also involve other disciplinary areas such as history, education, biography, psychology, philosophical or political thought, but the study must be placed within the broader scope of English studies.

Researching Spoken Language

'Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations' - Edward Sapir

Research has shown that variations found in spontaneous speech aren’t, as once thought, random and unstructured, but, instead, systemic/ meaningful. This course will examine the theory behind variation as it occurs in natural, face-to-face communication, and how we model variation according to social constructs, such as age, gender and style.

After the Apocalypse: Writing the Contemporary

'There is no god and we are his prophets' - Cormac McCarthy

The module enables students to evaluate the complex and thought-provoking forms of contemporary texts which transgress genre boundaries and solicit a speculative exploration of contemporary issues, such as transcultural identities, queer sexualities, dystopian spaces, and technological and post-humanist approaches to reality. 

Dialects in Literature and Film

‘Never let it be said that dialect is a reflection of intellect’ - Patricia H Graham

This module considers how language, and particularly dialect, are used in literature and film. The focus is primarily on sociolinguistic aspects, allowing students to assess how literature and film reflect actual language, and what this may tell us about linguistic attitudes and use. The module will give students a foundation in some key dialect features and characteristics, with a particular focus on British and North American dialects. 

Stranger Things: Young Adult Fiction

'The Gate ... I opened it. I'm the monster' - Eleven, Stranger Things

This module introduces students to the role of horror in young adult fiction, inviting analyses of works from literature, cinema and television that are categorised as dark fantasy, dystopian fiction, sci-fi horror and paranormal romance. Through close reading and independent research, students will examine issues relating to gender, power, identity and sexuality against the self-reflexive nature of horror and its highly subversive potential.

Education Research and Practice

'The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery' - Mark Van Doren

This module blends formal instruction with practical experience. Seminars take place on alternate weeks and cover topics such as Pedagogy and Learning Theories, Differentiation and Special Needs, and Reflective Practice. In the second semester, students undertake placements in educational settings, such as primary, secondary and adult education, including EAL and ESOL learning. 

Professional Writing Research and Practice

'Any positive emotion that you're infusing into a workplace needs to be grounded in reality. If it's not realistic, sincere, meaningful, and individualised, it won't do much good' - Tom Rath  

Students undertake student-centred learning based on a placement, which will build on their knowledge from language and creative writing modules, along with subject specific writing and IT skills. Moreover, students gain knowledge about professional writing from seminars with professional writers.

Career opportunities

The BA (Hons) English Literature with Language offers two professional practice modules: English Education Practice and Professional Writing Practice. You may undertake these modules in your final year of study to enhance your employability skills and build effective relationships with local schools, businesses and arts organisations.

The modules offer talks and seminars led by industry experts and provide opportunities for professional recognition, such as the EADT Award for Professional Writing and the Steve Ransom Award for English Education.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in writing and journalism, editing, arts management, teaching and consulting. Some have started their own businesses in areas like copy editing, public relations and freelance writing while others have gone on to postgraduate study.

Student profiles

I started my University degree in 2015 with no previous experience of studying linguistics. Throughout the three amazing years I spent on the English degree, my linguistics lecturer started to answer questions I had pondered for years: is human language unique? How do we physically ...

Fees and finance


  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £12,150 p.a. 

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements


Senior Lecturer in English Literature and BA Course Leader

Lecturer in Linguistics

Lecturer in English Literature and MA Course Leader

Lecturer in English Literature

Visiting Fellow

Visiting Professor of Literature

Visiting Senior Fellow in Linguistics

Course Administrator

Facilities and Resources

This course is taught at the beautiful Waterfront Campus in Ipswich, a unique location offering spectacular views and a vibrant space for study and socialising.

Teaching and learning takes place in the Waterfront Building, the Arts Building and the new Atrium Building, providing access to the campus’ best facilities including purpose-built seminar rooms and state-of-the-art screening theatres. 

Photo by Katie Hayward

Suffolk celebrates the literary arts every year with events such as the Halesworth Arts Festival, the FlipSide Festival, the award-winning Latitude Festival and the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.

Ipswich has a thriving theatre scene including the New Wolsey, Regent, East Anglia’s largest theatre, and Red Rose Chain, an award-winning, community-driven theatre company working in partnership with TV presenter Jimmy Doherty to stage outdoor summer productions of Shakespeare’s plays for over 10,000 spectators. Sir Trevor Nunn, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, schooled in Ipswich and is patron of the New Wolsey Theatre, a vibrant performance space at the heart of the region’s cultural life.

The county is also home to a number of prestigious publishing houses including Full Circle Editions, set up by Bloomsbury co-founder and Harry Potter discoverer-in-chief, Liz Calder.