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.
- What our graduates say about studying English at the University of Suffolk.
- Our course partnerships with regional arts organisations, publishers, theatre companies and community groups to offer you exciting opportunities during your studies, including exclusive writing competitions such as the Student New Angle Prize.
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.
'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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.
'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.
‘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.
'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.
'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.
'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.
'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.
‘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.
'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.
'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.
'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.
‘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.
'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.
'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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
Applicants are expected to hold A-Level English at grade C or above.
All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.
If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.
Also see How to Apply.
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
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.