English Language and Literature BA (Hons)

About the course

If your love of the English language is matched only by your fascination for the breadth of its literature this distinctive degree is an ideal choice.

Develop a sophisticated understanding of both the language and a variety of texts from core periods of literary history – from the medieval to the present day, with the opportunity to take units focused on central issues in the study of English language.

You will examine a range of key texts in literary and linguistic history, and a choice of specialist units will further deepen your appreciation of English literature across genres and eras.English in Guardian League 2018

Choose English Language and Literature BA (Hons) degree at Bedfordshire and:

    • Learn valuable transferable skills on a course combining theory and practice
    • Study areas including creative writing, publishing and broadcasting and translation and interpretation
    • Develop your knowledge and understanding of literature whilst learning practical skills relevant to teaching and many other careers where a detailed, critical knowledge of language and literature are needed
    • Gain from studying with academics who produce world-leading, internationally recognised research
    • Explore the Hockcliffe Collection, one of the most important collections of children’s books in the country
    • Benefit from a course which prepares you for a range of careers in teaching, editing, publishing, journalism, business, travel and tourism, or further postgraduate study
  • Apply Via - UCAS
  • Course Level - Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code - Q311
  • Campus Location - Bedford Campus
  • Start Dates - Oct
  • Duration - 3 Years
  • Attendance - Full-time | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course. 

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification. 

There is also a £500 Foundation Year Bursary available to UK students starting September 2019.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire. 

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree. 

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.


Why study a Foundation Year degree?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.


Why choose this course?

The BA (Hons) course in English Language and Literature at Bedford is the ideal choice for students who are equally interested in the language and the literature strands of their previous studies and who appreciate the natural synergies between the two subjects. The course is designed to give you an insight into the complexity and the scope of language and literature in different cultural, professional and historical contexts. It also provides you with an awareness of competing theoretical approaches to the study of language / linguistics and literary / popular texts.


A degree in English Language and Literature is especially relevant if you are planning a career where high-level analytical skills and abilities in professional and creative communication are needed. There are many vocational and educational applications for the kind of expertise in linguistics and literature with which this course will equip you.


The first year provides a grounding in word forms, sentences and pronunciation and how these are used to express meanings in spoken and written English in a variety of contexts, as well as a knowledge of the development of English literature in a range of different cultural contexts from the Middle Ages to the present day. The second year builds on this knowledge, offering significant opportunities for you to choose options that enable you to tailor your course to suit your own individual academic and professional interests. At this stage, the course becomes more detailed and looks at accents, dialects, pronunciation and sentence structure, as well as historically contingent and context-dependent literary styles. Critical and creative thinking skills are also honed as the research focus becomes sharper, developing your skills as a linguistic and literary researcher. Following workshops on research strategies, information literacy and data collection and analysis, you will be encouraged to select your own language, literary or creative writing topic for your final-year dissertation.


You will be studying with a course team that has an excellent track record of high-quality teaching and is prominent in subject league tables and National Student Surveys. The course is taught by experts in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT) and literature. Our prolific and successful Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA) has a world-class reputation for its work in English Language Testing, while the English literature staff have research expertise in seventeenth and eighteenth-century literature of dissent; Victorian literature and culture; modernist writers; Irish, American and world literatures; and childrens, young adult and crossover literature.

National Studen Survey Results
National Studen Survey Results
National Studen Survey Results
National Studen Survey Results

What will I learn?


  • An Introduction To Linguistics And Phonetics (LNG029-1) Compulsory
  • Literature In History (ENG003-1) Compulsory
  • Sounds, Words And Grammar (LNG026-1) Compulsory
  • Ways Of Reading (ENG006-1) Compulsory
  • Applying Linguistics (LNG023-2) Compulsory
  • Exploring Grammar (LNG025-2) Compulsory
  • Language, Ideology And Power (ENG008-2) Compulsory
  • Medieval Literature (ENG013-2) Compulsory
  • Renaissance Literature (ENG014-2) Compulsory
  • The Sounds Of English (LNG024-2) Compulsory
  • Creative Writing (ENG006-2) Optional
  • Eighteenth-Century Literature (ENG016-2) Optional
  • Poetry And Poetics (ENG010-2) Optional
  • Restoration Literature (ENG015-2) Optional
  • Romantic Literature (ENG017-2) Optional
  • The Meaning Of Meaning (LNG019-2) Optional
  • Victorian Literature (ENG018-2) Optional
  • Dissertation (English Literature) (ENG014-3) Compulsory
  • Dissertation In English Language And Linguistics (LNG017-3) Compulsory
  • Psycholinguistics (LNG020-3) Compulsory
  • World Literature (ENG022-3) Compulsory
  • Children'S Fiction (ENG007-3) Optional
  • English Syntax (LNG022-3) Optional
  • Forensic Linguistics (LNG024-3) Optional
  • Gender And Culture (ENG010-3) Optional
  • Gothic Literature (ENG013-3) Optional
  • Language, Literacy & Cognition (LNG019-3) Optional
  • Modern British And American Literature (ENG018-3) Optional
  • Modern Irish Literature (ENG021-3) Optional
  • Postmodern British And American Literature (ENG019-3) Optional
  • Research In Action (ENG023-3) Optional

How will I be assessed?

The BA (Hons) English Language and Literature course uses a wide variety of assessments. Although on most units the essay is one of the ways in which learning outcomes are assessed, all units employ other means of assessment, including language data collection and analysis, oral presentations, transcriptions, close readings, reviews, group reports, journals, research proposals, portfolios, a range of phase tests and seen and unseen exams, as well as the Dissertation, which can be either a research dissertation on a language or literature topic or a creative writing dissertation with commentary. Each piece of work is graded individually, whether done collaboratively or otherwise. Feedback plays an important role in the course and you will be expected to engage in self-reflection and peer feedback, especially in formative assessments and those based on presentations. There is also a variety of individual assessments designed to develop independent critical thinking and which serve to reinforce our research culture.


As you progress from Year One to Year Two to Year Three, it is expected that your response to assessment tasks will become more sophisticated as you consolidate and develop your skills and subject knowledge. You will be required to produce a critique of theory and current practices and to evidence your ability to make informed decisions. Research ethics is an integral part of the course and, together with training in research methods, provides the foundations for the Dissertation, the culmination of the course which entails managing the research project from start to finish, albeit with advice and support from your supervisor. This substantial body of work is normally based on original research and on the application of linguistic / literary theory and / or creative writing. The level of study at each stage in your degree is reflected in the level of response required by assessment criteria.

Entry Requirements

We will consider you as an individual and take into account all elements of your application, not just your qualifications. We are looking for breadth and depth in your current studies and enthusiasm for the subject you wish to study.

UCAS introduced a new tariff for courses from September 2017. This means the points you will be asked for are different to previous years but the grades you receive have not changed.

  • At least 80 points with 64 points from 2 A level passes at C or above
  • At least 80 points with 64 from Merit Merit in two BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas or one BTEC Diploma
  • At least 80 points with Merit Merit Pass in the BTEC Extended Diploma
  • A completed Access to Higher Education Diploma Equivalent qualifications such as Irish Leaving Certificate, OCR Nationals, International Baccalaureate and CACHE Level 3 awards.

For more clarification about your qualifications in the new tariff see the UCAS tariff calculator

Contact the Admissions Team for additional guidance on whether the qualifications you currently hold or are taking would be suitable for entry.

T: +44 (0)1582 743500
E: admission@beds.ac.uk

As a general guide, to apply for a place on an undergraduate course (BA/BSc) at the University you need to have completed your high school education and have the required English qualification.

We have students from all the European Union member countries so we are quick to make decisions on most qualifications. See your country page for more details

Check Your Country page to confirm that your local qualifications are suitable or contact your International Admissions Team

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

During the Introductory Programme at the start of the first year of your studies, you will meet staff from the Careers Service who will talk to you about how best to prepare for your chosen career and the services they have to offer to help you with that preparation over the next three years.


Towards the end of Year One, a session will be organised to discuss the choice of units for Years Two and Three, taking your occupational goals very much into consideration. Just as the BA (Hons) English Language and Literature course introduces you to research gradually from the first year, so too with career planning, which becomes increasingly prominent in the second and final year, when advisors help you plan your graduate career or postgraduate study. We work closely with representatives of the Careers Service and deliver joint career development workshops as part of the course. For instance, for those students intending to teach, a tutor from the PGCE course will offer specific advice on how best to prepare for a PGCE.


In Year Three, your Personal Academic Tutor will act as a source of information on life after university and will write references for you for job applications. The combination of theoretical knowledge, practical application and interpersonal skills acquired on this course will provide you with the confidence and experience to approach all manner of problems. The course has a range of assessment types, such as case studies, individual and group tasks and giving presentations, all skills employers prize.




The opportunity to explore some of the practical applications for your intellectual, analytical and communication skills is encouraged through the university volunteering scheme. Settings include local schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organisations.


Students who register for the degree with professional practice year will additionally attend a series of workshops and activities relating to securing a suitable placement and compulsory briefings at the end of Year Two to ensure that all legal requirements for health and safety, safeguarding, etc. training have been met. This will be explained more fully in your professional practice handbook once you have registered with the Careers and Employability Services Student Development and Awards Team in your first year. If you will be working with children and / or vulnerable people, you will be required to have a DBS check and undertake safeguarding and prevent training.

Professional placements

We value real-world experience to prepare you for life beyond university, which is why we’ve forged connections with thousands of companies locally, nationally and internationally. Through our placements, you can gain that all-important practical experience whilst you complete your course.

From volunteering, internships and placements, through to a fee free year in industry, we offer a whole host of opportunities to enhance your employability. Discover more


Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and Funding

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees. You can also apply for a maintenance loan from the Government to help cover your living costs.

See www.gov.uk/student-finance

The University of Bedfordshire offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help you finance your studies.

See www.beds.ac.uk/scholarships

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the Academic Year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees.

See www.gov.uk/student-finance

The University of Bedfordshire offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help you finance your studies.

See www.beds.ac.uk/scholarships

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

The full-time standard undergraduate tuition fee for the academic year 2018/19 is £11,500 per year. A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full Year 1 fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See www.beds.ac.uk/intfees

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email admission@beds.ac.uk

    Extra Costs

    Find out more about additional costs while studying at Bedfordshire. Click here.


    Physical Education and Sports Science Centre

    Sports Hall

    The sports hall is an integral space in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, complementing discipline leading Sport and Exercise Science and modern biological analysis laboratories, all co-located on the Bedford campus.

    The sports hall is a major teaching facility for the University's Sport and Physical Education degree courses which have trained physical educators in the UK for over a century.

    Together with its associated facilities it provides our trainee teachers and coaches with a superb environment in which to coach and teach pupils from local primary schools who are also benefiting from this new facility.

    The sports hall is proud to host all Bedfordshire Bulls students' sports matches as well as national standard sporting events including British University College Sports championships – one of the few indoor sporting venues in the county to host prestigious tournaments all year round.

    The facility also plays host to a number of University promoted Get into Sport activities which are open to all University students and staff.

    Specialist labs

    Our specialist labs give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise, where a student can explore the biology of an elite athlete who could be performing simultaneously within the sports hall.

    Few Sport Science courses in the country offer students such unique discipline leading research experience and skills, alongside intimate access to world leading researchers within their field. Students are regularly offered the opportunity to be involved within discipline defining Sport, Health and Exercise Science research

    Our state-of-the-art laboratories are purpose built for research and teaching in the fields of exercise and nutrition science. This includes specialised equipment and facilities for assessing human health risk and delivering exercise and diet interventions for health promotion.

    This includes:

    • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for assessing bone density and body fat content
    • BodPod and underwater weighing tank for body composition assessment
    • Environmental chamber that controls temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels in the air
    • Wet lab for assessing metabolic and hormone markers in blood

    Our £8m Physical Education and Sport Science Centre was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics.

    Theatre and dance studio facilities

    • 280 seat theatre
    • 80 studio theatre
    • Four fully-sprung dance studios
    • Dance studios equipped with ballet bars, mirrors, audio playback, internet and projection
    • Large dressing rooms with en suite showers
    • A scenery workshop reserved solely for student productions
    • Large 6m by 12m white Cyclorama screen for projection and lighting
    • State of the art HD projectors
    • Full backstage comms system with audio and video relay
    • Extensive lantern stock including Led fixtures, strobes and moving lights
    • State-of-the-art, industry-standard lighting and sound consoles
    • Built in media desk and roll-down screen

    Gateway Building

    Opened in January 2015 the Gateway is an impressive building featuring high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.


    Campus Centre

    Campus Centre featuring a 280-seat professional theatre, dance studios, a fairtrade café and social space for students.

    Accommodation at Bedford

    For on-campus student accommodation choose from luxury living at Liberty Park's modern en-suite study bedrooms or the Student Village which offers standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and en-suite rooms with a private shower. All have fully-equipped kitchens. Our rooms are on-campus and have easy access to the town centre and train station.

    Subjects studied at Bedford campus

    • Primary Education
    • Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
    • Education Studies
    • Physical Education and Sport Studies
    • Sport and Exercise Sciences
    • Tourism and Leisure
    • Accounting and Business Management
    • Performing Arts and Dance
    • Social Work

    Bedford town location

    The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. The University offers a free bus service for staff and students that runs between Bedford town centre and the campus.

    Directions to Bedford campus

    Bedford offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK as it sits between the M1 and the A1. The town connects by train to Luton (20 minutes) and London (40 minutes).

    How to Apply

    Application for most full-time undergraduate and foundation courses is via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    We expect to receive UCAS applications between 1 September and 15 January for courses starting in the following academic year, but may consider applications received after this date should places be available.

    Please contact admission@beds.ac.uk for further details.

    All UK schools and colleges are registered with UCAS to manage their students' applications. Advice on how to submit your UCAS application is available from your school or college.

    If you are not at school or college (including mature students) you should apply independently via UCAS

    EU students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply via UCAS or direct using our admissions form

    International students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country
    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply as an International student