University of Chester

Programme Specification
English Language and Literature BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities English

Literature: Benchmark for the Subject Group ‘English'

Language: No subject specific benchmark for English Language, so refer to ‘Linguistics' Benchmark statement.


English Module Assessment Board

Wednesday 4th December 2013

To provide an interesting and stimulating programme in English Language and Literature of honours degree standard, broadly representative of the range and variety of the discipline of English as academically practised today.

To provide an engaging and challenging programme, which will qualify students for further specialist study at postgraduate level.

To offer students the means and skills to conduct independent research in literary and language study.

To offer a humane and worthwhile programme which will be of value to all students in terms of their personal growth - intellectual, cultural, spiritual, moral, psychological, and social.

To offer a coherent and balanced syllabus, combining core study of English language and  literature (from the Renaissance to the present day) with a range of options and opportunities for specialisation (in both language and literature).

To deliver a tutor-supported student-centred programme which employs a variety of learning, teaching, and assessment methods appropriate to the study of English (language and literature) at first degree level.

To help build students' confidence and communicative skills by creating a culture of constructive and supportive mutual support and advice.

To devise and embed within the delivery of the curriculum high-quality pedagogical materials and resources which support the students in their learning.

To achieve best practice in learning and teaching by a process of continual internal audit and monitoring which takes due account of student feedback and peer review.

To use a variety of modes of assessment to provide students with the broadest possible range of opportunities to present their knowledge, findings and analyses.

To offer a programme which supports any students who struggle to achieve the required academic standards, both through the routine processes of consultation and, where necessary, through specialist support in the relevant skills.

To provide a learning environment which conveys an atmosphere of support and encouragement, sensitive to and catering for the abilities and needs of all learners, and dedicated to enhancing the students' enjoyment of literature and their confidence in the learning experience.

To equip students with various skills for a wide range of careers and professions, thereby enabling them to secure gainful employment after graduation.

To give students the opportunity to explore diverse critical and theoretical perspectives upon literature and literary studies, including historical, formalist, generic, thematic, and author-based approaches.

To provide students with the relevant descriptive terminology at the key levels of linguistic analysis - phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse.

To encourage students to engage critically in debates about the nature of language and literature.

To enable students to apply the linguistic tools to the analysis of spoken and written language in context.

To enable students to apply the tools of literary analysis to the study of individual texts.

Outcomes of literary studies:

Students will have knowledge of a range of literature in English from the Renaissance to the present day and an understanding of significant authors and texts, studied in relation to their historical/cultural contexts. Students, in studying a range of literary genres (poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fictional prose), forms, modes, themes and conventions, will have developed an understanding of the richness and complexity of literary culture. Students will gain knowledge of the language, technical devices, and stylistic methods of literature, with relevant literary-critical terms and tools of analysis. Students will understand a broad range of ideas and concepts pertinent to the study of literature, including various critical approaches and theoretical perspectives on literature and literary studies. Students will know the main characteristics of various literary movements and traditions.

Level 4: introduction to foundational literary skills and theoretical approaches -

EN4001 Studying Literature (literary history and core literary skills); EN4002 Approaches to Literature (theoretical approaches)

Level 5: period-based study, genres and themes

EN5001 Romantic Literature; EN5002 Victorian Literature (both period knowledge); EN5004 Gothic (example of thematic knowledge); EN5013 Reading Contemporary Fiction and Film Through Theory (example of theoretical approaches)

Level 6: period-based study, genres, themes, research knowledge

EN6001 Renaissance Literature EN6003 Modernism and After (both period knowledge); EN6006 Science Fiction (example of generic knowledge); EN6021 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness (example of thematic knowledge); EN6004 Dissertation (research knowledge)

Outcomes of language studies:

Key knowledge areas include: an introduction to the core frameworks of linguistic analysis – phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax; the description and analysis of a wide range of varieties of spoken and written, literary and non-literary English discourse.

Level 4: introduction to description, analysis and theories of language – all core modules

EN4301 Structures of English (core linguistic frameworks); EN4302 Language and Text (application of frameworks to discourse analysis)

Specialist knowledge at this level includes: the roots and development of English; child language acquisition; the power of language; the nature of ‘creative’ English; further insight into varieties of English; advanced insight into semantics and pragmatics; a detailed overview of various research methodologies.

Level 5: in-depth knowledge of historical English and more discrete domains of English

EN5302 Language Acquisition; EN5303 Creativity in English; EN5306 The Power of Language; EN5310 Accents and Dialects of English; EN5311 Semantics and Pragmatics; EN5312 Research Methods in English Language and Linguistics; EN5314 Roots and Development of English (core module)

Specialist knowledge at this level includes: advanced understanding of syntax and phonetics/phonology; exploring the nature of media discourse; understanding and application of corpus linguistic methodologies; the nature of controversies and conflicts in English; cognitive stylistics.

Level 6: in-depth knowledge of structures and discourses of English, and debates about nature and usage of English.

EN6301 Language Debates; EN6302 English and Media Discourse; EN6305 Topics in Sociophonetics; EN6307 Cognitive Stylistics; EN6308 Corpus Linguistics; EN6311 Topics in Syntax.

In the dissertation module (EN6310) students will be capable of applying research methods and analytical knowledge learned in previous years (using either quantitative, qualitative or mixed methodology) to complete a substantial piece of advanced independent research.

Outcomes of literary studies:

Students will have developed close reading skills and associated analytical, interpretative and evaluative skills. Students will have developed a grasp of the ways in which meaning is produced and of the aesthetics of reception. Students will be able to apply a range of theoretical concepts and critical tools to enhance their appreciation of literary texts. Students will be reflective learners, critically aware of the processes of communication and analysis. Students will be able to use secondary sources to develop and improve an understanding of primary sources. Students will have developed scholarly and literary research skills, methods and processes.

Level 4 - analytical, interpretive and close reading skills; understanding different approaches to literature

EN4001 Studying Literature (all close-reading skills); EN4002 Approaches to Literature (all cognitive skills relating to the application of theory)

Level 5 - cognitive skills relating to literary history, thematic studies, genre studies, advanced theoretical and critical skills

(Example modules) - EN5001 Romantic Literature; EN5008 American Literature; EN5009 Tragedy; EN5013 Reading Contemporary Fiction and Film through Theory

Level 6 - advanced analytical and critical skills, research skills; creative skills

(Example modules) - EN6003 Modernism and After; EN6004 Dissertation; EN6022 Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture; EN6013 Writing Poetry for Publication

Outcomes of language studies:
Thinking and cognitive skills are expected to develop across the three years of study, with progression from an emphasis on clear description and understanding, to demonstration of analytical and critical skills by the end of the studies. Students will develop the ability to understand language frameworks and apply them to the analysis of a broad variety of English discourses in context, and learn how to synthesise information and data from various sources.

Level 4

Find, read and understand a range of texts on English language and linguistics, including primary sources, and reference them according to the English Language Guide to Referencing and Style (EN4302)

Understand basic data collection and analysis techniques (EN4302)

Transcribe spoken English according to the principles of the International Phonetic Alphabet (EN4301)

Draw basic syntax trees to show an understanding of phrase and clause structure (EN4301)

Be able to write data analyses and discursive essays using standard academic English (EN4302)

Level 5

The ability to apply knowledge of the structures of English to the analysis of varieties of discourse in context, including Old and Middle English, contemporary literary and non-literary spoken and written English (EN5302, EN5303, EN5306, EN5310, EN5311, EN5314)

The ability to understand, synthesise and accurately represent key ideas in a variety of academic writings on English language and linguistics, using the appropriate referencing conventions (EN5310, EN5312, EN5314)

Understand and apply the appropriate analytical frameworks to a range of English discourses (EN5302, EN5303, EN5306, EN5310, EN5311)

Adapt their writing styles for a variety of academic purposes and audiences, citing evidence appropriately (all modules)

Level 6

Show advanced awareness of data collection and complex analysis techniques (all modules)

Consider varying intellectual approaches to language study, and determine the appropriateness of each approach according to requirements (all modules)

Show increasing ability to apply a critical stance to the reading and reporting of research and other texts (all modules)

Be able to write in a sophisticated academic style appropriate to the nature of the task and the target audience (all modules)

Follow and participate in coherent arguments in seminar discussions, presentations and written assignments (all modules)

Outcomes of literary studies:

Students will have acquired skills in reading and associated note-taking, along with skills of selection and synopsis. Students will be able to collaborate with colleagues and will have developed their oral skills to a high standard by discussing literature and language in seminars, small group work, tutorials and projects and devising group presentations. Students will have developed skills of debate and argument, including the rhetorical skills of the art of persuasion through the delivery of oral presentations and seminar papers. Students will have developed writing skills to a high level, and the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of written forms. Students will be able to use appropriately information and communication technologies, particularly the use of word processing software, email, the web, and other audio/video materials. Students will have gained skills of comprehension and transmission, including the ability to read, interpret, paraphrase and summarise written material lucidly and cogently. Students will be proficient in effective written and spoken communication and presentational skills. Students will be able to apply knowledge derived from abstract, theoretical, and ideological sources to practical situations. They will have the capacity to interrogate and critique various assertions, claims and arguments, weighing and adjudicating between alternative positions. Students will develop skills in: problem-solving, project management, organisation and time-management, including working to deadlines. Students will also gain independent and collaborative learning skills. Students will possess IT and multimedia skills, including word-processing skills and the skills associated with using websites, email, and other technologies. Students will also develop a range of life skills.

Students will be required to demonstrate that they are beginning to acquire these practical and professional skills in seminars and assessment at level 4 (EN4001 and EN4002), showing a more adept grasp at level 5 (EN5001 Romantic Literature, EN5002 Victorian Literature) with a specific opportunity to hone these skills also available at this level through work-based learning and experiential modules (WB5101 Enhancing Your Employability Through Work Based Learning, EN5201 Professional and Academic Development: Varieties of Writing, EN5202 Professional and Academic Development: Research Methods. Students will demonstrate a mastery of these skills at level 6 (EN6001 Renaissance Literature, EN6003 Modernism and After) and in particular in the skills required to successfully complete a dissertation (EN6004 The Dissertation).

Outcomes of language studies:

Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time, and to plan, conduct and report research in a variety of formats. They will apply, under guidance, techniques such as the eliciting of data by questionnaire, recording of word lists, collection of data by participant observation, organising and exploitation of electronic databases using the procedures of corpus linguistics and the analysis of spoken and written data. They will learn to recognise the ethical issues involved in the collection of data from informants in the field. Students will gain further experience in the oral and written presentation and analysis of data, including the use of various computer software packages (e.g. corpus linguistic and acoustic phonetic software). They will learn to work efficiently on their own, and to collaborate in study groups and for the purposes of presentations and similar tasks. They will also learn to critically evaluate their own work and the work of others.

At Level 4 students will undertake self-directed study and learning, with appropriate time management (all modules). They will also develop data collection skills: basic data collection methodologies (EN4302); ethical data collection issues (EN4302)

Students will have developed their oral skills to a high standard by discussing literature in seminars, small group work, tutorials and projects.

Students will have developed skills of debate and argument, including the rhetorical skills of the art of persuasion through the delivery of oral presentations and seminar papers. Students will have developed their writing skills to a high standard and in range of forms. They will be able, for example, to write discursive and/or analytical essays, and have the ability to paraphrase and summarise written material lucidly and cogently.

Students will be able to use appropriately information and communication technologies, particularly the use of word processing software, email, the web, and other audio/video materials

Communication skills are integral to all aspects of this programme. Since teaching is primarily conducted through seminars, and assessment constantly measures oral and written communication skills, these skills are included in the teaching and the assessment for all modules and with reference to level-specific expectations.

The following is offered as a summary of communication skills vital to the programme:

The ability to describe, discuss and analyse examples and theories using clear, standard written academic English;

The ability to write a range of discourses: essays; analyses; reports; papers; dissertation; presentations;

The ability to use IT skills to communicate by email, find and lodge information on the internet, search electronic databases and store the results of such searches, to produce electronic documents;

The ability to adequately summarise the writings of others, using relevant direct and indirect quotations, and the appropriate referencing systems;

The ability to adopt the appropriate register and style for the different discourses (from informal seminar contributions; to semi-formal oral presentations; to formal written discourse;

The ability to contribute to all forms of debate and discussion, with a high level of oral competence.


The two core modules in language study at Level 4 are designed to introduce students to aspects of language study which can be built on through a variety of pathways as they progress through their degree. EN4301 Structures of English deals with fundamental levels of analysis, such as phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax. Knowledge of these descriptive tools can be applied to language analysed in the other core module at this level, EN4302 Language and Text.

In literary studies at Level 4, all students will study the foundational module EN4001 Studying Literature, a double core module which introduces the study of English literature at degree level, equipping students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to progress further. The literary texts studied on this module are drawn from the Renaissance to the late twentieth century. Students will also take the single core module EN4002 Approaches to Literature which enhances EN4001 by introducing a variety of theoretical and critical approaches.

The Level 5 core module EN5314 Roots and Development of English will allow students to develop an understanding of the historical origins of the English language,  and the variety of forms it has taken both through regional dialects and in the evolution of genre types such as fiction and news texts.  

In literary studies at Level 5 students develop a detailed knowledge of a period of literature by taking  either EN5001 Romantic Literature or EN5002 Victorian Literature. EN5001 addresses the literature that emerged from the great cultural shift in Europe and America from around the 1780s and onwards. Romantic and post-Romantic concepts and preoccupations are investigated by looking at some of the key writers of the age. EN5002 addresses the literature of the Victorian period, which had its own prominent themes and issues, notably the Condition of England Question, the Woman Question, and the challenges posed to religion by contemporary scientific advances.

At Level 5 students also select two 20-credit optional modules from a range of literary and linguistic areas of study. (See the grid below for a full listing.)

Overall at Level 5 students must take at least 40 credits of literature modules and at least 40 credits of language modules (out of 100 credits). This means they must opt for EITHER two 20-credit language options OR one 20-credit language option AND one 20-credit literature option.

In addition, at Level 5, students have the option of either the University's Work-Based Learning module (WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning) or one of the programme's ‘professional and academic development' modules: EN5201 Professional and Academic Development: Varieties of Writing (a creative writing option); EN5202 Professional and Academic Development: Research Methods (literary studies); EN5205 Chester Retold: Unspoken Stories, Put Into Words; EN5308 Professional and Academic Development: Linguistics Study Placement (Germany). Students may opt, instead, for the module ML5210 Introduction to TESOL/TEFL or SP5230 Applied Spanish for Beginners.

All students of the BA Single Honours English Language and Literature programme will have an opportunity to study abroad at a partner university either for a term or for an academic year by opting for the following modules: WB5004 Learning in the Wider World or WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience.

At Level 6 students must take either EN6004 Dissertation (English Literature) or EN6310 Dissertation (English Language).

Beyond this (observing the principle of increased optionality through the Programme) students have a free choice of 80-credits of optional modules from a range of literary and linguistics specialisms (the only constraint is that students must complete at least 40 credits of both literary and linguistics modules). (See the grid below for a full listing.)

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
EN4001 4 Studying Literature 40 Comp
EN4002 4 Approaches to Literature 20 Comp
EN4301 4 Structures of English 40 Comp
EN4302 4 Language and Text 20 Comp
EN5001 5 Romantic Literature 40 Optional
EN5002 5 Victorian Literature 40 Optional
EN5004 5 The Gothic 20 Optional
EN5006 5 Brave New Worlds 20 N/A
EN5008 5 American Literature 20 Optional
EN5009 5 Tragedy 20 Optional
EN5012 5 Satire 20 N/A
EN5013 5 Reading Contemporary Fiction and Film through Theory 20 Optional
EN5014 5 European Literature in Translation 20 N/A
EN5015 5 Ancient and Modern: Continuities and Contrasts in Medieval and Early Modern Literature 20 Optional
EN5016 5 Alternative Worlds 20 Optional
EN5201 5 Professional and Academic Development: Varieties of Writing 20 Optional
EN5202 5 Professional and Academic Development: Research Methods 20 Optional
EN5204 5 Professional and Academic Development: Presentation Skills 20 N/A
EN5205 5 Chester Retold: Unspoken Stories, Put into Words 20 Optional
EN5302 5 Language Acquisition 20 Optional
EN5303 5 Creativity in English 20 Optional
EN5306 5 The Power of Language 20 Optional
EN5308 5 Professional and Academic Development: Linguistics Study Placement (Germany) 20 Optional
EN5310 5 Accents and Dialects of English 20 Optional
EN5311 5 Semantics and Pragmatics 20 Optional
EN5312 5 Research Methods in English Language and Linguistics 20 Optional
EN5313 5 Professional and Academic Development: Researching Cestrian English 20 N/A
EN5314 5 Roots and Development of English 20 Comp
ML5210 5 Introduction to TESOL/TEFL 20 Optional
SP5230 5 Applied Spanish for Beginners 20 Optional
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
EN6001 6 Renaissance Literature 40 Optional
EN6002 6 Literature 1660 - 1780 40 N/A
EN6003 6 Modernism and After 40 Optional
EN6004 6 Dissertation 40 Optional
EN6005 6 Absurdism in Modern Literature 20 N/A
EN6006 6 Science Fiction 20 Optional
EN6007 6 Literature and Addiction 20 N/A
EN6010 6 Specific Author 20 Optional
EN6012 6 Colonial and Postcolonial Literature 20 N/A
EN6013 6 Writing Poetry for Publication 20 Optional
EN6015 6 Restoration Drama 20 N/A
EN6019 6 Crime Fiction 20 N/A
EN6021 6 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness 20 Optional
EN6022 6 Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture 20 Optional
EN6023 6 Fantasy 20 N/A
EN6024 6 Page, Stage, Screen: Literature and Adaptation 20 N/A
EN6025 6 The American Way 20 Optional
EN6026 6 The Prison 20 N/A
EN6027 6 Ireland in Literature and Film 20 Optional
EN6028 6 Studying Gender: Literature, Culture, Theory 20 N/A
EN6301 6 Language Debates 20 Optional
EN6302 6 English and Media Discourse 20 Optional
EN6304 6 Psycholinguistics 20 N/A
EN6305 6 Topics in Sociophonetics 20 Optional
EN6306 6 The Grammar of Words 20 N/A
EN6307 6 Cognitive Stylistics 20 Optional
EN6308 6 Corpus Linguistics 20 Optional
EN6310 6 Dissertation 40 Optional
EN6311 6 Topics in Syntax 20 Optional
EN6312 6 English Phonetics and Phonology 20 N/A

  • 120 credits at Level 4 lead to the award of Certificate of Higher Education
  • 240 credits including 120 at Level 5 lead to the award of Diploma of Higher Education
  • 360 credits including 120 at Level 6 lead to the award of Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)

A minimum of 120 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent.

GCE A Level:


The department requires one of the following subjects:
English Literature, English Language or English Combined (Language and Literature)



BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: distinction/merit profile plus one of the GCE A level subjects listed above

Irish/Scottish Highers:

B in 4 subjects, including English

International Baccalaureate:

26 points, including 5 in HL English


Access to HE Diploma, to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at merit (including 15 in English Language or English Literature)


OCR National Extended/Diploma: distinction/merit profile plus one of the GCE A level subjects listed above

Extra Information:


Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer.

The above requirements are subject to annual review.



The Benchmark Statement for English states that: 'English is a versatile academic discipline characterised by the rigorous and critical study of literature and language. It is concerned with the production, reception and interpretation of written texts, both literary and non-literary; and with the nature, history and potential of the English language. The study of English develops a flexible and responsive openness of mind, conceptual sophistication in argument, and the ability to engage in dialogue with past and present cultures and values.' The programme is characterised by its versatility and flexibility, whereby students develop the necessary critical skills in modules spanning the period from the Renaissance to the present and covering a wide range of genres and forms: for example, at Level 4 on EN4001, EN4002; Level 5 on EN5001 and EN5002; at level 6 on EN6001 and EN6003, EN6006 and EN6021. The development of historical and contextual awareness is embedded in all modules; however, many are focused on specific historical periods or cultural movements: for example, at Level 4 on EN4001; Level 5 on EN5001, EN5002, EN5004 and EN5008; and at level 6 on EN6001, EN6003, EN6010, EN6025 and EN6027. All modules address the skills required for scholarly writing and involve study of the literary and critical uses of language, but in the following this is a particular focus: EN4001, EN4002, EN5013, EN5201, EN5202, EN6004, EN6013.

The Benchmark Statement also states that: 'Methods of critical reading and writing taught on English courses take account of the form, structure and rhetoric of texts, their social provenance, the cultures of which they are a part and in which they intervene, and their treatment of ideas and material shared with other subject areas. Students study the interrelationships between literary texts.'  All modules on the programme will address the forms, structures and rhetoric of texts and the relationships between texts, but those with a strong element of this include: EN4001, EN4002, EN5001, EN5002, EN5009, EN5013, EN6001, EN6003, EN6021, EN6022. 

The Benchmark Statement also maintains that 'The discipline of English in higher education (HE) is characterised by diverse educational approaches and intellectual emphases.'  This is a major characteristic of all modules on the programme, where teaching methods (lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, theatre visits, etc.) and assessment methods (essays, projects, examinations, seminar papers, group presentations, creative writing portfolios, etc.) reflect the diversity and intellectual challenges of literature itself. The Level 6 dissertation module EN6004  allows students an opportunity to employ all of the critical and analytical skills, along with the advanced communication and research skills, they have developed in the modules offered at Levels 4 and 5, in order 'to conduct research through self-formulated questions and tasks, supported by the gathering of relevant information and organised lines of enquiry, resulting in a sustained piece or pieces of work' (English Benchmark Statement).  All of the modules on the programme are designed to develop the following skills outlined in the English Benchmark Statement:

  • critical skills in the close reading and analysis of texts;
  • ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to English studies;
  • sensitivity to generic conventions and to the shaping effects upon communication of circumstances, authorship, textual production and intended audience;
  • responsiveness to the central role of language in the creation of meaning and a sensitivity to the affective power of language;
  • rhetorical skills of effective communication and argument, both oral and written;
  • command of a broad range of vocabulary and an appropriate critical terminology;
  • bibliographic skills appropriate to the discipline, including accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions in the presentation of scholarly work;
  • awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning;
  • understanding of how cultural norms and assumptions influence questions of judgement;
  • comprehension of the complex nature of literary languages, and an awareness of the relevant research by which they may be better understood. 


There is no Benchmark Statement for English Language, which is broadly subsumed under the Honours Benchmark Statement for Linguistics (2007). The following section quotes sections of that Statement either broadly or directly relevant to English Language, with a response [in square brackets] indicating the programme's fulfilment of such aims and objectives as are implied or stated. The situation of the relevant sections from the Benchmark Statement is in brackets.

‘Linguistics is concerned with language in all its forms, spoken, written and signed. Because language appears to be a uniquely human attribute, the questions of what language is, how human beings come to have it, and how they use it, have been pursued for over 2,000 years. Inquiry into language has raised fundamental questions about human cognition and behaviour ever since. Perhaps the key insight of linguistics is just that language and linguistic behaviour are highly structured, and the guiding principle of modern linguistics is that the nature of these structures can be elucidated by systematic study through a range of theoretical and empirical methodologies,' (Section 2.1). [At the heart of the programme is a concern with the study of the forms and functions of language varieties, the nature of language both historically and psychologically, and the structures of language (EN4301, EN4302, EN5314, EN5302, EN5303, EN5306, EN6301, EN6302, EN6307, EN6308, EN6311)]. ‘Graduates will be expected to have an appreciation of the basic concepts, modes of analysis and theoretical approaches in more than one of the areas of study which are traditionally distinguished within structural approaches to linguistics and which we term 'levels of analysis': phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse. In addition they will be expected to have an appreciable control of theory and practice in a range of other areas of study which bring to bear perspectives on language which have developed out of concerns for the role of language in society, its nature as a cognitive domain, the way it is acquired, the way it changes and the way it forms part of a gamut of communicative modalities' (Section 3.2). [The ‘levels of analysis' form the basis of the Level 4 core module Structures of English EN4301. Theoretical and practical issues are covered in all other modules. For instance the role of language in society forms the basis of specialist modules such as EN5306, EN6301, and EN6302. The nature of language as a ‘cognitive domain' is dealt with specifically in EN5302, and also specialist modules EN6301 and EN6307. The way language changes is the focus of the whole of the core module EN5314. Finally, the ‘gamut of communicative modalities' are covered in a range of modules including core module EN4302 and optional modules EN5306, EN6302 and EN6307.]Sections 3.4 - 3.19 in the Benchmark statement describe a range of language levels and topic areas from which students of linguistics are likely to choose. These are as follows, with the relevant section from the Benchmark statement in round brackets and  some of the relevant modules in the proposed degree programme in square brackets:  ‘phonetics' (3.4) and ‘phonology' (3.5) [EN4301, EN6305]; ‘morphology' (3.6) and syntax (3.7) [EN4301, EN6311]; semantics (3.8) [EN4301, EN5302, EN5306, EN6301, EN6307]; ‘pragmatics' (3.9) [EN5303, EN5306, EN6302]; ‘discourse' (3.10) [EN4302, EN5303, EN5306, EN6307 and EN6308], ‘the lexicon' (3.11) [EN4301, EN5314, EN5302, EN6308], ‘sociolinguistics' (3.12) [EN5314, and EN6302]; ‘historical linguistics' (3.13) [EN5314, EN6301]; ‘psycholinguistics' (3.15) [EN5302, EN6307]; ‘language acquisition' (3.16) [EN5302], ‘computational linguistics' (3.18) [EN6308]; ‘language in education' (3.19) [EN5302, EN6301].

Subject-specific knowledge and skills outlined in the Benchmark Statement (Section 4.1) include ‘the nature of a theory [...] central analytical concepts and methods [...] the need for a systematic approach to linfguistic phenomena [...] the basic techniques for collecting data [...] practicalities of organising and carrying out fieldwork [...] ethical issues [...] technical issues [...] [and] basic techniques for the analysis of data [...]'. We believe every module proposed in the programme covers some or all of these skill areas.

The programme uses a wide range of learning and teaching methods, including: seminars; small-group discussion; large-group discussion; lectures; talks; tutorials; resource-based learning; tutor-supported independent study; workshops; data collection exercises, including field work.

The programme uses a wide range of assessment methods, including: essays; formal examinations; seminar papers; seminar-based exercises; private study projects; data collection and analysis, including fieldwork; dissertations; oral presentations; resource based learning reports.  These methods have been developed in accordance with the English Department Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy.   Central to the strategy is tutor-supported student-­centred learning, one of whose features is to employ a broad range of appropriate learning, teaching and assessment methods, which develop the students' potential as autonomous, active learners (for the Department recognises that its students are already experienced learners who bring to their studies diverse and valuable learning experiences).   Furthermore, varied assessment admirably suits the widening participation agenda: the Department of English Mission Statement maintains that one of the Department's aims is to facilitate greater access to the study of English at degree level through a flexible admissions policy, and the use of a variety of appropriate learning, teaching and assessment methods.  Accordingly, the programme has been developed with a wide variety of assessment in mind. Broadly, formal examinations and tests feature more in the linguistic side of the programme.

The successful graduate will possess effective skills in written and spoken communication, and the interpretation of texts. The graduate will be self-critical and reflective with a high level of skill in problem-solving, project management, IT and multimedia skills (including word-processing), collaborative learning and working to deadlines.  The programme aims to place graduates in a position to develop careers in a range of professional contexts where good communication, research and analytical skills are a pre-requisite. The critical skills students will have acquired and developed will enable them to interpret, analyse and evaluate different types of textual (and other) material. Graduates will be very good communicators, with good expressive and listening skills, who can present, discuss and share their ideas and the ideas of others with individuals and groups of various sizes, in formal and informal settings. They will be able to see projects of work through from conception to completion, working well to deadlines. They will be able to respond well to advice and guidance but will also be autonomous learners able to work independently, and able to show self-discipline and good time management in their approach to their responsibilities. They will have a highly developed self-critical faculty, having worked through drafts of a variety of written projects, and taken into account assessment grades and comments on written and oral work as they progress through the course, responding to the criticism of their tutors and peers. Graduates will understand the importance of presenting their work to a high standard and will able to use all the necessary technological skills, such as word-processing and data-processing skills, to achieve this.

Every year a significant number of graduates from the programme are likely to continue their studies at level 7, M.Phil level and Ph.D level.

Typical career paths include: research, teaching, publishing, proof-reading, journalism, advertising, public relations, customer services, speech therapy, TESOL, TEFL, marketing, equal opportunities, and personnel management.

The English Department complies with the University's commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an educational institution.  For this purpose it has an Equal Opportunity Policy and appropriate Codes of Practice which encompass the Acts of Parliament, Statutory Instruments, Codes of Practice, Codes of Guidance and EC Directives and Recommendations that apply to equality law.

The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job.  The policy also aims to eliminate discrimination which is unlawful or unfair. 

In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the University Community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of:           

  • Gender Identity and/or Expression,
  • Age (subject to the University retirement policy),
  • Disability or Specific Learning difficulty
  • Marital or parental status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins) or creed
  • Religious, political or personal beliefs or principles
  • Membership or non-membership of a trade union
  • Socio-economic background.

By its very nature, the programme in English Language and Literature actively engages with issues of race, gender, disability and age. The Department of English, which hosts the programme is fully committed to the support of all its students whatever their circumstances. Over the years the Department has sought advice about and received training in the support of students with a variety of disabilities.

Students with Disabilities

The English Department complies with the University of Chester's commitment to providing access and support to students with disabilities, eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity amongst disabled and non-disabled persons. 

The University recognises its duties under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, in particular Part IV of the act more commonly known as the Special Educational and Needs Act (SENDA) 2001, and its amendment acts and regulations including the DDA Amendment Regulations 2003 and the DDA 2005. 

In line with the University's commitment to access and support, students with Disability / Specific Needs are offered specific information, guidance and advice in the pre-entry, entry, progression and transition phases of their University career and personal development. 

Support and assistance available at the University include (though not exclusively): 

  • Disability Support Services located in Student Welfare including the Disability and Specific Needs Support Workers and the Mental Health Coordinator,
  • Study Skills support for students with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia is provided by the Learning Support Services,
  • A network of disability link tutors within each academic department assist with the implementation of reasonable adjustments,
  • Learning Resource Centres provide a range of assistance including a Disability and Specific Needs Support Assistant and the facility to lend equipment such as laptops.
  • Extra time and other provisions are provided during examinations by Registry Services,
  • Accommodation Department has a number of adapted rooms available for students to rent during the academic year,
  • There are a number of disabled parking bays located across the main campuses,
  • And a multitude of appropriate authorities and other university departments work together to support the University's commitment to providing equality of opportunity and appropriate support provisions.

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