What is Joint Honours?
A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.
You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.
Study English Language as part of our Joint Honours programme and you will enjoy a distinctive, diverse and challenging learning experience, building skills which are relevant to a wide range of career paths.
- Learn how language shapes our understanding of ourselves and the world
- Discover things about the English language you never knew, such as the way we produce speech sounds
- Challenge existing attitudes to linguistic correctness and varieties of English
- Explore the relationship between language and the human mind
- Enhance your career prospects by improving your written and oral presentation skills
- Gain practical experience through work-based learning opportunities.
You can also study English or English Literature and Language as single honours subjects at Derby.
If you’re interested in how language works, this course offers a fascinating intellectual challenge while developing practical and analytical skills which are highly sought after by employers.
Exploring the power of language
Our programme covers a range of approaches which enable you to describe and analyse language at all levels, from the individual sounds of English through words, phrases and sentences to stretches of written and spoken language.
It brings a new dimension to areas you may have encountered already, such as language and power, stylistics and Gricean pragmatics. It also introduces you to other branches of language including psycholinguistics, cognitive pragmatics and literacy.
In addition, we will help you become familiar with significant historical, social and global varieties of language as well as the nature of linguistic representation and the construction of meaning.
In the second and third stages of your programme, you will have increasing control over the modules you study and the assignment topics you pursue. We provide a broad choice of optional modules to allow you to specialise in your particular areas of interest.
Conduct your own research
The study of English Language is based on observation and experiment. As you progress through this programme, you will learn how to undertake your own hands-on research into key questions surrounding language. You will design research projects, collect and analyse spoken or written linguistic data, and draw conclusions.
In stage two of the course, you will collaborate with other students on a research initiative and present your findings as a conference poster, which you will display to the group and discuss with the staff members who are assessing you.
Work-based learning opportunities
We offer exciting opportunities for you to apply your skills and knowledge in the context of the workplace. Our strong partnerships across the creative and cultural industries open doors to a range of work-related learning activities and employer-led projects.
You can make the most of these experiences through modules in stages two and three of the course – Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries and Work-Based Learning (PDP). They will not only add substance to your CV but also help you make more informed choices about your potential career direction.
Compelling subject combinations
Because Joint Honours gives you the flexibility to cover two subjects in one degree, you will be able to impress potential employers with your resourcefulness, breadth of knowledge, organisational abilities, communication skills and capacity to work to deadlines.
Subject combinations which might work particularly well include:
What you will study
You can study English Language as either a joint, major or minor subject. This will determine how many modules you’ll study at each stage. Please check your other subject to ensure it is possible to create your chosen combination.
The number of modules you take will depend on whether you choose to study English Language as a major, joint or minor subject within your Joint Honours programme.
You will study modules such as:
- Key Concepts in Linguistics
- The English Language in History (PDP)
- Style: Language and Literature
- Investigating English Language (PDP)
- Language and Society: Sociolinguistics
- Pragmatics and Literature
- The Concept of Literacy
- Ideology, Discourse and Power
- Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries
- Independent Study (PDP) or Work-Based Learning (PDP)
- Language and the Mind: Psycholinguistics
- The Globalisation(s) of English
- Language and Identity.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
We have a blended learning strategy. This means that, in addition to face-to-face teaching and learning, all modules will be supported through the University of Derby Online, with Blackboard course resources.
In face-to-face learning you will benefit from a stimulating combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. We aim for an inclusive style and for active student participation. Lectures are designed to be interactive, with opportunities for questions and discussion, and seminars on a number of modules across the programme are led by student presentations. Our lecturers are available for tutorials throughout the week, and can be contacted by email.
How you'll be assessed
You will be assessed in a range of ways including written reports, essays, workbooks, seminar participation, oral presentations, poster presentations and, if you choose to do the Independent Study, a dissertation.
The English Language programme is not assessed by exams. Each module has an element of formative assessment, which means you can gain practice on certain tasks and receive feedback on your work before completing the assignments which count towards your grade for the module.
Who you'll meet
You will be taught by a highly qualified and experienced team of lecturers who publish widely on their individual areas of expertise and research. They include two leading English Language specialists:
- Programme Leader Dr Barbara MacMahon who is a literary linguist. She researches and publishes work on the nature of literary communication, on relevance theory, narrative and literary voice, and on psycholinguistics and poetic effects. Her teaching specialisms include relevance theory pragmatics, literary linguistics and psycholinguistics
The teaching team also includes History specialists who contribute to the Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries module and the Work-based Learning (PDP) module. They are:
- Professor Paul Elliott, Reader in Modern History, who specialises in interdisciplinary and collaborative research using approaches from history, the social sciences, cultural and historical geography, and cultural history. He has published on a wide variety of topics including the Enlightenment, modernity and science; the Derby philosophers; and the British arboretum
- Dr Cath Feely, Lecturer in History whose research interests are nineteenth- and twentieth-century British cultural and intellectual history; the history of Marxism; the history of reading, writing and publishing; and the history of the press. She is currently working with the Derbyshire Record Office on a series of events to promote the treasures of the archive to a wider public audience
- Dr Tom Neuhaus, Lecturer in History, who specialises in international history focusing on relations between Europe and Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has published books and articles on themes such as Tibet in the Western imagination, attitudes towards Eastern spirituality and youth rebels in the Third Reich.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||120* (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
At least a C in English or similar at A-level (or equivalent qualification)
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
A Joint Honours degree with an English Language component opens up a wide range of career opportunities for you. As a Joint Honours graduate, you will stand out to potential employers as a versatile, well organised, adaptable and independent learner.
Graduates in English Language find work in the civil service, local government, the media, libraries and archives, language planning and policy work, law, information technology, counselling, publishing, journalism, advertising and the creative industries.
This degree will also give you a firm foundation for postgraduate study, either at the University of Derby or elsewhere. If you wish to enter the teaching profession, for instance, there is the opportunity to progress to a PGCE course and to specialise in primary, secondary or tertiary education. You may also wish to consider further study on a specialist masters course, with subsequent options to pursue a PhD.
Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employability Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure that you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising.
The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.