BSc Applied Linguistics and English Language - at a glance module overview

At a glance module overview

Year 1 (See programme page for year 1 modules)



Grammar and Meaning

Language Teaching Methods

Sounds of English

Studying the English Language

Language in Mind

+ school options

Language myths and truths in applied linguistics



Year 2 - details below



Child language and literacy




Research Tools for Applied Linguistics


Working with practitioners (health, law, education, technology)


Discourse analysis


Psycholinguistics of language acquisition


Module details: Year 2

ALE226: Psycholinguistics of language acquisition

What happens in your mind when you learn a second or subsequent language? How does this compare to when you learn your first language. This module looks at how we process multiple languages, the interactions between them and factors that might influence how we comprehend and produce language.


ALE227: Research Tools for Applied Linguistics

This module equips students to engage effectively with tools used by applied linguists for data collection, scrutiny, and analysis. These will include software for building, interrogating and comparing language corpora (corpus tools), for transcribing and annotating video/audio data, and for measuring various dimensions of language texts. We will also cover basic concepts of computer programming, and compare statistical analysis programmes.


ALE228: Working with Practitioners (Health, Law, Education, Technology)

Applied Linguistics connects language theories and evidence with real world challenges, and this often requires the applied linguist to work closely with professionals and practitioners. This module brings students into direct contact with these users of applied linguistics methods, via industry visits, case study analyses, and placement experience. Students will have the opportunity to focus on a particular industry sector (e.g. health care, law, education, technology) and to consider what they as applied linguists can learn from and contribute to that sector.


ALE202: Sociolinguistics

This course introduces students to the field of sociolinguistics – the study of language in society. The course aims to raise students’ awareness of the many and complex ways that linguistic choices are associated with social and situational factors. The course surveys the history and approaches to sociolinguistics, and explores some of the major issues and debates in the field, including how language varies according to factors like gender, ethnicity, social class, and education, and how factors like power, inequality, and cultural difference shape human interaction and affect the social outcomes of different types of interaction. We will critically consider the notion of variation, examine the dynamics of language in macro-social settings and micro-interactional contexts, and explore the ways that the mutually constitutive relationship between language and society is mediated through language ideology and identity construction.

ALE218: Discourse Analysis

This module introduces students to key approaches and research methodologies in the broad field of discourse analysis, including ethnography of communication, speech act theory, pragmatics, register analysis, genre analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics/conversation analysis. We will discuss these approaches, their strengths and limitations, and critically examine the application of these approaches in empirical research studies. The course features hands-on data analyses, and students will be responsible for carrying out an original discourse analysis based on original data.


ALE250: Child Language and Literacy

The module aims to develop an understanding of the processes, conditions and stages of successful first language acquisition, including Communication development in infancy; (phonological, semantic, morphological and syntactic as well as pragmatic and sociolinguistic aspects). Individual Differences will also be examined, for example, language and literacy, including dyslexia; Bilingual language acquisition, including. Bilingualism with sign language and literacy.

Year 3 - details below



Doing a research project


Dissertation (Research project 2)


Atypical speech and language


Forensic linguistics


Language policy and planning


Language in Media


Module details: Year 3

ALE320: Atypical Speech and Language

Developmental or acquired conditions can affect how language is processed and produced. In this module, we will scrutinise the language output and comprehension of people with conditions, such as dementias, aphasias, cognitive impairments.


ALE321: Forensic Linguistics

Forensic Linguistics is the study and analysis of language used in legal settings. This can include authorship attribution, where systematic analysis of language features in key documents can help to profile or identify the author, and the use of discourse analysis to scrutinise speech and writing used in and around legal processes. The use of forensic linguistic evidence in specific court cases will be scrutinised, and language-focused policies and practices relating to legal settings will be evaluated.


ALE322: Language Policy and Planning

This module looks at why we might need to plan for a language and how this might feed into policy. We will consider language planning from the point of view of both status planning (how a language is used within its community), corpus planning (the structure of a language) and acquisition planning (efforts to enable individuals or groups to learn a language).  Attention will be given to bodies and institutions, which are involved in making language policy and examples from different language communities in the world will be studied. Throughout this module, we will explore the complex factors and implications of planning and policy: implications for equality and diversity, innovation versus conservative approaches and from a regional/national level to the international stage.

ALE317 (TB1) Doing a Research project

ALE317 prepares students for the dissertation, which is written in the module ALE318.It introduces students to a range of methodologies used in research in general and in applied linguistics in particular, and prepares them for the conducting and writing up of their own piece of research.

ALE318: Dissertation/ Research project

In this module, students will conduct an empirical research project in Applied Linguistics under supervision. This will entail collecting and analysing data, as well as writing up their projects in an 8,000 word dissertation.

ALE316: Language in the Media

This module builds upon work that you have done on discourse analysis during years 1 and 2, applying it to a range of media texts, including television interviews, documentaries, political debates, social network sites, and participatory news sites. You will use several of the main theoretical frameworks in Discourse Analysis to do so. For example, you will draw upon the micro-analytic methods of Conversation Analysis to examine how political interviews on television and radio phone-in programmes are routinely structured: How are they opened and closed?; How are ‘neutral’ questions posited?; and How are answers evaded? Likewise, using Im-Politeness theories, you will examine verbal conflict and aggression in online political deliberation. You will also learn about the similarities in the use of narratives across genres as diverse as documentaries, news and talk shows. 

The course will improve your data collection and discourse analytic skills. It will also teach you to assess critically the impact of media discourse upon contemporary society (and vice versa) and to evaluate discursive practices whereby identities are legitimised and/or challenged within the media.