Explore how language lies at the heart of human life and society with our BA English Language and Linguistics degree.
This course examines how language is crucial to our understanding of ourselves as members of society, as individuals, and as a species.
At the University of Reading, you’ll join our friendly, collaborative Department of English Language and Linguistics. We’re proud of our:
- established reputation in applied linguistics. We’ve been around for more than 50 years, and offered the first linguistics degree in the UK.
- global ranking. We place in the top 150 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
- thriving research environment. 98% of our research overall in Modern Languages and Linguistics was rated world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
Our experts will support you to become a highly skilled user and analyst of the English language. As well as analysing language itself and how it works, you’ll investigate:
- language use in different social contexts and settings, including online and offline
- how language is acquired by children and adults
- how language is taught
- the role of language in politics in an increasingly globalised world.
Alongside this, you’ll develop your knowledge of grammar, phonetics and discourse analysis, and understand how language and linguistics relates to contemporary social issues, including politics, migration, gender and sexuality. 90% of students agreed that our staff are good at explaining things in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics .
 2021 National Student Survey.
Join a friendly, supportive community, where 90% of students say that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2021, Department Level NSS).
We are passionate about exposing you to the forefront of English language research and practice:
- Professor Rodney Jones, who explores how digital media changes the way we communicate online, invited students to contribute to his latest research.
- National Teaching Fellow, Professor Jane Setter, teaches five modules – in phonetics, pronunciation and varieties of English – and feeds her research into all of them.
You’ll be encouraged to follow your interests as they evolve with our diverse range of interdisciplinary modules, allowing you to gear your degree towards your career objectives.
In your final year, you will have the choice to either complete a dissertation or undertake a placement.
Gain real-world experience
In your final year, you will have the choice to complete a Professional Communication Project in lieu of a dissertation. As part of a group, you will plan and implement a project for a company or organisation. This is a fantastic opportunity to put your skills into practice, gain first-hand experience of the sector, and boost your employability.
For example, you might conduct a research project alongside an academic, company or organisation; design promotional materials, websites, or newsletters; engage in social media marketing; or plan and execute a public event.
Recent graduate, Hope O’Grady, shares her experience of supporting prisoners grappling with deportation notices during her work placement.
As part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme, you may also have the chance to work with staff members on their research projects.
We also offer a four-year version of this course, BA English Language and Linguistics with Placement Experience, which includes an integrated work placement in the third year.
As part of your degree, you can apply to study abroad for a semester – during spring or summer term of your second year – at one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia, the USA, Canada or Australia.
Visit the Study Abroad website for more information.
I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed all my time studying English, mainly due to all the great staff in the Department, who would often go above and beyond the call of duty to help their students. I would recommend the Reading English Language Department to anyone wishing to pursue higher education in linguistics - where students really are given the best chance to achieve great things.