English language focuses on the past and present uses of the English language in both non-literary and literary forms, from everyday conversation to the language of literature and the media.
You will learn about the structure of modern English, the history of English, and medieval language and literature, and will acquire the use of basic tools for describing and discussing language and improving your communication skills.
Initially, you will focus on phonetics and grammar of modern English and on Old English, the ancestor of our modern language. You then study varieties of English, semantics, the language of literature, Scots, the history of English and medieval English literature.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In second year you will study the nature and types of speech behaviour in conversational contexts, the role of persuasive language in society, Old, Middle and Early Modern English language and literature (together with Old Icelandic literature in translation), lexicology and semantics, an introduction to English historical linguistics, and the theoretical bases of linguistic study.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you successfully complete the courses in first and second years, you may progress to Honours (years 3 and 4). You will explore a selection of topics in great depth, relate these topics to each other and, where relevant, to topics studied in another subject.
In your third year you will study mainly core subjects, while in fourth year you will study mainly special options.
You will be able to choose from options such as English historical linguistics, medieval literature, manuscript studies and book history, sociolinguistics, phonetics and phonology, grammar and linguistic theory, literary and linguistic computing, and Scots language.
Two dedicated laboratories have special software for learning about and analysing spoken and written language.
We have a well-established EU exchange programme with opportunities to study for a year at universities including Copenhagen, Groningen, Helsinki and Nijmegen.
Some of our students spend their third year in North America or Australasia, though special arrangements apply in these cases. Recent placements have been in Toronto, Auckland and Montreal.
An Honours degree in English Language opens up a wide range of career opportunities. Some of our graduates have gone on to pursue courses in speech therapy and lexicography (dictionary-making) and many of our students go abroad to teach English as a foreign language: our graduates have gone on to teach in Europe, Asia and South America.
Recent graduates have been employed by the French Ministry of Education, Aviva, First Data International, and YouTube.com, among many other organisations.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including English and a humanities subject or a language (including Gaelic) at grades A/B or B/A) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Please note that Advanced Highers in subjects where grades A or B have already been attained at Higher will not be double-counted. English and a humanities subject/language at grades A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AABB or ABBB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.