Linguistics and Japanese Studies BA
School of English
School of East Asian Studies
You are viewing this course for 2021-2022 entry.
This four-year course is run jointly by the School of English and the School of East Asian Studies. The Japanese side of the course combines intensive study of the Japanese language (from beginner level) with modules on Japan and East Asia. Your linguistics modules will teach you the analytical techniques and concepts that are essential for becoming a successful linguist. You'll spend the third year of your degree at one of our partner universities in Japan.
As a dual honours student, you'll divide your studies between the School of English and the School of East Asian Studies. Choice and flexibility are at the heart of our teaching, which means you can pursue and develop your own interests. At every level, there is a wide variety of modules to choose from. You will be taught by world-leading experts from both departments.
You'll be required to take a minimum number of credits within both departments each year, but how you choose to divide your modules after this is up to you: split your modules evenly between English and Japanese, or choose to weight your degree in favour of one subject or the other.
You'll learn Japanese intensively from scratch: speaking, listening, reading and writing. You'll learn phonetic scripts (kana) from the outset, and learn the roughly 2,000 Sino-Japanese characters (kanji) needed over the four years of the course. Your core linguistics modules will provide you with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of linguistic research, while optional modules will allow you to specialise in areas of the subject that inspire you the most, including language acquisition, historical linguistics, literary linguistics, or the study of language in its social and cultural contexts.
Research is central to the student experience here in Sheffield. All our teaching is informed by the latest findings, and all our students have the opportunity to carry out their own research project as part of their degree. Outside your degree there are many opportunities to develop your interests, insights and critical faculties.
The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.
Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:
UCAS code: QT12
In the first year, dual honours student, you will take 60 credits of Linguistics modules including: The Sounds of English, The Structures of English, and two other core modules of your choice. You must also fulfil the core module requirement for your other subject.
Your remaining credits can be chosen from our optional modules. Alternatively, you can guided modules from across the School of English or the wider University. Optional modules available in the School of English for first year students are detailed below.
Linguistics core modules:
- The Sounds of English
This module is an introduction to the subdisciplines of Linguistics known as Phonetics and Phonology, focusing specifically on the sounds of the English language. It is designed to provide a solid understanding of how speech sounds are made and how they function in use. The lectures will present descriptions of English speech sounsd and theories to explain their behaviour in a range of different accents and contexts, and the workshop classes will provide hands-on experience in using and thinking about the sounds of English. The module serves as an essential basis for more advanced linguistic study.10 credits
- The Structure of English
This module is an introduction to the syntax of natural languages, focussing on the syntactic structure of contemporary English. This module is intended as a sister module to the 10-credit 'Sounds of English' module, which runs in parallel. It is designed to provide a firm grounding in the descriptions of English sentence structure(s), and to introduce students to the main theories and methods of syntactic argumentation. The lectures will cover major topics in the formal description of English sentences, while the workshop classes will provide hands-on experience in analysing and thinking about sentence structure. The module serves as an essential basis for more advanced linguistic study.10 credits
- History of English
This module traces the history of the English language of the Fifth century AD through to the present day. Students will learn about the development of English over this period, looking at the factors which have shaped the language, and learning a variety of techniques for studying the language. The module will also introduce students to the range and variety of the English language at all periods, and to the ways in which English influences, and is influenced by, other languages.20 credits
- Linguistic Theory
This module explores how language is structured by examining central issues in linguistic theory, building upon the concepts introduced in EL112 Sounds of English and ELL113 Structure of English. Students will be instructed in (1) foundational theories and concepts in areas such as phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, (2) the linguistic evidence that informs these approaches, (3) the analytical techniques required to apply these theories to language data, and (4) the relevance of such theoretical models for the wider study of language. The module will develop analytical tools in using linguistic theory, training students to rigorously interpret language data within theoretical frameworks20 credits
- Varieties of English
This course explores the extraordinary diversity of the English language today, and is concerned with describing the features, use and status of contemporary varieties of English in Britain and around the world. Extraterritorial varieties are located within histories of expansion, colonialism, and globalisation, and considered in relation to the role of English as an international language. We investigate developments which led to the social and geographic distribution of certain present day varieties in Britain. Students will apply tools of description for all linguistic levels, and develop awareness of sociolinguistic aspects of language such as social indexing, attitudes and standardisation, as well as the relationship between variation and change.20 credits
Japanese core modules
- Japanese Language 1A
This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Japanese language. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in grammar, reading, writing and translation both from and into Japanese. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to do something practical in Japanese. Kanji (Chinese characters) as well as Japanese characters (hiragana and katakana) are introduced from the earliest stages.20 credits
- Japanese Language 2A
This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Japanese language. This module builds on the achievement of Japanese Language 1A and introduces further grammatical structures of the Japanese language with a view to further developing reading, writing and translation skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to do something practical in Japanese. At the end of this level students should complete the beginner¿s level which is roughly equivalent to JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N4 or CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) A2.20 credits
- Japanese Language 1B
This module is focusing on interactive activities in Japanese. It aims to enable students to acquire basic competence in speaking and listening skills. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to communicate in Japanese through a variety of daily activities.10 credits
- Japanese Language 2B
This module is focusing on interactive activities in Japanese. This module is built on the achievement of EAS146 and develop speaking and listening skills further to provide the grounding necessary for intermediate study. Every week carefully designed grammar structures and vocabulary will be introduced so that students will be able to communicate in Japanese through a variety of activities. At the end of this level students should complete the beginner's level which is roughly equivalent to JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N4 or CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) A2.10 credits
Linguistics optional modules:
- Early Englishes
Early Englishes works backward over a whole millennium of English, 1600 to 600. Each week's lectures and seminar focus on one century and one text representative of that century (for example, Beowulf and Piers Plowman). We will use a variety of techniques , literary, linguistic, anthropological, cultural historical, to analyse each text, thereby opening up discussion of the issues that preoccupied the English of the time, from glorious monster-slaying to the slow surrender of pagan belief to terror at the imminent arrival of Antichrist and on to the first expressions of love and desire. Texts will initially be studied in translation so no prior knowledge of Old or Middle English is necessary, but students will also be given the opportunity to examine texts in the original language.20 credits
- Practical Stylistics
How are literary effects created through language? How can we describe these effects? This course will aim to provide literature students with a gentle introduction to language, and provide language students with experience of applying linguistic analysis to literary texts. The emphasis will be upon a practical hands-on approach, and topics covered will include sentence structure, lexical choice, cohesion, narrative structure, discourse analysis (with reference to drama and dialogue) and point of view in narrative fiction. The texts studied will be predominantly literary and twentieth century, and will include extracts from novels, plays, poetry and short stories.20 credits
Other optional modules in the School of English
- Contemporary Literature
This module introduces students to a diverse range of texts in English (prose, poetry, and film) with a focus on texts published since 2000. Texts will be chosen to provoke thinking and debate on urgent and controversial topics that might include: globalisation and neoliberalism; ecology and animal lives; artificial intelligence and the posthuman; political activism and social justice; migration and displacement; state violence and armed conflict. We will discuss formally and conceptually challenging works, raise ethical and philosophical questions and begin to discover how current critical and theoretical approaches can help us to engage with contemporary texts.20 credits
- Introduction to Creative Writing
The aim of this unit is to help students to develop their expressive and technical skills in writing poetry and prose and to improve their abilities as an editor and critic of their own and other people's writing. Students will be guided in the production of new work and encouraged to develop an analytical awareness of both the craft elements and the wider cultural and theoretical contexts of writing. This module explores poetic techniques for creating new poems and narrative techniques for generating some prose work through the critical study of published examples, imaginative exercises, discussion and feedback on students' own writing. This exploration will help students to develop their own creative work while sharpening critical appreciation of published poetry and modern and contemporary fiction. The course is designed to give students the expereince of being workshopped as well as to establish basic creative writing techniques on Level 1 to preparing students for the challenges of Creative Writing Level 2.20 credits
This unit introduces students to the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare. Students will read a wide range of his works and will analyse them in the context of the cultural and historical energies of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. We will consider the range of dramatic styles and genres that he engages, alongside the conditions of performance, kinds of publication, and the characteristics of the language in which he worked. We shall also relate the texts to critical methods that help illuminate the relationships between drama and the culture, politics, and religion of the period.20 credits
- Introduction to Cinema
This module aims to study a cross-section of the most important American films up to the present day and to develop both a formalist and an institutional analysis of these works. Its intention is to study the growth of the classical Hollywood style, a matter of a sophisticated range of technical stratagems as well as of a genre-based cinema, and of the institution of Hollywood itself, the most significant force in cinema to-day.20 credits
- Studying Theatre: A History of Dramatic Texts in Performance
Covering classical, contemporary and popular texts, Introduction to Theatre aims to turn an interest in theatre and theatre-going into a more thorough appreciation of the ways in which playwriting, acting, design and performance have shaped theatre's development. Each week students will study a particular play and the historical context that informed its first performances and its theatrical afterlife. The course emphasis is on theatre as a social practice and practical discipline. Seminars and lectures will focus on the play in performance, and the processes that underlie production. Students do not need previous knowledge or experience, but should be prepared to try some new approaches to texts, for example through practical workshops.20 credits
- Foundations in Literary Study: Biblical and Classical Sources in English Literature
This module provides foundational knowledge about the treatment of Biblical and Classical sources in English Literature. It is an important unit for the study of literature and the Humanities, preparing students for work at higher levels. Typically a Biblical or Classical source and a literary text will be discussed together, to expose a range of meanings and to prepare participants for their own research about both the Bible and Classical material as literature and the treatment of Bible and Classical material in Literature. It will also prepare students for independent research. It is recommended that all students of English take this module.20 credits
- Renaissance to Revolution
This module surveys the poetry and prose from the early modern period in England, i.e., that written between the beginnings of the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century to the late eighteenth century. We will look at different genres, from court complaint to sonnets, prose fiction, erotic verse, restoration drama and the works of writers such as Donne, Herbert, Spenser, Marlowe, Dyrden, Milton and Pope. The texts studied will be related to critical methods that help us understand the relationships between literature and the culture, society, and politics of the period in which it was produced.40 credits
Having developed core skills in your first year, you are given the freedom to choose from a wide selection of modules in your second year.
Linguistics optional modules:
This course will give students a broad overview of phonological theory, consider the development of modern framework and explore such framework in depth. It is hoped that students will have a working knowledge of phonology by the end of the course.20 credits
This module builds on what students have learnt in ELL113 Structure of English at Level 1, providing a more in-depth look at the structure and organising principles of sentences. We develop the tree structures students learn in first year, and see how these structures form a system of representation that can be used for any language. This involves thinking about the universal constraints on the grouping of words into phrases, and consideration of various operations that move elements around inside sentences to generate the word orders we see written or hear spoken, while at the same time ensuring that sentences satisfy formal constraints. In other words, the module provides an opportunity for students to think in more depth about why sentences are structured the way that they are.20 credits
- Language and Cognition
This module introduces students to the key theories and frameworks at the core of cognitive linguistics. The module explores the relationships between language and the human mind and considers how recent advances in the study of human cognition can enhance our understanding of the conceptual processes that underpin the production and reception of discourse. The module introduces students to such concepts as embodiment, prototypes, situated simulation, profiling, mental representation, conceptual mapping, and conceptual integration. The module equips students with the necessary knowledge and analytical skills to design and carry out their own investigations into language and cognition.20 credits
- Historical Linguistics
Language change is a fact of all living languages, and in this sense historical linguistics is just as much about the present and future of any given language as it is about its past. This module introduces historical linguistics as the branch of study that uses evidence for change to explain how and why languages change, how languages are related, and encourages students to reflect on and discuss the ways in which studying historical linguistics bears significantly on other areas of linguistics, in terms of theory, methods and fundamental questions about what language is, what it is for, and what it tells us. The subject will be approached by 1) levels of linguistic inquiry, i.e. to do with semantic, phonological, morphological, syntactic and pragmatic change; but also 2) from the perspective of 'big questions', e.g. language families and linguistic prehistory, the role of acquisition in change, methods of linguistic reconstruction, and historical sociolinguistics.20 credits
This module explores the workings of language in its rich social setting. It includes an investigation of accent and dialect, register and style in relation to social class, gender, age, ethinicity, region and social networks. The module also examines sociolinguistic situations around the world, such as multilingualism and diglossia, pidgins and creoles, new Englishes and other globalised forms of language. The module is intended to be enabling and offers an opportunity for students to develop a sense of their own ethical responsibilities as language users and analysts. Students will be provided with the methodological tools necessary to carry out independent fieldwork and will be encouraged to undertake their own exploration of sociolinguistics.20 credits
- Exiles and Monsters: An Introduction to Old English
This module explores the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England, enabling students to read and understand the earliest English literature. Students will learn how to read Old English, developing a good understanding of Old English grammar and gaining familiarity with the language and literature through translating a range of set texts. The module will examine the historical background and cultural contexts of these texts, introducing students to the breadth and variety of Old English texts, and to differing critical approaches to them.20 credits
- First Language Acquisition
This second-year module is aimed at students who have already taken Introduction to Linguistics at Level 1. In this course, we focus specifically on the first language acquisition of syntactic (and semantic) knowledge. Addressing both theoretical and methodological issues, the course explores the relationship between the logical problem of language acquisition -- how very young children manage to acquire quite abstract and subtle properties of their target grammars in the absence of clear positive evidence -- and the developmental problem of acquisition -- how children recover from systematic errors, and acquire subtle language-specific properties. We also explore the related tension between nativist vs. emergentist explanations for language acquisition and development.20 credits
This module aims to examine phonological theories and the data on which they are constructed, exploring phonological organisation and processes in different languages. Segmental and prosodic (e.g. syllable-based) phenomena will be investigated, using rule- and constraint-based frameworks. As well as being a core part of theoretical linguistics, an understanding of phonology is essential to the studies of historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, speech pathologies, language acquisition, and computerised speech synthesis and recognition technologies.20 credits
- A Sense of Place: Local and Regional Identity
This module takes an interdisciplinary approach to issues of regional and local identity in contemporary Britain. Lectures focus on different aspects of the 'local' involved in the creation, dissemination and commodification of regional and local identity. Topics covered include: perceptual geography; archaeology; material culture; place-names; dialect; 'blason populaire' and regional sayings; regional literature; regional songs as 'anthems'; regional festivals and customs; the marketing of regions in the tourist industry. From 2006 the module will be involved in the 'Business in the Curriculum' initative. Students will work in teams with representatives of cultural and heritage organisation to solve 'real life' problems.20 credits
- Special Subject
This module will explore a different, cutting-edge topic on each run, reflecting the research expertise in the department. It will develop analytical tools in linguistics, appropriate to the topic and level of study. The topic may involve examining current issues in socio-, theoretical, historical, or applied linguistics, or any other area within the department's interests. As topics based on staff research are particularly encouraged, this module provides an excellent opportunity for students to experience explicitly research-led teaching. The analytical tools developed may include rigorously interpreting language data within theoretical frameworks, or evaluating competing influences in accounts of linguistic phenomena.20 credits
- Writing the Real
This module explores the often problematic relationship between literature and 'the real world', using a range of theoretical and stylistic approaches. We will consider why 'realism' is such a difficult term to get to grips with; why describing a text or film as 'realistic' can be a very politically charged act; how ideas of 'the real' have changed over time; and what effects the inclusion of 'real' materials into fictional works may have. We will explore 'the real' in a wide range literary texts and films, including works by Elizabeth Gaskell, Ken Loach and Harold Pinter.20 credits
- The History of Persuasion
In all areas of life language plays a crucial role in defining what kind of event is taking place, who is in a position of authority and whose assertions should be trusted and believed. The aim of this module is to explore the nature of texts produced within four different areas: science, religion, the mass-media, and the market place. We shall consider the linguistic characteristics of each discourse and discuss how authority is constructed and persuasion achieved within each area. We shall also examine the emergence of each discourse from a historical angle and explore the controversies which surround communication in all four contexts. Students will have the opportunity to use stylistic techniques in the analysis of both historical and contemporary texts and to explore the social and cultural history of communication. Where appropriate, comparisons will be drawn with more literary genres with the aim of investigating (and problematising) the distinction between literary and non-literary discourse.20 credits
Japanese core modules:
- Japanese Language 3A
This module is focusing on receptive activities and written productive activities in Japanese language at lower intermediate level. This module acts as a transition between the teacher-centred learning required for the acquisition of basic language skills, and the autonomous and self-directed learning required to progress at intermediate and advanced levels. Translation and functional reading skills are extended, with texts including annotated topical materials. Techniques for tackling unseen materials are developed and grammar knowledge is consolidated and expanded. Practical knowledge of kanji is raised to roughly 800 characters. Students develop skills needed to make best use of the Year Abroad programme.20 credits
- Japanese Language 4A
This module is focusing on receptive and written productive activities in Japanese language at mid-intermediate level. This module continues to act as a transition towards the autonomous and self-directed learning required to progress at intermediate and advanced levels. Grammar knowledge is consolidated and expanded and practical knowledge of kanji is expanded. Further functional reading skills and precise Japanese-English translation skills are introduced. The use of written Japanese appropriate to a variety of social contexts (i.e. life in Japan) is developed. The target level at the end of the level is roughly equivalent to JLPT N3 and CEFR B2.20 credits
- Japanese Language 3B
This module is focusing on interactive activities in Japanese language at lower intermediate level working towards JLPT N3 and CEFRB1. Every week students are made aware of and given the opportunity to practise spoken applications of specific themes, which is shared with the grammar and writing components. Students develop skills needed to make best use of the Year Abroad programme.10 credits
- Japanese Language 4B
This module is focusing on oral and aural activities in Japanese language at intermediate level. This module is designed in the light of the year abroad in Japan. Students are made aware of and given the opportunity to practice spoken applications of specific situations. There will be two main themes: giving a presentation and settling-in in Japan. The target level at the end of this level is roughly equivalent to JLPT N3 and CEFR B2.10 credits
Other optional modules in the School of English:
Creating Fiction (details TBA)
- Romanticism to Modernism (a)
This module focuses on a diverse range of texts (including poetry, prose, drama and film) produced between the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century. It pays detailed attention to the varied styles, issues, and movements produced by the rapid technological, political and cultural shifts that characterise these two centuries. Drawing on the expertise of the teaching team, the module introduces cutting-edge research carried out within the department in areas such as romanticism, the Gothic and science fiction, experimental literature, colonial and postcolonial contexts, war studies, and animal studies40 credits
- Romanticism to Modernism (b)
This module focuses on a diverse range of texts (including poetry, prose, drama and film) produced between the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century. It pays detailed attention to the varied styles, issues, and movements produced by the rapid technological, political and cultural shifts that characterise these two centuries. Drawing on the expertise of the teaching team, the module introduces cutting-edge research carried out within the department in areas such as romanticism, the Gothic and science fiction, experimental literature, colonial and postcolonial contexts, war studies, and animal studies.20 credits
- Literature and Critical Thought (a)
This course introduces writers, concepts and approaches fundamental to contemporary literary theory, and explores their application to diverse relevant texts. Students will engage in a transhistorical study of the formal, literary and cultural functions of genre (e.g. in the forms of comedy and tragedy). They will also encounter theorists such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Ferdinand de Saussure, Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Michael Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Jean Baudrillard. Lectures will introduce and explain this material, and seminars will discuss and apply it to the study of literature.40 credits
- Literature and Critical Thought (b)
This course introduces writers, concepts and approaches fundamental to contemporary literary theory, and explores their application to diverse relevant texts. Students will engage in a transhistorical study of the formal, literary and cultural functions of genre (e.g. in the forms of comedy and tragedy). They will also encounter theorists such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Ferdinand de Saussure, Mikhail Bakhtin, Roland Barthes, Michael Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Jean Baudrillard. Lectures will introduce and explain this material, and seminars will discuss and apply it to the study of literature.20 credits
- Road Journeys in American Culture: 1930-2000
This module analyses the development of road narratives from the 1930s to the present, looking at the ways in which this narrative trope tells the story of American culture and society throughout the twentieth-century. The module aims to address some or all of the following questions. Do road journeys reflect or run away from political realities 'at home'? To what extent is the road journey a gendered space predominantly occupied by men? Are certain groups of people allowed to travel and other groups not? Is the road journey a metaphor for American colonization and expansion, or something else more ambiguous? Texts to be studied include films such as 'The Wizard of Oz', 'Bonnie and Clyde', The Straight Strory', and 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' novels such as 'On the Road' by Jack Kerouac, 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov, and 'The Music of Chance' by Paul Auster, and poems by Elizabeth Bishop and Amy Clampitt.20 credits
- John Donne
This module focuses on the work of one of the most charismatic, provocative, and intellectually challenging poets and preachers of the early modern period, John Donne. Ranging across Donne¿s writings, we will consider his erotic and religious poetry, political satires, letters, and sermons. The module will examine the social and literary circles in which Donne¿s work was written and read, with a particular emphasis on contemporary cultures of print and manuscript, and also seek to locate Donne¿s work in the wider context of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century society, exploring, for example, his engagement with court politics, religious controversy, debates about marriage, and the exploration of the New World. The module will conclude with an examination of the critical reception of Donne¿s work and, in particular, the ways in which his biography has been constructed from the seventeenth-century to the present day.20 credits
- Shakespeare on Film
This module deals with issues arising from the transposition of Shakespeare¿s plays to film. It will consider such issues as the relationship between text, staging and the cinematic adaptation. The course will look at, for example, the comparative strengths of films that attempt textual fidelity (Branagh¿s Hamlet) and those that reflect the auteur/director¿s need to `rewright¿ the original (Derek Jarman¿s The Tempest); and analyse the problems, in terms of space, language and otherwise, associated with adapting stage drama for cinematic purposes. In particular, this module will look at some of the most exciting, unconventional and successful adaptations of Shakespearean plays to screen.20 credits
- Literature and Nonsense
This Level 2 module aims to introduce students to literary nonsense published between the eighteenth century and the present day. Challenging the common conception that nonsense literature is a Victorian phenomenon that begins and ends with Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, it will trace both the forebears and the heirs of these two fathers of nonsense in order to propose nonsense as a kind of writing that presents radical formal, philosophical and ideological challenges to literary and critical practice.20 credits
- Literature, Ecology, Capital
Fredric Jameson famously noted that it `seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism¿. This module explores how literature represents the relationships between ecological crisis and the crises of capitalism. We will consider texts concerned with (for example) petroculture, habitat loss, biotechnology, meat and tourism. Chronologically, we will move from the late nineteenth century to the present. Given the global nature of the topic, we will be concerned with a diverse range of national literatures.20 credits
- New Realisms: Contemporary British Cinema
This module will explore the ways in which contemporary British directors working within the broad traditions of British realist cinema have responded to and sought to represent the contemporary period. Students will study films by directors such as Andrea Arnold, Shane Meadows, Andrew Haigh, Clio Barnard, Duane Hopkins, Joanna Hogg, Steve McQueen, and Francis Lee and will consider these works in a range of theoretical, formal, and institutional contexts.20 credits
- European Gothic
What were the historical circumstances which led to the rise of the Gothic in Europe? This course will interrogate the Gothic through this and many other questions which will place emphasis upon its historical and political contexts. We will examine a variety of Gothic texts from 1764 to the present day, and locate and critique them historically through a variety of contemporary reviews and critical essays. Gothic art and architecture will also be examined in relation to the texts with a scheduled slide show, examining work by 'Gothic' artists such as Goya and Piranesi.20 credits
- Representing the Holocaust
This course will examine fictional and non-fictional, literary and filmic, representations of the Holocaust, and considers the use and extension of conventional textual forms to do so, including documentary film, memoir, short story and cartoon. Texts covered will include Elie Wiesel's 'Night', Claude Lanzmann's film 'Shoah', Martin Sherman's 'Bent', Martin Amis's 'Time's Arrow' and Ida Fink's stories in 'A Scrap of Time'.20 credits
- Storying Sheffield
On this innovative and exciting course you will work alongside Sheffield people from less advantaged backgrounds in order to co-produce narratives about their lives in the city, and contribute to a high-quality web-based narrative resource: ¿The Sheffield Story Web¿. In seminars and workshops you will develop skills in using narrative as a method of undertaking research, and will learn about narrative and personal geographies; the study of English and `real-world¿ projects; and representing life-stories using creative means. The course will provide you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate a wide range of transferable skills attractive to future employers.20 credits
- Good Books: Intertextual Approaches to Literature and the Bible
Literature, film and television constantly return to the Bible as a source of narrative, character and image. Biblical texts are translated, rewritten, transposed and radically challenged by literature from the medieval period to the present day and so intertextual readings of the Bible and literature provide insight into the ways authors engage with politics, philosophy, and tradition. Our module explores a range of intertextual relationships, from medieval dream poetry through to contemporary writing and cultural representation, including a range of genres and approaches. We will analyse film, TV and visual media as well as literary forms, to explore the ways in which creative writers interpret and re-imagine biblical narratives and tropes.20 credits
- Satire and Print in the Eighteenth Century
Against a background of political, religious and cultural ferment, new ideas of the individual's relationship to the state emerged in the early-eighteenth century. New kinds of readers, authors, and an increasingly powerful book trade reshaped the literary map of Britain. Those fraught relationships are captured in the prose and poetry of the satirists upon this course. The political, religious and economic satires of writers including Defoe, Pope, Swift, Ramsay, Finch, Gay, Leapor, Montagu, Addison and Steele will be read as a new and troubled relationship between the individual and the state emerged alongside a vigorously contested idea of 'Britain' in literature.20 credits
- The Postcolonial Bildungsroman
This module considers the bildungsroman as a global form that, having emerged in tandem with Western imperialism, remains a vital means of constructing the self and (re)imagining social and political relations in postcolonial literatures. We will focus on the representation of growth, development and community in novels from South Asia, Nigeria, South Africa and the Caribbean, paying attention to features that are, arguably, anti-developmental, including primitivism, animality, violence, illness and disability. We will investigate how `postcolonial' or `global' novels stretch, resist or overhaul, an inherited form and ask how contemporary concerns with race, gender and religious conflict play out for protagonists in whose lives the local and the global meet.20 credits
You'll spend this year in Japan on your year abroad. During the Japan Year Abroad students take the intensive Japanese language classes provided by our partner universities with the aim of developing their Japanese competency to approximately level N2 as measured by the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, supplemented by familiarity with the 2136 Chinese characters in general use.
In addition, students will have the opportunity to take a wide variety of Japanese Studies subjects, taught in English and Japanese, and take part in a range of structured and informal learning experiences to develop their familiarity with the Japanese social, cultural and physical environments.
In your fourth year, you are again given the freedom to choose from a wide selection of optional modules.
You will also be given the opportunity to undertake an independent research project, which can be written up as a dissertation.
This is an optional component of our degree programme and those who choose to do a dissertation find that the organisational skills it requires serve them well in their future careers.
Japanese core modules:
- Japanese Language 5
This module builds on skills acquired at Levels 1 and 2 and during the year in Japan at upper intermediate to lower advanced level. It is divided into four sections, each one focussing on a key linguistic skill which is demanded of adult foreign users of the language. These skills are: translation in English; reading comprehension of sophisticated non-literary texts; writing in Japanese ¿ with a focus on formal correspondence; and speaking, with a focus on job interviews and presentations. Group work, with students selecting their own materials for study, is a key element of the module, enabling students to develop as independent learners.20 credits
- Japanese Language 6
This module builds on skills acquired at Levels 1 and 2 and during the year in Japan at upper intermediate to lower advanced level. It is divided into four sections, each one focussing on a key linguistic skill which is demanded of adult foreign users of the language. These skills are: translation in English; reading comprehension of sophisticated non-literary texts; writing in Japanese with a focus on formal correspondence; and speaking, with a focus on job interviews and presentations. Group work, with students selecting their own materials for study, is a key element of the module, enabling students to develop as independent learners.20 credits
Linguistics optional modules:
Researching Readers (details TBA)
- Language and Gender
This module will explore the relationship between language use and gender identity. We will consider how gender has been defined in social and linguistic research and examine a variety of theoretical perspectives, methodologies and findings (incorporating both quantitiative and qualitative linguistic work). The approach is interdisciplinary (drawing upon sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and discourse analysis) and will address the issues of power, status, socialisation and ideology.20 credits
- Approaches to Discourse
The course aims to introduce students to the critical analysis of spoken and written discourse in contemporary social contexts. It provides a range of resources and techniques for analysing texts and dialogue, enabling students to apply them to real life data drawn from a wide variety of contexts. Instruction will cover classical theoretical approaches to the analysis of discourse and genre, including functional grammatical analysis of clauses and sentences, the generic structure of texts, conversational and pragmatic analysis of spoken discourse, and intertextual and interdiscursive analysis. Throughout the topics covered, the students will be encouraged to reflect upon the role of discourse in the structuring of social practices and power relations.20 credits
- Historical Pragmatics
Historical pragmatics is an exciting and relatively new field which takes a holistic approach (i.e. inclusive of linguistic, social and historical factors) to studying how language users communicated and constructed meaning in earlier periods. Based on the study of English, the aims of this course are: 1) to introduce the study of historical discourse as evidenced by (for example) correspondence and courtroom dialogue; 2) to introduce topics such as sociopragmatics, (im)politeness, and the 'new philology', grounding them in historical pragmatic theory; and 3) to offer an opportunity to perform historical pragmatic analysis through textual study and corpus applications20 credits
- Advanced Syntax
This module builds on the material covered in ELL 221 Syntax, focusing on both the universal and language-specific rules that govern syntactic structure in human language. The topics covered will expand our understanding of areas of structure that could not be explained in Syntax, including further instances of movement, a more nuanced understanding of verbal structure, and a greater emphasis on data from languages other than English.20 credits
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
An introduction to the theory and practice of English Language Teaching, which will also be useful for students intending to teach languages other than English. The course covers topics in the following areas:- language acquisition; aspects of the psychology of language; approaches to language teaching; methods and materials for language teaching. Sessions tend to be practical and students have opportunities to try out ideas through occasional microteaching sessions in which they teach small groups of their peers.20 credits
- World Englishes
The module gives an introduction to the historical and social development of the English language, leading on to consideration of global spread of English in different parts of the world, including postcolonial contexts and the development of `new' Englishes and creoles. The module provides an analysis of linguistic features (phonology, grammar and lexis) of several varieties of Englishes, and leads on to critically examine issues such as multilingualism, language contact and change, language planning/policy, attitudes towards variation; and globalisation and identity in the classroom. Throughout the module, students are encouraged to draw on their own experiences of linguistic diversity.20 credits
This module examines the ways in which people talk to and about God, both in religious and secular contexts. Among the topics that will be covered are the nature and problem of religious language, religious genres, approaches to investigating religious language, the significance of metaphor in religious language, and the use of religious language in everyday talk. A significant portion of the module will focus on critical theolinguistics, which is the exploration of how religious language is used to assert power and/or control.20 credits
- Second Language Acquisition
This module will introduce students to major theoretical notions and assumptions in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) - a theory that investigates how language speakers acquire a second language both in adulthood and childhood. The module focuses on the SLA theories that are believed to be constrained by Universal Grammar. It provides a historical overview of how SLA theories have evolved and examines influential concepts to explore how different arguments have been developed and how they have been investigated empirically. At the same time, the module offers students hands-on training in analyzing second language learner data, using their knowledge of syntax and the opportunity to design an SLA project.20 credits
- Dialect in Literature and Film
This module will explore the way in which non-standard varieties of English are represented in literature and film, and how these representations have changed over time. We will explore a range of texts and films, investigating both how dialects are represented, and why writers and filmmakers choose to use these dialects in these ways. Authors studied will include Charles Dickens, Angela Carter and James Kelman. Films studied will include Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Howards End, and The Full Monty. The module will be assessed by a group work project (40%) and an independent research essay (60%).20 credits
This module introduces students to Text World Theory, a cognitive-linguistic model of discourse processing. It provides an opportunity to explore the text-world approach to the analysis of discourse, as well as a range of related ideas and frameworks from the disciplines of linguistics, psychology, philosophy, narratology, and stylistics. We will examine, for example, the influence of context on the production and reception of discourse, the linguistic means through which mental representations of discourse are created, and the ways in which multiple worlds can be constructed across extended stretches of language. Students will be introduced to the core components of Text World Theory and will develop the skills necessary to apply this approach to a range of discourse types in a practical and systematic manner.20 credits
- Psychology of Language
This third-year module in psycholinguistics examines the relationship between the human mind and language, addressing both theoretical and methodological issues. We look at the processes involved in producing and comprehending speech, and in reading, exploring the ways in which we represent and store linguistic knowledge. The core linguistic modules will be investigated (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), with a focus on phonology. Evidence from speech errors, impaired speech, and neuroscience alongside classic psychological experimental work in the field will be considered. Students will gain a thorough grounding in psycholinguistic theory and practice, and should acquire the tools to undertake their own research in the future.20 credits
- Experiments in Digital Story-Telling
This module focuses on experimental uses of digital technology for story-telling and it offers students opportunities to engage in critical reading of narratives written by others as well as developing experimental narratives of their own. We¿ll look at several different kinds of digital artefacts including texts that have non-linear structures (hypertexts, for example), narratives that take the form of site-specific installations, narrative games, and multimodal texts that combine text and image in interesting ways. Students will also work in a small group on an experimental narrative of their own. (Note that the technical skills needed for this work will be basic and will be taught as part of the course.)20 credits
- Special Subject
Special subjects may be offered from year to year at the discretion of the Head of Department. Details of course content, teaching and assessment will be published at the end of the session prior to the special subject being offered.20 credits
- Research Practice
'Research Practice' is normally taken in combination with the 'Dissertation' module, and, together these two units give students the opportunity to spend a whole year researching a topic of particular interest to them, engaging with new data or primary sources, and working on material more advanced than that normally covered in taught modules. 'Research Practice' focuses on the planning of the larger project. Students receive appropriate support and training in workshops and one-to-one sessions with a supervisor. By the end of the module, students have designed an appropriate programme of research and are ready to implement it.20 credits
The 'Dissertation' module is always taken in combination with the 'Research Practice' module and, together, these two units give students the opportunity to spend a whole year researching a topic of particular interest to them, engaging with new data or primary sources, and working on material more advanced than that normally covered in taught modules. The final results is a dissertation of between 8,000 and 10,000 words. Students receive support and research training throughout the year, attending workshops and one-to-one sessions with a supervisor. In the process, they develop research and communication skills valuable in academic and professional contexts.20 credits
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.
Learning and assessment
You will learn through a mix of lectures and smaller group seminars. We keep seminar groups small because we believe that's the best way to stimulate discussion and debate. On the Japanese side of your course, you will be taught by native speakers in Japanese in regular small group classes using custom made course material.
You'll be taught by world-leading experts in both departments. School of English staff are researchers, critics, and writers. They're also passionate, dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students are inspired.
In addition to writing essays and more traditional exams, our modules use a range of innovative assessments that can include designing websites, writing blog posts, delivering presentations and working with publishing software.
This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.
With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
+ evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
+ evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement
A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB + B in a relevant EPQ BBB + B in a relevant EPQ
International Baccalaureate | 33 + evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement 32 + evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement
BTEC | DDD in a relevant subject + evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement DDM in a relevant subject + evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement
Scottish Highers | AAABB AABBB + evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement.
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB, typically including a modern foreign language and evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement B+BB + evidence of interest in language and linguistics, demonstrated through the Personal Statement
Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at level 3 including Distinctions in 30 credits, + Merits in 15 credits 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at level 3 including Distinctions in 24 credits, + Merits in 21 credits
Mature students - explore other routes for mature students
You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
If you are not studying a modern foreign language, the department will consider other evidence of aptitude for language learning (such as a languages GCSE or, for non-native speakers of English, an English language qualification)
General Studies is accepted
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
School of English
We're a research-intensive school with an international perspective on English studies. Students can specialise in their chosen subject, whilst taking modules from other programmes, forging interdisciplinary connections. We are famous for our pioneering work with communities, locally and internationally. We encourage our students to get involved and to apply their academic learning, working in partnership with external organisations both within the city of Sheffield and beyond.
Our staff are researchers, critics, and writers. They're also passionate, dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students are inspired.
We keep seminar groups small because we believe that's the best way to stimulate discussion and debate. Our modules use a range of innovative assessments and can include designing websites, writing blog posts, and working with publishing software, in addition to writing essays and delivering presentations.
We're committed to providing our students with the pastoral support they need in order to thrive on their degree. All students are assigned a personal tutor with whom they have regular meetings. You are welcome to see any of the academic staff in their regular student consultations if there's anything you want to ask.
The School of English is based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the university campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the Department of History and the School of Languages and Cultures.
School of East Asian Studies
Our courses are designed to immerse you in the languages and cultures of East Asian countries. You will be taught by native speakers in Chinese, Japanese and Korean in regular small group classes using custom made course material. To enhance your learning, we also have a modern virtual language lab, which enables you to learn using visual and audio aids.
Our courses are based on world-leading research and taught by experts whose work influences policy and informs public debate. Most of our staff publish in their specialist field and many of them have written books for major publishers such as Oxford University Press, Routledge and Macmillan.
Take one of our Chinese, Japanese or Korean studies degrees and spend a year studying at a leading university in your chosen country. Our partners are Nanjing University in China, six high ranking universities in South Korea including Yonsei University in Seoul and more than 25 Japanese universities including Tokyo, Kyoto and Waseda University.
The School of East Asian Studies is located in the Jessop West building, right in the heart of campus and close to the Sheffield University tram stop. You will visit the department to meet with your tutors and gain any support you need. Your lectures, seminars and language classes will take place in various locations across the University of Sheffield campus.
To enhance your learning, the School of East Asian Studies has a modern virtual language lab, which enables you to learn using visual and audio aids.
Why choose Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield
A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings
Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014
No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017
No 1 in the north for graduate employment
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
School of English
Research Excellence Framework 2014
School of East Asian Studies
National Student Survey 2020
School of English
The academic aptitude and personal skills that you develop on your degree will make you highly prized by employers, whatever your chosen career path after university:
- Excellent oral and written communication
- Independent working
- Time management and organisation
- Planning and researching written work
- Articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories
- Leading and participating in discussions
- Negotiation and teamwork
- Effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively
- Critical reasoning and analysis
Our graduates are confident and articulate. They have highly developed communication skills, equipping them for a wide range of careers in journalism, the charity sector, marketing and communications, theatre and television production, PR, copywriting, publishing, teaching, web development, accountancy, and speech and language therapy, among other fields.
Many of our students go on to postgraduate study, research, and an academic career.
School of East Asian Studies
Studying China, Japan or Korea prepares you for a career in the world's most dynamic region. There are also many opportunities across Europe for people with skills in Asian languages and cultures.
Our graduates work in government and diplomacy, media and the arts, non-government organisations and international business - in professions as diverse as management consultancy, accountancy, marketing, research, language teaching and translation.
As part of this degree you'll spend a year studying in Japan at one of our partner institutions located across the breadth of the country, from Hokkaido in the snowy north to Okinawa in the tropical south. There are over twenty possible destinations, including elite public and private universities, as well as prominent regional institutions.
During your year in Japan you'll immerse yourself in this fascinating country. You'll continue to take intensive Japanese language courses as well as choosing from a range of other modules taught in English or Japanese.
Fees and funding
The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.
Funding your study
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.
Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you're eligible for.
University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.
At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Apply for this course
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