This diploma has two stages, each comprising 120 credits:
- You’ll start Stage 1 with a 60-credit English language module, followed by two 30-credit modules from English language and modern languages.
- Finally, in Stage 2, you'll study another 60-credit English module and choose one 60-credit module from modern languages, English literature and creative writing.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
This first stage will introduce you to the study of language and communication in English. You’ll also choose two further complementary modules from a selection of English language and modern language modules.
In this second stage, you’ll examine the history of the English language and its position in the world today. You’ll also choose one further complementary module from English literature, creative writing and modern languages.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 13 September 2019.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) English Language uses a variety of study materials and may have the following elements:
- Studying a mixture of printed and online material.
- Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes.
- Working in a group with other students.
- Undertaking language analysis.
- Finding external/third party material online.
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding.
- Cognitive skills.
- Practical and professional skills.
- Key skills.
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in English Language.
Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
You don’t need any prior knowledge about the English language to start this qualification. However, it’s not designed to teach the English language to speakers of other languages, so you’ll need adequate reading and writing skills.
There’s a choice of starting points in the modern language(s) – your choice will depend on your current level of confidence and proficiency. See our guidance on choosing the right modern language level, which includes a self-assessment quiz to help you decide between beginners’ or intermediate French, German, Italian and Spanish.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Skills for career development
Employers greatly value the critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills acquired by studying an English language degree. You’ll sharpen your IT, writing, and independent thinking skills; and develop the ability to assimilate and evaluate relevant information in constructing an argument. These are key skills in complex organisations, greatly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.
Study of the English language requires an understanding of the diverse national and cultural environments in which it is used and the historical and political circumstances around its development and spread around the world. The breadth of study and understanding of social, cultural and political influences on communicative contexts creates critical global citizens able to evaluate information relevant to a variety of national and international interactions. This make this qualification relevant to a wide variety of careers, including:
- Public administration, local government, the civil service, and social services.
- Advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations.
- Legal work.
- Business, banking and retail.
- Human resources.
- Charities and campaigning.
Many jobs are open to students who have studied any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice, including: online forums, website, interview simulation and vacancy service, as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.