History of English (Q1077B)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module provides the groundwork for understanding the shape and status of the English language. The module is divided between the study of the ways in which it has changed since the Old English period, and the study of the social and cultural contexts in which those changes have happened. Special attention is given to the emergence of key dialects and to the relations between English and other languages in the British Isles. You also gain experience of a range of different varieties of English. History of English 1 focuses on the Middle English to Modern English periods, exploring the changing phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and lexical semantics of English. This module also explores new Englishes and Pidgin/Creole varieties.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Problem set)
70%: Examination (Take away paper)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: