The University of Wolverhampton

BA (Hons)Linguistics and Deaf Studies

Why choose this course?

The Deaf Studies and Linguistics integrated joint offers students the chance to explore a range of social and language related topics in a stimulating and multi-cultural environment. By means of high quality teaching and a flexible, responsive and vocationally relevant curriculum, students will learn to identify and understand the challenges faced by deaf people, and gain a detailed knowledge of how sign and spoken languages work.

Students will have opportunities to consider a variety of issues and perspectives surrounding working with deaf people. They will study current policies, laws, procedures and practices to develop professional strategies useful for their future working lives. They will also learn how meaning is created, not only through choices of signs and words and grammatical structures, but through wider social and cultural contextual factors.

The programme will develop a range of subject specific and transferable skills, including higher order conceptual and communication skills, enterprise, digital literacy and IT awareness, all of which are of immense value in graduate employment.The course fosters cooperative and independent work, as well as critical reflection.

What happens on the course?

Your first year of Deaf Studies will give you knowledge of deafness and the lives of deaf people. Communication issues especially learning British Sign Language will support your understanding of minority and diverse groups in society. In your second year you will acquire the skills needed to research the experiences of deaf/disabled children and adults. You will expand your knowledge of deaf children and their development. Students will be challenged to consider the appropriate educational provision and early years environments of the above groups. In the final year students will learn Deaf Blind Communication, Guiding Policies and Practice. Final-year studies include a full analysis of critical issues affecting the lives of deaf/disabled people. Students learn to analyse requirements, policies and funding in the context of the above groups. Finally they will cultivate approaches to supporting inclusive practices for future professional life.

The Linguistics modules address the fundamental concepts of language. Year one explores word and sentence structure, the sounds of language, second language acquisition, and important issues in applied linguistics. At level two, students look in greater detail at phonology/phonetics, morphology and syntax, as well as the constraints on language imposed by social context and stylistic choices. They also have the chance to study language meaning (i.e. semantic and pragmatic theory), and to take a language-based research methods module. Year three explores those aspects of structural and applied linguistics not previously covered, and includes specialist modules on language in translation and language and the mind.

Why Wolverhampton?

Being taught British Sign Language, using digital and analogue facilities, adds a unique dimension to the study of Inclusive practices in society.

Students are taught to understand a bi-lingual and bicultural approach towards Deaf sign language users.

Academic and pastoral support is provided as a priority by deaf and hearing tutors from day one of the course. Peer mentoring offers an extra support mechanism.

The Deaf Studies and Linguistics lecturers have a variety of teaching and professional qualifications, and undergraduates are taught by full-time members of staff, not by PhD students.

The team believes in interactive learning and encourages full participation from all our students: external examiners have consistently highlighted our innovative assessments as a major strength.

Wolverhampton has pioneered the use of interactive web-based forums for teaching and assessment. These activities have proved very popular with students.

Comment from our External Examiner on provision:

For Linguistics:

“As always, I have found the marking consistent within individual modules and across modules. There is good evidence of a dialogue between first and second markers and my judgement has been sought in relation to one piece of assessed work. Markers provide extensive feedback which guides students towards addressing their weaknesses. What is also good practice is the provision of extensive notes within each assignment. Student work is of good quality with some very impressive independent research being carried out. The range of exam questions and essay topics is stimulating and reflects the high quality of the teaching.”

What our students think

“The course has provided me with knowledge and skills that are not just specific to the field of Linguistics and Language but that are useful in everyday life and the world of work.”

“I started Linguistics ‘blind’ without any previously teaching in the subject. […] I have found every module stimulating, and elements of each module can excite each individual. Students can apply their knowledge to their own native or second language.”

“The most important thing to note about the study of Linguistics is how much fun it can be.[…]The quality of teaching within Linguistics is excellent, with staff being extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, but also very supportive and approachable.”

Career path

A degree in Deaf Studies and Linguistics gives you the perfect grounding for any career requiring critical thinking, literacy competence, and a range of analytical and presentation skills.

Deaf Studies offers you a research placement in the final year within the UK Deaf Community, while Linguistics offers opportunities to meet professionals from relevant sectors, including speech and language therapists, academic authors, forensic linguists, and computational linguistics researchers.

You will have a real advantage when entering work because this degree will enable you to immediately enter a range of careers in the Deaf Community. Other career destinations have included communication support, key skills coordinator, NVQ assessor, lecturers, researcher roles and local authority positions in related fields.

Many graduates have gone on to take a PGCE qualification (in conjunction with other subjects such as TESOL and Languages), and several have enrolled on higher degrees (including two in the last two years who are completing PHDs in related fields) Others go on to undertake postgraduate diplomas such as Social Work and Audiology as well as Masters Degrees in Disabilities Studies, Speech & Language Therapy and Human Communications.

What skills will you gain?

1. develop the ability to process and analyse and evaluate concepts and theories related to deafness and deaf peoples’ lives within the legal, cultural and political contexts of disability

2. effectively communicate in British Sign Language (BSL) to intermediate level, supported by theoretical knowledge of BSL and Sign Linguistics utilising live communicative strategies as well as digital communication facilities

3. demonstrate the underlying values and principles relevant to the ideologies of inclusion, and reflect on the potential connections and discontinuities between aspects of subject knowledge and their application in social policies and concepts

4. exhibit a knowledge and understanding of the forms and functions of language at the levels of phonology, lexis, syntax and text

5. apply a range of linguistic and critical approaches to the analysis of language and synthesise a range of relevant empirical data

6. work both co-operatively and independently whilst developing the expertise required to progress to related studies at postgraduate level, and the skills and knowledge necessary for successful employment.

Entry requirements

2016 Entry

  • 240-280 UCAS points with a minimum of 180 points from at least two ‘A’ levels
  • BTEC QCF Extended Diploma grade MMM, BTEC QCF Diploma grade DD
  • Access to HE Diploma full award (Pass of 60 credits - of which a minimum of 45 credits must be at level 3 including 18 at Merit or Distinction).
  • If you've got other qualifications or relevant experience, please contact The Gateway for further advice before applying.
  • Successful completion of the foundation year of our BA (Hons) Law and Social Sciences with Foundation Year guarantees entry on to this course
  • International student language requirements and application guidance can be found at
  • Successful completion of the International Foundation Year in Social Sciences guarantees entry on to this course

Other Requirements

Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see for further information.

Those who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.

Course fees and finance

2016/7 Home/EU International
Full time £9,000 £11,250
Part time # £2,780

The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2016/7. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact 01902 321137

These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

# Undergraduate part-time fees for 50% rate of study

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01902 32 22 22



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