Course Overview

English is presented within a BA Languages degree or may be taken in combination with other majors, as presented in the academic calendar.  An English major is a three-year course, allowing admission into honours and postgraduate studies.  The course-work covers both literary and linguistic themes and topics. 

Majoring in English opens students up to develop personally and intellectually, since students are taught to engage critically with their work, fellow students, and lecturers.  The literary course-work covers key periods, authors, and movements in English literature from the seventeenth to twenty-first centuries.The linguistic component introduces students to grammatical analysis (syntax & semantics), applied linguistics (language acquisition theories; curriculum design & lesson planning), historical linguistics (development of English), and stylistics. 

English is a language of communication, travel and education. A major in English, opens up major career opportunities such as teaching, court interpreting and translation and editing.

The English department of the Potchefstroom campus also offers two supplementary optional modules at second-year level: Classics for Literature Students (I) and (II). These modules explore classical mythology and literary genres, and classical influences on later literature.

Modules for English for practical purposes are also offered by the Potchefstroom campus.  This course is aimed at students who wish to improve their professional writing skills, and comprises two first-year modules:

  • "English for Specific Purposes"
  • "Practical English for Professional Purposes"

Career options

  • Curriculum design (requires postgraduate study)
  • Teaching English as a second or other language
  • Teaching (requires a postgraduate teaching certificate/diploma)
  • Creative writing & freelance writing
  • Journalism
  • Technical writing
  • Content writing
  • Publishing & advertising
  • Specialised secretarial and administrative work
  • Language practitioner work
  • Digital copywriting
  • Editorial work
  • Lexicography
  • Speech pathology (requires further study)
  • Proof-reading
  • Academia & research (within a tertiary environment)


For more information on English, please visit: