The English language has a well-recorded history of more than 1,000 years and its changes can be traced through written materials ranging from medieval manuscripts to text messages. Using techniques from modern linguistics, you will analyse the structure of written and spoken English and will explore how the language has changed in the course of its history. You can also study modern-day varieties of English and Scots and identify the similarities and differences between the features of English and other languages. English is a highly structured system of communication in which the most complex and elusive meanings are encoded in sequences of sounds travelling through air, or of letters written on pages. Using the techniques of modern linguistics, you will analyse the structure of syllables, words, phrases, sentences and other linguistic units to see how they carry the message from the speaker to the listener, and from the writer to the reader. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 87 per cent of our research in Linguistics and English Language was classified either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).