Subject Guide

Linguistics Degree

Uni Compare  · Dec 7th 2023

Almost everything that a person does involves language at some point in their lives, from eating a restaurant to conducting a meeting in the office or even talking with a friend. Language and Linguistics is an essential part of human society an


When you leave university with a degree in linguistics, you’ll have accumulated a set of finely-tuned analytical and categorisation skills, along with an expertise in the workings of language.

These strengths can help equip you to enter a number of different professions, so let’s find out what kind of linguistics degree jobs could be available to you.

So what is a linguistics degree?

Linguistics Degree

What to do with a linguistics degree

First, we’ll look at some of the career routes available to all graduates, and in the next section (‘What can you do with a linguistics degree?’) we will consider specific language-based routes for graduates with an English language and linguistics degree and with an online degree in linguistics or a linguistics masters degree.

If you love your degree and never want it to end, why not study further? You could apply to a masters degree in linguistics after your linguistics degree UK undergraduate course, and if successful, you might move on to a PhD or DPhil and pursue a career in academia, allowing you to carry out research in a specialist area, and lecture at university level, even a linguistics degree distance learning.

Alternatively, all kinds of degree subjects are accepted onto law conversion postgraduate qualifications, or into the civil service fast stream, and linguistics could be particularly attractive in these programmes due to its blend of technical requirements and analysis of human behaviour. You can also apply to a graduate training scheme, available in a huge variety of industries, sectors and organisations. Each of those doors remain open to you, especially with a masters degree in linguistics jobs and also a great linguistics degree salary.

Now, let’s turn to some specific jobs with a linguistics degree…

Individuals who wish to continue with their studies and to gain a postgraduate qualification can study a number of postgraduate options.

What can you do with a linguistics degree?

A combination of technical language abilities and a perceptive ear and eye for communication style means that linguistics degree graduates might enjoy working in PR, marketing, advertising, journalism, copywriting or technical writing.

If you like public speaking, or have an interest in drama, you could become an elocution instructor, training politicians, actors and other public speakers in aspects of their delivery, pronunciation, or teaching them new accents.

The job of a forensic linguist is uncommon - there are only a handful in the UK right now - but is becoming increasingly necessary as the internet allows for increased levels of written crime. A graduate with a forensic linguistics degree might enter the field of forensic linguistics, analysing phone calls to identify the speaker by voice; dissecting hackers’ code to identify their native language; studying suicide notes to test for authenticity, and so on.

Linguistics degree jobs that involve helping other people include speech and language therapy, EFL teaching, or becoming a social researcher. Graduates who want to work at word level might consider a career in lexicography, translation, publishing, proofreading, or sub-editing, while a graduate with programming skills could become a computational linguist.

This involves training computer programmes in speech recognition, machine translation, AI, grammar checking, user research and text-to-speech transcription processes, which can also be learned on a linguistics degree online.

It assumes that linguistics involves learning lots of different languages; however, it is focused on the workings of language. The study of linguistics involves answering the following questions:

Why is it that we have different languages?

  • What is the best way to learn/teach a language
  • Why do languages change over time?
  • How does language within literature vary from other forms of language?

A linguist connects the study of language to problems concerning the present world, and their solutions, and studying this subject area can prepare individuals for a selection of careers with a degree in linguistics or a degree in applied linguistics.

Linguistics Degree

What A Levels do I need?

Most universities may ask for A-levels in English language, psychology (especially for a psychology and linguistics degree), computer science, English combines, or a modern or classical language. However, this changes from institution to institution, with each university stating different entry requirements for their students who are looking to study a degree in linguistics. Some universities may ask for AAB while others may want their prospective candidates to hold BBC.

Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and top choices for degree programmes to ensure they establish what is needed to gain admission to the course in terms of UCAS entry points and relevant A Levels. You can also see our Linguistics personal statement examples; these will help you to gain an insight into what you need for your personal statement.

What are my study options?

Students can study various linguistics degree programs, such as a bachelor degree in linguistics (BA) degree, or study a joint degree, usually with a subject that complements it greatly such as; English language, English literature, a modern foreign language or creative writing.

Linguistics degree jobs that involve helping other people include speech and language therapy, EFL teaching, or becoming a social researcher.

What should I expect from studying Linguistics?

Linguistic degree programmes are usually three years unless a student is choosing a sandwich course which includes a placement year where the individual spends the third year studying abroad (studying and/or working) or at a work placement. If a student chooses a sandwich degree, the course length increases to four years in total length.

This subject area is typically a taught degree where students learn through seminars, lectures and tutorials, independent learning as well as completing assessments.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments include coursework assignments that may incorporate essays, reports, presentations, short tests, discussions and group work.

Formal assessments, which carry weight towards your final grade(s) may cover short answer questions, data analysis and essays. Additionally, students are required to complete a final year project, in the format of a research project or a dissertation.

What skills will I learn from studying Linguistics?

Individuals that choose to study linguistics will develop their ability to think critically, conduct presentations, analyse data and their general use of statistics and IT and computing.

Students who wish to attend university will gain a diverse set of transferable skills that will prove useful in broad areas of life as well as employment, such as, organisation and time-management skills through the completing coursework and working towards deadlines.

Individuals will also be able to brush up on their social skills by working with others in presentations and completing group work projects.

Linguistics Degree

Why study Linguistics?

Linguistics is ideal for those who are completed interested in the construction of language, how it impacts our world, and how it has and will continue to evolve. Linguistics is for those who do not necessarily want to study a particular foreign language but language as a whole.

What happens after I graduate?

Due to the skills gained through the study of linguistics, such as data analysis, critical thinking, statistics and IT ability and presentation skills, these areas of expertise are perfect for careers in education, language and teaching. Other students may wish to continue studying and to gain a postgraduate qualification.

When you leave university with a degree in linguistics, you’ll have accumulated a set of finely-tuned analytical and categorisation skills, along with an expertise in the workings of language.

Will it help me get a job?

Linguistic graduates have many employment options including speech therapy or teaching the English language as a foreign language abroad, or even in generic job roles including public relations and management.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Linguistics?

Job roles including speech therapy, management, creative arts, information technology, social work, counselling, education, and teaching English as a foreign language are available as career aspirations for linguistic graduates.

What can I study after Linguistics?

Individuals who wish to continue with their studies and to gain a postgraduate qualification can study a Master’s of Arts (MA) in language and linguistics, or a Master’s of Philosophy (MPhil) in linguistics/applied linguistics, and then onto a PhD (Doctorate) qualification in linguistics, this would be useful for a masters degree applied linguistics.

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