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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 and everything it involves.

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.

What A Levels do I need?

Most universities may ask for A-levels in English language, psychology, 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 linguistic degrees. 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 linguistics as a Bachelor’s of Arts (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 - Hello in different languages

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 (Learn more – What if my course has a 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 (Learn more – University terms glossary).

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.

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.

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, creative arts, 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.

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