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BA Linguistics

University of Essex
3-4 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Colchester
English

Program description

BA Linguistics

How does age, sex, social background and regional origins affect the way we speak? How do languages change over the course of time, and why? How do children learn to talk? Why do some languages appear so different from others? Linguists study these and other questions to gain insight into what it means to “know a language”. An understanding of our language enhances our self-awareness, inspiring us to address fundamental questions about our communication as human beings.

Linguistics is an increasingly important subject, impacting on areas in psychology, philosophy, education and artificial intelligence. It has real-world applications in such diverse fields as human rights, computer-assisted language learning, and the study of institutional language in settings like doctor-patient interactions, interviewer-interviewee dialogues, and courtroom exchanges.

Our course offers you a solid grounding in linguistics, while still allowing for a large amount of personal choice. You explore a wide range of core topics in linguistics, mastering key concepts in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and also investigate specialist areas including:

  • Multilingualism
  • Language and Gender
  • Language and the mind
  • Conversation and Social Interaction

We are a leading UK university for language and linguistics research (REF 2014), a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK. You have an opportunity to study different kinds of linguistics from structural linguistics to applied and experimental linguistics.

Admission requirements

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB

BTEC: DDD

IB: 30 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555

We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.

For more information about admission requirements, please contact the school or the inquiries team.


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Program content

Year 1

  • Words and Sentences
  • Foundations of Sociolinguistics
  • Understanding Data in Linguistics
  • Sounds
  • Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics
  • Child Language Development (optional)
  • Adult Language Development and Processing (optional)
  • Intensive Initial German 1 (optional)
  • Intensive Initial German 2 (optional)

Year 2

  • Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics
  • Research methods for language and linguistics
  • Phonology (optional)
  • Semantics and Pragmatics (optional)
  • Syntax (optional)
  • Psycholinguistics (optional)
  • Sociolinguistics (optional)
  • English in the British Isles (optional)
  • English Language in the media (optional)

Final Year

  • Careers and Employability Skills for Languages and Linguistics
  • Project: Linguistics
  • Language Teaching in Different Contexts (optional)
  • World Language Structures (optional)
  • Language and the Mind (optional)
  • Literature and Language Teaching (optional)
  • Conversation and Social Interaction (optional)
  • Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling Skills (optional)

Program delivery

BA Linguistics: 3 years

BA Linguistics (Including Year Abroad): 4 years

BA Linguistics (Including Placement Year): 4 years

  • Teaching is arranged to allow freedom in how you organise your learning experience
  • Examples of practical work include digitally recording dialect speakers in a small traditional fishing community, or scouring digitised child language databanks
  • Other teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations and learning by teaching others
  • In your final year, you conduct research on a topic chosen with one of your lecturers, for your dissertation. Your lecturer supports you throughout your project and is an expert in the research area.

Tuition fees

Tuition fee for the academic year 2020-21

  • Home/UK fee: £9,250
  • International fee: £16,850

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to have careers in a wide variety of fields, including teaching, journalism,, advertising, marketing, travel, communications, publishing, speech and language therapy, and business administration.

About this institute

University of Essex

We’re a university where curiosity prevails, and where exploring new ways of thinking and pushing boundaries, isn’t just encouraged, it’s expected.  We’re proud to be Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017 and ranked in the top 30 in...


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Contact info

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park
CO4 3SQ Colchester


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