Our research

For more information on recent and ongoing projects:

About the department

We are one of the leading centres in the UK for teaching and research in theoretical and empirical linguistics. We are one of the few departments in the country to combine the study of modern languages with linguistic study, allowing us to offer a variety of combinations of languages and linguistics in our BA degrees. Our degrees provide our students with a variety of practical and analytical skills which have significant value in the modern world. We are committed to language and linguistics teaching of the highest quality, offering a wide range of content-based modules across our different degree programmes.

Our several broad research groupings are in syntax and semantics, phonetics and phonology, forensic speech science, language variation and language change, first and second language acquisition, and the analysis of conversation and interaction. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, we ranked 2nd among linguistics departments in the UK for the proportion of our research rated as world-leading. The University of York encourages research-led teaching, and we are able to offer a wide range of courses providing entry into linguistic research in our final year BA modules and our MA modules. 

In the NSS 2016 survey of final-year students, all of our programmes received a rating of 96% or higher for the quality and effectiveness of our teaching. For overall student satisfaction, our Linguistics degrees (including English Language and Linguistics) received a rating of 98%. In the category of 'French Studies', our French degrees received 94%. Our Spanish degrees are grouped under 'Iberian Studies' with a satisfaction of 92%.

We have approximately 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students on degree courses, and over 25 full-time staff. We offer many different BA programmes plus combined degree programmes with History, Literature, Mathematics and Philosophy. We also have six taught masters programmes, including an MSc in Forensic Speech Science.

The department is home to Languages for All, which provides courses in 14 languages for a variety of departments and programmes in the university, for the entire student body, and for all of the inhabitants of York and the surrounding area. Our Languages for All staff teach to over 1800 students each year.

Department improvement and expansion

Recent staff appointments, new postgraduate and undergraduate programmes, and new purpose-built workspaces and laboratories have kept our department at the forefront for study and research in language and linguistics. We are continuing to expand, through new areas of research and stronger connections with other departments in the university.