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BSc (Hons) Linguistics

Understanding the science of language through theory, data, and practice.

Year of entry: 2024/25
Show year of entry: 2025

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on 6 and 7 September.

Book your place

in the Russell Group for 'Learning resources'

of institutions included in the National Student Survey 2023 for linguistics.

in the UK for the quality of our linguistics research

according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

in the world for linguistics

QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2024.

The study of linguistics opens up the mind to one of the most fundamental aspects of human life: exploring the science of language through the intersection of theory and data.

Studying the BSc Linguistics at York will allow you to explore the questions that are central to the study of language and take you on an exhilarating journey of discovery, guided by some of the world's foremost experts. Learn the basic facts about language and its structure to the cutting edge of current research. You will learn about the sound systems of languages, their morphology and syntax, how meaning is built and how we can go from the smallest aspect of sound to the meaning of a whole discourse.

Along the way you will acquire skills in quantitative data analysis and basic computational theory, as well as the foundational skills of writing, argumentation, and oral presentation. Our graduates go on to pursue careers in language technology, teaching, publishing, journalism, or careers in the police and the security services after training in forensic speech science (a speciality at York).

Get a head start in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at York

At York, you'll benefit from being able to take TEFL modules in-house, as part of your degree. You can count the work you complete in your TEFL modules towards a CertTESOL qualification. This teacher training programme (also offered in-house) can qualify you to teach English to non-native speakers.

Choose elective modules across a wide range of languages

As part of your degree, you can choose to take a credit-bearing module in a variety of languages - from Medieval Latin to Japanese, to Arabic or Chinese.

Teach English abroad

Take our in-house CertTESOL teaching qualification before you go abroad.

Free online courses

Get a taste of university-level study on one of York's free short courses, including our subject course, 'Accents, attitudes and identity'.

The beauty of linguistics is that it is so varied. There are so many aspects to the course which means it’s very easy to find something that interests you. The structure of the course allows you to choose what path you would like to go down and explore in more detail.
Laura, BA Linguistics

Read more on Laura's blog

Course content

You’ll focus primarily on spoken language data, using tools from the core areas of linguistics: syntax, phonetics and phonology, semantics, and sociolinguistics. You'll learn to notice and describe fine-grained details - the kind of detail that the human brain subconsciously pays attention to - while at the same time developing an eye for the underlying pattern in a set of data. ​

The course builds from developing core skills in analysis and linguistic investigation, to applying these skills in advanced-level modules by the final year. There are opportunities to customise your programme of study from the second year onwards according to your own interests.

You'll be able to take elective modules from other departments over the course of your degree. All electives are offered subject to departmental approval and timetable availability.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:


There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

In the first year, alongside the core linguistics modules, you can choose to study a new language, develop your skills in a language you already know, add one or two English Language modules, or choose electives in other departments.

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study two option modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course. For further information please get in touch.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 2

In the second year, you'll apply your core linguistic knowledge to new types of linguistic data, such as child language or regional varieties of English. At the same time, you will gain deeper theoretical knowledge in the core areas that you choose to pursue.

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study three option modules, two of which can include an elective module from another department:

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

In your final year, you can choose freely from a wide range of modules. You will have the opportunity to become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. You can choose to specialise, follow your own interests and carry out original research

Core modules

You must take at least one Advanced Topics module:

Option modules

You will also study up to four option modules:

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Identify and select appropriate formal, quantitative and formal research methods to the problems of the nature, use, and acquisition of language.
  • Collate, process, and analyse complex data sets in order to support arguments and to confirm or reject hypotheses, by applying computational and data science methods underpinned by a working knowledge of statistics and computer programming.
  • Confidently engage with intricate, complex and unfamiliar linguistic phenomena, discern relevant patterns and provide rigorous, formal analyses for them.
  • Propose creative and principled solutions to linguistic problems and contribute them effectively to interdisciplinary teams, to gain a holistic and multifaceted understanding of the interplay between cognitive science, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively to specialists and non-specialists the nature and relevance of linguistic questions and controversies, the pivotal significance of language for human cognition, and the ways in which a more precise understanding of language structure can aid public policy and discourse.
  • Critically engage with theoretical arguments and interpret statistical findings, showing clear reasoning, an understanding of different viewpoints, and statistical literacy.
  • Identify and formulate novel questions and work effectively on them individually and as part of a larger team, taking on different roles both in research and management across a range of work environments collaborating and interacting effectively with other team members.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

Set texts are available from the Library or online, but you may wish to buy your own copy for some modules. These typically cost between £10 and £30. 


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Departmental Scholarship

Find out more about funding specific to .

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

A combination of lectures, seminars, and practicals.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.


Our dedicated Language and Linguistic Science facilities are used to deconstruct and analyse language. We have three main areas:

Psycholinguistics lab

Comprising two experimental booths with black-out blinds so you can measure pupil response using the world’s most precise video-based eye trackers. Two additional workstations are used for behavioural experiments. These are equipped with multiple E-prime software licences, devices for recording response times and technology for controlling auditory stimuli. The lab also has a generous multi-purpose computer laboratory with access to linguistics software for experimental design and coding.

Speech lab: Articulograph and ultrasound

Using ultrasound imaging and electromagnetic articulography, you can track the movement of the tongue and lips in real-time to analyse speech.

Recording studio

Our professional recording studio can produce clear, quiet, professional recordings suitable for academic use.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Your contact hours will be on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

Standard: essays, reports, exercises, closed and open exams, individual/group presentations, dissertations (MSci only) Non-standard: group and individual projects (eg group-collaborated wikis, coding project)

A teacher talking to a group of students around a table

Careers and skills

Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of language and linguistics at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context. .

Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation. Learn more about graduate career destinations.

Apart from your knowledge of linguistics, you will leave with the confidence and skills that come from successfully completing a demanding course and participating fully in university life.

There are specialist careers that lead directly from your degree, after additional postgraduate training, including: clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), forensic linguistics (forensic speech science), teaching (primary and secondary), teaching English as a foreign language, academic research and higher/further education.

Career opportunities

  • Data science
  • Language technology
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Research (academia)

Transferable skills

  • Effective communication skills
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Critical thinking
  • Project management
  • Independent learning
  • Data analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels


Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average
International Baccalaureate 35 points
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - AABBB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
MOOCs If you successfully complete our online course Accents, attitudes and identity do let us know, as you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Linguistics Undergraduate Admissions

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science

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