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BA (Hons) Linguistics

Study the science behind communication

Year of entry: 2023/24

UCAS code

Q101

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2023(semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£21,950 per year

Meet us

Find out more about life at York, online and on campus.

Discover York

in the Russell Group for academic support and learning resources in Linguistics

National Student Survey (2022)

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 UK for Linguistics

QS World Uni rankings (2022)

Language is a window on the mind. It is how we express ourselves, and is the essence of what makes us human. 

In studying linguistics you will be learning the science behind how we communicate. You’ll engage with the study of language on a conceptual level as well as the detailed level of raw linguistic data. You'll study syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology and sociolinguistics, taught by world-leading academics whose expertise covers a range of areas of linguistics.

The combination of theory and practice will stimulate your critical thinking skills, foster your originality, and enable you to become a uniquely skilled analytical thinker and problem-solver. Your knowledge and understanding of how a language works, and how we communicate, will give you a solid foundation for many careers.  This flexible course gives you opportunities to customise your studies from the second year onwards. 

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  qualification. This teacher training programme, also offered in-house, can qualify you to teach English to non-native speakers.

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. You may also take certain language courses offered by Languages for All (LFA) as electives, but there may be restrictions on which LFA levels can be taken at each stage of your degree. Ask us for further details.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your 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 one option module. The options available to you will be confirmed later this year. 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.

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 module

  • Foundations of meaning

Option modules

You will also study five option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

The options available to you will be confirmed later this year. For further information please get in touch.

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

You will study six option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

The options available to you will be confirmed later this year. For further information please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

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:

  • Select and deploy appropriate qualitative and quantitative research methods acquired through the study of the nature, use, and acquisition of language to gain a holistic and multifaceted understanding of a range of issues in the cognitive and social sciences.
  • Approach with confidence intricate, complex and unfamiliar linguistic phenomena, discern relevant patterns and convey their significance to a variety of audiences.
  • Propose creative and principled solutions to linguistic problems and contribute them effectively to interdisciplinary teams, forming a bridge between humanities and scientific disciplines.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively to specialists and the general public the nature and relevance of linguistic questions and controversies, the pivotal significance of language for human cognition, and the ways in which knowledge of language influences behaviour.
  • Synthesise and critically engage with arguments from a variety of standpoints, showing clear reasoning and an understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • 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.
  • Show sensitivity and perceptiveness concerning aspects of social, cultural, and political realities where language plays an important role and be able to highlight the relevance of linguistic issues to policy-making in a globalised and interconnected world.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £21,950

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. 

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.

Departmental Scholarship

Find out more about funding specific to Languages and Linguistics.

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 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.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures5-6 hours per week
Seminars5-6 hours per week
Workshops5-6 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

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 term time. 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.

Facilities

Our state-of-the-art 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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

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)

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams60%59%54%
Coursework40%38%43%
Practical exams0%3%3%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17. Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

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. Read more about employability skills.

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

AAB

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.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
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, 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 and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 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 International ESOL B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online 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've not 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.

Applying

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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