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BA (Hons) Linguistics

Study the science behind communication

Year of entry: 2020

UCAS code

Q101

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£17,890 per year (2020/21)

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

Studying linguistics will enable you to understand and interpret language, and to learn 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. 

I learned so much more from my degree than I imagined. I developed transferable skills which made me a strong candidate in the highly competitive global job market.
Carl, BA English Language and Linguistics

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 are restrictions on which LFA levels can be taken in which 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.

You'll take six modules.

Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose two options from English Language modules or electives.

Example English Language modules

Other options

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.

You'll take six modules.

Core module

Option modules

You'll choose five option modules, including at least one of the following two:

Example Linguistics modules

Example English Language modules 

Other options

Year 3

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

You'll take six modules of your choice, with up to two electives.

Example options

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

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.

World-class

Our Department has the second highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research in the UK. (Research Excellence Framework 2014). The strength and diversity of our research is reflected in our teaching.

UK top 10, world top 100

Linguistics at York is ranked 10th in the UK for graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2020). We are in the top 100 for Linguistics (QS World Rankings by Subject 2019).

Happy students

For Linguistics we have 94% overall satisfaction, and 90% satisfaction for teaching on my course from our student responses to the National Student Survey (NSS 2019).

I liked that in the first year you study a broad range of modules, and then choose option modules in second and third year to build your own degree programme.
Louise, BA English Language and Linguistics

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,890

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. 

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

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.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 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 Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

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

You'll be taught in different ways, from the classroom to individual or small-group reflection. Our different teaching formats equip you to be an effective independent learner. In your first year we offer you extra study support in several ways. You can work with other students with our Peer Assisted Learning programme, add an optional contact hour with one of our staff each week as well as receive designated support with easing into university life.

First year

You'll focus on learning the tools of linguistic study. You'll attend large lectures (some with over 100 students) accompanied by set work to complete. You'll have regular smaller group sessions (15-20 students) which gives you the opportunity to discuss your progress, resolve problems and expand upon the set exercises.

Second year

You'll engage with group presentations or practical sessions in addition to lectures. You'll also prepare in advance for seminar discussions which may include library-based research.

Final year

You'll work with challenging and stimulating primary research papers for some modules. For other modules involving phonetic or grammatical analysis you'll work in the lab. You'll take a primary role in researching and presenting content. You can choose to write a dissertation, and you'll be supervised by a member of staff for this.

Throughout the course you'll typically spend 12 hours per teaching week in the classroom. You should expect to devote at least 30 additional hours a week to independent study, completing set exercises, reading, researching projects, coursework and assessment preparation. You'll have a reading week for independent study twice a year. We'll give you guidance on your goals for the reading week.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures4-6 hours per week
Seminars6-8 hours per week
Workshops5-6 hours per week

These figures are based on an average student in an average 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

All of our modules have Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) websites where all crucial materials—reading lists, handouts, discussion boards—are always accessible. Most first year modules provide additional self-study practice exercises on the VLE.

We have our own departmental e-Lab for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software and online language-learning materials. Several undergraduate modules are taught in this laboratory and you'll receive training in using these resources.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching 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

You'll complete coursework and exams, ranging from short sets of exercises and 5,000-word essays, to group projects where you research and present a topic in a team. Some of our advanced phonetics or phonology modules require spoken (oral) and/or listening (aural) assessments. In most modules, the final mark is made up of the marks for more than one type of assessment.

You'll also take formative assessments, which do not count towards your final mark, but offer you feedback on your progress and development. Types of feedback can include in-class discussion of common problems on a particular assignment, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, and online responses on the module discussion board, as well as written feedback on work that you have submitted.

We can make appropriate adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

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.

A high amount of independent research is encouraged, with the staff always on hand to guide you if you feel like you're getting lost! It's this that really made the degree work for me.
Emily, BA English Language and Linguistics

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.

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

  • marketing and communications
  • publishing
  • broadcasting and journalism
  • local government and public service
  • business, finance and accountancy
  • teaching
  • translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • effective communication skills
  • intercultural awareness
  • critical thinking
  • project management
  • independent learning
  • data analysis
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Entry requirements

Qualification 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

If you successfully complete our Accents, Attitudes and Identity online course, you may be eligible for a reduced offer.

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:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
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 IELTS 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).

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Department of Language and Linguistic Science

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