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BA (Hons) Philosophy and Linguistics

Gain a deeper understanding of what language is and the role it plays in human life

Year of entry: 2023/24

UCAS code

VQ51

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB/A*BB/A*AC (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2023(semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£21,950 per year

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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)

Philosophy and Linguistics come together to create a fascinating and challenging degree which will provide you with a deeper understanding of what language is, while also enabling you to form carefully considered opinions, and think seriously and independently about major philosophical questions.

You will immerse yourself in the study of language examining syntax, phonetics, phonology and semantics. This will culminate in the realisation of how we express ourselves through language - an important aspect of what makes us human, and a key to examining your own nature and that of the world around you.

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.

I found the programme to be particularly inspiring because of the amount of independent thought that was encouraged by my tutors in both subjects. They consistently had high expectations of the students and pushed us to be creative and come up with original solutions to the issues we were studying.
Paul, BA Philosophy and Linguistics graduate

Top 100 Philosophy department

Our Philosophy department is among the top 100 departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

Course content

Taught by world-leading experts, you have a wide range of options to choose from, reflecting the expertise of two diverse departments. We offer modules in all the central areas of philosophy and linguistics, so you can tailor your degree to reflect your own areas of interest. The modules on offer may vary from year to year.

Study abroad

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

Year 1

In first year you'll get a firm grounding in philosophy, learning how to study, think and write philosophically, and developing your skills in reasoning and argument. By introducing you to some of the central areas of philosophy we will challenge you to form your own opinions about the bigger questions. You'll consider the nature of knowledge, and explore the fundamental nature of reality.

Modules devoted to the core areas of linguistics - syntax, semantics, and phonetics and phonology - will give you an appreciation of the nuances of language and the role it plays in human life. We'll teach you about the relationship between the sounds of speech, as well as the abstract linguistic system that underlies them. You'll study the structure of sentences and phrases, analyse meaning in language and its use in communication.

Core modules

  • Understanding Language in the Real World
  • Language and the Mind
  • Philosophical Analysis
  • Reason and Argument 

Option modules

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

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the 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

Your second-year modules will help you to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that you'll use in more specialised investigations.

Core modules

Option modules

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

Linguistics

Philosophy

Additionally you can also choose an elective module from another department, or a Languages for All module.

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

 

Year 3

In the third year you can specialise further, choosing from a wide range of modules based on our latest research and the expertise of our staff, enabling you to tailor your degree to your particular interests.

Core modules

  • Independent Study Module

    Either: Philosophy Short Dissertation; Linguistics Independent Study; or Linguistics Research Extension.

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

Linguistics

Some of these modules may require previous study in that area. 

Philosophy

You may be able to take an elective from another department or a Languages for All module.

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the 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:

  • Understand and explain key problems, issues, and debates across a wide range of areas of philosophy and linguistics —including some at the forefront of contemporary work—and communicate complex and difficult ideas in clear, precise, and accessible terms in a variety of formats.
  • Develop and articulate ranges of alternative solutions to problems and issues in an open-minded and imaginative way, and establish ways of making progress in answering questions even where it is unclear in the first instance how to proceed or what the standards for a good answer to the question might be.
  • Develop and articulate systematic, logical arguments for and against the alternative solutions considered in relation to a particular problem, subjecting key concepts and principles to critical scrutiny and presenting the best case that can be made for each proposal.
  • Make a measured judgement about what is the best view on a particular problem and present a sustained line of argument in defence of this judgement based on careful consideration of what can be said for and against the proposed solutions.
  • Work effectively and productively as a thinker and learner, individually and in collaboration with others—planning and scheduling, seeking help where appropriate, initiating and pursuing projects, and working collaboratively with others in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
  • Amend and develop their practice as thinkers and learners in the light of critical reflection, advice, and feedback—identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and developing strategies for making improvements in performance.
  • Demonstrate informed sensitivity to cultural and historical context in interpreting and responding to the work and ideas of others.
  • Develop a critical understanding of how classical and contemporary linguistics theory can be applied to the study of the language today.
  • Critically engage with social, political, cultural, ethical, and value issues to contribute to the solution of key contemporary problems by applying philosophical and linguistics methods and insights at the foreground of an appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity and difference.

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

This course gives a great deal of flexibility in terms of the modules you may choose to study. You may choose to buy your own copies of the texts although course books will be available from the library, and online reading packs are available for most modules. 

Funding

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

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

Studying Philosophy is different from many other degrees; you need to be an active participant in your own learning, asking questions and evaluating your own thoughts, beliefs and responses. You will learn the tools of linguistic study through lectures, seminars and practicals, accompanied by set work to put your new skills into practice.

You will take part in discussions with your peers and academic staff and develop your knowledge and skills through:

  • Small group seminars (12 - 20 students)
  • Reading groups
  • Lectures
  • Written work with written feedback
  • Visiting speakers.

Every member of staff has a 'Feedback and Advice Time' every week, and students are actively encouraged to use this opportunity for one-to-one contact and informal discussion. 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.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures6-7 hours per week
Seminars4-5 hours per week
Workshops3 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.

Teaching location

You will be based in the departments of Philosophy and Language and Linguistics which are based on Campus West. Teaching on this course takes place at various locations across Campus West including Vanbrugh, Derwent and the newly opened Spring Lane Building.

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 will be assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations.

Coursework includes:

  • Set exercises
  • Essays
  • Group projects
  • Oral and aural assessments.

We give feedback on your ideas in class, and provide written feedback on all your submitted work.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams50%52%28%
Coursework50%45%72%
Practical exams0%3%0%

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.

Philosophy and linguistics department highlight
Seminar group teaching
In balancing theoretical creativity with empirical analysis the course has helped me develop skills in these two aspects that are so essential not only to the fields of Linguistics and Philosophy but to many other disciplines both within and beyond academia.
Paul, BA Philosophy and Linguistics graduate

Careers and skills

You'll develop skills that are in great demand by employers. As a graduate, you will have many options when it comes to choosing a career path. Some of our graduates go on to further academic study or professional training in areas including law and journalism. After additional postgraduate training graduates with a passion for linguistics have the option to enter careers in: clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), teaching, academic research and higher/further education, and forensic linguistics (forensic speech science).

Career opportunities

  • Central and local government
  • Charities
  • Finance
  • IT support and software development
  • Media
  • Marketing and communications
  • Publishing
  • Librarianship
  • Private sector management

Transferable skills

  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Constructing and defending a coherent argument
  • Grasping complex ideas
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Understanding of language and expression

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAB/A*BB/A*AC

Access to Higher Education Diploma 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
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. 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 one of our our online courses in either Accents, attitudes and identity or Logic: The Language of Truth, 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 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
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'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

Dr Tamar Keren-Portnoy and Dr Dominic Watt

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science, Department of Philosophy

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