UCAS Code: Q100
Would you like your studies to put you at the centre of the intellectual universe? Are you interested in solving puzzles? Do you find it difficult to decide between the Arts and the Sciences? Would you like to understand how the human mind works? Do you find languages fascinating? If you answered 'yes' to any (or all!) of these questions, perhaps you should think about studying linguistics at UCL.
The BA Linguistics gives you an education in various aspects of language. At the core are courses about sentence structure (syntax), meaning (semantics and pragmatics) and pronunciation (phonetics and phonology), but you will also be given the opportunity to explore other themes, such as language acquisition or language processing.
|Students frequently comment on the friendly atmosphere and accessible academic staff. Our graduates report an above average employment rate and starting salary.|
Click below to see a short clip about Linguistics at UCL and hear from some BA Linguistics students about the degree programme. Click on the tabs for more detailed information about the degree, or click here for information on the four-year BA Linguistics International Programme or the new BSc Experimental Linguistics.
Linguistics at UCL
- Gain a broadly-based training in linguistics and phonetics together with the opportunity to explore other themes, such as language acquisition and language processing.
- UCL is known worldwide for its teaching and research in linguistics; the work of our staff appears in internationally acclaimed journals and books.
- Our focus on small-group teaching helps develop a friendly and supportive atmosphere. LingSoc, the linguistics student society, runs a mentoring scheme whereby second-year or final-year students support new students.
- You will have access to extensive computer facilities and to a specialised on-site library in addition to UCL's main library.
In the first year your courses are all compulsory, providing a foundation in linguistics and helping you assess where your own interests and strengths lie. In your second and third years you choose from a range of intermediate and advanced courses within a requirement to complete courses in the three core areas of: Meaning (Semantics and Pragmatics); Pronunciation (Phonetics and Phonology); and Sentence Structure (Syntax). You can also choose courses in psycholinguistics, including language acquisition. In your final year, you will undertake a research project, involving a deep and sustained study of a subject in which you are especially interested.
In the second and final year, you can also take options offered outside Linguistics; for example, many students choose to take a language course taught by the UCL Language Centre.
Teaching is mainly delivered through lectures and small-group teaching (tutorials in which you meet with a group of between five and 12 students and a staff member to discuss topics covered in the lecture) as well as a virtual learning environment. Some courses also involve workshops.
Each course is assessed and examined separately, often by a combination of essays, exercises and examinations. Your performance in a course is always assessed in the same academic year in which you take it.
You might like to have a look at the recording of the talk given by Professor Noam Chomsky when he visited us in October 2011 at http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/events/2011/10/17/noam-chomsky-on-the-poverty-of-the-stimulus/.
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, small-group teaching (tutorials or backup classes) and material and a virtual learning environment. Some courses also involve workshops or practical classes. Typically, each course involves a weekly lecture of one or two hours, a one hour backup class in which you meet with a group of between five and 12 students and a staff member to discuss topics covered in the lecture, and a virtual learning environment where you can access course material, a course discussion forum and other activities.
In the first year your courses are all compulsory, providing a foundation in linguistics and helping you assess where your own interests and strengths lie. In your second and third years you choose from a range of intermediate and advanced courses within a requirement to complete courses in the three core areas of: Meaning (Semantics and Pragmatics); Pronunciation (Phonetics and Phonology); and Sentence Structure (Syntax). Additionally, in your third year, you will undertake a research project, involving a deep and sustained study of a subject in which you are especially interested.
In the second and in the final year, you can also take options offered outside Linguistics, and there is a huge choice of courses including language courses taught by the UCL Language Centre.
YEAR ONE YEAR TWO FINAL YEAR
Two introductory courses in the core areas:
- Sentence Structure
plus two introductory courses in general linguistics and in language acquisition
Two intermediate modules in two of the core areas of linguistics:
- Sentence Structure
plus two linguistics option modules and one or two electives from any subject area.
Three modules chosen from two core areas
plus one linguistics option module and one or two electives from any subject area.
- Module Descriptions
Meaning core area (NB: not all courses are taught every year)
- Pragmatic Theory
- Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics (to be replaced by Semantic Theory from 2017/18)
Pronunciation core area
Sentence Structure core area
Final Year Modules
Meaning core area
- Issues in Pragmatics
- Semantic-Pragmatic Development
- Advanced Semantic Theory
- Advanced Semantic Theory B
Pronunciation Core Area
Sentence Structure Core Area
Optional Modules (NB not all courses are taught every year)
Students in the second and final year can also take options outside Linguistics, including:
- Courses in the Faculty of Life Sciences
- Courses in the Language Centre
- Courses in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (have a look at the relevant departmental webpages)
- Courses in the Faculty of Laws
- Courses in the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (have a look at the relevant departmental pages)
- Courses in the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences (have a look at the relevant departmental webpages)
See www.ucl.ac.uk/timetable or click on the above module details for a link to the module timetable.
Programme Director: Dr Klaus Abels
Teaching staff (NB: staff may occasionally be absent for a term or more on research or other leave)
- Dr Klaus Abels (listen to Klaus talk about his research)
- Dr Richard Breheny
- Prof Robyn Carston
- Dr Wing Yee Chow
- Dr Bronwen Evans (listen to Bronwen talk about her research)
- Prof John Harris
- Dr Mark Huckvale (listen to Mark talk about his research)
- Dr Nathan Klinedinst
- Prof Ad Neeleman (listen to Ad talk about his research)
- Prof Andrew Nevins (listen to Andrew talk about his research)
- Dr Nausicaa Pouscoulous
- Dr Kriszta Szendroi
- Dr Hans van de Koot
- Dr James White
- Dr Yi Xu
In addition, we can call on the support of Teaching Fellows and Postgraduate Teaching Assistants.
- Dr Klaus Abels (listen to Klaus talk about his research)
Fees and Funding
Information about fees, funding arrangements and UCL scholarships can be found via the right hand side bar at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-ba.
All applications must be made via UCAS
Deadline for Applications
It is unlikely that we will be able to consider applications submitted after the UCAS deadline on 15 January.
For entry requirements, please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-ba.
According to Which? University, "linguists are in demand across the economy, from marketing to IT, so this type of degree has a better than average employment rate. Graduates from language subjects are, not surprisingly, more likely than most others to get jobs working overseas, with Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) a popular option. Linguists are particularly likely to get jobs in marketing, finance, education and in management, but remember – whilst employers say they rate language skills, you need to have them as part of a whole package of good skills."
You can read general information on careers open to Linguistics graduates (pdf). Linguistics connects with many other disciplines and many graduates go on to work in these areas, e.g. teaching languages, especially English as a first or foreign language, speech therapy, advertising or the media. A number of linguistics graduates from UCL carry on linguistics at graduate level often with a view to pursuing an academic career. Here you can find information on the career paths taken by some of our alumni.
In addition to subject-specific skills, you will also acquire the analytical, investigative, communication and study skills essential for most graduate careers, which could include law, computing, commerce and industry.
Information on careers can be found at UCL Careers. Information and statistics on career paths are also available at prospects.ac.uk. Our graduates report above average employment rates and starting salaries.
First destinations of recent graduates of the BA Linguistics and BA Linguistics (International Programme) include:
- Public Relations Assistant, Hudder Publishing
- Academic Officer at a Higher Education college
- Full-time student, MPhil Linguistics at Cambridge University
- Graduate Assistant, University of Connecticut
- Full-time student, Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Law School
- Wiltshire County Council: Communicator Guide
- National Autistic Society: Volunteer
- Graduate trainee at an international bank
- What our students say
Here is some feedback from new students:
- "Since I have never studied Linguistics before, I didn't really know what to expect. I am positively astonished about the many different ways in which Language can be studied!"
- "It is better than I expected. There is plenty of time to complete assignments and there is a great support system (mentors and back up tutors) to ensure we understand the material."
And here is some feedback from students who graduated in June 2014:
- "I really valued the staff/student dynamic, the relaxed atmosphere of the department, and being separate from main campus. Because it's such a small department, we became a little linguistics family!"
- "Excellent facilities inc a cluster room with more free computers than the sum of the main library and science library. Really interesting optional modules."
- "Everyone was very friendly and approachable and this contributed to a very warm and welcoming environment to study in."
- The best aspects were the "optional modules, such as Sociolinguistics, and Animal Communication, and how most modules were a mixture of assessment and exams."
- Find Out More
We interviewed Professor Richard Hudson about the UK Linguistics Olympiad and how to get involved. Read the interview here.
We organise a number of Open Days for prospective students who have already applied via UCAS, and will contact applicants to make the necessary arrangements.
If you would like to visit before applying, have a look at the general UCL events listed at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/access-ucl/open-days
It may be possible to arrange a guided tour of our building at other dates between mid-November and mid-July. Please contact email@example.com.
For further information about academic entry on to this programme, and language requirements, please contact Undergraduate Admissions:
For all other general enquiries about this programme, please contact Ms Alexa Richardson or Mrs Pia Horbacki:
- You can find a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (and answers) about the BA Linguistics here.