BA Linguistics (International Programme)
UCAS Code: Q101
Do you find language and communication fascinating? Do you enjoy solving puzzles? Would you like to learn about the languages of the world, and in doing so learn about how the human mind works? Do you have broad interests, from the language arts through the sciences?
The BA Linguistics (International Programme) 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.
The programme includes a year abroad in your third year at one of our partner institutions.
|Students frequently comment on the friendly atmosphere and accessible academic staff. The BA Linguistics programme had a 93% overall student satisfaction rate (sector average: 88) in the National Student Survey. 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 three year BA Linguistics 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.
Structure of the BA Linguistics (International Programme)
YEAR ONE YEAR TWO YEAR ABROAD
Two introductory modules in the core areas:
- Sentence Structure
plus two introductory modules in general linguistics and in language acquisition
One intermediate module in each of the following:
- Sentence structure
plus two linguistics option modules, and two electives from any subject area.
Modules agreed in consultation with host institution.
Three advanced modules in any of the core areas of linguistics -
plus one linguistics option module and 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
Year Abroad - Module selection depends on host university
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 Management
- 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.
- Year Abroad
We have a range of partner institutions, all elite departments in universities with excellent academic reputations in Linguistics, where all or a substantial amount of teaching is carried out in English. We currently have exchange links with Linguistics departments at seven universities:
University of Arizona
Chinese University of Hong Kong
University of Massachusetts
McGill University (Montreal)
University of Tübingen
University of Utrecht
Ca' Foscari University of Venice
UCL also has exchange agreements with overseas institutions that cover all departments.
These exchanges are reviewed periodically and are thus subject to change.
Other overseas exchanges are available through UCL-level links. These cover all departments, and application for places is accordingly competitive.
Our departmental exchange agreements normally allow for up to two UCL students to attend each institution each year. When you apply to go on your year abroad, UCL’s Study Abroad Office will ask you to list three chosen destinations in order of preference. Which of these preferences you get allocated to is decided by the Study Abroad Office and depends on the quality of your application. Please note that this means you are not guaranteed to be allocated to your top preference
- Non-EU students can only take part in Socrates (i.e. European) links if they have permanent residence status in an EU country. Going somewhere outside the EU is fine, but obviously you will need to obtain the relevant student visa (as would an EU student).
- Details of eligibility criteria you need to meet in order to go abroad are available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/studyabroad/options/copy2_of_eligibility/programme-responsibilities
Information on the financial side of the year abroad can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/studyabroad/finance.
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 at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-international-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-international-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. You can find information on the career paths taken by some of our alumni at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/research/linguistics/students/careers/.
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 this programme include:
- Full-time student, MPhil Linguistics at Cambridge University
- Junior Project Manager, Pro-Active London
- Full-time student, MA in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford
- English Tutor, Self-employed
- 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 (Word).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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) at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/study/undergraduates/UBALINSING05/FAQ