UCL-IoE merger

UCL and the Institute of Education merged on December 2, 2014. Learn about the study options available to you.


Admissions Officer

Mrs Stefanie Anyadi

Email: enquiries-linguistics@pals.ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4224

More Information

Subject area:


Faculty overview:

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Department website:

Division of Psychology and Language Sciences

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

50% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Linguistics BA

UCAS code: Q100

The Linguistics BA focuses on the sounds, structures and meanings of language. This includes aspects of phonetics and phonology (how sounds are produced, transmitted and received), morphology (how words are built from smaller elements), syntax (how words are combined to form sentences), and semantics and pragmatics (how meaning depends on context).

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA-ABB
Subjects English Language, Mathematics or a science subject preferred.
AS Levels For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 34-38
Subjects A score of 16-18 points in three higher level subjects preferably to include English Language, Mathematics or a science subject, with no score lower than 5.

Other qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International applicants

International qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Select country above, equivalent grades appear here.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • 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 and feedback from students in recent national surveys shows 100% were statisfied with the degree programme.
  • 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.

You can also take optional courses offered outside Linguistics; for example, many students choose to take language courses taught by the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Your learning

Teaching is mainly delivered through lectures, workshops 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.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Core Issues in Linguistics
Introduction to Children's Language Development
Introduction To Generative Grammar
Introduction To Phonetics And Phonology
Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Two intermediate courses in each of the core areas of linguistics:

Phonetics and Phonology
Semantics and Pragmatics

to the total value of 3.0 credits.

Optional courses

You will select 1.0 credits of further courses from a wide range of options. Some possible Linguistics options are listed below:

Animal Communication
Language Acquisition
Linguistics of Sign Language
Modern Foreign Language courses

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Long Essay/Project (1.0 credits)

Two courses each from two of the core areas of linguistics (2.0 credits):

Semantics and Pragmatics

Optional courses

You will select 1.0 credits of further courses from a wide range of options. Some possible Linguistics options are listed below:

Language Acquisition
Linguistics of Sign Language
Modern Foreign Language courses
Philosophy of Language
Semantics-Pragmatic Development

Further details on department website: Linguistics BA


In addition to subject-specific skills, you will also acquire the analytical, investigative and study skills essential for most graduate careers, which could include law, computing, commerce and industry. Recent national surveys show that UCL Linguistics graduates have above average employment rates and starting salaries after graduation.

Many linguistics graduates from UCL carry on linguistics at graduate level often with a view to pursuing an academic career. Linguistics connects with many other disciplines and a number of 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.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of this programme include:

  • Full-time student, MSc in Speech and Language Processing at the University of Edinburgh (2011)
  • Public Relations Assistant, Hodder Publishing (2011)
  • Academic Officer, Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education (2011)
  • Graduate Assistant, University of Connecticut (2010)
  • Full-time student, Graduate Diploma in Law (2012)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

Your application

We are looking for students with strong analytical skills who are fascinated by languages and intrigued by how the human mind works. We place particular emphasis on your personal statement and will be looking for clarity of expression and evidence that you have considered the subject in detail.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


If you are likely to meet our entry requirements you will be asked to complete a questionnaire. UK residents may then be invited to an applicant open day where you will find out about the department and programme, attend a lecture or tutorial and join a tour of UCL.

If you live outside the UK we may contact you by letter, email or telephone to ensure that both we and you are able to make an informed choice about your application.

We value the experience that candidates who do not have standard qualifications may bring, and encourage you to contact us if you are interested in the programme.

Video: applying to UCL through UCAS

Fees and funding

UK & EU fee

£9,000 (2015/16)

Overseas fee

£15,660 (2015/16)

General funding notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Playlist: funding for UK/EU and overseas students

Undergraduate playlist

Video channels

Page last modified on 26 feb 14 08:05