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 listen to Prof Andrew Nevins talk about "slips of the ear". Scroll down for more information about linguistics and the focus of teaching in linguistics at UCL, or click here for information on the four year BA Linguistics International Programme.
- 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,
(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
topics covered in the lecture, and a virtual learning environment where
you can access course material, a course discussion forum and other
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:
plus two introductory courses in general linguistics and in language acquisition
Two intermediate courses in the core areas of linguistics:
plus one or two optional courses
plus one or two optional courses
Meaning core area (NB: not all courses are taught every year)
Pronunciation core area
Sentence Structure core area
Final Year Modules
Meaning core area
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:
See www.ucl.ac.uk/timetable or click on the above module details for a link to the module timetable.
Programme Director: Prof John Harris
Teaching staff (NB: staff may occasionally be absent for a term or more on research or other leave)
- Dr Klaus Abels
- Dr Richard Breheny
- Prof Robyn Carston
- Dr Bronwen Evans
- Prof John Harris
- Dr Nathan Klinedinst
- Prof Ad Neeleman
- Dr Andrew Nevins
- Dr Nausicaa Pouscoulous
- Dr Kriszta Szendroi
- Dr Hans van de Koot
- Dr Yi Xu
In addition, we can call on the support of Teaching Fellows and Postgraduate Teaching Assistants.
Fees and Funding
Information about fees, funding arrangements and UCL scholarships can be found via the right hand side bar on the entry requirements page.
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.
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."
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/psychlangsci/research/linguistics/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 for UCL Linguistics graduates is available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/students/department/careers_with_a_linguistics_degree. For more general information on careers for Linguistics graduates, please click here and information and statistics on career paths are also available at prospects.ac.uk.
Our 2012 graduates reported 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
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 si better than I expected. There is plenty of time to complete assigments 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 2011:
- "Approachable and insightful lecturers - the bond you develop with them is clear and a great bonus to the program. UCL is renowned for its research and it does put you in a position where you feel you are at the cutting edge of the field. "
- "Knowledgeable staff, small class sized allowing for easier
discussion and more intimate teaching, wide choice of module options. "
- "The breadth and depth of the material covered throughout the
programme was probably the best aspect for me. "
- What I really liked about the degree programme was "the small-scale discussion groups in tutorials. Close interaction with lecturers."
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, please join us at one of our Open Days for prospective applicants:
- The next UCL Open Day will take place in June 2014, and you can find details of presentations, guided tours and a link to the registration page at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/students/prospective/open-days/ch-open-day-2014.
- UCL will be participating in the University of London Information Days taking place on 16 and 17 September 2014. If you would like to book a place at this event, please visit the University of London website at www.london.ac.uk/openday.
If you are considering applying for the BA Linguistics degree programme but are unable to visit us on any of the 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 this programme, please contact:
Ms Stefanie Anyadi
020 7679 4224
My A-levels do not include English Language or a science. Will you still consider an application from me?
We have found that applicants who have taken English Language and/or at least one science subject at A-level do particularly well on the BA Linguistics but we will consider applications from applicants who have not studied these subject at A-level or AS-level.
Can you recommend some background reading to give me an idea of what Linguistics is all about?
Linguistics degree programmes at different universities may approach the subject in very different ways. The following reading suggestions give you an idea of what Linguistics at UCL focuses on:
V., Rodman, R. and Hyams, N. (7th edition, 2003). An Introduction to
Language. Heinle & Heinle.
• Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct. Harmondsworth: Pinguin.
The reading list for new students in 2013/14 can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/students/prospective/UG/UBALINSING05/baling-readlist