BA Linguistics (International Programme)

UCAS Code: Q101

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 (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. 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 three year BA Linguistics.

Content

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.
  • 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.

Your Learning

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.

Assessment

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.

Advanced linguistics

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/.

Structure

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
FINAL YEAR

Two introductory modules in the core areas:

  • Meaning
  • Pronunciation
  • Sentence Structure

plus two introductory modules in general linguistics and in language acquisition

Two intermediate modules in the core areas of linguistics:

  • Meaning
  • Pronunciation
  • Sentence Structure

plus one or two optional modules

Modules agreed in consultation with host institution.

Research Project
Two modules each from two core areas

plus one or two optional modules

Module Descriptions

Introductory Modules

Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics A

Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics B

Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology A

Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology B

Introduction to Generative Grammar A

Introduction to Generative Grammar B

Introduction to Language

Introduction to Children's Language Development

Intermediate Modules

Meaning core area (NB: not all courses are taught every year)

Pronunciation core area

Sentence Structure core area

Year Abroad - Module selection depends on host university
Final Year Modules

Long Essay/Project

Meaning core area

Pronunciation Core Area

Sentence Structure Core Area

Optional Modules (NB not all courses are taught every year)

Neurolinguistics

Animal Communication and Human Language

Phonology of English

Sociolinguistics

Psycholinguistics: Stages in Normal Language Development

Linguistics of Sign Languages

Stuttering

Students in the second and final year can also take options outside Linguistics, including:


Time table

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. Our partner institutions are: 

  • University of Arizona, USA
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA    
  • McGill University, Montreal, Canada    
  • University of Tübingen, Germany 
  • University of Utrecht, The Netherlands       
  • University of Venice, Italy    

UCL also has additional exchange agreements with overseas institutions that cover all departments.

Please note that places at some of these institutions are limited, please contact us if you are interested in a particular institution.

Important:

  • 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).
  • Normally students must have achieved marks of a 2.1 average over the first two years of their degree to go on an exchange. A student on the BA Linguistics International programme who fails to do achieve these results will be able to transfer to the three-year BA Linguistics programme.

Information on the financial side of the year abroad can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/studyabroad/finance.

Staff

Programme Director: Prof John Harris

Teaching staff (NB: staff may occasionally be absent for a term or more on research or other leave)

In addition, we can call on the support of Teaching Fellows and Postgraduate Teaching Assistants.

Application

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-study/degrees/ugprogs/UBALINSING05

Application process

All applications must be made via UCAS, www.ucas.ac.uk.

Deadline for Applications

It is unlikely that we will be able to consider applications submitted after the UCAS deadline on 15 January.

Entry requirements

For entry requirements, please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate-study/degrees/ugprogs/UBALINSINT05

Careers

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."

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/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. The Year Abroad enables you to demonstrate your decision-making and problem-solving skills, and will also improve your language and communication skills. These skills are 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.

Destinations

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

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."

Open Days

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:

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

Contact

For further information about this programme, please contact: Ms Stefanie Anyadi

s.anyadi@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 4224

FAQs

Question
My A-levels do not include English Language or a science. Will you still consider an application from me?

Answer

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.

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Question

Can you recommend some background reading to give me an idea of what Linguistics is all about?

Answer

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:

• Fromkin, 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