UCL Module Catalogue


Introduction to Language (PLIN0006)

Key information

Faculty of Brain Sciences
Teaching department
Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Credit value
This module cannot be taken by BA Linguistics or BSc Experimental Linguistics students.

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


This module is an introductory survey of linguistics, focusing on natural language phenomena, and the methods and findings of linguists seeking to understand them. We will address the following subdomains of linguistics during the course: Phonetics (physical properties of language forms, e.g. sounds), Phonology (the psychological representation of language forms), Morphology (how language forms combine to form words), Syntax (how words combine to form phrases and sentences), Semantics (the meanings of words, phrases, and sentences), Pragmatics (how sentences are used in context), Language Acquisition (how languages are learned by children and adults), Sociolinguistics (how language is affected by social context) and Language and the Brain (how language is processed in the brain and language disorders).

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of language structure and use, as well as some of the major theoretical issues in linguistics. The module is delivered with weekly two-hour lectures and weekly one-hour backups. At the end of this course, students will be able to:

• describe aspects of language structure and use at levels of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics

• explain key properties of how language is acquired

• describe key ways in which language is affected by social context

• describe key properties of how language is processed in the brain and language disorders


Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 1     Undergraduate (FHEQ Level 4)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Methods of assessment
70% Unseen Multiple Choice Electronic Quiz
30% Coursework (2500 words max)
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

The methods of assessment for affiliate students may be different to those indicated above. Please contact the department for more information.

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.