UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


BA Linguistics and BA Linguistics International Programme

UCAS Code: Q100 BA Linguistics and Q101 BA Linguistics (International Programme)

About linguistics
Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to the systematic study of our uniquely human capacity for language. Linguists describe the dazzling variety of languages while at the same time searching for hidden commonalities between languages to uncover fundamental principles of the human mind.

To do this, linguists draw on a broad interdisciplinary toolset. They deploy field methods to find out more about the world's languages, methods from philosophy and logic to analyse meaning, ideas from sociology to understand the relation between language and identity, psychological and neuroscientific methods to study language processing mechanisms in real-time, and evolutionary biology to shed light on the origins of language.

Indeed, diversity of approaches characterizes the BA linguistics at UCL. If you choose to, you might be working in the library comparing how questions are formed in Russian and Swahili one day, learn about the genetic factors that allow children to recover from stuttering on the next day, and record dialect speakers for phonetic or sociolinguistic analysis on a third occasion. Of course, you may also focus on that mode of investigation which suits you best. 

Linguistics at UCL
UCL Linguistics is a cutting-edge department ranked 5th in Europe the 2023 QS Ranking. You will find a welcoming home in Chandler House in Bloomsbury with access to libraries and research laboratories, where experiments in psycho-linguistics, neuro-linguistics, acoustics, as well as child language acquisition can be conducted.  Linguistics BA students benefit greatly from the department's close ties to the philosophy department and its location within the division of psychology with staff specializing in speech and language pathologies and the psychology of language.

The international programme is a four-year version of the BA Linguistics. You will spend the third year abroad, allowing you to immerse yourself in a different culture, study linguistics from a different perspective at one of our partner institutions, and potentially perfect your mastery of a foreign language.

A degree in linguistics from UCL will equip you with a deep understanding of your own languages as well as foreign languages and an ability to analyse linguistic data and formulate testable hypotheses about them. You will acquire sought after transferable skills for accessing and evaluating information; for collecting, analysing and presenting a broad range of data; and to write and speak cogently and with confidence about them. For this reason, the degree will open up a wide range of career options. Some - like teaching English as a foreign language, speech and language therapist, translator, or careers in the foreign office, publishing, or communications and marketing - require directly language-related skills and knowledge while others - tech-related careers in natural language processing, laws, or analyst - build more strongly on the analytic and argumentative skills the degree confers. 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/xhzUTbPHn54


YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/EM1Vu1ma0-M


The first year of your degree is made up of mandatory courses taken by all students on the degree. These courses give you a broad foundation in linguistics. They cover the topics of the sound patterns of the languages of the world, the structure of words and sentences in selected languages, the interpretation of sentences and their use in conversation, as well as the acquisition of language by children. You will practice distinguishing and producing sounds, analyse and represent a variety of linguistic data, and develop your argumentative skills.   

One half of year two is dedicated to deepening your understanding of linguistic theory. You will tailor the other half to suit your interests in linguistics, to gain first-hand experience with research through an apprenticeship under the supervision of one of our team of world-leading researchers, and to pursue the manifold connections between linguistics and psychology, neurology, philosophy of language and mind, logic, modern languages, evolutionary biology, or computer science, to mention but a few.  Apart from knowledge of languages and linguistics, the intense study of linguistics will develop your ability to understand and evaluate explanatory theories in any domain and develop your critical thinking skills.   

If you enrol in the international programme, you will spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions, immersing yourself in a foreign culture, and possibly perfecting a foreign language.   

During your final year you will design, organize and carry out your own research project under specialist supervision. In addition, you will take six courses to specialize more deeply in linguistics and to pursue interdisciplinary connections further.


In the first year, compulsory modules provide a foundation in the core areas of linguistics and linguistic methodologies,  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 modules, focusing on the core areas that interest you, with the opportunity to further broaden your studies through the choice of option modules in linguistics. 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 have the opportunity to take modules offered outside Linguistics, to complement your studies or explore something totally different. This includes a wide range of language courses offered by the UCL Language Centre.

The programme lasts three years except if the international option is chosen, which has an additional year abroad in the third year. 

Year 1
All of the following: 

Year 2
One of the following two(Language meaning area): 

and one of the following two (Language sound area):  

and one of the following two (Language structure area):  

plus one further module of the six modules listed above
and two further modules from List A
and two furthersuitable elective modules from anywhere at UCL (including linguistics)

Year 3 is additional and spent abroad for students enrolled in the international programme

Final year 

Long Essay/Project
and three modules not already taken, from List B
and one module not already taken, from Lists A or B
and two further suitable modules from anywhere at UCL (including linguistics)

List A Linguistics elective modules

List B Option modules


 Note that not all modules from Lists A and B will be offered every year and offers in these lists are subject to change without notice.

Year Abroad

The year abroad is part of the four year international programme with an additional year abroad in the third year. It is possible at any point during years 1 and 2 to change from the regular to the international programme. Programme changes from the regular to the international programme are subject to sufficient performance on the programme and severely limited by availbility of places.

•    Eligibility: You will need to achieve an average mark of at least 60 in your first and second year to be eligible to go on the year abroad.
•    Application: Details of the application process can be found here. Placements are competitive and subject to availability.
•    Finance: Information on the financial side of the year abroad can be found here.
•    More information: More information on the year abroad can be found here.

UCL Linguistics has 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 the following universities:
•    McGill University (Montreal)
•    University of Tübingen
•    Chinese University of Hong Kong
•    University of Utrecht
•    University of Toronto
•    Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Exchange agreements are reviewed periodically and are subject to change without notice. North American partner institutions in particular tend to be oversubscribed and placements are correspondingly competitive.



Application Procedure 

In your UCAS application we are looking for the potential to meet our academic requirements and a strong interest in language and linguistics.

All applicants who are offered a place will be invited to attend an offerholder open day. This is intended to allow candidates to make an informed decision about whether the degree programme is right for them, and so all candidates resident in the UK are encouraged to attend.

We aim to make a decision about your application within four to eight weeks of receiving it.

If you are concerned that you have not heard from us after this timeframe then you are welcome to email the Admissions Officer.

Please do not call the Admissions Officer concerning the decision of your application. You will NOT be told of the decision by telephone. 

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for the BA Linguistics can be found here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-ba.

Entry requirements for the BA Linguistics International Programme can be found here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-international-programme-ba.

Fees and Funding

Information about fees, funding arrangements and UCL scholarships can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/linguistics-ba


A degree in linguistics confers subject-specific knowledge and may equip you with a broad set of highly valued transferable skills and attributes.

The subject specific knowledge plays a defining role in graduate careers closely connected to language such as teaching of languages, teaching of English as a foreign language, speech and language therapy, marketing, translation, publishing, or journalism. Many of our graduates use this knowledge to pursue postgraduate degrees in linguistics and related subjects.

Beyond the subject specific knowledge, a degree in linguistics may confer analytic, communicative, and interpersonal skills and develop your independence, reliability, and problem-solving ability. These are highly sought-after attributes for any graduate level job.

Consequently, career destinations of past UCL linguistics graduates cover a broad spectrum including the following: academic, business, consultancy, education, HR, information technology, interpreting, journalism, law, marketing, engineering, publishing, public relations, speech and language therapy, teaching, and translation. To find out more, visit the linguistics careers page.


For further information about academic entry on to this programme, and language requirements, please contact Undergraduate Admissions.

For general enquiries about undergraduate Linguistics programmes, please contact the Linguistics teaching office: