Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Linguistics BA

Linguistics is the study of the capacity to use language. At UCL students investigate the sound patterns (Phonetics and Phonology) and grammatical structures (Syntax) of the world's languages, and how meanings are expressed through language use (Semantics and Pragmatics). They can explore a range of topic including language acquisition and processing, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, language evolution, and animal communication. A study abroad year is available.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

English Language preferred.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer

BBB (more about contextual offers)
English Language preferred.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

IB Diploma

A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects preferably to include English Language with no score lower than 5.

Contextual offer

32 (more about contextual offers)
A score of 15 points in three higher level subjects preferably to include English Language, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction. Modules from English Language preferred.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Modules from English Language preferred.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, preferably including English Language.

AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher), preferably including English Languageat Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB. English Language preferred.

International applications

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

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

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

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good (Advanced for GCSE/IGCSE)

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • You will develop a broad foundation in linguistic analysis and theory, while being able to pursue chosen areas in greater depth, and also to study language and linguistics in a broader context.

  • You will develop a wide range of transferable skills: a broad understanding of language and languages; data collection and analysis; hypothesis testing; critical reading and argumentation. Through optional modules, students may gain experience with experimental design and statistical analysis.

  • 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.

  • UCL Linguistics is known worldwide for its teaching and research excellence and the work of our staff appears in internationally acclaimed journals and books. You will also have access to extensive computer facilities and to a specialised on-site library in addition to UCL's main library.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits and adding up to 120 credits per year in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year.

In the first year your modules are all compulsory, providing a broad foundation in linguistics and helping you assess where your own interests and strengths lie. In addition to compulsory modules in core areas of semantics and pragmatics, phonetics or phonology, and syntax, students will take a module in language acquisition.

Students take at least four intermediate modules covering the core areas of linguistics. They will also take two 15-credit elective modules in Linguistics, and two 15-credit UCL-wide elective modules.

In their final year, students undertake a 30-credit research project, involving a deep and sustained study of a subject in which they are especially interested.

Students take three advanced modules from the core areas of linguistics, one intermediate or advanced module offered in any area of linguistics, and two further Linguistics or UCL-wide elective modules. 

The elective modules you take in years two and three may include modules offered outside Linguistics, for example, many students choose to take language courses taught by the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education. 

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Linguistics.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

All students entering the programme will study:

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

Optional modules

All first-year modules are compulsory.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Students will study Semantics, Pragmatics, Syntax, and either Phonetics or Phonology at intermediate level amounting to 60 credits.

Optional modules

Students select 30 credits of further linguistics modules, and 30 credits of elective modules from across UCL.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Students complete the Long Essay, worth 30 credits. 

In addition, students select 45 credits from the core areas of their choice, and 15 credits of advanced or intermediate modules in linguistics not already taken.

Optional modules

Students select 30 credits of further intermediate or advanced modules in linguistics, or any intermediate or advanced modules available at UCL.

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 modules also involve workshops.


Each module is assessed and examined separately, often by a combination of essays, exercises and examinations. Your performance in a module is always assessed in the same academic year in which you take it.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Linguistics BA.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


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. 

Many Linguistics graduates from UCL carry on with the subject 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.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Alumni view
Languages have always fascinated me. I had started studying linguistics in Hong Kong when I got an exchange opportunity at UCL Linguistics in my second year. I felt I could learn so much more at UCL, so decided to transfer to UCL to complete my undergraduate studies. Chun Wai Leung - Linguistics BA 2014
Student view
My favourite part of the Linguistics programme is analysing phonological data of languages from all over the world. It's fascinating to gain insight to languages I speak, and also others I never knew existed. Charlotte Liu - Linguistics BA Third Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below. Fees for the 2022/23 academic year will be advertised as soon as they are available.

UK students
£9,250 (2021/22)
Overseas students
£23,300 (2021/22)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

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.

Application deadline: 26 January 2022


UK residents may then be invited to an applicant open day where you will find out about the department and programme, attend a taster lecture and join a tour of UCL.

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.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 5 August 2021