Linguistics (International Programme) BA

London, Bloomsbury
Linguistics (International Programme) BA (2024)

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 topics including language acquisition and processing, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, language evolution, and animal communication. Students on the Linguistics (International Programme) BA spend their third year at one of our international partner institutions.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

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

Contextual offer information

BBB more about contextual offers
English language preferred.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects preferably to include English Language, with no higher level score below 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 higher level score below 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.

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

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

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

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2 (Level 4 for GCSE/IGCSE)

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

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

Course overview

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, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology and syntax, students will also take a module in language acquisition.

In the second year, students take four intermediate modules covering the core areas of linguistics. They will also take at least two elective modules in Linguistics, and up to two UCL-wide elective modules.

The third year is the year abroad. You will spend it studying at a partner institution. Places are subject to availability and competitive. You must maintain an average mark of 60% during your first two years to be allowed on the year abroad.

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.

Final year students will also 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 your final year may include modules offered outside Linguistics, for example, many students choose to take language courses taught by the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education. 

What this course will give you

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.

In your third year, you will study abroad at one of our partner institutions. They are internationally recognised for their excellence in linguistics with locations including Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.

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.

Teaching and learning

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.

Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Linguistics (International Programme).


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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

In year 1 you will learn about basic issues in linguistics and gain a solid foundation in linguistic analysis through the study of phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, semantics, and syntax on the basis of various languages. You will acquire basic tools and analytic concepts of contemporary linguistic theory.

In year 2 you will take a further four modules on core aspects of grammatical analysis. You will also be able to study other aspects of linguistics. Moreover, you can elect two modules from anywhere in the university to either support a specific aspect of your education in linguistics or to develop an independent interest.

On the Linguistics (International Programme) BA, your third year is spent studying abroad at one of our host institutions.

In year 4, you have the possibility of tailoring your degree with two elective modules and you will also be allowed to choose which areas of linguistic analysis you would like to gain specialist knowledge, and undertake a year-long independent research project in linguistics.

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 15 students and a staff member to discuss topics covered in the lecture) as well as a virtual learning environment. Some modules also involve workshops.

The programme introduces you to descriptive and analytical tools, to foundational issues, and current research questions in theoretical linguistics. The programme strongly emphasises discovery and research-based learning, fostering your ability to construct and evaluate rigorous models of linguistic data patterns, an ability that enables our graduates to pursue a broad range of academic and non-academic pursuits upon successful completion of the programme.

You will learn through a mix of hands-on exercises, lectures, group and individual projects, discussion classes, and individual study. Your ability to communicate effectively will be developed through group discussions and assessments requiring you to produce cogent outputs (pieces of writing, presentations) with an audience in mind. Feedback on your written and oral work emphasises not only its intellectual merits, but also its effectiveness in presenting a coherent argument for an audience.


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.

You will be assessed by a variety of methods including essays, unseen exams with multiple choice, short answer, or long answer questions, in class quizzes, presentations, homework problems. In the first year there is stronger emphasis on continuous assessment (homework assignments and quizzes) and on testing knowledge (unseen exams). The emphasis then shifts to progressively larger and more independent projects (essays and presentations) culminating in a dissertation. Assessed components include both individual and groupwork.

The development of subject-specific knowledge is supported early on through regular homework assignments and continuous assessment and later through increasingly complex research projects. The latter also support the development of intellectual, academic and research skills. Practical and transferable skills (IT, library, and time management) are developed throughout implicitly; teamwork and leadership skills are particularly developed through group projects; the ability to communicate orally is developed through the inclusion of groupwork and presentations in the mix of assessments.


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.

The foundation of your career

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, natural language processing, advertising or the media.


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. The year abroad can give you deep insights into a different country's culture and could allow you to improve your knowledge or a foreign language.

The programme is designed to teach many transferable skills: how to acquire data in a controlled fashion; how to analyse it and develop abstract models of complex sets of facts; how to present a structured argument; how to express yourself clearly both in writing and orally; how to undertake independent research. Innovative teaching methods support the development of necessary skills such as teamwork.

The academic skills developed on the degree are transferable to a wide range of careers including language teaching, translation and interpreting, marketing, communication, speech and language technology, journalism, management, and law. In addition the degree provides excellent preparation for postgraduate study in linguistics and related fields for students who wish to pursue an academic career.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £9,250
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2023/24 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 2023/24 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Please note that if you wish to study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the  UCL Study Abroad website.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages.

Apart from these, there are minimal costs other than those covered by tuition fees. Some modules make use of textbooks, but these are typically available (in hard copy or electronic version) through the UCL library. Students who pursue experimental work as part of their dissertation are eligible to have costs refunded up to a set budget.

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).

Funding your studies

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.


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.

Next steps

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

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.

Additional information is available at

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.