The first year of the programme provides an integrated foundational base in Linguistics: students will learn about the building blocks of the sounds of human language (phonetics and phonology) and of structure and meaning (syntax and semantics), as well as the principles are behind language variation and change (typology, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics). Students will hone their practical skills by doing basic fieldwork with an unfamiliar language, transcribing languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet, and analysing structures of different languages, alongside more general training in academic writing and critical thinking.
The second year of the programme develops the core areas of sound, structure, meaning, variation, and change in more depth, and brings on a host of new options in language typology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and experiments, language acquisition, computational linguistics, and historical linguistics. A core module in qualitative and quantitative social sciences research methods covers highly transferable skills (e.g. research ethics, hands-on data collection, data processing, and data analysis) and prepares students for their final year dissertation.
The final year allows students to take a wide range of options, for example, studying Constructed Languages, working with a native speaker of an endangered language, running experiments on language processing or on bilingual brain behaviour, studying the philosophy of language, or investigating communication disorders and speech therapy. Students will conduct a dissertation, involving original data analysis under supervision, building on the research methods learned in the second year. Students may have the opportunity to engage with the local community, as part of the QM model, or to volunteer on staff-led research projects in the department, e.g. associated with the two laboratories or with funded grant projects, to gain real research experience.
4 Years Full Time
Taught in English