What Is a Linguistics Degree?
Linguistics is, simply, the study of language. It is not the speaking of a foreign language (although it is often studied alongside one), but it is the examination of syntax, sound and meaning of words and their social context. With a strong scientific basis, linguists study the social, educational and cultural impact of language.
What will I study?
You will study the building blocks of language and how our brains process sound. Modules will teach you how languages develop and how they cease to be used. You’ll develop the practical skill of transcribing languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet. By the end of your third year you will have an expert understanding of language, and will have mastered qualitative and quantitative social sciences research methods for your final year dissertation.
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During first year students study introductory courses in phonetics and phonology. You will gain an understanding of audiology, too. You will undertake a module on languages of the world which will look into some of the most interesting trends in linguistics, including a detailed study of so-called “dying-languages”.
Second year students will study ‘research methods in linguistics’ which gives a solid-grounding in both qualitative and quantitative research. You will begin to gain an understanding of language structure and grammar. You can choose elective modules in the second term, which cover a broad spectrum of inter-disciplinary topics such as ‘language and the mind’ and ‘history of the English language’.
Third year students choose elective modules in which to undertake a large research project. These broadly fall into “arts” modules such as ‘literature’ or ‘philosophy of language’, and “science” modules such as ‘language and communication disorders’ or ‘audiology’. During the final year you will also learn practical skills such as transcribing.
If you are studying linguistics alongside a foreign language, you will spend a year studying abroad. During this year, you will attend lessons which are taught in the language of your choice.
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