BA in Linguistics University of Manchester
Examine the science of language - an everyday phenomenon that impacts our lives on a global scale.
- Study the unique human faculty of language and investigate world languages.
- Explore topics such as how languages arise, change and die, how children acquire their first language, and how adults learn a second or foreign language.
- Develop transferable skills in quantitative methods.
- Study at a top 10 UK university for Linguistics (Complete University Guide 2019).
Our BA Linguistics course will enable you to delve into the science of language - an everyday phenomenon that impacts our lives on an individual and a global scale.
Through our course, you will explore the sounds and structure of languages across the globe, studying topics such as:
- how languages arise, change and die;
- how children acquire their first language;
- how adults learn a second or foreign language;
- differences between the speech of men and women;
- how we communicate as individuals and within groups;
- what happens when speakers of different languages come into contact.
With its diverse local communities, Manchester is an ideal site for carrying out research on linguistic variation and multilingualism. We conduct empirical and theoretical research and particularly a combination of the two.
You'll have access to one of the largest holdings of linguistics texts in the UK, and the opportunity to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections. We have two laboratories, where you'll have the chance to use ultrasound imaging, laryngography and eye-tracking technology.
You'll also be able to use quantitative methods in the study of large language corpora. This is a skill that you'll then be able to apply to other fields throughout your life.
Linguistics at Manchester is unrivalled in its breadth of subject areas and theoretical approaches. Our particular strengths include, among others, phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, historical linguistics, forensic linguistics, and quantitative corpus-based approaches.
You'll be encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects. For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK.
Placement year option
Apply your subject-specific knowledge in a real-world context through a placement year in your third year of study, enabling you to enhance your employment prospects, clarify your career goals and build your external networks.
You may apply to spend one semester studying abroad during Year 2. Exchange partners are offered through the Erasmus Exchange scheme (in Sweden) and the Worldwide Exchange scheme (eg USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore).
Study an additional subject
Flexible Honours may allow you to study additional art, languages or cultural subjects.
Teaching and learning
You'll be taught through a mixture of:
- formal lectures
- one-to-one supervision.
You'll spend approximately 12 hours each week in formal study sessions and further time in an independent study.
In your independent study time, you may be reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working as part of a team of students. You'll also have the opportunity to study modern language.
Coursework and assessment
Our courses are assessed in various ways, for example, written examinations, oral presentations and different types of coursework.
Coursework may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research.
In your final year, you'll have the option to write a 12,000-word dissertation. You'll undertake research on a topic of your own choice under the supervision of a member of staff in English Language and Linguistics.
Course content for year 1
Gain a solid grounding in linguistics, taking core course units including phonetics and phonology, sociolinguistics, semantics and (English) grammar, introductions to the principles of linguistics and to the relation between language, the mind and the brain.
Course content for year 2
You'll begin to tailor your degree to suit your interests. While studying a small number of compulsory units in subjects like phonology, syntax, or semantics, you'll choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in a number of specialist fields - from typology to experimental phonetics.
Course content for year 3
Have complete freedom of choice among a wealth of different course options, spanning subjects as diverse as forensic linguistics, sociolinguistics, and formal semantics and syntax.