Our capacity for language sets us apart from other species, and is an important part of our national and ethnic identities. The heart of Linguistics is the study of the structure of human languages. Linguistics also examines their history and the ways in which they change, the acquisition of language and the role language plays in human interaction. Linguistics is connected to any discipline concerned with human communication, languages and literature, as well as anthropology, artificial intelligence, human biology, philosophy, psychology and sociology.

Areas of study

We offer a comprehensive postgraduate programme in Linguistics. You can study the following topics within Linguistics: language as code; the social contexts of language; language acquisition and change; and linguistic theory.

Language as code

This aspect of Linguistics examines grammatical systems, the meanings that are encoded in lexical items, phrases and clauses, and sound systems.

The social contexts of language

You can examine the status and use of different languages in a single society and the use of standard and non-standard language. We study the role language plays in personal and social identity, the place of language in social and cultural capital, and the key role of language in education and employment.

Language acquisition and change

Other Linguistics courses deal with the acquisition of language by children and the ways in which languages change over time.

Linguistic theory

We cover all the main areas of linguistic theory: syntax, phonology, historical linguistics, language contact, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. Research methodology is an important aspect.

You can study Linguistics in the following programmes:

What you will learn

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Career opportunities

You could use your knowledge and skills in fields such as language education, language policy, artificial intelligence, voice synthesis, speech pathology, audiology, translating and interpreting, and the automatic processing of documents.

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