BA Linguistics / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BA Linguistics course will enable you to delve into the science of language - an everyday phenomenon which 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 which 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.

Special features

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.

Study abroad

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 an additional arts, languages or cultures subject.

Teaching and learning

You'll be taught through a mixture of:

  • formal lectures
  • tutorials
  • one-to-one supervision.

You'll spend approximately 12 hours each week in formal study sessions and further time in 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 a 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 units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Mandatory
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Mandatory
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Mandatory
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
Speech and Music Processing LELA10701 20 Optional

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 units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Theory of Grammar LELA20021 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20101 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20232 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20292 20 Optional
Cognitive Linguistics LELA20311 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional

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.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Theory of Grammar LELA20021 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Meaning in Grammar LELA20042 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20101 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20232 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20292 20 Optional
Cognitive Linguistics LELA20311 20 Optional
The Changing Structure of English LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Topics in the Study of Meaning in English LELA30032 20 Optional
Language Contact LELA30292 20 Optional
English Phonology Past and Present LELA30442 20 Optional
Meaning in Grammar LELA30642 20 Optional
Language Policy and Planning LELA30751 20 Optional
Historical Syntax LELA30962 20 Optional
Minimalist Syntax LELA30971 20 Optional
The Grammar of English Noun Phrases LELA31001 20 Optional
Language and Mediality LELA31072 20 Optional
First and Second Language Acquisition LELA31111 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics in English LELA31631 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 26 course units for year 3

Facilities

Phonetics Lab
Undergraduate students can use the Phonetics Lab under supervision.

You will access resources to enhance your learning, including an extensive collection of linguistics texts and our psycholinguistics and phonetics laboratories, with facilities for:

  • signal analysis
  • speech synthesis
  • laryngography
  • electropalatography.

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk