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BA Linguistics and Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

Yang Peiying - BA Linguistics and Sociology

"Both lecturers and tutors are passionate about teaching, and they are very responsible and helpful.

"If I've got any problems when learning by myself, they are always there for me to turn to."

Yang Peiying / Year 3 student

Our BA Linguistics and Sociology course will introduce you to the study of the unique human faculty of language and the investigation of the world's languages, while also delving into people's social context and their webs of connection to understand individual behaviour.

In Linguistics, 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.

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.

In Sociology, you will develop the skills to analyse and interpret contemporary social challenges. You will explore how claims about social life are based on particular types of evidence and develop the ability to critically assess them.

Sociology can cover many different topics, from reproduction of inequalities in relation to social categories (such as race, class or gender), to the shaping of intimate relationships by wider cultural contexts, or the generation of resistance and protest by economic trends and crises.

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).

Learn from experts

You will learn from staff who research and write on a range of sociological topics, with specialisms including social divisions and inequality, social movements, globalisation and social change, personal life, and ageing.

Our particular strengths in Linguistics include, among others, phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, historical linguistics, forensic linguistics, and quantitative corpus-based approaches.

Multilingual Manchester

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.

Access excellent facilities

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.

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.

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 can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

In Linguistics, you will learn to look at language in a new way. You will study topics ranging from grammar to semantics, from phonetics to sociolinguistics. All students study obligatory units including phonetics and phonology, sociolinguistics, semantics and (English) grammar, adding up to 50% of the year's credits.

In Sociology, you will be introduced to sociological theory and methods of enquiry.

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
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society SOCY10401 20 Optional
Contested Foundations of Social Thought SOCY10421 20 Optional
Contemporary Social Thought SOCY10432 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10442 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In Linguistics, the emphasis will switch to linguistic theories for Year 2. You will build on your new analytical skills by considering ideas about the nature of language and models of its structure. You will cover topics such as syntactic theory, phonology, and either typology or grammatical semantics.

In Sociology, you will develop your theoretical and substantive knowledge, and receive training in research methods that prepares you for conducting independent research in your final year.

At least one-third of your Year 2 credits must come from each of the two components of the course.

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
Language, Mind and Brain LELA10201 20 Optional
The Sounds of Language LELA10322 20 Optional
Study of Meaning LELA10332 20 Optional
History and Varieties of English LELA10342 20 Optional
Phonology LELA20012 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20032 20 Optional
Societal Multi-lingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20501 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society SOCY10401 20 Optional
Contested Foundations of Social Thought SOCY10421 20 Optional
Contemporary Social Thought SOCY10432 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10442 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional
Work, Economy and Society SOCY20031 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20232 20 Optional
New Media SOCY20241 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20282 20 Optional
Family, Relationships and Everyday Life SOCY20701 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20961 20 Optional
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 31 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In both subjects, your study is tailored to your own interests by drawing on course units from a wide range of specialities which build on the research expertise of our staff, and includes the opportunity to conduct independent dissertation research on a topic of your choice.

At least one-third of your Year 3 credits must come from each of the two components of the course.

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
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20032 20 Optional
Societal Multi-lingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20281 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20501 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Topics in the Study of Meaning in English LELA30032 20 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
English Phonology Past and Present LELA30441 20 Optional
Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Minimalist Syntax LELA30971 20 Optional
Attitudes to Language in the English-Speaking World LELA31482 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics in English LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32002 20 Optional
Work, Economy and Society SOCY20031 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20232 20 Optional
New Media SOCY20241 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20282 20 Optional
Family, Relationships and Everyday Life SOCY20701 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20961 20 Optional
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30042 20 Optional
Body and Society SOCY30141 20 Optional
Secrets, Lies & Mass Deception SOCY30152 20 Optional
Identity, Power & Modernity SOCY30171 20 Optional
A Sense of Inequality: Everyday Understandings of Inequality SOCY30241 20 Optional
Alternative Economies - Ordinary Economies SOCY30252 20 Optional
Power and Protest SOCY30461 20 Optional
Visualising Society & Social Life: Photography in focus SOCY30522 20 Optional
Dissertation (20 credits) SOCY30920 20 Optional
Dissertation B (40 credits) SOCY30930 40 Optional
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 41 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.

You will also benefit from the extensive learning facilities available across the University, including the University library, the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and cultural assets such as Manchester Museum.

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