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BA Linguistics and Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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 willenable 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 change over time; how children acquire their first language; how language varies between different groups of people and across regions; how we communicate as individuals and within groups; what languages across the world have in common and how they differ; and 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 have two laboratories, where you'll have the chance to use ultrasound imaging, laryngography and eye tracking technology.

You'll also be able to learn quantitative methods and use large language corpora, skills 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 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 study abroad during Year 2.

We have partnerships with many institutions throughout Europe and across the globe.

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 strengths include, among others, phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and child language acquisition, forensic linguistics, field linguistics, and quantitative corpus-based approaches.

Get involved with interesting projects

Our students are encouraged to take an active role in funded teaching-enhancement projects, whose outputs benefit them individually and collectively.

For example, some of our students have developed an online atlas of dialect variation in the UK and storyboards for the use in field.

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 gain a solid grounding in linguistics, taking core course units in (English) grammar and either the sounds of language or the study of meaning. You may also choose additional, optional units such as an introduction to the relation between language, the mind and the brain.

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
Researching Culture and Society SOCY10440 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10441 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Optional
Understanding Social Media SOST10012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

In Linguistics, you'll begin to tailor your degree to suit your interests. While studying two compulsory units in subjects like phonology, syntax, or semantics, and typology or multilingualism, you'll choose from a wide range of optional units tapping into academic expertise in several specialist fields such as experimental phonetics and psycholinguistics.

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 LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20342 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 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 SOCY10441 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 SOCY20231 20 Optional
Social Class and Inequality in Britain SOCY20602 20 Optional
Family, Relationships and Everyday Life SOCY20701 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 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.

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 LELA20011 20 Optional
Analysing Grammar LELA20022 20 Optional
Typology LELA20031 20 Optional
Societal Multilingualism LELA20102 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA20231 20 Optional
Semantics LELA20282 20 Optional
Pragmatics: Meaning, Context, and Interaction LELA20291 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA20342 20 Optional
The Changing English Language LELA20401 20 Optional
Variationist Sociolinguistics LELA20502 20 Optional
Psycholinguistics LELA20962 20 Optional
Stylistics of English LELA21511 20 Optional
Dissertation LELA30000 40 Optional
Cognitive Linguistics LELA30182 20 Optional
Language Contact LELA30291 20 Optional
English Phonology Past and Present LELA30441 20 Optional
The Study of the Speech Community: Manchester English LELA30522 20 Optional
Topics in Language Development LELA30671 20 Optional
Language Policy and Planning LELA30752 20 Optional
Minimalist Syntax LELA30972 20 Optional
Forensic Linguistics LELA31632 20 Optional
Romance Linguistics LELA32001 20 Optional
Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences LELA32011 20 Optional
Experimental Phonetics LELA32022 20 Optional
Computational Linguistics LELA32051 20 Optional
Discourse as Social Practice LELA32062 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 SOCY20231 20 Optional
Social Class and Inequality in Britain SOCY20602 20 Optional
Family, Relationships and Everyday Life SOCY20701 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 20 Optional
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30041 20 Optional
Secrets, Lies & Mass Deception SOCY30152 20 Optional
Identity, Power & Modernity SOCY30171 20 Optional
Alternative Economies - Ordinary Economies SOCY30252 20 Optional
Power and Protest SOCY30461 20 Optional
Social Thought from the Global South SOCY30501 20 Optional
Visualising Society & Social Life: Photography in focus SOCY30521 20 Optional
Dissertation (20 credits) SOCY30920 20 Optional
Dissertation B (40 credits) SOCY30930 40 Optional
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional
Advanced Social Network Analysis SOST30022 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 46 course units for year 3

What our students say

My course has been invaluable in giving me the opportunity to figure out what I enjoy and what I want to do in the future.

I came to university not knowing where that would take me, and I believe I will graduate with a plan and a renewed motivation for success.

Radina Dobreva, Linguistics BA

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