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BA Linguistics and Chinese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Our BA Linguistics and Chinese 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 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.

You can also achieve near-native proficiency in Mandarin Chinese while studying the language within its cultural and historical context.

Language study offers much more than just language fluency. You'll explore diverse aspects of the culture, society, history, politics and literature of the countries in which Mandarin Chinese is spoken, helping you to develop intercultural awareness and communication skills - both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as from the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

With placement options available at partner universities and in professional environments in several Chinese-speaking countries, a compulsory third year abroad gives our undergraduate students unforgettable and invaluable personal and professional experience.

Our course will help you to develop analytical and problem-solving skills. Often dealing with granular and complex data, your combination of humanities and scientific understanding will allow you to make connections across multiple fields of employment.

Special features

Study or work abroad

Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a Chinese-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.

Learn from language experts

Language courses are mainly taught by native speakers of each language, giving you a richer learning experience.

Access outstanding resources

You'll have the opportunity to access cutting-edge resources, including one of the largest holdings of linguistics texts in the UK, and to conduct research using English manuscripts held in our prestigious Special Collections.

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 fieldwork.

Enjoy cultural activities

Celebrate and learn more about Chinese culture and language by joining the Chinese Studies Society and Manchester University Chinese Students Society.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research).

Many course units are assessed through a mixture of techniques.

In your final year, you can choose to write a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

Linguistics

  • 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.

Chinese

  • All Year 1 students take the core module 'Introduction to Chinese Studies' plus language classes.

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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
Introduction to Chinese Studies CHIN10050 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 1 CHIN51011 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 2 CHIN51022 20 Mandatory
English Word and Sentence Structure LELA10301 20 Mandatory
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia CHIN12522 20 Optional
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Optional
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Optional
Modern China: from the Opium Wars to the Olympic Games HIST10151 20 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
From Text to Linguistic Evidence LELA10401 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

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.

Chinese

  • In addition to continuing your study in the Chinese language, you gain specialised knowledge of China's history, politics, popular culture and contemporary business culture in optional course units.

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
Chinese Language 3 CHIN51031 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 4 CHIN51042 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 20 Mandatory
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
China's Borderlands: Culture, Ethnicity and History CHIN20061 20 Optional
The Environment in Chinese Literature & Film CHIN20241 20 Optional
Introduction to Classical Chinese CHIN28572 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
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is spent abroad under approved conditions. 

For more information on the period of residence abroad please consult  Residence Abroad .

Course content for year 4

Linguistics

  • Have complete freedom of choice among a wealth of different course options, spanning subjects as diverse as forensic linguistics, sociolinguistics, formal semantics and syntax, computational linguistics and child language acquisition.
  • You will also have the option of writing a dissertation, where you explore and write about a particular topic in depth.

Chinese

  • You will undertake a dissertation in Chinese studies to work on an area of particular interest in depth as well as selecting from various modules in Chinese religion, media and society.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Chinese and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.

Course units for year 4

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
Chinese Language 6 CHIN51060 20 Mandatory
Languages-Based Project 1 CHIN51071 10 Mandatory
Language-Based Project 2 CHIN51072 10 Mandatory
Dissertation in Chinese Studies CHIN30000 40 Optional
Ideas and Ideologies in Chinese Civilisation CHIN30401 20 Optional
Socialism in China CHIN32012 20 Optional
Business Chinese CHIN38682 20 Optional
Chinese Language 5 CHIN51050 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
Dissertation LELA30000 40 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
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 34 course units for year 4

What our students say

Whilst at Manchester I volunteered working with young people in a mentoring scheme.

Now I work with children of all ages up to 18.

The skills I gained in this post really helped me to develop my counselling skills with young people and I use these almost daily.

Shona Becker, Speech and Language Therapist, Linguistics and French BA Graduate

Find out more about Shona's experience on her  profile .

Facilities

As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre, a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. 

There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities. 

For your Linguistics studies, 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. 

Learn more on the Facilities pages for  Linguistics and English Language  and  Modern Languages and Cultures .

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