Introduction

Language and Linguistics at Aberdeen is the fascinating exploration of human language and how speech evolved, creating a bridge between sound and meaning. You will study the ways in which we acquire languages as children and adults, how languages vary and change over time and gain the knowledge and skills to open up a wide variety of careers.

This programme is studied on campus.

Language is the very essence of what makes us human, setting us apart from all other species. Linguistics helps us analyse, discuss and model this fascinating human attribute so that we understand ourselves and human societies more fully.

You will explore how languages evolve over time, how the brain processes speech and language, social factors and different dialects of English, how we learn second languages and much more.

This is a fast-moving field. Our understanding of language grows all the time with new discoveries in neuroscience, animal behaviour, archaeology and palaeontology, sociology and psychology and new applications of linguistics theory in industry, medicine, and forensic science emerge year on year.

The knowledge and skills you’ll develop will make you very attractive to employers, especially if you choose a career in the media, advertising and marketing, information and communication technology, publishing, language teaching and health-related professions such as speech and language therapy or work with blind or deaf people.

You will enjoy all the benefits of learning and living in our friendly and vibrant international community, on our beautiful campus with great facilities for learning, sports and leisure and many opportunities to develop the extra skills to boost your employability and to broaden your horizons through studying abroad.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
Q190

What You'll Study

Language and Linguistics at Aberdeen takes a holistic approach to the subject and you will study a diverse range of courses throughout the programme. You will develop excellent analytical and communication skills that will help you prepare for a wide variety of careers. Some of the courses on offer include Communication and Language in Contemporary Society, Lexis and Semantics, Morphology and Syntax, Philosophy of Language, Discourse Analysis, Sociophonetics and The Sociology of Language.

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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English Structure and use (LN1003) - 15 Credit Points

This course opens up new ways for students to think about language by introducing them to the fundamentals of English linguistics. Students will learn how to identify and analyse the major "building blocks" of language in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Examples for illustration and discussion will be drawn from varieties of English spoken in the British Isles and worldwide, with lectures and tutorials geared to providing students with an active vocabulary with which to discuss language, and essential tools with which to analyse its structure and function.

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Communication and Language in Contemporary Society (LN1501) - 15 Credit Points

This course will interest anyone wanting to learn about language use. Moving beyond strict notions of structure, it explores communication in practice, examining how language works in different contexts and cultures. We will engage in careful study of various means of communication, from conversations to social networking and advertising, as well as broader questions of social identity factors that influence and interact with language. The course also addresses selected contemporary social issues that are principally or partly communicative in nature, challenging common misconceptions, and giving students an understanding of the contribution that awareness of language can make to numerous disciplines.

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Optional Courses

  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Language in Society (LN2008) - 30 Credit Points

Language is central to our humanity. Language and society are inextricably linked. Language unites; language divides. This course will develop your understanding of the social nature of language, providing insight into, among other things, the relationship between gender and language, language death and the art of persuasion.

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Varieties of English (LN2509) - 30 Credit Points

The English language spoken in different places and by different groups of people varies hugely and this variation is a perennial topic of interest whenever people from different backgrounds meet. This course will survey a range of varieties of English, both from across the British Isles and from around the world, and will explore how these varieties differ from each other as well as what unites them. In order to do this, we will consider the sounds of English, standard and non-standard word morphology, variation in sentence structure and differences in lexical choice.

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Optional Courses

  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points, at least 90 of which must be from available level 3 courses in Language and Linguistics
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Dissertation in Language and Linguistics (LN4501) - 30 Credit Points

Once you have successfully completed three years of university-level study of Linguistics, this course allows you to develop and carry out an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice. It might be that a particular taught course has inspired you to explore a topic in more depth; your own reading might have prompted you to wonder about a particular question. You will be supervised by a member of the department who will be happy to give advice and support as you complete your dissertation of 7000-8000 words.

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Optional Courses

  • Select 90 credits from available Language and Linguistics courses at level 4

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Language & Linguistics?

  • A vibrant linguistics research and teaching community and benefits of this study in other subjects, including modern languages, anthropology, sociology and history.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with fabulous study facilities, state-of-the-art technology and home to literary treasures collected over 500 years charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media. The library also has an extensive reference collection in language and linguistics.
  • Researchers revealing new insight into how spoken English is changing, including evidence gathered from tracking TV and radio soaps over the years.
  • Major research partnerships such as the study of witness testimonies following the 1641 Irish Rebellion, illustrating how language revealed the social, economic, cultural and political situation in 17th century Ireland, and gives clues about sectarianism today.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival’s popular WORD theme which welcomes internationally acclaimed authors, broadcasters and public figures to campus every spring to discuss and debate the written word, in various languages.    

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Advanced entry is considered on an individual basis depending on prior qualifications and experience. Applicants wishing to be considered for advanced entry should contact directly the Director of Studies (Admissions) at our Student Recruitment and Admissions Service office.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Language & Linguistics at Aberdeen is an avenue to a wide variety of careers. The department places a strong emphasis on applied learning and the analytical, practical, oral and written skills that you will develop during your studies are highly esteemed by prospective employers. Previous graduates have gone on to study at postgraduate level, whereas others now work in a variety of careers, such as speech and language therapy, English and Foreign Language teaching, publishing, journalism and broadcasting.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Interaction is at Heart of Linguistics

The University has a vibrant language and linguistics research community with interaction at the heart of communications

World Class Facilities

Many of the teaching staff in our department are actively involved in cutting-edge research, giving Language and Linguistics at Aberdeen its reputation for being one of the best places to study the subject. You will benefit from having access to a wealth of resources and facilities, including the University Library, research centres and the University's Language Centre, where you can develop your language skills.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX