This three-year Linguistics BA Honours degree focuses on developing your understanding of how languages work, how we communicate, and the growth of language in the brain. You'll explore linguistics in the context of English language as well as modern foreign languages. You'll build a firm base of skills and knowledge to pursue many career paths.
As well as studying a modern language, you'll also follow a cutting-edge degree programme shaped by the research specialisms of our world-leading staff. This ensures your studies explore the latest ideas and most exciting areas of linguistics, such as:
- computational linguistics
- language variation and change
- theoretical linguistics
You'll become a confident and competent professional by learning about fundamental topics in linguistics, such as; phonetics, grammar and sound patterns and the social contexts in which languages are learnt.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Your course during COVID-19
Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.
We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.
Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.
Your learning experience
Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.
Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.
In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.
We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.
Terms and conditions and student complaints
The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.
Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.
Quality and ranking
- 7th in the UK – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
- 94% overall student satisfaction score – National Student Survey 2019
- top 120 – Linguistics category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
- top 175 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2020
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
Your first year lays the foundation for analysing and describing language, focusing on topics such as word and sentence structure and general phonetics/phonology.
Alongside your Linguistics modules, you will also choose one foreign language from a choice of French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Latin or Ancient Greek.
You’ll have the option to study your chosen language at beginner or intermediate level, depending on your previous experience.
|The Nature of Language||20|
|Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Syntax and Phonology||20|
|Introduction to the Structure of Language 2: Morphology and Meaning||20|
|Language Variation and Change: Dealing with Data||20|
|Level B (HE Intermediate) French||20|
|Level B (HE Intermediate) German||20|
|Introduction to Linguistics||20|
|Level B (HE Intermediate) Spanish||20|
You will develop your knowledge of core aspects of grammar and sound patterns and how these apply to a range of languages. You'll broaden your understanding of language study by exploring the social context in which languages are learned, used and developed over time.
You will develop your own interests by choosing from topics linked to your lecturers’ research specialisms. These include syntactic and phonological theory; low-educated second language and literacy acquisition; language origins and evolution; child language acquisition; language change; and discourse analysis.
There are extended study and dissertation modules that give you the chance to investigate a topic that you are passionate about.
Teaching and assessment
You can normally expect to spend around 10 hours per week engaging in lecture, seminar and workshop materials, plus weekly study groups.
You also spend around 25 hours per week on class preparation, reading, writing, and other forms of independent research recommended by your tutor.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
Studying at Newcastle means you may have the opportunity to attend field trips to local and national points of interest. Previous visits have included:
- The Wordsworth Trust (Dove Cottage)
- Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books)
- Beamish Museum
- the Great North Museum
- Northern Stage
You'll have the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in the cultural industries in Stage 3. This experience will develop your communication and management skills as well as your ability to work in a team.
You can complete a dissertation in your third year, investigating a topic that you are passionate about. You will also be offered a range of opportunities to participate in staff research projects.
Chat to a student
Studying at Newcastle means that I haven't had to choose between my love of linguistics and my love of foreign languages - I can pursue both my passions with the support of two dedicated faculties to guide me.
You have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in your second year. We have links with:
- Agder University, Kristiansand, Norway
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Ghent, Belgium
- Groningen, Netherlands
- Leiden, Netherlands
- Leipzig, Germany
- Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
We also have study abroad links with three universities in Canada – Dalhousie, McGill and New Brunswick – available through our Non-EU Study Abroad exchange programme.
In the third year of your degree you can apply to undertake a work placement in a cultural industry. This is an opportunity for you to relate the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout your degree and apply them to real-world scenarios.
Your placement will be an integrated part of your degree which will last for one day per week for about 10 weeks. It will be assessed through the submission of a Project Work Diary and a Final Report which together form the Placement Portfolio.
Facilities and environment
You'll be based in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, which is at the heart of our city-centre campus, in the Percy Building. You'll join a lively community of students, academics, authors and professionals.
You'll have access to a digital media lab – for students with documentary and film-making modules – a PC cluster, a student-led cafe, and plenty of spaces to work and socialise, all based in the School.
You will have exceptional library provision from our award-winning Library Service, which houses over one million books and a huge range of electronic resources.
Newcastle University Students' Union is home to the award-winning student newspaper, The Courier, giving you the opportunity to develop your creative writing and journalism skills.
Our teaching is closely linked to the programme of the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA), giving you regular contact with leading creative artists. You'll also have access to the diverse programme of events organised by NCLA throughout the year, including spoken-word events and creative writing courses.
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
English students acquire a range of valuable skills, which they can transfer to many different employment situations. Your literary and linguistic training can be used in journalism, librarianship, teaching and the highly competitive fields of writing, acting and directing.
You will also gain other skills such as the capacity to analyse and summarise material, to communicate, to work to a deadline, to argue a case, to work independently as well as collaboratively, and to think logically.
This is excellent preparation for a wide number of professions and as such, our graduates have gone on to a variety of career areas including editorial, marketing, PR and other forms of media. Others have gone to work in law, politics, HR, teaching and supporting specialist learning.
Employability at Newcastle
96% of Newcastle University graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 85.5% in graduate-level employment or further study.
Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates. See what they have gone on to achieve and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).
Make a difference
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
Home Fee Students
International Fee Students
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
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Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.