Our three-year Linguistics BA Honours degree focuses on developing your understanding of how language works, how we communicate, and the growth of language in the brain. You'll explore linguistics in the context of English alongside other languages. You'll build a firm base of skills and knowledge to pursue many career paths - from journalism or data science to teaching or further postgraduate study.
In your first year you’ll study a foreign language, modern or ancient, alongside Linguistics. Throughout your degree, 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.
Your course during COVID-19
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
Quality and ranking
- 10th in the UK for Linguistics – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021
- 94% overall student satisfaction score – National Student Survey 2019
- top 150 – 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 (morphology and syntax) and the sounds and sound systems of language (phonetics and 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-education second language and literary acquisition, language origins and evolution, child language acquisition and language change.
You will also undertake an independent project, leading your own research in close collaboration with a faculty supervisor.
We base these figures and graphs on the most up-to-date information available to us. They combine data on the planned delivery and assessments of our courses in 2021-22 with data on the modules chosen by our students in 2020-21.
Teaching time is made up of:
- scheduled learning and teaching activities. These are timetabled activities with a member of staff present
- structured guided learning. These are activities developed by staff to support engagement with module learning. Students or groups of students undertake these activities without direct staff participation or supervision
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 Linguistics at Newcastle means you will benefit from access to our state-of-the-art Linguistics Laboratory. The LingLab hosts collections of English language data for analysis of linguistic variation and change. It also hosts a range of equipment for advanced articulatory, phonetic and psycholinguistic research. Activities are supported by a dedicated lab manager.
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
All Stage 2 students take part in the English Employability Challenge, an event run in collaboration with School alumni and the Newcastle University Careers Service. This event gives you the opportunity to take on real-life situations with a brief set by an employer. Those interested in developing their enterprise skills or setting up a business will also have the opportunity to take part in the Developing Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability module.
As part of your degree you will complete an independent research project in your final year. You will collaborate with a faculty member to investigate a novel topic that you are passionate about. You will also be offered a range of opportunities to participate in staff research project.
Chat to a student
My favourite thing about Linguistics at Newcastle University is the regular seminar groups, which provide you with the opportunity to explore the topics covered in lectures in great depth and have lively debates with your fellow coursemates (and sometimes even the lecturers themselves!)
You have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in your second year. In Europe we have links with:
- Ghent University, Belgium
- Leipzig University, Germany
- Groningen University, Netherlands
- Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
We have links with universities in other parts of the world, including in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, including, but not limited to:
- Monash University, Australia
- University of Sydney, Australia
- McGill University, Canada
- University of Hong Kong
- University of Vermont, USA
During your degree you’ll have multiple opportunities to undertake a meaningful work placement. In your second and third years you may choose to take the Career Development Module which offers academic credit for 50 hours of placement. You can choose to carry out your placement via part-time work, volunteering or in a local school. You will be assessed through a mixture of written work, presentations and professional skills assessment. In addition you'll have the option to spend 9 to 12 months on a work placement with University support from our dedicated Careers team to help you secure your dream placement in the UK or abroad. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in a sector of your choice, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise. Previous placements have been in a range of sectors, including:
- Journalism and Broadcasting
- Sustainable Energy
- Digital Media and Marketing
- Museum and Heritage
- Travel and Tourism
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.
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 across both schools.
You'll have access to:
- a digital media lab – for students with documentary and film-making modules
- a PC cluster
- a student-led cafe
- plenty of spaces to work and socialise
You'll have exceptional library provision from our award-winning Library Service. It 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. This gives you the opportunity to develop your creative writing and journalism skills.
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.
The School hosts an annual visiting speakers' programme and poetry readings and film screenings also take place during the year, organised by students or staff.
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.
Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 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 2021 entry (per year)
Home Fee Students
International Fee Students
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying 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.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
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:
Find out more about:
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.