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Linguistics with Chinese or Japanese BA Honours

  • UCAS code: Q1T4
  • Full time
  • 4 years

Explore how language works and how it's structured, alongside the study of Mandarin Chinese or Japanese.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £21000

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: ABB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

This four-year Linguistics with Chinese or Japanese degree concentrates on developing your understanding of how languages work, how we communicate, and the growth of language in the mind.

You'll explore linguistics in the context of English and either the Chinese or Japanese language. You'll build a firm foundation of skills and knowledge to pursue many potential career paths.

You will study the language of your choice from a beginner or advanced level depending on previous experience. Building your fluency in Mandarin Chinese or Japanese alongside your study of linguistics will give you a unique perspective on the language.

In your third year, you'll immerse yourself in East Asian culture as you spend the year in China or Japan. You'll further improve your language skills and confidence, and gain a first-hand appreciation for the language in context.

Our cutting-edge programme is shaped by the research specialisms of our world-leading researchers. This ensures, that your studies explore the latest ideas and most exciting areas of linguistics, such as:

  • first and second language acquisition
  • language evolution and computational modelling
  • language variation and change
  • psycholinguistics
  • theoretical linguistics

Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
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, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

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.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

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.

Your stage 1 modules will lay the foundation for in-depth analysis and description of language. They focus on topics such as:

  • the structure of words and sentences (morphology and syntax)
  • the sounds and sound systems of language (phonetics and phonology)
  • language acquisition and language variation and change

Your language modules in the School of Modern Languages will provide you with a solid foundation in the language systems (grammar, orthography, and phonetics) of Mandarin Chinese or Japanese.

You'll develop your reading, listening, writing and speaking skills in preparation for your year abroad.


Compulsory Modules Credits
The Nature of Language 20
Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology 20
Introduction to Language Structure 2: Syntax, semantics and pragmatics 20
Dealing with Data 20
Optional Modules Credits
Level A (HE Entry Level) Chinese I 20
Level A (HE Entry Level) Chinese II 20
Level B (HE Intermediate) Chinese 40
Level A (HE Entry Level) Japanese I 20
Level A (HE Entry Level) Japanese II 20
Level B (HE Intermediate) Japanese 40

You will need to select 40 credits of Japanese modules or Chinese modules.

In your linguistics modules you'll develop your knowledge of core aspects of grammar and sound patterns. You'll also work on 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 how they change over time.

In your Mandarin Chinese or Japanese modules you'll continue to develop your reading, listening, writing and speaking skills in preparation for your year abroad.


Compulsory Modules
You take the following compulsory modules.:

Phonological Theory (20 credits)
Syntactic Theory (20 credits)

If you're undertaking the Japanese stream, you must take one of the following compulsory modules:

If you're undertaking the Chinese stream, you must take one of the following compulsory modules:
Optional Modules Credits
Level B (HE Intermediate) Chinese 40
Level C (HE Advanced) Chinese 40
Level B (HE Intermediate) Japanese 40
Level C (HE Advanced) Japanese 40
Sociolinguistics 20
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties 20
Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry 20
Experimental Methods in Linguistics 20
Multilingualism 20
Pragmatic Theory 20
It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation 20
Introduction to Second Language Acquisition 20



Your third year will be spent studying in either China or Japan.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Year Abroad Tutor Posts 100
Optional Modules
You take one of the following optional modules:

You'll continue to study advanced language modules in your chosen language, reflecting the fluency you will have gained during your year abroad.

You will also start an independent project. During this project you'll lead your own research in close collaboration with a faculty supervisor.

You can select your remaining modules from an array of choices, each of which is closely aligned with your lecturers’ active research specialisms. These currently include:

  • comparative syntax
  • phonological theory
  • second language acquisition
  • language origins and evolution
  • child language acquisition
  • language change


Compulsory Modules

If you're undertaking the Japanese stream, must take one of the following compulsory modules:

Level C (HE Advanced) Japanese (40 credits)
Level D (Further Advanced) Japanese  (40 credits)

If you're undertaking the Chinese stream, must take one of the following compulsory modules:

Level C (HE Advanced) Chinese (40 credits)
Level D (HE Further Advanced) Chinese  (40 credits)

Optional Modules Credits
Level C (HE Advanced) Chinese 40
Level D (HE Further Advanced) Chinese 40
Level C (HE Advanced) Japanese 40
Level D (Further Advanced) Japanese 40
Sociolinguistics 20
Early English: Texts, Patterns and Varieties 20
Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry 20
Experimental Methods in Linguistics 20
Multilingualism 20
Pragmatic Theory 20
It's not what you say, it's how you say it: Prosody and intonation 20
Introduction to Second Language Acquisition 20
Origins and Evolution of Language 20
Language in the City 20
Short-form Dissertation 1: English Language and Linguistics 20
Short-form Dissertation 2: English Language and Linguistics 20
The History of Linguistic Ideas 20
Language and Ageing 20
Advanced Second Language Acquisition 20
Laboratory Phonology 20
From Input to Output: The Blackbox of Child Language Acquisition 20
Medieval and Early Modern Meaning: English Historical Semantics 20
Dissertation/T&I Project 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You can normally expect to spend around 10 hours per week attending lectures, seminars, workshops and film screenings, plus weekly study groups.

You also spend around 25 hours per week on class preparation, reading, writing, and other kinds of independent research recommended by your tutor.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

Skills and experience

Practical experience

Studying Linguistics at Newcastle means you will benefit from access to our state-of-the-art Linguistics Laboratory. The LingLab hosts collections of 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.

You will also have access to the award-winning Language Resource Centre, in the School of Modern Languages. These facilities support and facilitate your language learning, and encourage cross-cultural communication.

Research skills

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 projects.

Chat with a Linguistics student

Sophie Krol


Study abroad

Your third year is spent studying in a Chinese or Japanese speaking country at one of our partner institutions. 

In China our current partner institutions include: 

  • Beijing Language and Culture University
  • East China Normal University
  • Hainan
  • Sichuan
  • Xiamen University

In Japan our current partner institutions include: 

  • Aichi
  • Akita
  • Dokkyo
  • Fukuoka
  • Hiroshima Shudo
  • Hitotsubashi (Tokyo)
  • Hokkaido (Sapporo)
  • Hosei (Tokyo)
  • Kyushu
  • Iberaki (Mito)
  • International Christian University (TokyoICU)
  • Kobe
  • Kyoto University
  • Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
  • Kyushu (Fukuoka)
  • Nanzan (Nagoya)
  • Ryukoku University (Kyoto)
  • Aichi Prefectural University (Nagoya)
  • Kobe City University of Foreign Studies
  • Sophia University (Tokyo)
  • Waseda University (Tokyo)

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, writers and professionals.

You'll have access to:

  • a digital media lab – for students with documentary and film-making modules
  • The LingLab, a world-class research facility for linguistics
  • PC clusters throughout campus
  • a student-led café
  • the award-winning Language Resource Centre with self-study resources for over 50 languages
  • plenty of spaces to work and socialise

You will have exceptional library provision from our award-winning Library Service. It houses over one million books and a huge range of electronic resources.

Find out more about the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics


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 affecting your academic progress.

Peer Mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer questions you may have when starting university.

Your future

English Language and Linguistics students acquire a range of valuable skills which equip them to pursue diverse career paths.

Your training can be used in:

  • teaching English as a foreign language
  • publishing
  • journalism
  • advertising, branding and marketing
  • information services and data science

You will gain skills such as critical reasoning and problem solving, project and data management, oral and written communication, collaboration and independent research.

Our degrees provide excellent preparation for a wide number of professions. With further training, our graduates have also become:

  • lexicographers
  • translators and interpreters
  • speech and language therapists
  • social researchers
  • legal sector workers (including forensic linguists)


Employability and the engagement with the wider world go hand-in-hand in this degree.

Many of our modules, particularly in your final year, model their assessments on the kind of tasks you might be employed to do:

  • constructing marketing briefs
  • drafting website copy
  • curating exhibitions
  • designing experiments
  • coding websites
  • analysing data
  • writing a clear and persuasive argument

Beyond our modules, there are plenty of extracurricular opportunities. These range from freelance work for Newcastle’s student newspaper to paid internships in the department. In particular, the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts hires students to work on everything from event management to app design.

Make a difference

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Careers support

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.

Visit our Careers Service website

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

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2024 entry.

International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

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. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. 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.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

Qualification: BA Honours

Home students

full time 4 years

Tuition fees (per year)


International students

full time 4 years

Tuition fees (per year)


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:

Open days and events

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

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International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

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