Linguists are concerned with the formal structure of language and with its functions in society. From the sounds children make to the way people speak to the elderly; from media spin to everyday conversations, the language around us contains hints as to its own development and its role in creating the society we live in. To really understand these implications, this programme takes a lively hands-on approach; we pay attention to "real language".
We specialise in both theoretical and socio-linguistics. The programme gives attention to formal and functional aspects of language study, providing grounding in structural analysis (grammar, syntax etc.); however, what makes our approach so distinctive is that the emphasis is placed on the sociolinguistic functions of language. Language studies are indispensable to understanding the historical development and contemporary state of a given mono- or multilingual society. We also offer an Applied Linguistic route, the TESOL. For more information on this, find the full details link on the programme outline on the right-hand side of this page.
Linguistic tools and techniques are taught through using "real-world" examples. You will gain a thorough introduction to the field. Example modules in recent years have included Introduction to Linguistics (looking at the sounds and structure of language); Language, Society and Power (introducing a wide range of sociolinguistic issues); and Meaning in Language (an introduction to word meaning).
Second and third years
In your second and third years, core modules give you broad and detailed knowledge of significant areas of linguistic theory, training you in language analysis and in critical valuation of a range of related theories. Our core modules have recently included Discourse and Conversation Analysis, English in its Social Context, and Phonetics and Phonology. Optional module focus on specialised areas of language study and build on the theories and practical skills acquired in core modules. The options are largely research-led, in that the lecturer will be an active researcher in the area covered. This will provide you with a clear understanding of what is involved in cutting-edge linguistics as well as training you to conduct your own research.