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Language and Linguistics - BSc (Hons) - Video

How language works, is learned and used.

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In this section

How language works, is learned and used.


Are you the kind of person who notices things about language? Do you like words? Do you notice different people’s use of language, their accents, their word choices, maybe even their grammar? Did you like talking about grammar in school? If so, then linguistics is for you.

Here are some of the questions that linguists ask:

Why are there so many different languages? What do they have in common? How do children acquire language? What happens when we have problems using language, for example after a stroke? What is meaning and where do we get it from? How do we produce and comprehend sentences? What are the cultural, social and ideological processes that underlie the way we use language?

If you want to find out more about these questions, apply for Language and Linguistics.

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About this course

In this section


The Language and Linguistics course aims to give students foundational knowledge of the areas of linguistic theory and its applications. These areas include phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, historical linguistics, language acquisitionand discourse analysis. Primary teaching methods involve a mix of lectures and seminars both of which are heavily centred around working with examples of language data. In addition, a central element of a linguistics programme is the experience of independently collecting and analysing data and we aim to develop this skill in our students from the very first semester of the degree. Independent study and reading is also essential and the necessary study skills for independent study are developed over the three years of the degree. Assessment is by a mixture of data analysis exercises, essay based assignments, data centred research projects and formal examinations. The teaching team is made up of international, research-active linguists, educated in major Universities of Europe and the US.

We have designed our course to give you the flexibility to undertake a pathway which best suits your needs, so Language & Linguistics can be studied in conjunction with Counselling Studies. This allows you to combine your interest in language with the study of a vocational area in which effective use of language is central.

In second year, you can study abroad for a semester, for example in Switzerland, Germany or the US.

The programme offers students the opportunity to take up placements both locally and internationally in which their linguistics skills are applied in a range of English language teaching contexts.

The course lasts three years full-time. This course is also available by part-time study that can take a total of five years part-time.

Language and linguistics is a very mixed discipline. It is technical and analytical; it also requires personal reflection and observation, combined with a challenging attitude. The most important attribute that a candidate can have is a genuine and passionate interest in language and language use.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards


Each module usually involves two hours of lectures plus a one hour seminar each week. In addition, students are required to undertake substantial directed independent learning.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Communication and Language

Year: 1

The module explores the complex relationship between language and communication, focusing on competing models of communication and the multi-layered multi-faceted nature of meaning in communication involving language. It explores how understanding features of language informs the study of communication and how reflecting on communication aids reflection on the complex nature of language and meaning.

Children's Language

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the study of first language acquisition. It covers the major methods of studying children's language, outlines the typical course of language acquisition. It provides the students with hands on experience of second language acquistion.

Analysing Language I

Year: 1

The module provides a comprehensive and basic introduction the levels of phonetics and phonology. It introduces specific methodologies of data analysis employed in the field of spoken language. Students will learn to use descriptive tools in order to observe and describe spoken language phenomena in English and other languages.

Analysing Language II

Year: 1

The module provides a comprehensive introduction to the phonetic and phonological analysis of spoken language (including both varieties of English and other languages). Students will learn to use tools and methods in the analysis of spoken language phenomena appropriate to the field and the nature of the data.

How language works

Year: 1

This module provides an introductory overview of the relevant aspects of language for the study of linguistics and how they are approached within linguistics. The module therefore will provide students with an overview of their subject and their course and help them understand how the different subjects within linguistics fit together.

Experimenting with Language

Year: 1

The module aims to develop students' understanding of how experimental work in linguistics is carried out and also has the goal of enabling students to design and run basic independent experiments. The module will explore how experimental work is used in order to undertand questions in various areas of linguistic theory, with a main emphasis in experimental semantics and pragmatics.

Year two

Linguistic Theory I

Year: 2

One of the main aims of linguistics is to understand the limits of cross-linguistic variation. Linguistic typology is a method of discovering the nature of language, by focusing exactly on the variation among linguistic systems. Variation among linguistic systems is vast, but not unconstrained, and linguistic variation focuses exactly on what is possible, rather than what is impossible in human language. This module is designed to introduce students to cross-linguistic variation, and the field of linguistic typology, in addition to touching upon some phenomena to address in some more detail.

Research Methods in Linguistics

Year: 2

This module aims to facilitate the students' critical engagement with the research process by supporting them in reviewing the current theoretical literature and research methods for a topic of their choice in language and/or linguistics. This module supports the students' development as researchers by engaging students in methodological debates and by making explicit those approaches to data that are predominantly implicit.

Talk, Interaction and Social Organisation

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module explores the multidisciplinary nature of discourse analysis. It offers students the opportunity to discover the different goals and methodological practices as well as the different theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of a range of approaches to discourse analysis and to reflect on the distinctions between pure and applied discourse analysis. The module introduces students to some of the findings of discourse analysis through discussion of seminal and representative research papers.

Counselling Theory

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module will introduce students to the field of counselling, how it has developed as a profession and its components, including clinical assessment and case formulation. The module will focus on three approaches to counselling: person-centred therapy, psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Students will read a range of clinical writings in the field of counselling, and discuss a number of case studies to link theory to practice.

Communication in Relationships

Year: 2

This module is optional

Communication and Relationships is a module designed to provide an insight into the communicative dynamics of a variety of interpersonal relations which we all encounter in some way throughout our lives. It is designed largely around the following four stages of relationships: Relationship Development; Maintenance; Ending & Reconciliation. It explores the strategies and factors which may be involved throughout each of these stages, e.g. attraction; conflict (management); self disclosure; deception; skills of reconciliation & forgiveness

Linguistic Theory II

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module introduces complex syntactic problems and current theoretical approaches to their analysis. By studying this module students will engage with accounts in current theories and frameworks in the areas of syntax. The module contributes to the development of the student's analytical skills through the examination of linguistic data. The application of various frameworks will support the student's ability to engage with various theoretical approaches and their application to data analysis.

Mental Health and Well-being

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module will provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the complex nature of mental health, illness and well-being. This will include the knowledge and understanding of the key theories and models, and exploring the challenges and communication issues within mental health. A range of case studies will be employed to aid understanding throughout the lectures and seminars, supported by online resources.

Language Acquisition

Year: 2

This module is optional

This course introduces students to theoretical approaches to first and second language acquisition

Introduction to TESOL for Linguists

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module introduces the core principles of TESOL to Linguistics students. It aims to generate interest into ESOL teaching as a professional avenue students may wish to pursue further.

Year three

Work Placement

Year: 3

This module is optional

Work-based learning provides students with experience of working within the communication field. The placement option is a complement to and extension of the work engaged in at the University and provides the opportunity for each student to apply theory to practice, enhance their employability portfolio and improve their career planning skills and knowledge.

International Academic Studies

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside in the US under the Study USA programme. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline and its applied contexts whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year four


Year: 4

The project enables students to apply methods and techniques to exending and applying their knowledge and understanding of Communication and allows them to further develop their conceptual, rational and creative thinking within the field of Communication. It incorporates all aspects of completing a research project, from topic selection through to writing up and builds upon research skills acquired in Years 1 and 2.

Researching Talk and Social Interaction

Year: 4

This module is optional

Building on CMM320, this module engages students in detailed examination of the sequential organization of talk-in-interaction. They will develop a firm understanding of both the analytical constructs of CA and the ethnomethodological underpinnings that distinguish Conversation Analysis from other approaches to social interaction. Students will also put that understanding into practice through a supported research project.

Organisational Counselling

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides students with the opportunity to explore and evaluate the counselling process within the organisational context. The module will enable student to develop a critical understanding of the complexities and challenges of providing and undertaking therpapeutic intervention in the workpace from the perspectives of the client, counsellor and organisation

Current Issues in Linguistics

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module introduces students to contemporary work in linguistic theory. Precise topics covered will vary with developments in the discipline, but will include work at the forefront of current research, enabling students to become acquainted with current work in the field and to develop a critical perspective on research in the area.

Linguistic Interfaces

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module supports the students' abilities of knowledge transfer and application by engaging students in current debates of linguistic interface issues and how they might solve problems which have previously created challenges for non-integrated approaches in traditional framework of generative grammar.

Integration and Eclecticism in Counselling

Year: 4

This module is optional

This core module, introduces students to the integrative counselling model as a distinct conceptual framework and approach to counselling. Students will explore it's historical development and relevance in contemporary counselling practice and critically evaluate the theoretical and practical challenges of its application in a practice context.

Structure and History of English

Year: 4

This module is optional

The module provides a comprehensive and basic introduction to the structure and the history of English. It introduces specific concepts used in the analysis of language change. It also introduces a wide array of morpho-phonological, syntactic and semantic changes in the history of English. Students will learn to use descriptive tools in order to observe and describe language change phenomena in the morphology, syntax and semantics of English.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BCC* - BBC*.

* Applicants can satisfy the requirement for an A-Level Grade C by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC Level 3 QCF award profile DMM (to include a minimum of 7 distinctions if the asking grades are set at BCC equivalent, or a minimum of 8 distinctions if they are set at BBC equivalent).


BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DMM.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard. Examples of combinations include:

A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate

A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3H3H3H4H4 - H3H3H3H3H4.

English Grade H6 (Higher Level) or above, or Grade O4 (Ordinary Level) or above, if not sitting at Higher Level, is required.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of 24 points (12 at higher level) - 25 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 60% - 63%.


GCSE Profile to include CGSE English Language grade C or above (or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Students are taught primarily in blocks of two-hour lectures, plus one week of seminar per week. With three modules per semester, this means that the students would be in University for three days a week.

Assessemnt of the course is done through a variety of ways: coursework (individual and group), presentations, weekly assignments but also examinations.

Exemptions and transferability

Language and Linguistics is available as a single subject degree or with a optional exit pathway in Counselling studies (upon completion of three modules).

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

When you choose a Language and Linguistics degree, you are keeping your career options very open. It is very relevant to any job where you need to communicate effectively using language (which is most jobs!) and as a linguistics student, you will experience a mixture of arts based thinking, social science research skills and scientific analysis skills that give you a much broader range of transferable skills than the average graduate.

A Language and Linguistics degree is also more specifically relevant if you are interested in a career in Speech Therapy; Audiology; Teaching; Teaching English as a Second Language; Publishing; Law or Professional Communication. It is also a subject which will provide you with an impressive range of transferable skills highly relevant to the workplace.

Our website includes some graduate profiles so you can read why some of our students chose this programme and how they got from the degree to their current profession.

Work placement / study abroad

The programme offers students the opportunity to take up placements both locally and internationally in which their linguistics skills are applied in a range of English language teaching contexts.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Dr Christina Sevdali

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6402


Admissions Contact: Laura Irwin

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8936


Admissions Service

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6309

For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Communication and Media


Our students say:

“I enjoyed every one of the three years because they were so varied, whether we were interviewing people on campus; recording our families and analysing their communication or learning about the sounds that make up the languages of the world.”

“I found the course useful in helping me to understand more about communication: from how language is acquired and speech produced to how social processes affect and are affected by language.”

“My degree in language and linguistics has proved to be a solid base for my current job; it gave me sound preparation in terms of knowledge for the TEFL CERT and was favourably looked on by employers too. I would recommend for it for the various opportunities and career paths it presents upon completion of the course.”

“I firmly believe that the BSc Hons Language and Linguistics has given me the skills required to become an adaptable and effective manager in many capacities.”

“I have no doubt that the Language and Linguistics course has helped me get to where I am today and I would absolutely recommend the course to anyone who is considering it.”

“I enjoyed doing a challenging degree that was something very different from what my friends were doing. Finishing it gave me a great sense of achievement.”

“Language and linguistics gave me a lot of skills for my employment: from practical skills like doing presentations and writing, to more transferrable skills like analytical and critical thinking.”

“Language and linguistics lecturers are very enthusiastic for their discipline and are very approachable.”