Does anyone know anything about studying Linguistics at University?

(16 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 22-Jun-18 18:51:29

Dd is in Year 12 and doing English Lit, Sociology and Spanish A Levels.

She's not exactly sure what she wants to study at uni but English Lit is a definite possibility. She's also interested in doing joint honours maybe with Sociology.

At Leeds Open Day last weekend, she was particularly interested in Linguistics. However she definitely doesn't want to take her Spanish any further and the university said she can combine Linguistics with English Language but not Lit, which she doesn't want to do.

Has anyone's dc studied Linguistics? What sort of careers could it lead on to?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Jun-18 20:19:49

DD went on a taster session in Linguistics at Oxford. Unlike your DD, came away definitely not wanting to do it. It’s the theoretical study of Language and, interestingly, Oxford like you to take it with a MF Language so you get the whole language package. DD was looking at MFL. The dilemma was one MFL and Linguistics or joint MFL.

To be blunt, you are not learning a language so your skills are possibly not as sought after as a MFL grad. You are learning the theory of language so it’s more akin to other degrees that are combined with it such as Psychology and Philosophy (the only other option at Oxford) when it comes to careers. In other words, whatever you want! Obviously it’s fairly niche so the only directly related job is teaching. I think a MFL and Linguistics is a better option and I guess that’s why Oxford recommend it. You have more strings to your bow.

LIZS Sat 23-Jun-18 09:04:37

Dd is considering similar with a view to either joining civil service ideally in FO or becoming a SALT. She went to an open day at UCL last September which confirmed her interest, although she is not keen on a London uni. She also does not want to combine with a language which limits the choice of uni but there are many which focus on Linguistics with modules touching on psychology and social aspects, and a second language is useful as a reference point.

Lottapianos Sat 23-Jun-18 09:10:59

I did a degree in Linguistic Science 20 years ago. I went on to do an Accelerated BSc in Speech and Language Therapy

ShoesJerry Sat 23-Jun-18 18:59:44

Linguistics graduate here! I did post graduate study in applied linguistics and am now an academic. Others from my year group work in recruitment, marketing, teaching, PR, publishing, any kind of general graduate job. It's a broad ranging degree as it can be quite scientific (looking at acoustic sound waves, for example), or more social sciency (sociolinguistics etc).

WanderingWavelet Sun 24-Jun-18 14:00:46

Your DD should look at the English Department at the University of Birmingham where they combine Iinguistics and Literature. Excellent really top-rated Linguistics faculty there (world leaders in corpus linguistics), within a very good English Department.

sashh Sun 24-Jun-18 18:47:21

I did a bit of sociolinguistics as part of my degree, that would chime with her sociology.

I really enjoyed it.


IHeartKingThistle Sun 24-Jun-18 18:54:22

My degree is in Linguistics and English Language but I graduated in 2000 so may not be much help! It's very technical in parts, almost like a science. I loved it though (mostly!).

Dancergirl Sun 24-Jun-18 19:52:02

Thank you all, I wonder if it might be too science-y for dd who is definitely more Arts.

wandering funnily enough we were at the Birmingham open day yesterday! They have cut down on quite a few of their Joint Honours programmes unfortunately and don't off Linguistics with Literature. Shame as dd really loved the university and campus.

After yesterday she also liked the sound of English Lit and Philosophy.

OP’s posts: |
DorothyL Sun 24-Jun-18 20:01:53

Did they say why @Dancergirl?

MaryWortleyMontagu Sun 24-Jun-18 20:06:21

QMUL offer a joint degree programme in English literature and linguistics.

Dancergirl Sun 24-Jun-18 20:06:32

No, maybe down to budgets...?

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Mon 25-Jun-18 13:28:18

The Birmingham English Language and Linguistics course is very much pushing research and jobs in the Linguistics field. It does look very science based when it comes to jobs in the field and further training is needed. It seems very niche. The Linguistics course is only joint honours with English Language too, nothing else, so I’m not sure it’s attracting enough students to the course to offer it more widely.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 25-Jun-18 13:38:17

Dd is hoping to start studying linguistics at Edinburgh in September. She has a maths and physics background and the technical side of linguistics (patterns in the way that maths is about patterns) is what attracts her.
However linguistics courses vary. Some emphasis the connection with particular languages, others that have grown out of SALT departments are more about biological and psychological aspects, others stress literature or sociology. You have to look at each course to see where their emphases lie.
The advantage of Edinburgh and other Scottish universities is that you can do virtually anything you like as secondary subjects in the first two years. Dd plans to continue with maths but your dd could do Eng lit or sociology or both.

Haudyerwheesht Mon 25-Jun-18 13:47:50

I graduated from Edinburgh with english Langjage and Linguistics several years ago.

Linguistics for me was incredibly interesting but there are very sciency bits to it such as phonetic sound wave studies and even semantics.

English language was the more arts type side of my degree. I found it much easier but I’m sure that’s an individual thing.

At Edinburgh I studied English language and linguistics but also did Scottish lit and social anthropology as my outside subjects in years 1&2. It allows you a bit more freedom to make sure you’re on the right course.

In retrospect I wish I’d done a more vocational degree such as a straight SALT degree or teaching degree.

millymae Mon 25-Jun-18 14:49:06

It depends how far she wants to go with the linguistics. I did an English Literature degree at Leeds (several years ago so things might be different now) but I ended up choosing as many language/linguistics modules as I could from within the options available so didn’t feel at all weighed down by the literature.
In all honesty before I started my degree I gave no consideration at all to the modules that would be open to me within my degree but there were plenty and nobody ever expressed the view that my choices were in anyway wrong - even my final dissertation was the linguistics based, although more to do with regional accents than the science side.
It may be wrong of me to say that my decision to apply to Leeds was based more on the fact that I loved the open day and the city rather than the course being offered but at no point during my course did I ever think I’d made the wrong choice. I absolutely loved my time there.

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