Linguistics and English Language

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Read about our students' own experiences

My experience

Alex Hersey, USA (MA Linguistics, Class of 2020)
Alex Hersey, MA Linguistics, Class of 2020

Alex Hersey, USA (MA Linguistics, Class of 2020)

What do you find most rewarding about your programme?

The most rewarding aspect about linguistics is knowing that I could help a lot of people. Linguistics could lead me to work in speech therapy, AI and speech recognition, theatre and much more thanks to the informative and giving nature of the subject, all careers that can help the world.

What do you like most about studying at Edinburgh?

I love how many opportunities I have to get involved. In addition to being involved in LingSoc and FamiLing, I represent my school through my job, have a show on Edinburgh's student radio station, and am a member of many societies! It's so easy to get involved and stay active.



What do you find most challenging about your programme?

The biggest challenge for me is getting used to how accessible all of my tutors, lecturers, and faculty are. In American universities, a student refers to all lecturers and teachers as 'professor'. Because PPLS and my courses are so small, I have a very interactive and personal relationship with many of the teaching staff. I struggled getting over how formal teaching was in America compared to Edinburgh, but that's not a bad thing! I now feel so comfortable asking for help or chatting to my lecturers about their lectures/topics.

How is your degree programme equipping you for your future career?

The courses here provide an opportunity to explore many options. In first year especially, I had one lecture each week dedicated to learning about the different 'subsections' of linguistics, like language acquisition, animal communication, sociolinguistics, and computational linguistics. Second year further focuses on certain aspects of language science that helps students hone in on exactly what they would like to specialise in.

What advice would you give someone considering the linguistics programme at Edinburgh?

Ask for help when you need it! I made the mistake of feeling uncomfortable of taking advantage of office hours and tutors, instead thinking I could figure out my questions on my own. Don't be afraid to ask for help...the University wants you to succeed!

Read more about Alex's (and other PPLS students’) experiences on the PPLS Blog:

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