Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Subject area: Linguistics

Why choose Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked 4th in the world and 1st in the UK for linguistics in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. We conduct world-leading research in linguistics and English language.

  • We support a range of theoretical approaches and you will be exposed to different, sometimes competing, theories of language structure. Our researchers have worked on a wide range of languages, and we have ongoing linguistic fieldwork projects on Brazilian Portuguese, Celtic, Faroese and Shilluk (a Sudanese language).

  • You will have access to our state-of-the-art cognitive neuroscience research laboratory, which includes world class eye tracking facilities to help discover the mechanisms of language tracking in the brain, our perception laboratory for perceptual and psycholinguistic experiments, and a suite of recording studios. You will also be able to use and study in the psychology library.

  • You can study linguistics as part of a joint programme with a wide range of languages, allowing you to enhance and deepen your understanding of your chosen language by understanding the nature of language itself.

  • We have a depth of expertise in the theoretical and empirical study of the major areas of language structure: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology and morphology. We have research strengths in sociolinguistics and language variation, the history of linguistic thought, language acquisition, the study of language in context, and spoken language technology. We are also a leading centre for the study of language change and historical linguistics.

  • We host three research centres: the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics, which is a centre for research on how language changes and what drives linguistic change; Bilingualism Matters, a hub for an international network of experts on bilingualism and bilingual language acquisition; and the Centre for Language Evolution, which is famous for studying how language evolves in the lab.

Study abroad

I wanted a lively, international university that allowed me to grow up quickly and independently. Edinburgh gave me just that

Alex Hersey 3rd year MA (Hons) Linguistics
Alex Hersey 3rd year MA (Hons) Linguistics

Introducing Linguistics

Linguistics examines how language works, describing how sounds, words, sentences and conversations combine to express and create meaning. It studies the uses of language in everyday life, the ways in which it varies across society and evolves over time, and how it is mastered by children.

Linguistics can also be studied as part of a joint honours programme with a range of other subjects.

Linguistics has a long history at the University of Edinburgh and our teaching staff have an excellent reputation for research in this area.

Linguistics is a new subject for nearly all undergraduates so you will require no prior knowledge at the beginning of the programme.