Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

Subject area: Linguistics

Why choose Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked 3rd in the UK and 5th in the world for linguistics (QS World University Rankings by subject 2022).

  • We have one of the largest concentrations of university language scientists in the UK. With a cohort of over 350 students currently studying linguistics and/or English language, you’ll find an intellectual and welcoming community offering you a wide choice of courses and the chance to develop your skills in a supportive environment.

  • We have internationally recognised experts in the theoretical and empirical study of the major areas of language structure: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology and morphology. We also conduct world-leading research in sociolinguistics and language variation, the history of linguistic thought, language acquisitions, and the study of language context. We are a leading centre for the study of language change and historical linguistics.

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

Alex Hersey MA (Hons) Linguistics graduate
Alex Hersey MA (Hons) Linguistics graduate

Introducing Linguistics

Linguistics examines how language works. It describes 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 language varies across society and evolves over time
  • how language 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. 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.