Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Linguistics

Why choose Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are ranked 4th in the UK and 5th in the world for linguistics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024).

  • 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 will 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 main areas of language structure:

    • syntax and semantics
    • pragmatics and phonetics
    • phonology and morphology
  • We also conduct world-leading research in:

    • sociolinguistics and language variation
    • the history of linguistic thought
    • language acquisition
    • the study of language in context
  • We are a leading centre for the study of language change and historical linguistics.

Study abroad

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 explores how language works. It describes how we create meaning through:

  • sounds
  • words
  • sentences
  • conversations

It also studies:

  • the uses of language in everyday life
  • ways in which language varies across society and evolves over time
  • how language is mastered by children

You can study linguistics 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 not need prior knowledge at the beginning of the programme.