Get the Language Advantage
While London is a quintessentially English city, with the passing of time it has become an icon of multiculturalism. Walking through its streets you will hear not only those endearing British accents but a myriad of other languages ranging from Spanish and French to Mandarin and Korean!
If a life of language diversity, travel and culture appeals to you, then a degree in Linguistics is perfect for your adventurous soul. The study of a new language with its origins and history is not only an exciting prospect in itself but also alluring in the diverse career options it offers. A degree in linguistics will not only make you the master of a new language but also equip you to understand and appreciate its nuances.
What you’ll learn...
The first year usually includes units to dedicated to foundational topics like phonetics, grammar and phonology. Though the words sound complex, you need not worry these subjects are dedicated to aspects of language relating to formation of words, word sounds, correct usage and meanings and structure of languages.
Year two will introduce students to slightly more advanced themes like, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, communication, sentence structure and other similar topics. These topics will take you to the realm of social sciences, you will learn about the relationship between a language and its speakers and some of the psychological aspects of how speech affects the individual.
In the final year a student of linguistics is likely to encounter units like bilingualism, syntactic theory, creoles, and neurolinguistics. Thus in the third year you will learn about how information pertaining to language is stored in the brain, how individuals speak multiple languages etc. You will learn the more theoretical aspects of syntax and also about the formation of dialects and creoles i.e. mixed languages.
These are just some of the themes that a student of linguistics will come across. It pays to remember that every Linguistics department will have a different area of expertise and will have a different focus for the course.
Where to study...
It’s always a good idea to educate yourself about the strengths and weaknesses of different colleges. Here, we begin by discussing the top three colleges for Linguistics in London. All the institutions listed here accept academic tests of English like IELTS, TOEFL and GCSC. All students are recommended to request information regarding scholarships from their local British Council institution.
University College London
Located at Gower Street, this college offers two excellent BA in Linguistics programmes; one is a regular three year course while the other is a four year alternative that includes a year of studying at a foreign university. Their tie-ups currently include universities in Venice, Hong Kong, Quebec and Massachussets.
UCL has a fee of £9000 for UK and EU students while the fee for international students is £14,750.
Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary offers a single-honours degree in linguistics, two joint-honours with literature i.e. English literature and Comparitive literature and four joint-honours with languages like French, German, Spanish and Russian.
Tuittion at Queen Mary is 9000 punds for EU or UK students and 12250 for international students.
School of Oriental and African Studies University of London
This college offers a three year BA in linguistics that includes a wide and regularly updated range of units for study. They also offer a combined subject degree which may be three or four years long depending on the subject preference.
Fees at SOAS for UK and EU students are about £9000 while international students pay £14590.
Options after College...
Linguistics offers some predictable career paths like teacher (either English or foreign language), translator, speech therapist etc.
However for those who wish to stray from the beaten path there are many opportunities. You could translate foreign language novels, become a travel guide etc.
It pays to keep looking up such opportunities online as any number of companies are constantly seeking bilingual students.
For undergrads looking to work while studying, linguistics provides great opportunities that combine work experience with pay. Many students earn their own spending money by working with subtitling companies.
One excellent option for those looking to travel in the long term is securing an internship at an international consulate. Many countries have their consulates and private companies in London, and will offer summer jobs to promising candidates. Choose a company that will value your skills and the language that you’ve studied.