Why is human language unique and unlike any other natural communication system? How do children learn their first language? Do women and men speak differently? Are some forms of English better than others? Why does language change through time?
Linguistics seeks to provide answers to questions such as those above, and many others. As the science of language, linguistics studies everything to do with language, including how language is structured, how it develops in children, the ways in which it reflects society and culture, how it defines individuals and groups, and how it changes over time. If you find these questions interesting, then you will enjoy studying linguistics.
This programme offers the opportunity for those who do not have a BA second-class honours degree in a relevant subject to gain an understanding of the social, interpersonal and psychological aspects of human language and communication systems, and to enhance their academic skills in linguistics. It provides training in aspects of both theory and practice in the field of linguistics, language and communication.
Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Linguistic Studies (Graduate Certificate) (Part-time)
You take 2 core modules (worth 30 credits each), which are designed to ensure a good coverage of the curriculum and the full range of learning outcomes.
ALC GradCert Timetable 15-16.pdf
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BA degree or equivalent; other qualifications may be considered, if you have relevant professional/personal experience.
All candidates will be asked to complete a short admissions task and will normally attend an interview.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Part-time home/EU students: £
paPart-time overseas students: £
Payment and Fees Discounts
Funding and Financial Support
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in teaching, speech and language therapy, translating, and interpreting. Possible professions include English as a second language (ESOL) teacher, speech and language therapist, or translator. This degree can also be useful in becoming an interpreter, lexicographer, or primary school teacher.
Find out more about these professions.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Teaching and assessment
Lectures, seminars, tutorials and presentations.
Typical assessments include coursework essays of approximately 4000 words.