Year of entry2017
Start dateOctober 2017
Four years part-time
Two to three evenings a week
Other entry years for this course2018
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.
This course offers you the opportunity to learn about the central ideas and concerns of contemporary linguistics at one of the world’s top research-intensive universities. You'll also have the opportunity to reach near-native standard in one language - French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish - or upper-intermediate or advanced level in Japanese, depending on your level of entry, while practising allied skills such as translating, summary-writing, and delivering written and oral presentations.
The programme is also available for full-time evening study over three years or over four years, including a year of study abroad, and for part-time evening study over six years.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- This is a unique joint honours course that allows you to study linguistics together with European and/or Japanese language modules.
- You will be taught by experienced scholars with international research reputations, which will allow you to acquire mastery of your chosen language and a thorough knowledge of contemporary linguistic ideas.
- Our Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication is the oldest applied linguistics department in the country, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. We remain on the cutting edge of the field.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- Read what our students have to say about studying with us.
The programme comprises 360 credits of modules, of which 150 must be taken in linguistics.
You take four core linguistics modules -- and select option modules in linguistics. You complete a linguistics project in your final year.
You will follow one of six language pathways, depending on your level of attainment in your chosen language at entry. French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish may be taken from beginners' level. Portuguese students require prior knowledge of the language and will begin the course at intermediate Language Level 4.
Starting at beginners' or near-beginners' level, you will attain a language level equivalent to at least one year's study beyond A-Level. With the higher levels of entry, particularly Portuguese students, the aim is to raise your language level to upper-intermediate or near-native standard.
Remaining modules may be chosen from those relating to the culture of the language studied (many taught primarily in that language), or from a range of cross-cultural modules (taught in English).
Linguistics core modules
- Analysing Language Structure and Use (level 5)
- Approaches to Language (Level 4)
- Approaches to Study
- Investigating Language
Linguistics option modules
- Intercultural Communication in Business Contexts
- International Management Communication (level 5)
- Language & Society Level 5
- Language & Society Level 6
- Language and media (level 5)
- Language Learning Level 6
- Language Teaching Research Level 6
- Multilingual and Multicultural Individuals Level 5
- Multilingual and Multicultural Communities Level 5
- Neurolinguistics (level 6)
- Psycholinguistics (level 6)
Culture option modules
- Approaches to Spanish Culture and Society
- Cultural Perspectives on German History
- Death: A Theme in German Culture (level 5)
- Imagining France: An Introduction to French Studies
- Reading the Signs: Text and Image in French Culture
- Reading Transnational Cultures
- Rethinking Japan: Introduction to Modern Japanese Society and Culture (Level 5)
- Studying the Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Native American Worlds
- Theorising Japanese Cinema
- Understanding Culture: Theories and Texts
Linguistics final-year project
If you complete and exit the degree with Language Level 4 you will be awarded a BA Linguistics and Language. If you complete and exit the degree with Language Level 3 you will be awarded a BA Linguistics with Language. This is dependent upon your entry language level.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience as presented in your application, and interview.
If you are undertaking French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish, you can join this programme with your chosen language at any level, from complete beginners' to native speaker level. Portuguese students require prior knowledge of the language.
Admission is based on a written test and interview and a target language entry test (except for complete beginners).
Alternative entry routes
We welcome applications from students on Access to Higher Education diplomas.
Credits gained on the or Higher Education Introductory Studies can be counted towards the degree.
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.
If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Teaching includes lectures, seminars, language lessons, supervised independent learning and projects, all supported by our e-learning platform and a variety of learning and social activities.
Key teaching staff on this programme
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
A variety of forms, including continuous assessment, coursework and, for language modules, a written and an oral examination.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in publishing, education, policy-making or language education. This degree can also be useful in becoming a translator, English as a foreign language teacher, publishing copy-editor/proof reader, civil service fast-streamer or editorial assistant.
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.
Go on to work and/or study:
Data from 10 students.
45% of those surveyed responded
Source: Destinations of leavers from HE record
- Go on to work and/or study
- Now working: 50%
- Doing further study: 20%
- Studying and working: 30%
- Unemployed: 0%
- Other: 0%
Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.
Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
Admission is based on a written test, a language entry test (except for complete beginners) and you may be asked to attend an interview.
We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.
Interviews are arranged throughout the year.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Discover more about our comprehensive range of student services, which offer all the support and assistance you need.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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