Year of entry2018
Start dateOctober 2018
Two years part-time
Two evenings a week
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 allows you to reflect on the nature and functions of language and analyse language data from social, cultural, psychological and theoretical perspectives at one of the world's top research-intensive universities. You will also learn a language from beginner level (French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish), which will enable you to communicate in a variety of social and work situations. No prior knowledge of the language is required.
The programme has five possible routes, so that you graduate with one of the following awards based on which language you choose to study:
- Certificate in Higher Education Linguistics and French
- Certificate in Higher Education Linguistics and German
- Certificate in Higher Education Linguistics and Italian
- Certificate in Higher Education Linguistics and Japanese
- Certificate in Higher Education Linguistics and Spanish
- 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.
- A unique opportunity to study applied linguistics at undergraduate level, taught by experienced scholars with international research reputations.
- Our Department of 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.
- Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros considering what linguistics is.
You must complete four core modules over two years on a part-time basis.
In your first year, you take both the Approaches to Study (Level 4) and the Language Level 1 or Language Level 2 (Level 4) module, depending on your proficiency in the language.
In your second year, you take both the(Level 4) module and the Language Level 2 (Level 4) or Language Level 3 (Level 5) module, depending on which language module you took in your first year.
Please note you can only study one language on this Certificate.
Year 1 core module
Year 1 Language Level 1 modules (choose 1)
Year 1 Language Level 2 modules (choose 1)
Year 2 core module
Year 2 Language Level 2 modules (choose 1)
Year 2 Language Level 3 modules (choose 1)
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 on interview.
No prior knowledge of the language you wish to study is required. There is a written test and some applicants may be asked to 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.
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.
Fees (2017/8)Part-time home/EU students: £ 3000 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 3000 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
The linguistics subjects are assessed entirely by coursework, mainly in the form of essays. The language components are also assessed by written work, as well as by unseen examinations.
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.
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
Programme application: you apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. You can only apply for the whole programme. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.
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.
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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