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A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent; other qualifications may be considered, if you have relevant professional/personal experience.
Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.
Months of entry
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.
Our Graduate Certificate in Linguistic Studies offers the opportunity for those who do not have a 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.
This is an undergraduate-level qualification that will prepare you for postgraduate study. Graduate Certificates/Diplomas typically take one to two years to complete and are made up of two, three or four modules at final-year undergraduate degree level (worth 60, 90 or 120 credits).
- In the most recent 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.
- You will be taught by specialists from our Department of Languages, Cultures and Applied Linguistics, a centre of teaching and research excellence. Applied linguistics has been taught at Birkbeck since 1965.
- The Birkbeck College Applied Linguistics Society, an official University of London society, was formed to bring together students interested in applied linguistics and related fields (for example multilingualism, intercultural communication and TESOL) in the London area. Birkbeck’s Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts visiting scholars from all over the world and runs regular research seminars given by speakers from overseas and other UK institutions. The centre also supports postgraduate training in applied linguistics, bilingualism, intercultural communication and translation.
- Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.
- The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
- The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.
Information for international students
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.
Qualification, course duration and attendance options
- part time12 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details
- Student Advice Service
- +44 (0)20 3907 0700