Linguistics is the systematic study of human language. It has
its roots in antiquity, though the twentieth century saw an
explosion of research and the development of new theories and
approaches. Linguistics has become an exciting and vigorous
area of study, with strong connections to many fields including
psychology, sociology, anthropology, cognitive science, computer
science, and philosophy.
Language is complex, and linguistics attempts to describe and
explain the full range of that complexity, especially speech sounds,
the grammar of words and sentences, and how meaning relates
to words, grammar and context. The M.Phil. in linguistics gives due
weight to all of these, with core modules in Describing Grammar,
Describing Meaning, Describing the Sounds of Languages, and
Laboratory Phonetics and Phonology. A varied menu of optional
modules gives students the opportunity to investigate social,
psychological, historical and advanced topics in linguistic theory.
The M.Phil. in Linguistics has been running for nearly 30 years.
Our students – who are not expected to have any background in
linguistics – have in some cases come from language professions
(translating, interpreting, teaching, speech and language therapy,
publishing...), or direct from undergraduate degrees which
include language-centred elements (English, modern languages
and literature, anthropology, classics, psychology, sociology). In
other cases, they have simply been people who are intrigued by
language and wish to study it in a more systematic fashion. In
general, the M.Phil. in Linguistics is likely to appeal to students
with a talent for careful, systematic argument, and who wish to
understand the mysteries of language.
Our alumni have followed various career paths in the professions
named above, with many opting to pursue research at a higher
level through the Ph.D., in CLCS or elsewhere. For some, Ph.D.
research has led to an academic career. For more information
be sure to visit the course website, and don’t forget to read the
frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer to your
questions, feel free to contact the course coordinator.
Information for international students