Discover how spoken and written language is used in various social, political, cultural and philosophical contexts, and explore its relationship with the mind. Study from a multidisciplinary approach, including its nature, structure and use, and discover how it varies according to person, time and situation.
Why study English Language and Linguistics at Kent?
Linguistics at Kent was ranked 4th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2023.Your degree, your way: create your own pathway and choose from our wide range of options to tailor your degree to your interests. Study all aspects of language, and discover how it varies according to person, time and situation Get career-ready: your knowledge and understanding of how language works and how we communicate will open doors to lots of exciting careers. Meet some of our graduates and find out where English Language and Linguistics has taken them Our linguistics laboratory is home to facilities for experimental and quantitative research in acoustics, sociophonetics, and speech and language processing and acquisition
What our students say
“At Kent there is such a varied choice of modules, you can tailor your degree to what you excel in. I came here because it is so important to learn from lecturers who are passionate and at the forefront of innovation.”
Elise McMellin, BA English Language and Linguistics
What you'll study
In your first year, you'll explore the structure of language, foundations of linguistics and speech sounds. Other modules allow you to explore sociolinguistics, the study of meaning and communication, stylistics to explore texts, and the global spread of the English language.
In your second and third years there are no compulsory modules, meaning you can tailor your studies to your own interests. Delve into more specialist areas from syntax to semantics, and the history of British English to teaching languages. You might also consider studying abroad - discovering a new culture and showing future employers that you can adapt to a new environment - or take a placement year in industry.
In your final year, you complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice, supported by a supervisor.
See the modules you'll study
Do you have a passion for literature too? You might want to consider BA English Literature and English Language and Linguistics.
On average, you have two one-hour lectures each week plus two seminar classes of two hours each. However, this varies depending on the material and the nature of the module, and there may be additional workshops, discussion groups and practical sessions. You have group or one-to-one tutorials for research projects and dissertations, and also have tutorials with your lecturers and seminar leaders to discuss coursework and assignments. In addition, you have access to further information and support via Moodle, our interactive web-based learning platform.
At each stage, some modules are continuously assessed, while others combine coursework and examination. Stage 2 and 3 modules count towards your final degree result.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the interdisciplinary nature of linguistics and language studies
- terminology to describe and understand the nature and use of language, including relevant descriptive linguistic concepts, terms relevant to theory and explanation in linguistics, the role of language in social life, and sychronic and diachronic perspectives
- the way speech sounds are articulated, described and change in isolation and in natural speech, and how these are organised into a system
- the structures and properties of individual words and sentences
- the way meaning is generated in language
- language varieties, styles and registers, with particular reference to English
- intercultural language issues
- language acquisition
- discourse in its broader political, historical and sociocultural contexts (discourse analysis, stylistics and text analysis, theories of discourse).
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
- construct and manage an argument
- critically judge and evaluate evidence
- present, evaluate and interpret a variety of data
- assess the merits of contrasting theories and explanations, including those from other disciplines
- collect and analyse data using a variety of methods
- consider the ethical aspects of collecting, handling and storing of data
- summarise and synthesise information from a number of sources
- reach independent judgements about data or theory.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- demonstrating and applying knowledge of the main methods of enquiry and analysis in linguistics and its sub-fields
- understanding the technical and ethical issues in linguistic data collection
- presenting linguistic data
- evaluating and interpreting linguistic data, developing lines of argument, and making sound judgements in accordance with the central theories and analytical concepts in linguistics and its sub-fields
- separating descriptive from prescriptive linguistic judgements, and challenging linguistic prejudice.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- communication: presenting the results of study and work accurately, with well-structured and coherent arguments in an effective and fluent manner both in speech and in writing; communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
- effective interaction within small groups, exercising personal responsibility, sensitivity and appropriate decision-making skills
- managing your own learning, demonstrating the ability to conduct independent research, to achieve goals, take initiative, be organised and meet deadlines
- understanding the dynamics of oral and written communication within a variety of settings
- library and information technology application and resources
- advanced-level IT, including aspects relating to multimedia and multimodal discourse
- managing time and prioritising workloads
- accurate and effective note-taking
- problem-solving in a variety of theoretical and practical situations.
The programme aims to:
- provide a challenging and research-led programme of study, relevant to the needs of students with a strong interest in English language and language structure more generally
- meet the needs of those thinking of working in education, training, writing, publishing, commerce, language-based therapy and tourism, or other careers where sensitivity to language and communication plays a central role
- offer a grounding in linguistic theory, and sensitivity to social, cultural and political issues which surround the use of language
- provide teaching which is informed by current research, scholarship and good practice
- enable students to manage their own learning and to carry out independent research
- develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills
- provide students with opportunities for the development of their personal, communication, research and other key skills
- enable students to think and work creatively and intellectually and to stimulate their search for knowledge and insight.