Language plays a pivotal role in all human affairs. Linguistics seeks to understand how it works - how it is structured, used in society, and represented in the mind - while phonetics looks at how sounds are produced and transmitted. Together, these disciplines offer you a deep understanding of the ways that humans communicate.
This degree will introduce you to the fundamentals of language, including theories of grammar and the production of speech sounds. But in a department with such diverse research interests, we can also offer a wide range of optional modules allowing you to pursue the areas that interest you, such as psycholinguistics, language acquisition, sociolinguistics, language contact and change, pragmatics, and discourse analysis.
Combining theoretical study with both quantitative and qualitative research, this programme equips you with a wide range of skills as well as a deep and broad understanding of a crucial facet of human behaviour.
Leeds has some fantastic resources for studying linguistics and phonetics. We have a recording studio and fully-equipped phonetics lab for acoustic and articulatory speech analysis, as well as a linguistics lab including eye-tracking equipment and other resources to help with experimental research.
The department is also partnering with the M&S Company Archive, which is housed at Leeds, to explore language use over a century of Marks & Spencer's heritage.
In your first year, you'll take core modules introducing you to the main principles of linguistics and phonetics, as well as selecting discovery modules that will give you the chance to study a subject from outside the department.
It's all valuable knowledge for you to build upon in the following year, where you'll only study two compulsory modules on phonetics and syntax. You'll have free rein to choose from a range of optional modules, covering three key pathways:
You'll continue to benefit from the range of choice on offer in your final year, selecting optional modules and pursuing independent research to present in your dissertation.
Discovery modules from outside the department are also available throughout your degree - many of our students choose to learn a foreign language, but the choice is entirely yours.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A degree in Linguistics and Phonetics from Leeds will equip you with a wide range of skills. You'll be able to study different approaches, some of which will be more arts-focused and others more science-oriented - and that means you have the opportunity to cultivate skills in a number of areas that employers highly value.
You'll be able to study and analyse different types of data, both qualitative and quantitative, test your hypotheseis and use technology to solve problems. You'll also be a critical thinker with an advanced understanding of communication.
As a result, graduates have gone into a range of careers, including advertising, marketing, publishing, broadcasting, journalism, PR, tourism and the civil service. They have also pursued further training for careers such as law and teaching, or more directly related fields such as speech and language therapy, forensic linguistics and speech and language technology.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.