Linguistics and English Language

Combined Honours

Linguistics and English Language can be studied with a range of other subjects in a Combined Honours degree. During the first two years of a combined degree you largely study the same courses as you would if you were taking two-degree subjects, together with some 'outside' courses. In your third and fourth year you take a combination of courses in both Honours subjects.

A current combined honours student discusses her programme.

Linguistics combined honours

You can study Linguistics in combination with one of the following subjects:
  • Celtic
  • Chinese
  • Classics
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Philosophy
  • Portuguese
  • Psychology
  • Russian Studies
  • Social Anthropology
  • Scandinavian Studies
  • Spanish
 

English Language combined honours

You can study English Language in combination with one of the following subjects:
  • Celtic
  • Classics
  • English Literature
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Philosophy
  • Portuguese
  • History
  • Russian Studies
  • Scandinavian Studies
  • Scottish Ethnology
  • Spanish
 

First Year

All Linguistics and English Language students take a common year-long course, which introduces the skills and concepts that you will need in later years. The course covers a range of aspects of the study of language including topics specific to the description of English. Examples are the structure of language, dialectology and social variation in language. In addition to this, you will take the first year course of your combined subject and you can take up to two other courses, either in a subject that complements language study or something unconnected that interests you from the vast range of subjects taught at the university.

Second Year

We offer a number of courses, which build on the introduction provided in first year. You will expand your knowledge of the structure of language, the methods that we need to investigate and understand it, and/or the structure and history of English, or the languages of Europe, as appropriate.  The precise number of courses that you may or need to take depends on the degree that you are registered for. You will also study second year courses from your combined subject and possibly outside courses.

Third and Fourth Years ('Honours')

We offer a set of around 30 courses that cover all areas of Linguistics and English Language for third and fourth year students (called ‘Honours courses’), connecting to the cutting edge research that is carried out at Edinburgh. During the third and fourth years you select from these courses, and also study courses from your combined subject. If your combined subject is a modern foreign language you will spend your third year abroad and your honours options will be slightly different.

Teaching and Assessment

Visit your chosen combined degree subject to find out how courses are taught in this subject.

First and second year Linguistics and English Language courses are taught by a combination of three one-hour lectures and one one-hour tutorial per week. The size of the lectures varies. Tutorials have about 10 - 14 students and usually involve discussion of topics related to the week’s lectures or of specific activities prepared in advance.

First and second year courses are assessed by a combination of coursework and end of course exam. You can check the course handbooks for current students to find out the specifics of assessment for each course.

Due to the varied content of the Honours courses, assessment methods also vary. Many courses are assessed by a mixture of coursework and essays, and some also include exams.

Recommended Reading

If you are thinking of applying to study Linguistics and/or English Language and have not already done so, we strongly advise you to read some books that cover the kinds of subjects that we teach. There are lots of good introductions to the study of language. These two are recommended:

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