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Choosing what to study

Five reasons to study Linguistics

For those considering a degree in Linguistics but need further convincing, we lend our expertise. Here are five compelling reasons to study this subject area.

Six people holding up colourful placards that look like speech bubbles

1. Variety is the spice of life

The field of Linguistics is incredibly varied, so no two modules are the same. Phonetics, phonology, sociolinguistics and morphology all focus on different aspects of Linguistics, and all require a slightly different skill set. And while the study of syntax requires a more mathematical and scientific approach, semantics classes demand a philosophical mindset.

If you find certain areas of Linguistics easier or more interesting, you can choose modules that suit your preferences.

2. Opportunities to study abroad

The beauty of speech is that although every country in the world uses it, most have a different language. As you may already know from studying a foreign language at school, not all languages have the same grammatical structure as English. Verbs and pronouns, for example, can appear in different orders, as can the way in which plural nouns are presented. 

The variation in language is almost endless, and languages get far more varied and interesting than just those learned at school. Many linguistics courses allow you to study in a different country overseas, giving you the chance to examine another language first hand.

3. Exciting career opportunities

While teaching and writing are both excellent careers that a Linguistics degree can lead to, the list of potential professions is far longer and more varied than that. Among the possible future careers that you may not have thought of are forensic linguist, speech therapist and social worker.

4. Transferable skills

As with many degrees, few jobs specifically require applicants to have a degree in Linguistics. However, the skills acquired during a Linguistics degree are highly desirable to employers.

Unsurprisingly for a language-based subject, a degree in Linguistics will tell interviewers that you are an excellent written and verbal communicator with a good grasp of how to use language for effect. Linguistics will also teach you how to conduct research, analyse data and present results.

5. Combined honours

As the study of Linguistics can be applied to any language, it's a perfect candidate to form a joint honours degree with a language course – be that English or a foreign language.

Linguistics is also commonly offered as part of a joint honours degree with other social sciences such as Philosophy. At postgraduate level, the opportunities are even greater, with subjects such as Computer Science available to study alongside Linguistics.

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