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English Language and Linguistics

QQH1 BA (Hons) 3 years


This programme gives you the analytical skills and deep knowledge of language that you gain from studying linguistics, plus the chance to do hands-on work collecting and analysing data. You’ll develop systematic ways of understanding how the modern English language works, how it’s used and how it changes, looking at situations as diverse as youth language in our multicultural and multilingual cities, or the English used in the media and politics. You’ll consider how new technologies shape the form of English and whether the spread of English in the world is changing or even killing other languages.

Why study English Language and Linguistics at Queen Mary?

English Language and Linguistics is taught in the thriving School of Languages, Linguistics and Film.  We have a vast amount of experience in the field, so you will always be taught by leading specialists of international standing whose cutting-edge research informs their high-quality teaching.

In the Government’s most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), we were ranked highly for the quality of the research being carried out by staff. In particular, Linguistics was ranked 1st in the UK.


Year 1

The first year consists of eight compulsory modules to give you an all-round introduction to the subject:

  • Foundations of Linguistics
  • Sounds of English
  • Language in the UK
  • Languages of the World
  • Introduction to Phonology
  • Introduction to English Syntax
  • Practicum in Linguistic Analysis

Year 2

Four compulsory modules:

  • Aspects of Meaning
  • Sociolinguistic Variation and Change
  • Explaining Grammatical Structure
  • History of English

Options include:

  • Ethnography of Communication
  • Describing Prosody
  • Language and the Media
  • Linguistic Typology and Grammatical Theory
  • Language and Mind
  • Historical Linguistics
  • Language and Ethnicity

Year 3

Compulsory modules:

  • Research Methods in Linguistics
  • Research Project in Linguistics

Options include:

  • Formal Semantics
  • Structures of Spoken Language
  • Language and Life in London
  • Bilingualism
  • Syntactic Theory
  • Less Familiar Languages
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Pidgins and Creoles
  • Sex, Gender and Language
  • Experimental Linguistics

Entry requirements

General Information

We welcome applicants whose first language is not English; you must obtain a grade B in GCSE English language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).

Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking.


Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 UCAS points from 3 A-levels. 

International Baccalaureate

Subjects and grades: 34 points overall with 5 in a HL subject.

Vocational and other qualifications

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates.

Further information on our entry requirements

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes a number of forms. Lectures are used to convey information, to introduce students to the basic concepts of the discipline and develop sustained interpretation and argument. Seminars and workshops allow students to put into practice the concepts and approaches presented in lectures.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 5-6 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments.  However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment of linguistics work takes a variety of forms, including diaries of your own research, poster presentations, class tests and exams. Some modules include specialised research projects (group or individual) where you go out and do real linguistic research, while others let you tackle the hot debates of the discipline.

When studying English Language and Linguistics, we’ll train you in research methods in your final year and then you’ll do a supervised research project on a topic of your choice.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Studies go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as journalism, education and the arts, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as public relations.

The national 2012 destination survey confirmed that all BA English Language and Linguistics graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation, with 63% of this group working or studying at graduate level. Graduates from this course have a strong earning power, with a median salary of £20,750.

The broad range of skills gained through this course, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra- curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:

Publishing AssistantPinter & Marchants Publishing
Assistant LinguistCCCSVA
TeacherTeach First
PR Assistant Connie Fillippello Publicity
Online Support AdministratorHaymarket Publishing
Prop BuyerRose Theatre
English TeacherMadani Girls School
Editor Weekly Times Newspaper
Freelance Events ManagerTate Movie Project BBC

Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. Recent events in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film include a careers day for linguists looking at how to use LinkedIn for job search, CV writing and career choice. Students also have access to our annual programme of employer led workshops on job applications and interviews, as well as over 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. These include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, and presentations by the Civil service.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages.


Afreen Kashmiri

BA English Language and Linguistics

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I chose Queen Mary because I fell in love with the Mile End campus when I came to the open day. The campus is beautiful, has amazing facilities and the on-campus coffee shop has heavenly coffee! Of course, my ultimate decision was also influenced by Queen Mary’s excellent reputation, and the fact that all the staff that I met were lovely.

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“I have really enjoyed being part of some of the student-led societies and clubs at Queen Mary. I am the Social Secretary of a society called ‘Ability’ which aims to promote equality on campus by carrying out activities like helping set up inclusive Badminton. I am also part of the Events Team at a society called ‘Aspire’ which aims to promote Paralympic sports.

“Linguistics is an incredible degree – it includes aspects of politics in regards to language policy, sociology – through the variation and status of dialects; biology – through the study of how we physically produce sounds; psychology – in relation to how a child acquires a language; basically, think of any academic discipline and it will somehow link in with linguistics!”


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