Linguistics and Phonetics BA

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

Register your interest to be notified when bookings open. Register your interest

UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students in the Language Zone

Linguistics and Phonetics explores language structure, cultural use and the representation of language in the mind, as well as explaining mechanisms of language production and transmission of sounds.

Language plays a pivotal role in all human affairs and this degree will introduce you to the fundamentals of language, including theories of grammar and the production of speech sounds.

On this linguistics and phonetics BA, you can choose from a range of optional modules 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 course equips you with a wide range of skills as well as a deep and broad understanding of a crucial facet of human behaviour.

Specialist resources

Leeds has fantastic resources for studying a linguistics and phonetics degree, including a fully-equipped phonetics lab for acoustic and articulatory speech analysis, a recording studio and a range of other resources to help with experimental research.

You'll be encouraged to make use of these facilities for module projects or your Final Year Project, giving you valuable experience of different types of research.

The Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. You’ll have access to free classes and workshops so you can learn how to use them.

Take a look at our libraries:

Brotherton Library
Laidlaw Library
Edward Boyle Library

Course details

In your first year, you’ll take core modules introducing you to the main principles of linguistics and phonetics, as well as selecting from optional and discovery modules.

It’s all valuable knowledge for you to build upon in the following year, when you’ll take core modules on phonetics and syntax. You’ll then choose from a range of optional modules, covering three key pathways:

  • Formal analysis of language structure and sound

  • Language processing, development and evolution

  • Discourse studies and sociolinguistics

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 Final Year Project.

Throughout your degree you will benefit from the range of opportunities, expanding your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area. Discovery modules from outside the department allow you to explore other interests. The ‘Language and Intercultural Understanding’ theme covers the challenges of working across cultures including intercultural dynamics or the impact of globalisation. Other themes include 'Media, Culture and Creativity' and 'Technology and Its Impacts'. You could even choose to learn another language.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Linguistics and Phonetics BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Language Projects 20
Language: Meaning and Use 20
Key Skills in Linguistics 20
Language: Structure and Sound 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Phonetics 20
Syntax 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Psycholinguistics 20
The Life Cycle of Languages 20
Language and Gender 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Linguistics Dissertation 40

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Languages in Contact 20
Syntactic Theory 20
Language and Gender 20

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields and are leaders in their areas of research. You'll benefit from their knowledge and experience through a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

Independent study is also an important part of the degree, since it gives you the chance to work on your research skills and think critically about what you find. We offer plenty of support, and the University Library offers great training programmes to help you make the most of our excellent resources.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use various types of assessment, including essays, exams, research projects and analysis tasks. In some modules you may also be assessed on components such as group work or oral presentations.

We offer support in these areas as well – for example, we run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam technique that you’ll be able to attend throughout your time at Leeds.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB-AAB

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.



Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2 to D3, M1, M2 preferably including a foreign language

International Baccalaureate

34 - 35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H3 H3 H3 to H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers OR AABBBB in Highers TO AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers OR AAAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 75% - 80%

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

A Linguistics and Phonetics degree 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 hypotheses 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.

Others have studied for a postgraduate qualification in Linguistics to pursue a linguistics-based career or to prepare for PhD study, or undertaken further training in careers such as law, teaching, speech and language therapy, forensic linguistics and speech technology.

We are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies careers and employability support includes promoting internships, providing opportunities to work for the School and employer-led workshops and events.

Careers support

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

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners 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.

Work placement

Alternatively, you can apply for a year in industry, also known as a work placement. It’s a great opportunity to gain invaluable work experience as part of your degree, and can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. You have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

As with study abroad, you do not have to decide whether to pursue a year in industry before you come to Leeds.

If you apply and are successful, you will work a graduate-level job in your third year, after which you will return to Leeds to complete your studies.

Dedicated staff from our School and the University’s Careers Centre will support you in finding and applying for suitable placements, and will be available throughout your work placement year.

Find out more on the Careers Centre website.